Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-3, Istanbul – Paris


Our last flight on Turkish Airlines would have us touching down in their oldest Airbus 330 series business class product. This aircraft featured some pretty tired and worn seats. Despite this, we still had the usual Turkish Airlines friendly service, along with excellent Do & Co Catering. How would our flight experience compare?

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.

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✈️ Read more from this trip:

Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-3, Istanbul International Airport – Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2A

When I booked this flight, I deliberately routed us onto a Turkish Airlines Airbus 330-300 Business Class product. By comparison, many carriers flying around Europe offer business class as an economy class seat with a blocked middle.

We’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 recently 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’re always 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.

Connecting through Istanbul International Airport:

We arrived into Istanbul International Airport on Turkish Airlines Business Class Tel -Aviv – Istanbul. After a visit to the Turkish Airlines Lounge Miles & Smiles Istanbul, we headed back towards our gate for our onward flight.

We navigated through the retail departure concourse and headed out to the “D” Concourse passing the iGA Sleepod Istanbul Lounge on the way.

Heading to the Gate – Istanbul International Airport, Turkey

It was our lucky day as Turkish Airlines was actually conducting some line management today. We had an orderly boarding process at the gate, with a proper Priority Boarding announcement for business class, Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles members and those needing additional time to board.

Boarding Area – Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
Turkish Airlines    
TK 1827  – Business Class (J)
IST – CDG (Istanbul International Airport – Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2B)
October 22, 2022
4:05 PM – 6:30 PM (scheduled)
4:07 PM – 7:02 PM (actual)
Booked: Airbus 330-300
Flown: Airbus 330-300

On Board Turkish Airlines Business Class:

After the unusually smooth boarding process, we arrived into the Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin on their Airbus A330.

Turkish Airlines operates several versions of their Airbus 330 series aircraft. If you want to read more about the other versions of the Airbus 330-200 series aircraft, please see our review of the Turkish Airlines Airbus 330-200 with lie flat seats, and the Turkish Airlines Airbus 330 with the herringbone seats.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-300

Unfortunately, this version had the oldest possible configuration of Airbus 330 seats. They featured a recliner variety that did not lie fully flat. In an environment of first world problems, this was the worst draw of their available wide body aircraft on the Airbus 330 configuration.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-300

The Turkish Airlines Airbus 330-300 series offered seating in a 2 -2- 2 configuration across six rows of business class.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-300
Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-300

There was a very light load in business class with only nine out of thirty six seats occupied. The lack of travellers made for a nicer cabin ambience instead of ones that were full of upgraders.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-300

We eventually located our specific assigned seats, seats 2K and 2L. The outer seats offered two windows, and a substantial amount of leg room between the seats in front of them.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-300

Unfortunately, these are among the most uncomfortable seat out there. These versions were relics. They moaned and creaked when you attempted to move them as they lost their functionality. However, these recliner seats were better than a business class seat masquerading as economy class seat with a blocked middle like on Lufthansa or British Airways, so it’s all relative.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-300

The adjacent centre seats were slightly off set from the aisle seats, so that you wren’t looking directly across the school bus aisle at other travellers.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-300

The Turkish Airlines Business Class seat featured monitors located in the arm rest. These were rather old school, and probably state of the art in the early nineteen nineties. I haven’ particularly been a fan of these side monitor seats. Mostly because you neck gets a little sore if you watch a few movies back to back.

Seat Monitors – Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-300

The seat featured USB charging ports, although there were no Empower seat plugs; an almost inexcusable omission for a long haul aircraft in today’s world of laptops, smart phones and tablets.

The seat was adjusted by some old school hydraulic seat controls. It is fair to say that a few of the buttons on my particular seat did not actually work. As a result, I didn’t have a recline feature to this flight.

Missing Individual Air Nozzles – Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-300

The Airbus 330 offered individual lights located in the overhead console. Unfortunately. there were no individual air nozzles on this particular flight. This made the cabin a little warm for our flight.


