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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.

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:


Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-200, Istanbul International Airport – Queen Alia International Airport Amman


When I booked this flight, I deliberately routed us onto their Turkish Airlines Airbus 330-200 Business Class product. The Turkish Airlines Airbus 330-200 isn’t their most state of the art product, but its miles ahead of a Turkish Airlines narrow body Airbus 320 business class product that typically features a recliner seat.

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.

Connecting to Turkish Airlines Business Class:

We had arrived into Istanbul International Airport on Turkish Airlines Business Class Paris – Istanbul. After enjoying a nice layover at the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport, we headed over towards the D Concourse for our Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Amman flight (this review).

The Istanbul International Airport is a marked difference compared to the old Istanbul Atatürk International Airport. With large walkways along with high ceilings, the Istanbul International Airport marks a proper world class connection experience befitting of a world class city.

Connecting through Istanbul International Airport
Connecting through Istanbul International Airport
Connecting through Istanbul International Airport

The Istanbul International Airport is a beautiful space. However, it does take some time to walk to your assigned gate. I’d recommend that you allow at least fifteen minutes in order to comfortably get to your assigned gate.

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Boarding Turkish Airlines:

We had a medium walk out to Gate D12 of about eight minutes. Despite being the global hub for Turkish Airlines, there wasn’t any line management organized at the gate with no priority lines marked for express boarding. We ended up parking close to the front and we ended up being surrounded by the pushy types as we eventually made our way on board.

Although there was double jet bridge boarding set up with two jet bridges connected to our aircraft, we were funnelled all into the second jet bridge. We boarded at door 2L. We turned left into the Turkish Airlines Business Class cabin on their Airbus 330-200 series aircraft.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200

It seems that Turkish Airlines eventually connected Door 1L, but then people started using that door to avoid the long line occurring at Door 2L. As a result, we had several economy travellers streaming through the Business Class cabin’s left lane.

Turkish Airlines    
TK 812  – Business Class (J)
IST – AMM  (Istanbul International Airport – Amman Queen Alia International Airport)
October 11, 2022
8:55 PM – 11:10 PM (scheduled)
8:55PM – 11:15 PM (actual)
Booked: Airbus 330-200
Flown: Airbus 330-200

On Board Turkish Airlines Business Class:

Turkish Airlines operates several versions of their Airbus 330-200 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.

This version offered lie flat seats in a 2 – 2 – 2 configuration. The seat style was similar to that on our older South African Airways Airbus 340-6 flight and contained a substantial amount of leg room and physical space between the seats themselves.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200
Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200
Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200

It’s worth noting that the seats in the center row are slightly offset from the aisle seats. The center seats are set back about a foot and a half. When you look across aisle, you won’t be looking directly into your aisle seat mate. This is great for privacy, but if you happen to be choosing a cross aisle seat hoping to engage in converstation with your seat mate, those on the outer seats will be arching your neck into the blind spot.

Staggered Centre Seats – Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200
Staggered Centre Bulkhead Seats – Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200

We made our way to our assigned seats in 3. As we were travelling with two of us travelling together, the double seat configuration worked well for our needs. If you happen to be travelling on your own, there is a small privacy screen between the two seats.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200

Despite the privacy screen, I wouldn’t expect a lot of privacy between yourself and your seat mate. Fortunately, there is enough space between you and your seat mate that allows you to cross from window to the aisle without circus contortion techniques.

Enjoying the Space of 3 Cabin Windows – Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200
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I settled in and explored some of the features of the Turkish Airlines Business Class seat itself. Like with most aircraft of this generation, the Turkish Airlines seat was controlled through a centre console series of controls. The controls offered a 6 way recline and relax feature, along with an upper and lower lumbar support. There was also a timed massage feature, which was great to test out once, but something that you’re not likely to engage with during your whole flight.

Seat Features – Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200
Seat Features – Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200

Immediately in the arm rest, there was a wired remote that could be used for controlling the advanced video on demand system. There was also an Empower Seat power point. There was no direct to USB power point, so any use of the Empower required the appropriate adapter to USB in order to charge your phone. In a bit of a design shortfall, there also wasn’t any designated compartment to store your laptop or cell phone while charging. As a result, this seat takes at bit of a minus over different seats such as on their Turkish Airlines Boeing 787-9 that offers a bit better functionality when charging your devices for relaxing or playing.

Empower Power Point – Seat Features – Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200

The Turkish Airlines Airbus 330-2 also featured individual overhead air nozzles. This is something that I really appreciate and makes your flight all that much more comfortable by being able to control the temperature in your personal space.

Personalized Air Nozzles – Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200
View from the Seat – Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200

Waiting for us on the seat itself was a small lumbar pillow. The pillow was pretty thin and didn’t actually offer much in the way of a lumbar support.

Small Lumbar Pillows – Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Airbus 330-200
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Pre Departure Services:

We had a pre-departure offer of orange juice, water or the terrific lemon mint beverage. I went with the lemon and mint. MrsWT73 also enjoyed some sparkling which was delivered “on request”.

Pre – Departure Beverage Service – A Wide Variety of Non Alcoholic Drinks
Pre – Departure Beverage Service – Lemon and Mint

Departing Istanbul Internatonal Airport:

We had an on time departure from Istanbul International Airport. We had. along taxi over to Runway 8, where we departed Istanbul in darkness.

Unfortunately, the in flight tracker entertainment system was not operational throughout the flight. As a result, I was not able to follow along on the exact flight track.

An Non Operating Flight Tracker System

In Flight Entertainment System:

Once we were airborne, I played with the entertainment system.

Turing towards the entertainment system, there were over 272 movies on board. There were more than enough movies to keep someone entertained, especially for a long haul flight.

Turkish Airlines Entertainment System – Advanced Video on Demand
Some Interesting Plot Dilemmas – Turkish Airlines Entertainment System

The entertainment system was provided through a stow away monitor that was hidden in the seat console. This design feature does tend to require a viewer to arch their neck a little in order to watch any entertainment.

Despite this, there were a reasonable amount of movies on board and more than likely enough entertainment to keep you satisfied during any regional flight.

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The Meal: A Dinner

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.

Similar to our last flight, I was also offered a printed dinner menu. Along with the darker Turkish Airlines Business Class cabin, the menu presented with a darker look.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Menu – Istanbul – Amman
Turkish Airlines Business Class Menu – Istanbul – Amman
Turkish Airlines Business Class Menu – Istanbul – Amman

I was asked for my drink order and I ordered the Turkish Red Wine – Kavakidlere Egeo Blend of Merlot – Syrah – Cabernet Sauvingon. The dinner was presented on a tray all at once, I enjoy having the meal presented all at one on a shorter flight as it allows you to maximize your time.

I enjoyed the first course which was a “Potpourri of Seafood”, served with a seasonal salad with lemon olive oil dressing.

A Potpourri of Seafood – Turkish Airlines Business Class – Istanbul – Amman

After the entree was finished, I was presented with the grilled lamb chops with potenta crespelle, and ratatouille. It was pretty tasty and a very enjoyable lamb dish to have on an aircraft.

Grilled Lamb Chops – Turkish Airlines Business Class – Istanbul – Amman

I concluded with the attached cheese plate selection of cheese. Although the menu read that we were being offer profiteroles, instead we were offered a chocolate moose.

I enjoyed a second glass of the Turkish Red Wine – Kavakidlere Egeo Blend while I watched No Time to Die and caught up on the planning of some of our activities in the Lonely Planet – Jordan edition.

Catching Up on Trip Activities with “No Time to Die – James Bond”

Much like my last regional meal, it was a full meal, although the portions were not overly large. The amount of food served 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 and the lamb dish was really tasty and flavourful.

Landing at Amman, Jordan:

I didn’t really know what to expect as we approached the Kingdom of Jordan. Given that much of the Kingdom of Jordan was covered in sand, I was expecting something like descending into Africa. Instead, I was surprised the electrical grid was so powerful, not like usual landings in to Africa which were really sparse by comparison.

On Final Approach – Landing at Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan
On Final Approach – Landing at Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan

We had an approach that led us into a hard right banked turn to land at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan.

We disemarked off our flight. Business Class was given priority to get off and we wandered into Queen Alia International Airport.

Prior to travelling, we had purchased a Jordan Pass, which is a tourist pass that provides entry to all tourist attractions. It also waives the visa on arrival fee. We presented ourselves to the Visa on Arrival desk where our Jordan Pass was processed from paper copies that I had printed.

We then were stamped into Jordan at the next immigration counter.

We descended into the baggage claim hall, which was packed with tours of older Europeans.

While we were waiting for bags, I took the opportunity to change some money at the change counter in the baggage hall. The rate was pretty average, along with a fee charged on top of the currency exchange. I would later find more competitive rates at money changers in the tourist areas of Aqaba, Jordan.

Arrivals Hall at Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan

Our checked bags also arrived without any incident. The transport was fee of theft or any other complicating issues.

After arriving, we headed off to Hertz Rental Car in order to pick up a rental for a 1,265 kilometre driving adventure through Jordan. I had some questions about self driving in Jordan so I wrote a separate post on “What to Expect While Driving in Jordan“.

We headed off toward the Dead Sea Marriott Resort, to start our adventure in the Kingdom of Jordan.

