Review: Turkish Airlines Lounge Business, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
Turkish Airlines recently relocated from Istanbul Atatürk International Airport to the newly built Istanbul International Airport. Along with the major move of operations from one airport to the other, Turkish Airlines received a brand new Turkish Airlines Lounge. We would get the opportunity to fully test out of the new lounge on our recent travels through the region.
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.
If you enjoyed this post, please follow us here or on social media through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more travel tips and hacks on how to “Upgrade Your Travels”.
✈️ 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 Lounge Business, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
This visit was to the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business in Istanbul International Airport.
For a review of other lounges and amenities in the Istanbul International Airport, please see our review of the Turkish Airlines Lounge Miles & Smiles Istanbul, The iGA Lounge Istanbul Airport and The iGA Sleep Pod – Istanbul Airport.
For a review of the old Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk Lounge, please see our previous review visits here and here.
Locating the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business:
The new Turkish Airlines Lounge Business was built along with the new Istanbul International Airport. The new Istanbul International Airport is massive space that requires substantial amount of time to connect in between gates.
Turkish Airlines elected to put all of it’s lounges in the central bank of retail and concourse shopping zones. This means that if you are a connecting passenger, you’re not going to find any lounges out on each concourse. Rather, you’re going to have to make the trek into the central portion of the airport to access any lounge facilities.
The Turkish Airlines Lounge Business was located just off the Center of the retail concourse with an access entry point just next to Gate E1. At first, it wasn’t all to easy to find. We would get used to it on our future visits to this lounge.
After arriving off of Turkish Airlines Business Class Paris – Istanbul, we found ourselves in the new Istanbul International Airport. We were connecting onwards to Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Amman, and had just under three hours between our flights.
The new Istanbul International Airport space offered beautiful tall ceiling concourses, spacious moving sidewalks and an interesting retail concourse.
We took the concourse passageways towards the central part of the terminal. As our flight arrived from the European Union, we were not required to undergo a secondary security screening checkpoint.
We eventually found ourselves in the middle of the retail concourse zone at Istanbul International Airport. It’s fair to say that there were many more retail outlets at the new airport, than at the old congested Istanbul Atatürk airport.
I eventually found signs to the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business. The signs were marked on signs that were styled as street signs. They weren’t very well marked in comparison to some of the more major signs.
We eventually navigated off the main concourse and down towards gate E1. The signs didn’t indicate we were headed towards Gate E1. Rather, the signs just pointed towards Gate D & E with a small Turkish Airline logo located on the sign along the way.
After another hundred steps, we eventually located the lounge access. The lounge escalators were manned by a host that seemed to mostly be answering questions to directions, rather than controlling access to the lounge. We committed up the long escalators to get to the upper reception area.
Accessing the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business:
With the new Istanbul International Airport, Turkish Airlines has introduced the concept of tiered lounges. This is similar to Lufthansa who offers a three different levels of lounges consisting of Business, Senator / Star Gold and First Class.
With Turkish Airlines making this move, Turkish Airlines now provides one lounge for Business Class travellers (this Turkish Airlines Lounge Business), and another lounge for Turkish Airlines elite Members called Turkish Airlines Lounge Miles and Smiles.
Once we arrived to the top of the escalators, there was a small reception area. Most of the lounge entry was on the basis of scanning a bar code on your boarding card, which would open a turnstile allowing for automated access.
There were several ways to get into the wonderful Turkish Airlines Business Lounge.
The Turkish Airlines Lounge Business access is limited to Turkish Airlines Business Class travellers. No guests are permitted.
Access is also granted for those travelling on Star Alliance Business Class. No guests are permitted.
Elites from the Turkish Airlines Frequent Flier Miles and Smiles Program are directed to the neighbouring Turkish Airlines Lounge Miles and Smiles Istanbul Lounge.
At the time of writing, paid access is not provided on a walk up basis.
By moving to a tiered lounge system, the clientele in the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business consists of mostly single and the occasional couple business traveler. Families and other larger groups appear to have been relegated to the Turkish Airlines Lounge Miles and Smiles for all their elite traveler that gain access for travelling with families. Thanks to less groups, this has resulted in a quieter lounge experience overall.
Inside the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge:
Turkish Airlines has delivered on it’s past reputation of having a world class Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge.
Immediately after entering the lounge through the automated entrance gates, you come face to face with a large wall sized media screen. The screen features a variety of scenes throughout Turkey which is a clever branding exercise for Turkish Airlines.
The screen is anchored by a display of cut red roses, which are set out in a beautiful display vase. We would find cut red roses at various locations throughout the lounge.
To the immediate left of the entrance gates, there is a functional area that is mostly used to compliment the main features of the lounge.
The first feature I came to was a series of distanced relax chairs. These were separated from each other, presumably for some peace and quiet and so that you weren’t seated on top of each other.
Adjacent to the relax chairs were a series of desktop iMac computers that were available. They were on a project style conference table. I didn’t see anyone actually using them while I was in the lounge. There was also a reception desk for the office facilities located at the end of the lounge.
Turkish Airlines Lounge Business also featured it’s usual storage lockers. We had used these in the past at the old Istanbul Atatürk Airport for the Turkish Airlines E-tour Istanbul. These can be great and super handy for dropping your bags off for a long day layover, and not actually having to pay for “left luggage” fees.
Moving back into the main part of the lounge, we came across a grand piano that was a little reminiscent of the piano located in the Asiana First Class Lounge in Incheon, Seoul.
Passing the piano, the central vertebrae of the lounge had the lounge aligned against a food station that ran down the centre of the lounge. It was decorated much like a Turkish market, with cafe seats and tables that ran down the centre.
