Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class B787-9, Paris – Istanbul
Turkish Airlines offers connecting flights around Europe and the Middle East through it’s connecting hub in Istanbul, Turkey. In doing so, it typically offers a wide body flight configuration that has a proper business class fully flat seat. Its’ competitors usually offer business class with an economy class seat with a blocked middle. How would our wide body experience measure up for our medium haul flight within Europe?
This post is one chapter on our trip to Jordan, Israel and France during the end of the pandemic. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Alaska Mileage Plan. 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:
- Introduction: Driving 1,265 kilometres in Jordan, Israel and France via Icelandair, Turkish Airlines and Royal Jordanian Business Class
- My Favourite Long Layover Restaurant at SeaTac Airport: 13 Coins
- The Club at SEA Business Lounge, “S” Concourse, Seattle Tacoma, USA
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Seattle – Reykjavík
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Reykjavik – Paris Charles de Gaulle
- The Residence Inn by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport, France
- Salon Paul Maxence Lounge, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2A, France
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2A, France
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Paris – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Business Lounge: Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Amman
- What to Expect Driving through the Kingdom of Jordan
- Dead Sea Marriott Resort and Spa, Jordan
- Top Five Tips for a Day of Canyoning – Hiking the Wadi Mujib Trial, Jordan
- Petra Marriott Hotel, Jordan
- How to Tackle the Ruins of Petra, Jordan
- Is it Worth Seeing Petra by Night?
- Al Manara, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Saraya Aqaba, Jordan
- Going Local: Al Mohandes Cafeteria, Aqaba, Jordan
- Memories Aicha Luxury Tented Camp, Wadi Rum, Jordan
- Getting Sandy in Wadi Rum, Jordan
- The St Regis Amman, Jordan
- Views from the Citadel in Amman, Jordan
- Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge, Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
- The Petra Lounge, Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
- Royal Jordanian Business Class: Amman – Tel Aviv
- The Sheraton Tel Aviv, Israel
- The Intersection of the World’s Religions, Visiting Jerusalem, Israel
- Visiting Tel Aviv’s Beaches, a Day at Gordon’s Beach, Israel
- The Dan Lounge, Ben Gurion International Airport – Terminal 3, Tel Aviv, Israel
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Tel Aviv – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles Lounge, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- iGA Sleep Pod, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- iGA Lounge, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Paris
- The Westin Paris Vendôme, Paris, France
- Returning to the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
- What’s Left of the Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacré Coeur and Montmartre, Paris, France
- Bateau Mouches Seine Cruises, Paris, France
- Le Cafe de la Paix, Paris, France
- Bouillion Pigalle, Paris, France
- Le Café du Trocadéro, Paris, France
- Extime Lounge, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2B, France
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Paris – Reykjavík
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Reykjavík – Seattle
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class B787-9, Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2A – Istanbul International Airport
When I booked this flight, I deliberately routed us onto their Turkish Airlines Boeing 787-9 Business Class product. The Turkish Airlines Boeing 787-9 (along with their new Airbus 350-9 aircraft) represents their best business class configuration in their current fleet as a result of their herringbone fully flat seats in business class.
I’ve flown Turkish Airlines Business Class several times on a trans continental basis. Most recently, there were on their older and more common business class products onrecently on Turkish Airlines Business Class Toronto – Istanbul, Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Toronto, and Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Montreal. We’ve always really enjoyed Turkish Airlines long haul services, so we’d be interested to see how their medium haul international services would compare.
This flight was booked directly online using the Turkish Airlines website. We would end up crediting these flights to Air Canada’s Aeroplan frequent flier program, allowing us to earn 110% Redeemable Qualifying Miles.
Checking Into Turkish Airlines Business Class:
We had arrived into Paris Charles de Gaulle the day earlier on Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Reykjavik – Paris and spent a twenty five hour layover at the Residence Inn by Marriott – Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport. After taking the CDG VAL train from hotel to airport, we had a 15 minute walk over through a very congested walk through Terminal 2C to 2A, we arrived to Counter 9.
Our travels today would take us on this flight from Turkish Airlines Business Class Paris – Istanbul then onwards on Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Amman. We attempted to check in but at 3 hours and 15 minutes before flight, the line dragon manning the line at our first Turkish Airlines counters wouldn’t allow us to check in. He asked us to come back 2 hours before the flight.