My Thoughts on Turkish Airlines Business Class:

Our Turkish Airlines Business Class experience on the Airbus 330-2 was better than legacy carriers that consist of a blocked middle economy seat for business class. The seat was pretty old, but met the mark for in flight comfort and the catering on board was excellent as always. While the Turkish Airlines Airbus 330-2 wasn’t the most state of the art aircraft, it was much better than the alternatives; a narrow body jet or an inferior business class seat.

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 remains unresolved for six weeks after my flight involving appeals to Air Canada’ frequent flier program to address Turkish Airlines ticketing issues, 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.


If you flown Turkish Airlines within Europe, how do you find it’s regional services surrounding Turkey ?

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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:


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.

Locating the Turkish Airlines Lounge – Business Istanbul International Airport

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.

Arriving to Istanbul International Airport – Turkey
Arriving to Istanbul International Airport – Turkey

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.

Arriving to Istanbul International Airport – Turkey

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.

Connecting through Istanbul International Airport – Turkey
Connecting through Istanbul International Airport – Turkey

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.

Locating the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Locating the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Locating the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Locating the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
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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.

Accessing the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Accessing the Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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 Media Wall – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

The Rose Display – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Relax Chairs – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Internet Computers – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Convenient Storage Lockers – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Walking into the Lounge – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Walking into the Lounge – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Walking the Central Corridor – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Walking the Central Corridor – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Walking the Central Corridor – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Walking the Central Corridor – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Walking the Central Corridor – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
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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.

Walking Past the Media Centre – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Terrace Lounge Seating – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Terrace Lounge Seating – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Terrace Lounge Seating – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Terrace Lounge Seating – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Terrace Lounge Seating – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Terrace Lounge Seating – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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?

Race Track – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Lounge Seating – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Lounge Seating – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Lounge Seating – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Lounge Seating – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

The seating zone did feature additional food and drink stations, which were occasionally located throughout the lounge.

Lounge Seating Turkish Coffee & Snacks- Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Terrace Lounge Seating Water Stations – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Flight Display Signs – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Library Lounge Seating – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Library Lounge Seating – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Library Lounge Seating – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

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Additional Features:

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.

Golf Simulator – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Flight Simulator – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Flight Simulator – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Children’s Nursery – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

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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.

Turkish Mezze and Salads – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Turkish Mezze and Salads – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Turkish Mezze and Salads – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Turkish Flatbread Stations – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport
Turkish Flatbread Stations – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Self Service Cold Drink Stations – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.

Self Service Wine Stations – Turkish Airlines Lounge Business – Istanbul International Airport

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.


If you fly through the Middle East Region, does the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge give it a competitive advantage over the other Middle Eastern Three carriers of Qatar, Etihad or Emirates?

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Marriott typically offers a spring and fall promotion that aligns with the business travel season. While we saw a fall promotion promotion that barely moved the needle, this spring promotion is a bit more generous, depending on your needs.


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”.


Marriott Bonvoy Launches Spring 2023 Promotion “Earn Twice Each Night”: Register Now


Marriott Bonvoy has announced their spring promotion for the year 2023. We typically see hotels announce a fall promotion across many competing hotel brands. Marriott Bonvoy is no exception to this rule, and we’ve learned of news of the much anticipated Marriott Bonvoy’s spring 2023 promotion.

Marriott Bonvoy has gone live with this promotion, as it’s showing up on the Marriott Bonvoy home page.

Without further ado, here are the details of this promotion…

Promotion Details:

Earn up to 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points per stay and 1 Bonus Elite Credit Each Night

The details of the promotion are as follows:

  • Marriott Bonvoy can register now through April 9, 2023 to earn 1,000 bonus points after completing an eligible stay at participating hotels
  • Register now, then earn from February 7 through April 23, 2023.
  • Registration ends April 9, 2023.
  • Get 1,000 bonus points and 1 additional Elite Night Credit on each eligible paid night — all with no earning limits.
  • Achieve Elite status and elevated benefits faster with twice the Elite Night Credits.
  • Redeem your bonus points for free nights, unrivalled Marriott Bonvoy Moments™ experiences, and so much more.
  • Only stays paid with cash qualify toward this promotion; award stays don’t qualify
  • The standard bonus points will post within seven business days of checking out of a hotel.
  • There’s no limit to how many bonus points you can earn. Practically speaking, the promotion period is only seventy five days long, meaning that up to 75,000 points can be earned.
  • All hotels globally are participating, and there’s no minimum length of stay required to unlock the bonus.
Marriott Bonvoy Spring 2023 Promotion Terms and Conditions

Registration:

Registration is required for this promotion. Registration can be completed through the Marriott Bonvoy App, from within your account on the Marriott Bonvoy website, or through this registration link.

Registration needs to be completed by April 9, 2023 for stays for stays ending April 23, 2023.

Earn 1,000 Bonus Points on Each Eligible Stay and One Bonus Elite Credit Per Night.

However, in usual Marriott style, many are having trouble registering for this promotion. I tried on both my desktop and Marriott App, and both versions were unsuccessful with an error message being put up on each occasion.

While it does take some time to register all it’s customers, I can’t help but think Marriott can do a better job with launching it’s promotions in an organized and functional manner. If a brand is trying to drive engagement, there is nothing more frustrating that what appears to be a lack of organization on the part of Marriott Bonvoy.

Hopefully Marriott eventually gets their information technology issues sorted out. After a few years of dealing with it, I’m not super confident about this.

It’s also worth mentioning that as this promotion starts, most still haven’t gotten their brand stay bonus that was promised during their fall Marriott Bonvoy 2022 promotion. These were promised to post six weeks after the end of the promotion, with most still left waiting at five and a half weeks since it ended.

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What do I think about this promotion?

On the points side, if you value Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.05 cents per point, this is like getting a potential return of $5 USD per 1,000 point promotion. While this won’t move the needle for anyone, it may replace the points for some that are taking the breakfast benefit on personal stays, in lieu of their Marriott Bonvoy Elite welcome bonus.

The real value of this promotion is on the Double Elite Night Credit side of the equation. The offer of the “double elite night credit” gets interesting for our readers outside of the United States, specifically in Canada, Japan, South Korea, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates where there are Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit cards.

The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Credit Card offers 15 Elite Night Credits per calendar year. The fortunate customers in the United States are able to stack an additional 15 credits by also getting the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Business Credit Card.

This means that US customers can benefit from a total of 30 Elite Night Credits without even setting foot in a Marriott hotel. With the coveted Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status available at 50 Elite Qualifying Nights, it’s not a stretch to pick up an additional 20 nights for customers in the United States.

In markets outside of the United States, there is no ability to stack these elite night credits that come with the American Express Card personal and business versions. As a Canadian holding both versions of the card, you’re only given a total of 15 nights. This means that instead of staying 20 nights to re-earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status, you’ll have to spend at least 35 nights in a Marriott property – just to get to Marriott Platinum Status at 50 nights.

Under this promotion, Marriott Bonvoy customers in Canada, Japan, South Korea, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates now have a much easier and faster route in getting to a better Marriott Bonvoy Elite status, than would otherwise been the case. I know that I’ll be taking advantage of this promotion for existing work travel with some good personal travel thrown in there for good measure. By doubling down early in the year, I can have an easy coast to Marriott Bonvoy Platinum or Titanium renewal for next year.

If you don’t happen to have a Marriott Bonvoy affiliated credit card, you can apply for one through these links posted below and earn the highest possible welcome bonus.

The Best offer is available below through a referral link.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy (CANADA)
55,000 Marriott Bonvoy Point Welcome Bonus with $3,000 minimum spend

American Express Marriott Bonvoy (CANADA)
55,000 Marriott Bonvoy Point Welcome Bonus with $3,000 minimum spend
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The Bottom Line: Marriott’s Spring Promotion

We now know the details of Marriott Bonvoy’s spring promotion.

While this promotion isn’t so exciting on the points earning side at just 1,000 additional points per stay, it gets really interesting on the double elite earning credit side. If you happen to reside in a market where you aren’t able to stack credit card elite nights, this can be a really fast route to elite status; provided you stay within the qualifying dates.

As always, it’s still worth taking the effort to register, as more points are always better than less points. This is assuming you can actually get the system to let you register properly.


Where you able to successfully register for this promotion on the first try ?

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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.

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:


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.

Checking Into Turkish Airlines Business Class at Paris CDG Terminal 2A
Checking Into Turkish Airlines Business Class at Paris CDG Terminal 2A

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.

The Lounge:

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.

Lounging at the Paul Maxence Salon Business Lounge – Paris CDG Terminal 2A/2C
Lounging at the Paul Maxence Salon Business Lounge – Paris CDG Terminal 2A/2C

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.

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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.

Turkish Airlines Boeing 787-9 taking us to Istanbul today

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.

Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2C Gate C87
Turkish Airlines    
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 Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9
Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9

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.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9
Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9

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.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9
Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9

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.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9
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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.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9
Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9
Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9
Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9

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.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9
Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9
Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9

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.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9
Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9

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.

Side Storage Table on Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9
Wired Remote Entertainment System Controller on Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9

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.

Cabin Storage on Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9

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.