Off the centre of the lounge, there was a double bank of lounge chairs. These seats didn’t have much of a view, and were positioned against the busy walkway. What they lost in terms of views, they gained in convenience since the chairs were very close to all the food and amenities.
As in the previous lounge, the Turkish Airlines media centre also made an appearance. This consisted of multiple television screens so that travellers could catch up on their news and sports. I didn’t see to many people actually sitting in this area. Instead, it became a spot that people paused as they were walking by in order to get the latest headline.
Behind a service wall on the left hand side of the lounge vertebrae consisted of most of the mezzanine lounge seating. The balcony styled mezzanine lounge seating was the most popular place to sit.
It’s location isn’t exactly obvious when you first enter the lounge, but it also marked the most amount of open space lounge chairs. The familiar white lounge chairs appear to have been imported from the old Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul Atatürk, as some are showing a bit of wear and tear.
The mezzanine area was anchored by large upright drink stations where you could enjoy (or take away) sodas, bottled water and other speciality non alcoholic drinks.
The mezzanine seats have a retail landscape view over the concourse of the Istanbul International Airport.
In addition to white lounge chairs, there are also a selection of tables and chairs located in the mezzanine area. It made a little less sense to take one of these less comfortable chairs all the way out here, when there are so many closer options to the food and beverage stations located just off the verterbrae nearer to the Turkish market.
Unfortunately, the large Turkish Airlines two story globe that was located in the past lounge has been sun setted into the solar system. The art piece doesn’t make its way onto the Turkish Airlines Mezzanine, which would have been the only place the lounge could have been located due to its size.
The Turkish Airlines race track also found it’s way on to the mezzanine lounge area. The race track was a hold out from the old lounge, and offered participants an opportunity to race cars around the track. I didn’t see any business travellers having the time to use this, so perhaps it’s a better feature for the Turkish Airlines Lounge Miles and Smiles which contained more elite travellers and their families?
In addition to the outdoor mezzanine seating, there was additional seating under the covered space towards the rear of the concourse hall. This area was decorated in newer furniture designed to represent what I would imagine would be an ottoman living room.
The area was made very modern looking by wall sized media displays that contained high resolution images of Turkey. As an executive, the last thing I want to be doing in my off time is looking at another screen or computer monitor, so I gave this area a miss entirely.
The seating zone did feature additional food and drink stations, which were occasionally located throughout the lounge.
In addition to the “Ottoman’s Living Room”, there was also a men’s study seating area. This zone contained the usual black leather short back chairs you might expect to find in a men’s study.. The walls were decorated with books and oil painting replicas to provide that elegant and quiet look and feel.
I found the men’s study to be a little dark itself so I didn’t plunk myself down here during my stay.
The wifi in the lounge required sign on through your flight, name and seat number. While it worked well inside the lounge, the sign in process by providing this information was a little more cumbersome than expected. The Istanbul Airport wifi system is no better, requiring a code needed from a concourse kiosk, and is limited to one hour of complimentary use. Turkish Airlines and the country of Turkey could easily improve this bureaucracy by eliminating some of the collection of this information in order to get to a faster sign on process.
The Turkish Airlines Lounge Business has known for being a sort of over the top place. In this case, that tradition continued with the Turkish Airlines golf simulator. Along with host, lounge visitors could practice their gold swing against a computer simulator.
New to the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business is the Hezarfren Flight experience. Lounge visitors can particpate in a virtual flight simulator that was inspired by Hezafren Ahmed Celebi who made attempts to flight in the 16th century.
Lastly, the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business also offered a children’s play area. While there aren’t a heavy number of children in my business class cabins, it seems Turkish Airlines wants to spare no amenity for those travelling in business class.
By providing all of these features, Turkish Airlines clearly wants to give its Business Class travellers a reason to want to talk about and visit the amenities filled space. While the seating space isn’t as glamorous as the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Lounge in Doha, Qatar, it does offer more in the way of lounge features.
Food and Beverage:
As a country, Turkey is known for it’s food. I am happy to report that the food at the Turkish Airlines Lounge is still outstanding and among the best in class for an international business lounge.
Most of the salads and food are now set up in a central buffet styled square located at the end of the long central vertebrae or reception hall. There is more than enough choice of cold salads and food, with this zone being a very popular area of the lounge.
Dependent on when your visit time occurs, there are also various hot stations located along. theTurkish café, or towards the end food zone near the salads.
As I indicated earlier, the lounge drink section is offered from large wall sized coolers. This is super convenient from a self serve variety. I did find that these coolers often tend to get cleaned out during period of peak capacity. As a result, when the staff restock them, they don’t tend to get very cold in temperature before they are cleaned out again. The result is a drink that usually just a little bit below room temperature, or perhaps has been in the fridge for maybe one hour. Still, it’s super convenient to be able to collect a bottle of water for your onward flight and not have to worry about consuming the whole thing in the lounge itself.
Turkish Airlines doesn’t seem to put a premium on wine in their lounges. As a result, wine is served off the trolley in a self pour format. These trolley take up spots around the lounge and it’s a little easy to miss them if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
We had a comfortable two hour stay, prior to heading off to our Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Amman flight.
My Thoughts on the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge:
Turkish Airlines has clearly made efforts to maintain its position by offering a leading Business Lounge for its connecting travellers who pass through Istanbul International Airport.
While the large famed Turkish Airlines Globe is no more, Turkish Airlines offers a space that features almost every amenity, a place to re-charge, in addition to a variety of food and beverage options. While the space isn’t as glamorous as some of the other middle eastern lounges, it does offer a substantial amount of terrific Turkish food along with a comfortable environment.