Review: Turkish Airlines Lounge, Istanbul Atatürk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey – Updated
Turkish Airlines has attempted to establish itself as an alternative to the Middle East Three alliances by offering an excellent international business lounge at its hub in Istanbul Atatürk International Airport. Among it’s features are an ability to enjoy freshly brewed Turkish tea and simit, a traditional Turkish sesame seed bagel, unique tastes of Turkish and global dishes including where chefs prepare regional Turkish delicacies that appeal to both the eye, nose and the taste buds under a classically designed copper range hood–including “mantı” (Traditional Turkish beef ravioli) and “gözleme”; a traditional Turkish pastry dish of hand-rolled dough brushed with butter and eggs and stuffed with light savoury goods. A visit there is a feast for the tastebuds.
This post is one chapter on our third Round the World trip via South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, the Maldives and India. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport (World of Hyatt) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: Vietnam, Maldives and India. Round the World #3 in Star Alliance Business Class via Air Canada, Asiana, Singapore, Air India, Turkish Airlines Business Class
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver International
- Air Canada Business Class: Vancouver International – Seoul Incheon
- The Nest Hotel, A Member of Design Hotels, Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class Lounge: Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class: Seoul Incheon – Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers, Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sights and Sounds of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Restaurant Review: Nhà Hàng Ngon, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
- Trading at Ben Thanh Market and Street Life in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. Travelling Ho Chi Minh City to Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. The Canals of Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Ho Chi Minh City Airport Lounge – Fin Bar
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Ho Chi Minh City – Singapore
- Westin Singapore
- Shopping at Retail Giants on Orchard Road, Singapore
- Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge: Changi Airport Terminal 2
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
- Hotel Jen Maldives Malé by Shangri La, Malé, Maldives
- Street Life in Malé. A Day Walking the Republic’s Maldivian Capital
- Maldivian Moonmia Domestic Lounge, Malé Ibrahim Nasir Domestic
- Maldivan Airlines: Malé – Koodhoo
- Park Hyatt Maldives
- Circumnavigating Hadadaa Island, Maldives
- The Guided Back of House Tour, Park Hyatt Maldives
- Snorkelling the Park Hyatt Maldives House Reef
- Sunsets on Hadahaa Island, Hudavdoo Atoll, Maldives
- The Leeli Lounge – Male International Airport
- Air India: Male Thiruvananthapuram
- Air India: Thiruvananthapuram – Chennai
- Air India Maharajah Lounge: Chennai Madras International Airport
- Air India Business Class: Chennai – New Delhi
- The Leela Palace, New Delhi, India
- Jama Masjid, New Delhi
- Stepping into Chandi Chowk, New Delhi, India
- Overland Travel: New Delhi to Agra by BMW Luxury Sedan
- The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
- The Walled City of Agra, Agra, India
- Air India Maharajah Lounge, Indira Ghandi Domestic, New Delhi
- Air India: New Delhi – Jaipur
- The Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, India
- Walking the Old City of Jaipur, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, and City Palace, Jaipur
- A Day in the Footsteps of Royalty, Touring Amber Fort, Jaipur
- Air India: Jaipur – New Delhi
- ITC Muraya Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, New Delhi
- The Plaza Premium Lounge, Indira Ghandi International Airport, New Delhi
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: New Delhi – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk Business Lounge
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Montreal
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Montreal Domestic
- Air Canada Business Class: Montreal – Vancouver
Review: Turkish Airlines Lounge, Istanbul Atatürk Airport – Updated, Istanbul, Turkey
This was my second visit to the The Turkish Airlines Business Lounge in Istanbul Atatürk International Airport. The lounge hadn’t changed to substantially in between my visits, so I’ll just cover what was interesting and new. For my first visit to this lounge, please see our review of the Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul Atatürk.
Connecting through Istanbul Atatürk International Airport:
After arriving off Turkish Airlines Business Class New Delhi – Istanbul, we disembarked and found the Fast Track Security Screening line for Business Class passengers. We passed through screening and headed upstairs to the departure concourse for Atatürk.