Foot Well on Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9

There was a small emergency car and magazine holder, which didn’t allow for much useful storage of items given it’s small capacity.

Limited Map Pocket Storage on Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9

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.

Personal Reading Light on Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9

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.

Cabin Air Nozzles on Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin – Boeing 787-9

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.

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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.

Pre – Departure Beverage Service – Lemon and Mint

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.

Watching Take Off through the In Flight Entertainment Camera
Watching Fews on Take Off from Paris CDG

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.

Turkish Airlines Entertainment System – Advanced Video on Demand

There was also an advanced flight track system that allowed multiple displays. This allowed travellers to track their progress along to their destination.

Turkish Airlines Flight Track Entertainment System

There was also a prayer function for those looking for the direction of mecca

Turkish Airlines Prayer Timings

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.

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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.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Menu – Paris to Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Business Class Menu – Paris to Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Business Class Menu – Paris to Istanbul

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.

Traditional Arabic Mezze – Turkish Airlines Business Class

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.

Turkish Meatball with sautéed zucchini & roasted red pepper with bulgar pilaf – Turkish Airlines Business Class

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.

A Fully Flat Seat Perfect for Sleeping – Turkish Airlines Business Class Boeing 787-9

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.

Turkish Airlines Business Class – Boeing 787-9 cabin
Molton Brown Toiletries in the Business Class Bathroom – An Upscale Touch
Preparing the Business Class Cabin Quite Early

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.

Views from the Wing – On Final Approach to Istanbul International Airport

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.

First Glances – Istanbul International Airport
First Glances – Istanbul International Airport

We headed off to the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge Istanbul before connecting onwards to the Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Amman flight.

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.


If you flown Turkish Airlines within Europe, do you prefer its business class to Lufthansa or British Airways ?

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Air Canada assembles a pretty comprehensive and solid lounge experience in their Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges. Air Canada Maple Leaf lounges are offered throughout Canada, the United States and in select international locations including in the global cities of London, Frankfurt and Paris. Our visit today was to the oldest international Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in Paris, France. How would visiting Air Canada’s oldest international Maple Leaf Lounge location fare compared to the other Maple Leaf Lounges other lounges in the system?


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:

Review: Salon Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle International Airport – Terminal 2A, France

This review is of the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge at Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport.

Dependent on your departure area and carrier, you may also have access to the nearby Salon Paul Maxence Business Lounge Paris Charlles de Gaulle – Terminal 2A/2C, the Salon Extime Lounge Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2B, Salon Air France Business Lounge Paris Charles de Gaulle – Terminal 2F and the Salon Air France Business Lounge Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E – Concourse L.


Our departure flight today was on Turkish Airlines Business Class Paris – Istanbul and connecting onwards to Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Jordan.

Having checked in earlier with Turkish Airlines in Paris Charles de Gaulle – Terminal 2A, we found ourselves on the secure side. While I left MrsWT73 in the contracted Salon Paul Maxence Business Lounge Paris that was located in the space between Terminal 2A and 2C, I left her in order to investigate the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris – Terminal 2A.

Locating the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge:

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge is located right at the far end of Paris Charles de Gaulle – Terminal 2A. It’s among the most remote lounges in a terminal at Charles de Gaulle. Being located right at the end of the terminal, it requires a substantial walk in order to get to it.

Locating the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Terminal 2A Annex
Map Courtesy of Aeroports de Paris

I started out from the duty free retail space located at the shared departure hall between the two flowing Terminals in between Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminals 2A and 2C. The two departure halls are inter connected, and there is no obvious moment when you pass from one terminal to another. Both Terminal 2A and 2C share the same central departures facilities, so you’ll pass through the same exit procedures in order to access the departures concourse.

Walking along the length of the concourse, I headed down towards the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Paris. The concourses at the Paris Charles de Gaulle meander along in a gentle and gradual inward curve. There are no moving sidewalks or other organizing features, so fellow travellers seem to be scattered about the concourse.

Walking the Crowded Curve of Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2A

Eventually, I passed by Gate A40, and headed into one of the separate outer terminal buildings through a glass enclosure pathway.

Walking the Curve of Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2A
Walking towards the Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2A Annex

I eventually arrived to the outer round gate concourse of Paris Charles de Gaulle – Terminal 2A exclusively for gates A37, A38 and A39. The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge was located in this remote outer terminal at the bottom of the central escalator.

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge was placed in an interesting spot, as during my visit, the Air Canada flights were actually leaving from the main concourse that I had already passed on my walk out. Air Canada travellers would have to walk 7 – 10 minutes out to the lounge, only to double back to their gate that they’d have passed on the way out.

Locating the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris – Terminal 2A Annex
Locating the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris – Terminal 2A Annex

The lower escalator entry isn’t super glamorous, but it was functional. The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge was well marked as a Star Alliance Gold Lounge.

Locating the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris – Terminal 2A Annex
Locating the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris – Terminal 2A Annex

Accessing the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge:

After riding the escalator down, I proceeded to lounge reception. The lounge reception was located at the bottom of the escalator immediately behind the sliding glass entry doors.

Reception – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Terminal 2A Annex

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris is accessible through a number of ways:

The most likely way to get access to the lounge is through a confirmed business class ticket on a departing Air Canada international flight.

If you are travelling in Air Canada Premium Economy or Economy Class, Air Canada may offer you the option to purchase an international “one time pass” at the point of ticket purchase on http://www.aircanada.com, so that is another possible way that you could gain access.

Air Canada sells annual Maple Leaf Lounge memberships that allow for international lounge access. If you plan on accessing the lounge under this route, make sure your membership is not the lessor “North American” lounge membership. Being an international lounge, you wouldn’t qualify for access to this Maple Leaf Lounge Location if you have a North American pass.

Under the Star Alliance Lounge Access policy, access is also permitted for Star Alliance Business Class travellers travelling on a Star Alliance carrier departing the same day from the local airport.

Access to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge is also permitted for Star Alliance Gold Customers travelling in any class of travel. Access is permitted for a Star Alliance member airline operated flight, which departs at the same day as the visit or latest by 05:00 AM the next morning. If your boarding pass does not carry the Star Alliance Gold indicator, you will need to also show your valid Star Alliance Gold card. Under these circumstances, one guest is permitted.

Our access today was provided courtesy of our Turkish Airlines Business Class Paris – Istanbul flight as a result of travelling in business class.

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Inside the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris Terminal 2A:

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris has been operating at this location since at least 2006. I used to pass through France and this terminal regularly when I went to business school in Grenoble, France.

Air Canada usually dresses up it’s international lounges. Probably as a result of it’s age, this location hasn’t receive the love and attention that Air Canada has invested in its international or flagship domestic lounges. As a result, I fear the days of the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris are numbered and we may see a relocation of Air Canada’a Maple Leaf Lounge to another space at Paris Charles de Gaulle in the future.

After reception, the lounge is divided on either side of the reception. In general, the lounge has a basement like space being below the main departure Terminal 2A Annex concourse. This results in a darker lounge thanks to standard height ceilings and limited views that look into aircraft apron equipment.

Immediately to my right after entering the lounge, there was an immediate smaller lounge room consisting of chair loungers packed against the walls.

Lounge Seating – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Terminal 2A Annex

Continuing on, there was a small coffee station and food service hallway. The hallway led to back office study carrels over red carpet. The work station area at the back of the lounge was quite dark, since it had no windows, and I wouldn’t find myself sitting back here unless I had some urgent work to complete prior to getting on a flight.

Coffee Bar – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Terminal 2A Annex
Workstation Seating – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Terminal 2A Annex

Heading back to the main reception, on the left hand side of reception, were most of the features of the lounge. Crossing to the other side of the lounge opposite reception, I found myself in an immediate bar and food service area. The lounge continued with seating around the outer glass, with lounge chairs that were arranged in traditional four person configuration.

Bar Seating – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Terminal 2A Annex

The lounge featured a functional bar that contained several bar stools that were themed in Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge red.

Bar Seating – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Terminal 2A Annex

Following the curve of the round departure gate building, the lounge wrapped around the curve. The curve of the building meant that the lounge itself wasn’t super spacious, as they had limited physical space available to work with in the smaller CDG Terminal 2A Annex.

Lounge Seating – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Terminal 2A Annex

The pathway eventually to the back of the lounge, where an additional small hold lounge seating room was located. This room was quite dark. Like the study area, it didn’t feature available light. This led to a bit of a dark feel for this space.

Lounge Seating – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Terminal 2A Annex

To summarize, the lounge seating was comfortable but a bit cramped. As a result of the basement location of this particular lounge, and the lack of window seating, it often meant that you were seated close to and near other travellers.

The decor of the lounge was pretty old, and it certainly didn’t measure up to many of the newer, or renovated, Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges around the world. I suspect we will see this lounge change over sometime in the near future, as it doesn’t appear that Air Canada has spent much time into modernizing the wood paneling to match the look and feel of all their other lounges.

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Food and Beverage:

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris offered a range of food and snacks. Unlike many international lounges, there didn’t appear to be a formal food zone designated in the footprint and layout of this circular space. Rather, the food was clustered together on the left hand side of the lounge seating in various corners and carts. This led to a little bit of a less glamorous presentation and a bit of cris – crossing across the floor to see what was available on offer.