I sent MrsWT73 who eventually located a different check in area for our particular flight. It seemed “European Style” that different Turkish counters were open and accepting bags for different Turkish airlines flights. As a result, we now had to find. our designated flight check in area.
We eventually located Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2A and Counter 5. We were among the first in line at the unmarked business class check in at exactly 3 hours prior to travel.
We had some challenges getting boarding cards issued. Despite having a Visa on Arrival eligibility for the Kingdom of Jordan, we missed out on the fact that we needed an additional application process as a result of leftover contact tracing requirements due to the pandemic that were no longer in effect as all restrictions had been suspended.
Despite researching the trip through the usual channels, Lonely Planet Jordan and through our home government travel websites, we missed out the fact that we needed a travel declaration and QR code issued by the Jordan government and this had to be visible to check in staff. The Interior Ministry of Jordan’s websites were not helpful and hardly loaded properly on iPhones. In this case, Turkish Airlines could have been more helpful by sending out a proactive email 7 days before travel for people to verify travel requirements with an official link to requirements.
We were referred to the Jordan website, but the application was pretty hopeless on an iphone. We were kicked out of line and told to re-join the back of the queue. However, I couldn’t get the application to work. On our second kick out of the line, and in a panic, I cracked open the laptop on the airport wifi and got it all working. Had I not had access to wifi at the airport, this would have been a terrible circumstance and we would have likely been denied boarding.
I had a further challenge with crediting my Air Canada Aeroplan points to the flight. I happen to have a two word last name, which is recorded in my passport as such. The Turkish Airlines point of sale did not accept a two word last name on a revenue ticket. This was despite travelling on reward tickets over many years with a two word last name without any challenges. The two word last name issue would prevent me from having my Air Canada Aeroplan Card entered at check in, with staff unable to override this. I was referred over to ticketing to have this rectified. Given we had burned up all time dealing with the Jordan Entrance bureaucracy, we didn’t have time to pursue this at the airport. In the end, this was resolved successfully about six weeks after I got back through a manual appeal to Air Canada’s Aeroplan.
All to say, it was a pretty bumpy check in experience that could have been made more smooth if we had gotten some automated emails much like our pandemic travel experiences with Air Canada, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and United Airlines.
We were provided with verbal instructions to visit the Paul Maxence Salon Business Lounge Paris, located next to the Hermes store after duty free. There was no lounge invitation provided, but with Turkish Airlines Business Class boarding cards, we weren’t too worried.
We headed off to exit immigration, which was a non signposted and a medium walk to the areas in-between Terminal 2A and 2C. Since it had been a few years since I’d travelled through Paris Charles de Gaulle, it was a little confusing and not well marked.
We descended the escalators. Luck was not on our side today as the automated exit immigration gates for Canadian Citizens were not operational today. We were coralled into the general exit immigration line that had about 150 people queued up in it. MrsWT73 eventually spotted a shorter No1 Business Class No1 Line, which allowed us to jump to a shorter 7 person exit immigration line.
We used the same No1 Business Line trick at security screening and made it to a shorter security screening line. We eventually cleared security and headed upstairs to the main departure concourse.
The Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2A is shaped in an ellipse or a parathensis crescent with gates that run the length of the terminal. We stopped at the Paul Maxence Salon Business Lounge Paris – Terminal 2A / 2C prior to our flight. I have reviewed the lounge in more detail in a separate post, so please check out that review to see more about our pre-flight activities.
The Paul Maxence Salon Business Lounge was pretty enjoyable and contained a bright and relaxing place to spend some time. The next time I’d fly this route, I’d probably spend all my time here.
Just out of curiosity, I also visited the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris – Terminal 2A that was also accessible with my Turkish Airlines business class ticket. I found that this lounge was pretty dated and inconveniently located as compared to the Turkish Airline gates. It still remains an available lounge option within the same secure zone for those that are overly loyal to the Star Alliance Brand.
Boarding Turkish Airlines:
Eventually, it came time to head to the gate. Turkish Airlines had us boarding fro Gate C87 in Terminal 2C, despite having checked in at Terminal 2A. I arrived to the Boarding Gate C87 at the board time of 1:15 PM. While there was no flight delay posted, like many of our other Turkish Airlines experiences, there was absolutely no line management. We ended up in a rugby scrum near the front of the boarding queue. There was no priority or business class lane posted and it appeared that the ground staff weren’t really bothered to set one up.