As was in my last visit to Istanbul Atatürk International Airport, the place is a zoo. With hundreds of people wandering about the place looking for gates, getting from A to B, or stopping in the middle of the concourse. It always seems to be like this and it makes me yearn for a different transfer experience everytime I pass through here. Transferring here means between groups of people walking aimlessly all about the concourse in a non straight manner near the main access point (by design). I was wishing for Swiss efficiencies and the clean lines of Zurich airport by this point but it was not to be.
Locating the Turkish Airlines Istantbul Atatürk Lounge:
We found our way to the Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge. We were last here about a year ago and the lounge was easily located at the east end of the main departures concourse close to security.
The Turkish Airlines Lounge at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport was the primary lounge for both Business Class travelers, Star Alliance Gold level travelers, and premium passengers from the Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles frequent flier programs.
The lounge was centrally located in the main concourse of the Istanbul Atatürk Airport Departure Hall. It was immediately off to the left after security screening.
Accessing the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge:
There were several ways to get into the wonderful Turkish Airlines Business Lounge.
For members of the Turkish Airlines Frequent Flier Miles and Smiles program, on domestic flights, our Classic Plus members can enter Turkish Airlines Lounges and enjoy all the services on offer, even when traveling in Economy Class. Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles Elite and Elite Plus members, along with one guest, have free entry to Turkish Airlines Lounges on both domestic and international flights. Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles Elite and Elite Plus members, along with one guest, can also make use of Star Alliance Gold logo special passenger lounges at all airports outside Turkey.
For those travelling on Star Alliance Carriers, for those having Star Alliance Gold level or higher, also have access. Naturally, those departing on Turkish Airlines in business class also have access.
Inside the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge:
For those that haven’t visited, the Turkish Airlines business Lounge is a massive two level space with almost equal seating upstairs and downstairs.
Since our last visit, the lounge has matured a little. The place is looking a little more settled in, with a bit of wear and tear. It still an awesome place and somewhere that’s easy to spend hours and hours in, completely sacked out on your international connection, trying all the different foods.
Since I’d written about this lounge before, I took a few new photos to celebrate the experience instead of relying on the old ones.
The main entrance is on the top level, and its likely to be your point of entry. On the upper level, there are lounge chairs split between the media and atrium areas. The features on the upper level include pool tables, a library, and a movie station (typically with a popcorn machine) and a media center consisting of a bank of televisions.
The lower level consists of more food stations, additional dining areas and often a quieter ambience. There are typically less people down here as you have to navigate stairs or an elevator in order to get access to it. There is equally a fair amount of seating down here, at the expense of natural light as the space is a little darker. We’ve never sat down here on our visits though, but have stopped by to collect food at the various stations on this level.
Food and Beverage:
The food at the Turkish Airlines Lounge is still outstanding and among the best in class for an international business lounge. Today’s choices included a choice of freshly baked flatbreads, a fresh tortellini station, fresh grilled meats, a popcorn machine, fresh cheese and Turkish Mezze. The only irratance is that this food is spread all over the lounge, so you have to do a bit of hunting to see what stations are producing food at this very moment, then queue in line for collection. It also seems that most of the food is delivered in a phased manner; flat breads are served for an hour, then kebabs, then whatever is next in the rotation. It makes a long layover worthwhile as you can spend it sampling various types of food.
The bar offers self pour spirits, and the only challenge with the Turkish Airlines Lounge is that it’s a little hard to locate any ice if you’re looking for a cold drink. It’s either in a small container (which is often empty) or not available at all. There were also ample wines and fine spirit selection.
My Thoughts on the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge:
As in our last visit, the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge is among one of the best Star Alliance Lounges Worldwide. The Istanbul Airlines Business Lounge was a very comfortable place for a layover. We burned up a 4 hour layover here really quickly. One of the lounge highlights is the ability to sample all the various foods. It’s still a favourite of MrsWT73, calling it her favourite international business lounge ever.