Against the concourse walls opposite the windows, and immediately adjacent to the bar, there was a charcuterie tray and food plate station.

Food Carts – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Terminal 2A Annex
Food Cart – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Terminal 2A Annex
Charcuterie and Sandwiches – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Terminal 2A Annex

The desserts and meets and cheese were located on the same serving area. The charcuterie actually looked pretty appealing and fresh, a bit of a change from many lounges that often have stale looking meats and cheeses.

Charcuterie and Sandwiches – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Terminal 2A Annex

On the opposite side of the lounge, there were baked goods and other goodies available. Regrettably, the presentation of the desert cart wasn’t as appealing as the charcuterie plate.

Dessert Items – Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Terminal 2A Annex

The food and beverage offering in the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge was enough to enjoy as a snack. However, it wouldn’t substitute in any way for a full meal. I would recommend arriving to the lounge in a fuller state, if at all possible.

I enjoyed the lounge prior to a very long fifteen minute walk back to Paris Charles de Gaulle – Terminal 2C in order to head off on a Turkish Airlines Business Class Paris – Istanbul flight.

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My Thoughts on the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris:

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris – Terminal 2A was a slightly out of the way lounge that had a dated decor. While the location was inconvenient, it did offer a place to get a snack, and a place to recharge away from the busy halls of Terminal 2A. The lounge itself isn’t a place that I would rush to get back to. Given it’s remote location, I probably wouldn’t bother coming out if I was pressed for time.


If you’ve visited the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Paris – Terminal 2A, did you find the trek out worth your effort ?

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The Paul Maxence Lounge is presently the lead contract lounge located in between Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle, serving both Paris Terminal 2A and 2C. The Paul Maxence lounge offered a comfortable place to exist prior to our departing international flight. How would our experience fare compared to other international lounges?


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:

Review: Salon Paul Maxence Business Lounge – Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle International Airport – Terminal 2A/2C, France

This review is of the Salon Paul Maxence Business Lounge at Paris Charles de Gualle International Airport.

Dependent on your departure area and carrier, you may also have access to the nearby Air Canada Salon Maple Leaf Lounge Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2A, the Salon Extime Lounge Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2B the Salon Air France Business Lounge Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2F and the Salon Air France Business Lounge Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2E – Concourse L.


Our departure flight today was on Turkish Airlines Business Class Paris – Istanbul and connecting onwards to Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Jordan.

We located our check in Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Terminal 2A. Turkish Airlines is presently operating out of terminal 2A, with a shuffle planned in the future.

Checking in to Turkish Airlines Business Class
Checking in to Turkish Airlines Business Class

While we checked in with Turkish Airlines, we were provided with information that we had access to the Salon Paul Maxence Lounge. We were provided verbal instructions on how and where to access the lounge.

Locating the Paul Maxence Lounge:

The Paul Maxence Lounge Paris is located in the space in between the two flowing Terminals in between Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminals 2A and 2C. The two departure halls are inter connected, and there is no obvious moment when you pass from one terminal to another. Both Terminal 2A and 2C share the same central departures facilities, so you’ll pass through the same exit procedures in order to access the departures concourse.

The Paul Maxence Lounge was located immediately behind the Hermès retail store. It was conveniently located immediately after the duty free retail store that all travellers must pass through.

Locating the Access to Salon Paul Maxence Business Lounge
Map Courtesy of Aeroports de Paris

After we had completed the check in process. We proceeded through departure immigration and getting our EU departure immigration stamp. After clearing priority security, we headed up to the departures concourse.

We flowed through the duty free zone and wandered into the departures hall concourse. The access to the corridor leading to the Paul Maxence Lounge was easily located in between the Hermès Store on the left, and the Louis Vuitton Store on the right.

Locating the Access Corridor to Salon Paul Maxence Lounge Paris
Locating the Access Corridor to Salon Paul Maxence Lounge Paris

As we entered into the corridor, we wandered a short distance down behind the retail storefront stores. The hallway would lead to elevator access up one floor to the lounge areas.

Navigating the Access Corridor to Salon Paul Maxence Lounge Paris
Navigating the Access Elevator to Salon Paul Maxence Lounge Paris

After riding the compact elevator up, we would find ourselves in an open air lounge zone featuring the access points to the American Airlines Admirals Lounge, the Emirates Lounge Paris and the Paul Maxence Lounge.

Arriving to Lounge Reception – Salon Paul Maxence Lounge – Paris
Arriving to Lounge Reception – Salon Paul Maxence Lounge – Paris
Arriving to Lounge Reception – Salon Paul Maxence Lounge – Paris
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Accessing the Lounge:

The Paul Maxence Lounge is presently accessible through contract access with several business class airlines.

The current list of carriers that provide business class access are:

Etihad Airways
Air Senegal
El Al
Turkish Airlines
Air Algerie
Air Serbia
Air India
Air Madagascar
Egypt Air

The lounge itself is not part of any one airline alliance and contracts to available carriers to provide traveller access.

Accessing the Salon Paul Maxence Lounge – Paris
Accessing the Salon Paul Maxence Lounge – Paris

At the moment, the lounge does not appear to partner with Priority Pass or another other lounge membership cards.

At present, it also does not offer forward facing access to purchase access at the door or online, in order to gain entry to the lounge.

Our access today was provided courtesy of our Turkish Airlines Business Class Paris – Istanbul flight as a result of travelling in business class.

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Inside the Paul Maxence Lounge Paris Terminal 2A/2C:

The Paul Maxence Lounge Paris started off life as the Etihad First and Business Class Lounge Paris. When Etihad divested itself of it’s lounge networks at their outstations, it stopped operating the Etihad Lounge Paris.

Enter Montreal Concierge master Paul Maxence who assumed operation of this lounge under Paul Maxence Haute Hospitalité. While the brand isn’t well known to many, it was a reasonable and pleasant space to exist prior to any flight.

After being granted access, we entered into the lounge. As a result of it’s history as an Etihad Lounge, the lounge has some similar colour schemes and decor starting from the colors of the lounge chairs, to the familiar wall decorations that we’ve seen in the Etihad Pearl Business Lounge Abu Dhabi.

Immediately upon entering the lounge, we found ourselves in a reception styled area. The area featured walkways towards the greater lounge area, along with access to the bar and dining zone.

Lounge Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris
Lounge Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris

There were a few couches in this space, but as a transitory space designed to lead you to another part of the lounge, the first impression are wasn’t all to exciting.

Lounge Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris

Instead, towards your left, there was lounge seating that ran along the wall. There were comfortable loungers set up along the wall. There were also the familiar Etihad wall decorations consisting of books, jars and other ornaments.

Lounge Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris

Even the light coloured Pearl coloured chairs from Etihad Pearl Business Class made an appearance as lounge chairs throughout the lounge.

Lounge Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris

The lounge seating was quite busy during our early afternoon visit. As a result, there lounge seating itself was quite full. We tucked ourselves in at the television end of the lounge, in order to find some seating.

Lounge Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris
Lounge Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris
Lounge Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris
Lounge Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris

The lounge seating ran the length of the lounge. It also included a small VIP area that was not partitioned off, but was marked as reserved.

VIP Lounge Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris
Lounge Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris

The lounge space also featured a dining area with tables and chairs. While I never visited the Etihad Business Lounge Paris, Etihad Lounges typically offered a dining feature. This lounge contained the same foot print and space, allowing for tables and chairs, along with a bar feature at the end.

Dining Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris
Dining Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris
Dining Seating – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris

The bar itself offered some pretty elementary spirits. These included small individual bottles of wine, something that was a little surprising considering that we were in France. I wasn’t too blown away by the beverage program at this particular lounge given it’s somewhat limited selection. However, it was certainly nice to have access to a bar, prior to any flight.

A Full Service Bar – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris

Being closest to the windows, the dining area offered some great airside views. As a result of a lower building height, there were some obstructions from the views as a result of jet bridges, but I’ll happily look at an Air Tahiti Nui Boeing 787 anyway.

Views from the Lounge – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris

I had some difficulties connecting to the local lounge wifi. My iPhone resulted in the usual spinning disc, even after entering the password. I ended up relying on the Aeroports de Paris wifi, instead.

The Paul Maxence Wifi was Not Co-Operating on my Visit

To summarize, the lounge seating was pretty comfortable. There were a number of comfortable loungers, although the space was pretty busy during our visit. Unfortunately, the wi-fi entertainment was not working for me on this particular visit.

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Food and Beverage:

Along with any decent international business lounge, there were food items available. While there were a number of hot and cold items, there was enough to substitute for a smaller snack like meal.

Lunch Service Food Buffet – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris
Lunch Service Food Buffet – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris
Lunch Service Food Buffet – Paul Maxence Lounge Paris

Despite being a french lounge, we didn’t find many french products such as a terrific cheese selection, baguette or charcuterie.

I spent about forty five minutes in the lounge prior to heading off to a Turkish Airlines Business Class Paris – Istanbul flight. The lounge was a more than reasonable place to spend some time in before your flight.