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 always been a favourite of mine and something to look forward to when flying Turkish Airlines.

Pre – Departure Beverage Service – Lemon and Mint

With my fourth flight with Turkish Airlines in recent weeks, I noticed that Turkish Airlines tended to wait until everyone was on board prior to offering the pre-departure beverage. Even with only nine travellers in the cabin today, we waited until the last passenger was on board.

Unfortunately, this meant that we didn’t actually have a lot of time for the lemon and mint drink itself. Turkish Airlines took it back almost as quickly as they presented it, with a promise of more of the good stuff in the air.

Entertainment System:

In the mean time, I checked out the flight track for today’s afternoon flight to Paris, France. Our flight track would take us over Serbia, Bosnia Croatia and Italy before arriving to Northern France.

In Flight Entertainment System – Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-300

The entertainment system was controlled through the usual wired remote control.

Entertainment Controllers – Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-300

We got underway a little late, but nothing notable in terms of a delay.


The Meal: A Late Lunch

After we got to cruise altitude a towel service was offered. Like our other flights, 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. The menu has gone a little more upscale compared to the previous versions which read a little text heavy.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Menu – Istanbul to Paris

A beverage menu was also provided with both alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks listed on the single menu.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Menu – Istanbul to Paris

Today’s first course was smoked salmon and celeriac salad. The salmon presented well and added a nice upscale touch to dining.

Traditional Arabic Mezze – Turkish Airlines Business Class

Turkish Airlines presented it’s main courses from the trolley. Today’s main course was their traditional “Manti” Homemade Turkish Ravioli. This is a classic often found within the Turkish Airlines Lounge.

Turkish Ravioli with Spices – Turkish Airlines Business Class

Surprisingly, it was the last Turkish Ravioli available by row 2K! Despite the lack of ravioli’s it was mighty tasty and a great fit for my stomach today.

The chocolate mouse was also pretty good. Not surprisingly, the outstanding Do – Co catering, with all the sharp and flavourful flavours, made for an engaging meal for our flight today.

Landing at Paris:

The cabin was prepared for landing about 40 minutes prior to arrival. We had some very plain views descending into the urban sprawl of Paris.

On Final Approach to Paris Charles de Gualle International Airport

We had a long smooth approach into Paris Charles de Gualle Airport, along with a long taxi way over to CDG Terminal 2A.

We arrived to a dingy looking and somewhat dark Paris CDG Terminal 2A along side an Air India flight from New Delhi.

We used Fast Track No1 for immigration arrival which was provided courtesy for Business Class Travellers. It was a nice touch and probably the only redeeming quality of arriving into Paris Charles de Gualle airport.

We waited in a dingy baggage hall for Priority Tags Checked Baggage that were among the last to be out on the belt; this took about twenty minutes. The delays were similar to our slow arrival experiences on Icelandair into Paris CDG.

As a result of fuel shortages, we decided to rely on the local trains (who happened to be performing weekend track maintenance at the TGV CDG Station. We connected off to the SNCF RER Train to get over to the Metro, and over to The Westin Paris -Vendôme for a three night stay.

My Thoughts on Turkish Airlines Business Class:

Our Turkish Airlines Business Class experience on the Airbus 330 was probably the worst possible configuration available for the Turkish Airlines wide body experience. Despite seats that didn’t properly recline, Turkish’s Business class was a wide body seat and experience. The larger seat was much better than what Air France would have offered on its narrow body jets between the two destinations.

The excellent Do & Co catering was tasty and the cabin ambience was quiet as a result of only nine of us travelling in a cabin fitting thirty six travellers. Aside from some challenges getting our Air Canada Aeroplan miles to post for this flight, it was a reasonable and cost effective flight experience.

If you fly Turkish Airlines to or from Paris, France, do you prefer it to Air France’s business class / class affaires, or to Lufthansa or British Airways ?

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