Without any flight delay announcements, at around 2:15 PM (one hour after the scheduled boarding time) we ended up boarding and having to weave through other scrum economy class passengers at the front, we ended up boarded onto the jet bridge. We waited an additional 10 minutes on the jet bridge until we could get a door unlocked to let us onto the plane.
TK 1824 – Business Class (J)
CDG – IST (Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2C – Istanbul International Airport)
October 11, 2022
2:15 PM – 6:45 PM (scheduled)
3:02 PM – 6:50 PM (actual)
Booked: Boeing 787-9
Flown: Boeing 787-9
On Board Turkish Airlines Business Class:
Eventually getting on board, we were welcomed into the attractive and soothing Turkish Airlines Boeing 787-9 Business Class cabin. The cabin has dark colours, which really make it attractive and a sleek business class environment.
Turkish Airlines Boeing 787-9 has its seats configured in a 1-2-1 herringbone configuration. The outer seats alternate between an outward facing aisle seat or an inward facing aisle seat; both with window access.
In our case, we made an intentional decision to select seats 5K and 7K. These were. the more private window seats with the table closer to the aisle. In doing so, we were able to maximize our privacy.
The aisle seats, while not too shabby, don’t have the same amount of privacy. The seat does have a protective call between the passenger and the aisle. However, the configuration of the seat, along with the table does obstruct the views from the window, making the aisle seats less appealing, in my humble opinion.
The center seats alternate between a pair of seats together, or an outward pair of seats. Both have direct aisle access, a better feature than their other Turkish Airlines Business Class on their A330 and B777, which sometimes cause you to step over the passenger in order to get to the aisle.
The pair of seats together in the centre row have a small fixed privacy screen between the two seats at the shoulder height. If you’re travelling with a companion, you’ll be bending yourself around this screen to have any form of conversation.
Conversely, if you’ve selected the apart seats, you’ll have a centre console between the two seats. These would be much better for traveling without a companion, as they offer a bit more privacy from your seat mate, but offer more aisle exposure that is partially blocked by a fixed privacy screen.
Settling into the seat itself, it was time to get acquainted with the features of the seat. The fully lie flat seat featured almost every amenity possible.
The Turkish Airlines Business Class seat featured a side table. The side table was pretty high, and it was more seated for casual storage, as opposed to an actual workspace. I’ve seen better configured business class seats out there that allow for use of the side table to store laptops.
Under the side table was a wired remote control that could be used to work the entertainment system. Immediately above the controls were the touch bar to control the adjustments of the seat. The seat was a little creaky as I adjusted them. It sounded very unhappy for such a new product.
Immediately above the side table was a small compartment that could be used for storage. It had a sliding door access. Given the vertical design of the compartment, there wasn’t much that could be stored in this area. It also did not have a charging power point; you could not charge easily charge a device in this area during flight. My particular storage area had an inoperative tape over it, despite it still working.
My individual seat featured a small footwell that could be used for lounging and relaxing. The in seat table was integrated into the seat above it.
There was a small emergency car and magazine holder, which didn’t allow for much useful storage of items given it’s small capacity.
There was also a small reading light available in the privacy screen of the shoulder portion of the seat. This was activated through touch buttons underneath the light themselves.
The seat also featured individual seat nozzles. While this is such a small feature, it’s really noticeable when you don’t have access to adjusting your own ventilation.
While we settled into the seat, Turkish Airlines displayed aspirational photographs of the destination of Turkey. Turkish Airlines does a great job at marketing it’s destinations, making any traveller connecting through Turkey want to stop one day for a visit.
Pre Departure Services:
We had a pre-departure offer of orange juice, water or the terrific lemon mint beverage. As always, there was fresh lemon and real mint in the mint beverage. It’s a favourite of mine and very tasty. Today’s version was not exactly cold, and was served without ice at room temperature.
Departing Paris Charles de Gaulle:
I secured myself in the three point seatbelt as we got ready for take off. We departed Paris Charles de Gaulle about one hour behind schedule for no apparent or announced reason.