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My Thoughts on the Salon Paul Maxence Lounge Paris:

The Salon Paul Maxence Lounge Paris wasn’t a lounge or a brand that had been familiar to me prior to this trip. Despite the new experience, visiting the lounge was more reminiscent of visited an Etihad Business Lounge as a result of the unique colour scheme. The Paul Maxence Lounge was a comfortable space to be prior to a flight, and offered everything that you’d expect from a lounge; except for working wifi. I’ll look forward to my next visit.


If you’ve visited the Paul Maxence Lounge Paris, did you enjoy your time ?

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With a quick twenty five hours in Paris, France, we needed an overnight hotel room near Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport, France. We ended up at the nearby Residence Inn by Marriott – Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport, France for a quick overnight stay. With Residence Inn’s expansion throughout Europe, how would our stay with this brand fare?


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:

Review: Residence Inn by Marriott – Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport, France


“An Excellent Choice for a Layover at Paris Charles de Gaulle, the new airport hotel may only be eclipsed by the better Marriott Elite Benefits at the Courtyard Paris Charles de Gaulle located right next door”

We ended up coming off of our flights from the United States to Europe courtesy of Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Seattle – Reykjavík and Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Reykjavík – Paris.

We would have twenty five hours in Paris between our next series of flights onwards to Jordan on Turkish Airlines Business Class Paris – Istanbul. As a result, we would need a convenient place to stay with a little extra room near to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

Booking The Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle:

I ended up selecting this property given our needs; a convenient 25 hour layover near or on the airport. When shopping around, I also considered the Paris Marriott Charles de Gaulle and the convenient in terminal Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel and Conference Center.

The Sheraton seemed to have less than glowing reviews given the higher price point paid and the Paris Marriott required a bus transfer, something I wasn’t too excited on after two international flights.

As a result, I decided on the Residence Inn by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport which was more conveniently situated. While I don’t normally stay at Residence Inn’s since they earn Marriott Bonvoy points at a lessor 50% rate, I made a bit of an exception for this stay.

The Residence Inn by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport was conveniently located on the CDG VAL airport tram, meaning that we wouldn’t have to hop any airport / hotel shuttle busses. The Residence Inn Brand also offered a little extra space instead of a regular hotel room as all hotel rooms are branded as suites. This would be valued after a long flight. Much like my past stay at the Residence Inn London Kensington, this Residence Inn was a newer properly that had generally favourable reviews. We would also be able to leave our bags at the airport and perhaps take the RER train into Paris for sightseeing, if we were so inclined.

I was able to get a AAA rate of 140€ ($149 USD) for this property which booked into the basic Studio Room configuration. Every rate at Residence Inn properties includes a complimentary full breakfast. I booked direct on the Marriott Bonvoy website. As a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Level member, I would also be entitled to Upgrade to best available room, including select suites.

Pricing Out the Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

The price point was much more reasonable than the Paris Marriott who was seeking 206€ ($219 USD) for a room and the Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel and Conference Center that was priced around 240€ ($255 USD) for our stay.

Getting to the Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle:

The Residence Inn by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport is located amongst the hotel zone immersed within the roads around Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Make no mistake about it, this hotel is squarely located within an airport environment. Those hoping for a hotel on a beautiful French street, within walking distance to charming bistros and a cave des vin (wine shop) will be sorely disappointed. There isn’t anything quite like that around this particular property given it’s location in a modern office / hotel park.

In terms of getting to the hotel itself, after coming off our Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Reykjavik – Paris flight, we found ourselves in Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2B.

We located the not so well marked CDGVAL train, which was located adjacent to the access to the Paris CDG TGV train station that served all airport terminals situated between CDG Terminal 2D and 2F. This required navigating through each terminal with the assistance on moving escalators and over flat concrete concourses.

Transferring to the CDG VAL Train Station at Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport
Riding the CDG VAL Train from Paris Charles de Gaulle

With two escalators down to the CDG VAL train zone, and 3 stops over from CDG T2, we exited the train station at Parking “R” “Holiday Inn Express” station. We had two elevators over the tracks to get to our proper exit onto the correct side of the tracks.

It was a 7 – 10 minute walk with luggage down a partially covered walkway from the CDGVAL train station. There’s no luggage assistance or trolleys available from the CDG VAL, so if you’re traveling this on your own, make sure you’re able to manage without luggage assistance. If it happens to be raining, you can probably do about 85% of the walk under a covered walkway.

While the walk was perfectly fine during the daytime, I doubt MrsWT73 would be making this walk with a late after dark arrival, since it was pretty isolated and in the middle of a airport office park environment.

Walking to the Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

It actually ended up being next to the Headquarters of the France Border Police (n the grey low rise office structure), so it was likely a reasonable safe area as there were police located outside of the staff entrance at most times we passed through the area. In the end, the whole process to transfer over took about thirty minutes from airport to hotel door.

Walking to the Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

The Residence Inn by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle was one of the newer hotel properties in an area that also included the Moxy CDG, the Courtyard CDG and the nearby Mercure and Holiday Inn Express; all within the same compound. The building had a slick European contemporary modern look to it, consistent with a student housing type of feel to it.

Walking to the Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
A Welcome Sight – Arriving to the Residence Inn

The entrance was easy to locate and easily approachable from the walkway while on foot.

The Neighbouring Courtyard by Marriott with an Entrance Around the Corner

While I didn’t realize it at the time of booking, the Courtyard by Marriott Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport hotel is actually attached to the Residence Inn by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle. The two hotels share facilities, including a restaurant, lounge, breakfast hall, and laundry room.

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Checking into Residence Inn by Paris Charles de Gaulle:

We had a reasonably friendly check in for France. At check in, I pro-actively inquired about a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Suite Upgrade and was eventually provided a one bedroom suite up from the Studio Suite that I had booked. The One Bedroom Suite was up to the top category available. This was really appreciated “on request”, although I happened to note that this was not proactively provided or upgraded through the app (which still showed us in the studio that we had booked on arrival).

As a welcome bonus, since all Residence Inn rates included breakfast, it was a choice of 500 points or 8€ credit for the bar. Since we were going to be on the property a full 24 hrs, we ended up going for the 8€ credit.

Our room was immediately available upon our arrival at 2:15 PM, which was really appreciated given our overseas flights earlier in the day. We were also provided a Marriott Bonvoy late checkout of 1 PM, courtesy of Marriott Titanium status without any issues or opposition.

The Room: A One Bedroom Suite

We wandered up the clean elevators and halls to room #6606. We had to fob our way up on the elevator, which was key carded to each floor. With the Residence Inn Paris being an almost new hotel, the One Bedroom Suite was brand new and presented really well..

Locating Room #6606

The Living Space:

Immediately upon entering the room, we found ourselves in the living space of the room. The living space was a separate and detached room from the bedroom, reflecting a proper suite configuration. There was also a compact dining room table for 4 persons, although it would have been more comfortable with just two.

Living Space – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

The living area space had a small desk with one plug and one usb charging point. This was matched with a 55 inch flat screen television featuring the usual french and European movie channels.

The couch in the room was a sofa bed variety. It was quite firm to sit on and wasn’t super comfortable for long term relaxing.

Living Space – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
Living Space – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

The Kitchen:

The Residence Inn by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle offered a kitchen within the suite. This consisted of a rail kitchen that ran the length of an inside room wall. The kitchen consisted of a two plate HOB (flat two plate burner). The kitchen is described as a “fully fitted kitchen” but it does not contain a conventional oven and only featured a microwave and compact dish washer.

Kitchen Space – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

The kitchen also featured a sink, cooking knifes with cutlery, a coffee maker, a kettle, along with a toaster. There was more than enough there to make yourself a home for a day or two and be comfortable doing so.

Kitchen Accessories – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
Kitchen Accessories – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
Kitchen Accessories – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaalle Central Airport

There was also a small half height refrigerator. Like most others, it was small enough to store a bottle of wine on the diagonal. While it wasn’t super spacious, it was more than enough for a short stay.

Kitchen Appliances – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

The living space of the room featured a view into the neighbouring hotel. While it wasn’t a super aspirational view, we did find ourselves on a high floor

View from the Room – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

We had a few challenges getting connected to the wifi. Although the wifi sign on screen offered a room name and room number sign in option, after heading back down to the front desk, I was later given a code entitled “30mbps”, which I errantly thought was the internet speed (and not the wifi code). The internet seemed to have a tendency to drop in our room, so I’d rate it on a 6 out of10 on the reliability scale. It worked with some fiddling.

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The Bedroom:

Off the living space and kitchen, we took a right turn into the bedroom. In the context of most Paris hotel rooms being compact in nature as a result of being in turn of century buildings, the newer Residence Inn by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle offered a reasonable amount of space in the bedroom. The bedroom featured a comfortable and plush king sized bed.

Bedroom – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
Bedroom – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

The bedroom offered a single two prong round European styled charger by the bedside without a USB function. This mean that adapters and plugs were out to charge smartphone devices.

Bedroom – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

Not pictured but also located in the bedroom was a second 55 inch flat screen television. This allowed for comfortable viewing from bed.

In terms of sleep quality, it was pretty quiet throughout the hotel and the surrounding area. There was good sound proofing between the airplane noise and I didn’t hear too much in the way of airplane noise.

