Review: Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge, Istanbul, Turkey


The ability to have an international business class arrivals lounge is a terrific feature to have when flying eastward towards Europe. It allows you to catch up on email, usually get a quick bite to eat and take a shower. In the best examples, there is a clothes pressing service that allows you to spruce yourself up a little bit. The Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge in the Istanbul Atatürk International Airport offered all of this in a compact but functional foot print.

This post is one chapter on our trip to the Republic of Tanzania and the Islands of the Seychelles. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and enhanced through World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. 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.

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Review: Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge, Istanbul Atatürk International Airport, Turkey

We arrived into Istanbul Atatürk International Airport off Turkish Airlines Business Class Mahé – Istanbul. We happened to have an eleven hour connection which had us arriving at 3:20 AM in the early morning, and departing at 2:15 PM in the afternoon on our Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Toronto flight back to North America.

During this time, we managed to take in two of Turkish Airlines features at the Istanbul Atatürk International Airport; the Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge and the free tour provided to Turkish Airlines Transit Passengers.

About the Turkish Airlines Lounge:

The Turkish Airlines arrivals lounge is available to arriving Turkish Airlines Business Class passengers. At the time of our visit, the Turkish Airlines Business Arrivals Lounge was open between 5:30 AM and 12:30 PM.

It was designed for those that are unable to access their hotels for an afternoon check in. The concept of the arrivals lounge is that it’s a place to briefly catch up on a bite to eat, take a shower or perhaps avail yourself of a suit pressing service prior to arriving to your hotel.

The concept is quite popular for eastern flights with many lounges around European Connection Hubs, and is similar to other facilities such as the Swiss Airlines Arrivals Lounge Zurich, or other facilities in Europe such as the Air Canada Arrivals Lounge London Heathrow, the United Airlines Arrivals Lounge Frankfurt and the Lufthansa Welcome Lounge Frankfurt.

Locating the Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge at Atatürk International Airport:

After arriving off our Turkish Airlines Business Class Mahé – Istanbul flight, we initially went to the Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk International Departures lounge for a shower and a snack as a “connecting passenger”. I have reviewed this lounge before several times so I won’t get into the details of our visit. The main purpose of visiting here was to store our carry on baggage in the complimentary baggage lockers located inside the lounge instead of paying for a left luggage storage locker.

Luggage Storage for the Morning in the Turkish Airlines Lounge

When we arrived to the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge, at this early hour of 3:30 AM, we had to wait approximately 1 hour for a shower.

I had asked about a sleep suite that they have on offer at the lounge but they only offer them for stays of 4 – 7 hours. Since our connection was 10 hours, the shower staff should have directed me to the hotel desk outside of the secure area for a connecting hotel which are eligible to some business class passengers.

Turkey requires an E – Visa to enter the country. I used the iMac computers in the Turkish Airlines Lounge to print off the visas lounge. We left our luggage in two of the free lockers in the lounge which happened to be easily available at 3:40 AM.

Heading off towards the public side, we exited the lounge, following the hallway all the way to the Millennium Lounge at the opposite end of the main concourse. We took a left and took the stairs down to the departure concourse level where we presented our E-Visa’s and entered Turkey.

Headed Toward the Exits at IST
Navigating a Busy Concourse

On the public side, the Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge at Istanbul Ataturk International Airport was located opposite to the Turkish Airlines Hotel Desk.

The Arrivals Lounge was Located Near the Turkish Airlines Hotel Desk

The Turkish Airlines Arrival Lounge was located immediately across from the Turkish Airlines hotel desk.

The Entry To the Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge Istanbul

Accessing the Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge Istanbul Atatürk:

The Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge was accessed through a same day arriving business class ticket on Turkish Airlines. Turkish Airlines also offers access to its Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles Elite members. Similar to others in this class, members of Star Alliance Gold membership level are not permitted access. This is likely due to the small footprint of this particular lounge.

We gained access via our old boarding cards which were printed on Air Seychelles stock. The lounge dragon looked up our access on the computer and we were given entry.

Inside the Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge:

The Turkish Airlines Arrival lounge is a small space and is a much smaller version than the comparable spacious and luxurious Swiss Airlines Arrivals Lounge Zurich. The Turkish Airlines Arrival Lounge only had 38 chairs and tables and was decorated in the same style and format as the upstairs Turkish Airlines International Business Lounge Istanbul Atatürk. The lounge was in much better condition than the general departure lounge upstairs.

Lounge Chairs in the Turkish Airlines Lounge
Circular Spheres Mark the Lounge Space in the Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge

Probably the best feature of the Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge was that it had none of the crowds or people of the busy upstairs Turkish Airlines Business Lounge. There were no queues at the shower and it was easy to get food and beverage without waiting for it.

Food and Beverage:

The Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge didn’t offer the same great food that you’d find upstairs in the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge. There was an omelette station but the lounge did not have many of the food stations that the main business lounge had to offer.

An Empty Omelette Station

Shower Suites:

It’s always convenient to be able to take a shower after an overnight flight. The shower suite is an essential part of any arrivals’ lounge. There was quite a shower suite station, although we didn’t happen to see many people using them during our visit.

Walking to the Shower Suites

Along with the shower suites, there was also a suit pressing station. I didn’t see many using these feature on our visit, but I suppose that it would be handy in the event you needed to access them.

We stayed briefly before heading to our Turkish Airlines City Tour that was included with our connecting flight.


The Bottom Line: The Turkish Airlines Arrivals’ Lounge at Istanbul Atatürk

The Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge was a reasonable place to stop in if you happened to arrive on an early flight into the old Istanbul Atatürk International Airport. While it did not have the same extensive features as the primary Turkish Airlines Business Lounge, it didn’t have any of the crowds of the upstairs lounge.

If you visited the Turkish Airlines Istanbul Arrivals Lounge, what were your impressions of this place in the arrivals’ lounge world ?

2 Comments on “Review: Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge, Istanbul, Turkey

  1. This review was worthless on the date it was posted – March 20, 2022. The Istanbul Atatürk airport closed to commercial air traffic in April , 2019.


    • This part of the trip was one part of a massive trip that did occur in the year 2018. With the pandemic, I decided to migrate all my content on Flyertalk over to this individual hosting website. With over one thousand posts, and doing this on a part time basis, it’s taken a bit of time. Unfortunately, the web hosting does not allow back dating of posting dates.

      The good news is that new updated lounge reviews at Turkish International Airport are going to be on line this week so be sure to watch this space.

      Thanks for commenting David Braun.


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