As we were on our taxi, we had a flight announcement by pilot. It was a “just the facts” announcement that included a 41,000 flight altitude track to Istanbul Turkey.
We headed out to get airborne on Runway 08. We didn’t have any waits for take off clearance and we were immediately underway.
As we took off, I located the front camera which was available through the entertainment system. It was entertaining to watch for the take off sequence.
We had very pastoral views taking off out of Paris, with no real opportunity to see any Paris landmarks due to the location of the airport being a way from the city.
In Flight Entertainment System:
Once we were airborne, I played with the entertainment system.
Our flight was equipped with satellite wifi. It was free for Business Class passengers. Registration was through seat and name. For those that wanted to purchase wifi, it was made available based on data use. Prices started at $2.99 USD and went all the way up to $24.99 USD
Turing towards the entertainment system, there were over 585 movies on board. There were more than enough movies to keep someone entertained, especially for a long haul flight.
There was also an advanced flight track system that allowed multiple displays. This allowed travellers to track their progress along to their destination.
There was also a prayer function for those looking for the direction of mecca
I was more than happy with the entertainment system. The large amount of movies there was enough to keep anyone entertained, whether your flight was a short one, or a long ten hour trans – continental flight.
The Meal: A Late Lunch
After we got to cruise altitude a towel service was offered. Turkish Airlines headphones were also distributed in a dual pin format with an eco friendly plastic bag.
I was also offered a printed lunch menu. Along with the darker Turkish Airlines Business Class cabin, the menu presented with a darker look. The menu has gone a little more upscale compared to the previous versions which read a little text heavy.
I was eventually asked for my drink order. I ordered an unnamed Turkish Red Wine, but ended up getting a Turkish white wine. Initially, there was no food order taken. There was also no Turkish Chef presented on this shorter international regional service.
Instead, I was brought the tray of appetizers, cheese and dessert which were individually placed on the table. These included a seasonal salad with lemon olive oil dressing, a selection of cheese and a mango and passion fruit mousse.
The initial presentation was the first course the Arabic Mezze platter.
Turkish Airlines presented it’s main courses from the trolley. After finishing the Arabic Mezze starter, I was given the opportunity to order my main course; a Turkish Meatball with sautéed zucchini & roasted red pepper with bulgar.
It was tasty with bulgar on the side. I enjoyed the olive oil dressing for over the salad.
It was a full meal, although the portions were not overly large. It was certainly a lot less than the Turkish Airlines long haul services that often offer a four course meal, including soup. Despite this, the DO & CO catering was much better than I would expect from a comparable British Airways or Lufthansa medium haul flight around Europe.
Landing at Istanbul:
The cabin was prepared for landing about 45 minutes prior to arrival. It felt a bit early for what was scheduled as a two hour and fifty five minute flight.
During the flight, I also experimented with the fully flat seat. The seat does recline into a full flat version. As a side sleeper, I did find that the knees bumped against the sides a little bit. However, it was pretty comfortable overall.
Before I tucked into my seat for the landing, I checked out the business class cabin washroom. I found wonderful Molton Brown Soaps and Hand Lotions in the Bathroom. This was a nice upscale touch that added a bit of class.
Eventually, we descended into Istanbul International Airport. With the new Instanbul International Airport being situated well out of town as compared to its Instanbul Atatürk predecessor, we had new approach views as we descended.
We arrived into Istanbul International Airport. I was immediately impressed with the new airport. It offered a beautiful space with high ceilings and a purpose built facility that will serve Istanbul for many years into the future.
My Thoughts on Turkish Airlines Business Class:
Our Turkish Airlines Business Class experience on the B787-9 was hundred times better than legacy carriers that consist of a blocked middle economy seat for business class. The seat was very comfortable and the catering on board was excellent as always. I would easily choose to fly on this particular aircraft for any medium or long haul flight on Turkish Airlines.
Despite this, Turkish Airlines falls down on the non flight experience. The check in process was pretty dis-organized. My issue with crediting my frequent flier points to Air Canada’s Aeroplan on a fully paid business class ticket remains unresolved as of the time of writing, and the boarding process was pretty hap hazard, disinterested and disorganized, as always. Otherwise, it was pretty terrific once on board and a far better regional experience than in an economy class seat. I imagine myself flying with Turkish Airlines again in the future.