The Bathroom:

Perhaps the highlight of the room was the spacious bathroom. I don’t usually expect a large bathroom while travelling, but this one was spacious enough that you could towel off after a shower without having to exit the space. The shower was of a “low flow” variety but there was heaps of room in the bathtub and in the washroom area.

Bathroom – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

The bathroom featured a large tub and shower combination, along with a single vanity sink. There was a shower contained dispenser toiletries, which weren’t as exciting but highly convenient and functional.

Bathroom – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

For those that are curious, I have attached the hotel plan layout. The floor plan shows a single One Bedroom Suite per Floor, making Marriott Bonvoy upgrades a little less available likely if you plan strictly by the numbers.

Floor Plan – One Bedroom Suite – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

While the room was functional, it was completely brand new with a minimal amount of markings that you’d otherwise expect in an airport hotel. The highlight was the spacious bathroom, along with the availability of actual glassware in the kitchen, and just having that little extra space to stretch out in the living area.

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Around the Hotel Property:

Being a brand new hotel, everything in the hotel looks new and fresh. Making a great first impression is the lobby area. While I though that this space doubled as a breakfast area, I’d later find out that this was strictly the hotel lounge space.

Lobby Space – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
Lobby Space – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

The hotel lounge and flex space offered a comfortable place for hanging out, and featured a nice amount of features that included relax chairs and bright seating spaces from floor to ceiling windows. I rarely saw people sitting in this space, and it was easy to locate a spot to sit during my visit.

Lobby Space – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
Lobby Space – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
Lobby Space – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

As I mentioned earlier, the property shares its building with the Courtyard Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport, which is fully connected to the hotel on certain lower floors. This allowed the hotel to economize on certain features.

Laundry Room:

There is a laundry room on the property that offer six machines between the two properties.

Laundry Room – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

Gym:

There is also a shared twenty four hour gym available between the two properties. Given the hotel’s low rise configuration, the gym had some but not expansive daylight views.

Gym Space – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
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Food and Beverage:

The Courtyard Restaurant:

There is one restaurant and lounge that is shared between the two properties. The restaurant features both the sole on property dining option, and is the location on where the Residence Inn breakfast is served in the morning.

The Courtyard Restaurant was a bright contemporary dining space. Even though it doubled as a breakfast space, it still had a modern look to the room. The Courtyard Restaurant also offered the ability to access patio space, which would allow for outdoor dining in the warmer summer months.

The Courtyard Restaurant – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
The Courtyard Restaurant – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

Unfortunately, aside from the hotel restaurant, there isn’t much around this particular property in the way of exciting places to eat. Aside from the hotel restaurant, your only other there are other hotel restaurants, or the option of taking the CDGVAL back to the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport for take away sandwiches. There wasn’t much in this particular neighbourhood for things to eat.

While I was initially reared up to head into Paris via the RER to make the most of my 25 hour layover, MrsWT73 was pretty keen for a nap and a catch up on sleep after several taxing weeks at work. As a result, I enjoyed a walk around the neighbourhood.

When MrsWT73 woke up, we didn’t fancy a full trip into the city or any other neighborhood for dinner. As a result, we ended up eating on property.

We went down to the Courtyard Restaurant for about 7 PM. Unfortunately, everyone else in the two hotels that share the restaurant had the same idea. We added our name to the list. I had a grandma behind me complain to us that the list was about 45 minutes. The staff were doing their best and running around to try to get everyone taken care of. We were encouraged to enjoy a drink in the attached bar. I headed over there and learned we could eat dinner there.

The Courtyard Bar and Lounge – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

As a result, I enjoyed a Chablis and we split a clubhouse with fries. The menu was pretty American styled and hotel oriented along with the clientele dining in the hotel tonight. There wasn’t much regional fare on the menu, although French onion soup made an appearance (no croque monsieurs)

The Courtyard Restaurant Bar Menu – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
A Tasty Clubhouse Sandwich – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

The cheque came to about 40€ with two wines along with a club sandwich. MrsWT73 fancied a drink for the room, so we wandered next door to the Moxy Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for a take away wine.

Residence Inn Breakfast:

The next morning, we enjoyed an included breakfast along with our room rate at the Residence Inn. The Residence Inn breakfast was pretty extensive and contained a pretty robust featuring of continental bakery items, in addition to more American hot items.

The buffet was open between 6 AM – 10 AM on our visit. Unlike our Residence Inn London Kensington visit, there wasn’t any wait or crush at 9 AM.

The continental consisted of European Gouda and Swiss cheeses, Italian and American styled hams, along with an assortment of vegetables. There were also doughnuts, croissants, pain au chocolates and large and small French baguettes.

The Residence Inn Breakfast – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
The Residence Inn Breakfast – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
The Residence Inn Breakfast – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

Along with the baked goods, there were salad dishes available.

The Residence Inn Breakfast – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

In addition to the baked goods, there were fritatta and baked egg dishes along with apple dishes.

The Residence Inn Breakfast – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

For those looking to fill up, there were also traditional American scrambled egg dishes, hashbrowns, streaky bacon and sausages.

The Residence Inn Breakfast – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
The Residence Inn Breakfast – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

The coffee was also provided through a machine, which prepared each cup individually.

I was pretty satisfied with the breakfast offered at the Residence Inn. There was ample food available with more than enough variety to keep any traveller happy.

For those staying at the Courtyard hotel, breakfast was an extra charge. Residence Inn guests would have access to this spread without additional charge being included in their room rate

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The Market:

The Residence Inn also offered a small take away market located just off the front desk of the Residence Inn. The market contained some small take away items.

The Market – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
The Market Menu – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport
Market – Residence Inn Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

The Market itself was a a little small in comparison to some other properties that I’ve stayed at. Despite this, it was will convenient to have items available within the hotel.

Checking Out of the Residence Inn:

Our check out the next day, our check out was without incident. My 8€ Marriott Bonvoy welcome credit was applied separately and deducted on a separate invoice from the hotel. Despite challenges getting stay credits and invoices through Marriott, my invoices (and my separate 8€ credit) turned up immediately after leaving the property. Our 50% earning points would post without any issue.

I later learned that there was a van shuttle service available too and from the airport. The fee was 8€ per person, and required an advance reservation. While I didn’t use the services, it could be handy for those with a lot of luggage.

We walked up to the CDGVAL and had a walk over to Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2A for our Turkish Airlines Business Class Paris Charles de Gaulle – Istanbul International Airport flight.

Bottom Line: Residence Inn by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport

The Residence inn by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport was a better than expected stay for us between our flights at Paris Charles de Gaulle. We were able to avoid the large price premium that the Sheraton Paris Airport Hotel and Conference Centre by taking the CDGVAL train a few stops away. Provided you can maneuver a 10 minute train, a few escalators and an elevator ride or two along with a 10 minute walk, you’ll likely save yourselves several hundred euro.

The Residence Inn hotel itself was a new stay with every comfort amenity. We received an upgrade courtesy of our Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status, and our room was comfortable and quiet. The restaurant wasn’t the high point of the trip due to the wait, but the food itself was reasonable. About the only downside of this property is that there is nothing but hotel restaurants in this area, so you’re not likely to get any form of a French experience; unless you interact with the staff in French. You could very well be in any corner of the world. I’d be happy to have the opportunity stay here again for a sterile layover environment.

Lastly, for those looking to maximize their Marriott Bonvoy earnings, it may make more sense to stay at the Courtyard Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport, immediately next door. By staying at the Courtyard, you’ll earn a full 10 points per dollar on Marriott Bonvoy hotel spend, instead of the 5 points per dollar at the Residence Inn. If you happen to be a Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite or Higher, you can take advantage of the same breakfast as your welcome benefit, and likely come away with greater points.


If you have stayed at the Residence Inn, did the stay meet your needs ?

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Icelandair offers connecting service from North America to Western Europe through it’s hub in Keflavik Reykjavik Iceland. It also offers a proper business class recliner seat to and from Iceland, where many other European carriers offer an economy class seat with a blocked middle. How does Icelandair fare up on an intra-Europe business class segment?


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:


Review: Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Boeing 757-2, Reykjavík (Keflavik International Airport) – Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2B

After arriving off Icelandair Saga Business Class Seattle – Reykjavik (Keflavik) we connected onwards to Icelandair Saga Business Class Reykjavik (Keflavik) – Paris Charles de Gualle Terminal 2B (this review). Unfortunately, our ninety minute connection time evaporated pretty quickly, and we didn’t have time to visit the excellent Icelandair Saga Lounge Reykjavik, on this particular connection.

This flight was a similar but slightly shorter version of Icelandair Saga Business Class Reyjkavik – Madrid, so please feel free to check out that review if you want to see what another intra – Europe Icelandair Saga Business Class flight looks like.

This particular flight would mark my fourth Icelandair flight and I have to say I’ve had a pretty good experience with Icelandair in their Saga Premium cabins so far to date.

Boarding Icelandair at Keflavik:

We boarded through Gate C28. The Gate was quite busy with crowding at the bottom of the escalator. It was apparent that it was a bus gate. As Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class travellers, we were funnelled into a corridor walking alongside queued economy class travellers who lined the length of the corridor.

Waiting to Board in Keflavik, Iceland

Once at the front of the line, Business Class priority was allowed first crack at the bus. However, it only meant getting on the bus first. While we were in the hold lounge, we had an announcement that those in rows 1 – 20 should board by front stairs, where as those in row 21-40 should board by the back stairs.

Spotting Icelandair aircraft at Keflavik International Airport

At day break, we had a bus ride out to our Icelandair Boeing 757-2. We had a great morning grounds’ eye view of Icelandair aircraft on the apron at Keflavik.

Icelandair Boeing 757-200 parked at Keflavik International Airport

After arriving to our position, we had a clamber up the exterior stairs through door 2L. We self lifted our rolling suitcases up the jet bridge stairs.

Boarding Our Icelandair Boeing 757-200
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Icelandair    
FI 542  – Saga Business Class (A)
KEF-CDG (Reykjavik Keflavik International Airport – Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2B)
October 10, 2022
7:40 AM – 1:15 PM (scheduled)
7:41 AM – 12:51 PM (actual)
Booked: Boeing 737
Flown: Boeing 757-200

On Board Icelandair Saga Class:

After getting off the bus and clambering up the stairs through door 2L, we turned left into the Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class cabin.

The Icelandair Saga Business Class cabin on the Boeing 757-200 is configured in a 2 -2 set up. The aircraft is quite old with a very dated look in the seats and cabin.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Cabin – Boeing 757-200

The recliner seats are leather covered but are comfortable for a three hour regional international flight. The Icelandair Saga Business Class is miles ahead of British Airways or Lufthansa Business Class intra-europe which is typically an ecomony class seat in a 3-3 configuration with a blocked middle seat.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Cabin – Boeing 757-200
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Cabin – Boeing 757-200
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Cabin – Boeing 757-200
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Cabin – Boeing 757-200
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Cabin – Boeing 757-200

The load was pretty quiet with many travellers arriving towards the end of the boarding sequence due to later arrival of the buses.

We settled into our seats. A small bottle of Iceland water was waiting for us on the seat. We did not get an offer of a pre-departure beverage for this intra-europe international flight.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Cabin – Boeing 757-200
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Cabin – Boeing 757-200 with hip square windows
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Cabin – Boeing 757-200

The seats also featured a retractable foot rest. While this is a feature that is occasionally comfortable, it’s not something that I’d miss if a particular aircraft didn’t have it in their business class cabin.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Cabin – Boeing 757-200

It’s also worth nothing that the Icelandair Boeing 757-200 product features individual air nozzles in the seat above you. This makes for a more comfortable flight than on their Icelandair Boeing 767-300ER aircraft; which does not feature any personal air nozzles.

Icelandair Boeing 757-200 – Individual Air Nozzles

Overall, the Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class cabin was comfortable for a regional three hour business class flight around Europe. It was miles ahead of the usual business economy class seat found on other carriers.

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Departing Keflavik / Reykjavík:

We got underway one minute after the scheduled departure time. As we taxied out to the runway, we had a view of Icelandair aircraft in both the traditional livery and the newer Icelandair livery.

Spotting Icelandair Liveries – Departing Keflavik International Airport

We had an immediate departure under grey morning skies at Keflavik. There was no wait at the hold line, and we were underway really quickly.

Departing Keflavik International Airport

One of the best features of departing Iceland is the amazing coastal views. Iceland has an amazing craggy landscape. Our first views were of Keflavik’s torn up runways and taxiways.

Views from the Wing – Keflavik International Airport
Views from the Wing – Keflavik International Airport

As we climbed to altitude, we had views of Keflavik along with the coastline of Iceland. Being October, it looked rugged and cold.

I never tire of these Views from the Wing – Keflavik International Airport
Views from the Wing – Keflavik International Airport

In Flight Entertainment System:

Icelandair offers an in flight entertainment. The monitors are on seatback screens embedded in the seat ahead of you. The monitors contain a small swivel that allow for adjustment of the screen, in the event the person sitting in front of you reclines their seat.

Icelandair Advanced Video on Demand

By the time we were underway, we only had two hours and forty seven minutes to Paris. We had an assigned flight track that would take us over the United Kingdom and down to France.

Icelandair Advanced Video on Demand
Icelandair Advanced Video on Demand – Flight Track

The seat featured a table that was pulled out from the arm rest. It had a little extra room and fit an Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch without any difficulty.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Table
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The Meal: A Breakfast

Once we were into the cruise altitude, a drink menu was dropped off. The drink menu was comprehensive and mirrored products on the Icelandair trans-continental flights.

There was also a substantial Gin and Tonic menu, that allowed for sampling of boutique Icelandic Gin’s.

There were also cocktails that surfaced in the form of an Espresso Martini and an Italian Spritz. The famous Gull Icelandic Beer usually available at the Blue Lagoon also made an appearance in regular and lite forms. There was also a small list of snacks available for consumption.

Breakfast was delivered with the menu tucked onto the tray. The menu was disproportionately small compared to the large drink menu.

Breakfast today consisted of Oatmeal with seeds and fresh fruits, a mini Baguette and whole wheat croissant with salami, cured ham, cherry tomatoes, Ljótur Blue Chese, Grettir Hard Cheese and Butter with Strawberry Jam. There was also a small slice of Tomato Frittata with Creamy Mushrooms and Potatoes. The food appeared fresh and tasty looking, making for appealing breakfast items.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Breakfast

Breakfast was surprisingly more than I was expecting for a 3 hour flight. It was Surprisingly tasty considering the food. Unfortunately, the coffee was stone cold and must have been made 30 – 40 minutes ago. I also happened to hear other passengers commenting on how cold it was.

Arriving to Paris Charles de Gualle:

After breakfast and a glass of Louis Jadot Bourgone white wine, it was time to descend into Paris. We had a bit of a rotating descent into a longer hold pattern for CDG.

Icelandair Flight Information
Icelandair Flight Track Arriving Into Paris

I always enjoy the first views of continental Europe on my first trans – continental flight. It always appears so different from the usual view from the wing on my usual routes in North America.

Views on Final Approach into Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport

The Icelandair Saga Premium Class passengers were among the first to disembark. We arrived into Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2B. We arrived into a terminal with Easyjet aircraft and other odd ball carriers not part of any airline alliance. As we had cleared immigration in Keflavik / Reykjavik, we did not have to queue at all for EU Immigration.

Arriving into Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2B

We had a very long wait for baggage delivery. It was about twenty minutes wait after arriving to the baggage carousel after we had a very leisurely walk from the aircraft to baggage claim.

Baggage Claim at Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2B

After collecting our bags, we took the CDG Val Train over to The Residence Inn by Marriott – Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport for an overnight layover.

Lastly, my frequent flier points for this Icelandair flight successfully credited to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan twelve days after the flight. While it wasn’t the fastest credit, it posted without any intervention or request for missing points.

My Thoughts on Icelandair Saga Business Class:

Icelandair remains a more comfortable way to get to and from Iceland than the legacy mainline airline alliance carriers of British Airways and Lufthansa. The large recliner seats were comfortable and much better than the euro-business class offered with other European carriers.

The Icelandair Boeing 757-200 aircraft offered individual air nozzles; something I always appreciate. The breakfast meal was more than expected, but the coffee barista had the morning off as the coffee on board wasn’t all to exciting.


If you have flown Icelandair from Europe to Iceland, do you find their business class to be better than British Airways or Lufthansa?

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Quirky Icelandair is one of the few major airlines left in the world that does not form part of any major international airline alliance. It operates on a model that offers connection to many European destinations through their hub in Keflavik Reykjavik Iceland. It is also known for offering the Iceland Stopover program that allows for a free seven day stopover in Iceland at no extra charge. Today’s journey was courtesy of a deeply discounted business class fare that would allow us to get over to Europe from the United States. How would our paid travels fare with one of the lessor travelled European airlines?


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:


Review: Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class, Boeing 767-300ER, Seattle Tacoma International Airport – Reykjavík (Keflavik International Airport)

This would be the second time I would fly this exact route and my third Icelandair flight overall. For our past experience on the Icelandair Boeing 757-200 aircraft, please see our past review of Icelandair Saga Business Class B757-2 Seattle – Reyjkavik.


I had stumbled upon a great discounted business class fare from North America to Paris for travel in the off season. With a ticket price of $1,145 USD round trip, there was nothing not to like. It was even worth positioning in from Vancouver for this fare, so we arrived to the Seattle Tacoma International Airport on a separate Alaska Airlines flight. To read more about how we came across this fare, please see our trip introduction for more details.

We would end up crediting this paid flight to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, earning 125% Elite Qualifying Miles. Icelandair allows for frequent flyer accumulation in a limited number of programs that include Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Jet Blue Airways True Blue and it’s own program Icelandair Saga Points.

After a long layover visit to 13 Coins Sea – Tac, we located the check in for Icelandair. The check in hours were limited to opening two hours and forty five minutes prior to travel. The counter was completely deserted when we stopped by at 4 hours prior to travel. Icelandair offered a dedicated line for Saga Business Class travellers, and there was only one other party ahead of us at the counter.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Check In – Sea Tac International Airport
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Check In – Sea Tac International Airport

We had our carry on luggage tagged with bright looking Saga Premium Luggage tags; something air carriers love. todo but I frankly find a bit of a pain since they usually get torn apart and destroyed after a few flights.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Luggage Tagging
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Check In – Sea Tac International Airport

Icelandair offers a baggage allowance of two checked bags at 70 lbs with any Saga Class ticket. After dropping our checked baggage, we passed through the TSA Pre-Check Lane and headed to the secure side of the airport near the “A” Concourse.

Since we had access through the American Express Platinum Card, we headed for the comfortable American Express Centurion Lounge Seattle where we gained access after about a fifteen minute wait.

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The Lounge: The Club at SEA “S” Concourse

We later made our way out to the “S” Concourse to visit the recently moved The Club at SEA “S” Concourse. The Club at SEA took over the space previously occupied by the Delta SkyClub “S” Concourse.

Icelandair Saga Class passengers get complimentary access to The Club at SEA “S” Concourse included with their tickets. I reviewed this space in detail under a separate post, so I won’t go into too much detail, other than it was nice to have a space to relax near your gate prior to your flight. It was also conveniently close to the departure gate, something the American Express Centurion Lounge Seattle can’t compete with.

The Club at SEA “S” Concourse – Seattle Tacoma International Airport
The Club at SEA “S” Concourse – Seattle Tacoma International Airport

After a short visit to The Club at SEA Lounge, I headed down to the departure gate. Today’s flight had us departing from Gate S8. Our boarding time was scheduled for 3 PM, in advance of a 3:50 PM departure.

Departure Gate S8 – Seattle Tacoma International Airport

While I was waiting at the gate, I was able to watch the stream of flight crew; exotic looking tall pale blondes and very Icelandic in appearance. One had a Ross “Dress for Less” plastic bag wrapped around her rolling crew suitcase, which took a little punch out of the flair I was envisioning in my mind. After a last minute panic by MrsWT73 thinking she left her purse in the lounge, we were able to be among the first to board.

Icelandair    
FI 680  – Saga Business Class (A)
SEA-KEF (SeaTac International Airport – Reykjavik Keflavik International Airport)
October 9, 2022
3:50 PM – 6:15 AM + 1 (scheduled)
4:11 PM – 6:22 AM +1 (actual)
Booked: Boeing 767-300ER
Flown: Boeing 767-300ER
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On board Icelandair Saga Business Class:

We boarded through door 1 L and had a right turn immediately into the Iceland Air Saga Business Class cabin.

Icelandair Saga Class is set up in a 2-1-2 configuration on their Boeing 767-300ER. Icelandair operates two of these aircraft, having been added to the fleet in the year 2016.

It’s a much more spacious feeling Icelandair cabin, than compared to on their Boeing 757. The primary difference between the two is the addition of a single centre row of seating.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Boeing 767-300 ER
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Boeing 767-300 ER

While the Icelandair Saga Business Class seats aren’t a fully flat version, they are reasonably comfortable for a 5 – 6 hour flight and probably serve the bulk of what is needed for Icelandair’s current travels. They are a little better than what you’d expect on a Premium Economy seat on a mainline carrier and offer a little more shoulder room.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Boeing 767-300 ER

The Icelandair Boeing 767-300ER Cabin is made more spacious with smaller overhead bins in the centre row. Most of the larger overhead storage bins are on the outer seats.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Boeing 767-300 ER
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Boeing 767-300 ER

We found our way to Icelandair Saga Class seats 3D and 3F. These seats were almost in the middle of a five row cabin, and provided a nice balance of not being too close to the front, and not being at the back in the galley beyond row five. The Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class cabin is limited to 25 recliner seats, so it’s a pretty intimate experience.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Boeing 767-300 ER
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Boeing 767-300 ER

When seated in the seats themselves, the seats are fairly compact. You won’t get the same experience as a reverse herringbone business class seat that offers ample work space and space to relax. Storage is really limited to the seat back pocket in front of you, and there are no other compartments to charge phones or other devices.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Boeing 767-300 ER
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Boeing 767-300 ER

Despite not having storage space, the seats do offer individual seat power. As there is no direct to USB charging mechanism, I would end up fishing out my iPhone North American Plug in order to charge my iPhone while we headed overseas.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – In Seat Power

The seats also offer the proprietary two pin headphone connectors which were located underneath the pull out table tray in the armrest.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Two Pin Headphones

The Icelandair Boeing 767-200’s are older aircraft. As a result, we didn’t have any individual air nozzles above us. This made for a bit of a hotter journey, and it’s a feature that I really miss when it’s not there.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Boeing 767-300 ER – No Personal Air Nozzles

On our seat when we arrived was a blanket, pillow and Iceland spring water. The Iceland Spring Water was actually chilled and cold when I arrived to the seat; something unusual for water left on the seat.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Pre Departure Iceland Waters
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Pre-Departure Services:

As we settled in, a pre-departure beverage of sparkling wine was made available from a tray in a plastic cup. Keen to get underway, MrsWT73 went to go get a refill on the pre-departure beverage and was turned down with the guidance that she’d get more “later”.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Pre-Departure Sparkling (one only)

While we were waiting for the flight to get underway, we were also presented with Icelandair branded noise cancelling headphones. The headphones fit into the two pin holes located in the arm rest.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Noise Cancelling Headphones
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Noise Cancelling Headphones

The Amenity Kits: Hanns Dottir Branded

We were also presented with an amenity kit. While Icelandair can get the reputation as being a bit of a low cost carrier, it’s nice that they still offer an amenity kit for a trans-continental flight of over seven hours in duration.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Amenity Kits

The amenity kits were Hanns Dottir branded, having dropped their partnership with Blue Lagoon from the last time we travelled with Icelandair. The kits contained Hanns Dottir lip balm, personal mist and hand lotion. A tooth brush / toothpaste, ear plugs and eye mask was also found inside the amenity kit bags.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Amenity Kits
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Departing Seattle Tacoma International Airport:

We got underway departing Seattle Tacoma International Airport. We had a great view of the new arrivals facility at Seattle Tacoma. We passed by an Emirates Boeing 777-200 as we headed out for a take off on Runway 14.

Views Departing Seattle – Tacoma International Airport
Views Departing Seattle – Tacoma International Airport

Unusually, with no waits at Sea – Tac International Airport, we were underway and headed off to Iceland under sunny Seattle skies.

Views Departing Seattle – Tacoma International Airport – Runway 14
Views Departing Seattle – Tacoma International Airport

In Flight Entertainment:

As we got underway, I looked at the in flight entertainment options. The Icelandair in flight entertainment system consisted of a monitor in the seat back in front. The monitor was lightly adjustable in case of a seat recline.

The system had been upgraded from our last visit and contained about seventy movies and television shows; an upgrade from the previous version that consisted of only about thirty movies.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Advanced Video on Demand
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Route Map

After we had gotten to near cruise altitude, there was only seven hours left into the flight.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Route Information
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Route Map

While there were more movies on the system than in the previous generation, I’d find that a regular traveller on Iceland air might tire of the limited selection quite quickly. Most of the major international airline players have a substantially greater selection, so you’ll have to settle for what you’ve got while flying Icelandair.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Advanced Video on Demand
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Advanced Video on Demand

In Flight Wifi Internet:

Icelandair also featured in flight wifi internet available. The service was available for 12€ for the flight, or on a complimentary basis for Saga Business Class Passengers.

Perhaps a bit irritatingly, the system required a different URL to connect, dependent on the version of aircraft that you were flying on. I would end up discovering a QR code located within the entertainment system. A scan of the QR code would end up linking you to the correct URL.

Unfortunately, the speeds were exceptionally slow. It was too slow to really upload any posts or photographs to social media, although it was perfectly fine for downloading the latest text news on CNN or other news media apps.

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Food and Beverage:

Once we were airborne, the crew passed out the dinner menus. Icelandair still offers a printed menu, which adds to a nice touch for minimal effort.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Dinner and Drink Menu

The Icelandair dinner menu only offers two options; neither one is vegetarian. If you need a vegetarian meal, you’d have to order it in advance as a special meal.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Dinner and Drink Menu

The wine list was also presented. It offered an old world european centric wine list, along with a surprise red from Argentina. Overall, we had no complaints about the wine list.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Dinner and Drink Menu
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Dinner and Drink Menu

One of the more unique features of Icelandair are their collection of Gin and Tonics. Icelandair offers a variety of no less than six Gin and Tonic’s, that are all served in individual portioned containers.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Dinner and Drink Menu
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Dinner and Drink Menu

If the wine and Gin weren’t enough, there were also Icelandic Gull Beers available, along with Espresso Martini’s.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Dinner and Drink Menu

Rounding out the menu presentation, a series of salty and sweet snacks were also listed on the menu.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Dinner and Drink Menu
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The Meal: A Full Dinner

As we climbed to cruise altitude, the supper service started with a beverage cocktail service. I enjoyed an Olafsson Icelandinc Gin with Franklin and Sons Natural Light Tonic water, accompanied with lemon and crisp crackers that appeared to be off menu.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Pre Supper Cocktail Beverage and Snack

The pre – supper cocktail was served and enjoyed along side views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains located north of Edmonton. I had the opportunity to do a little glacier spotting at sunset.

Views from the Wing over the Canadian Rockies
Views from the Wing over the Canadian Rockies

Dinner was served at about 90 minutes in to the flight. I was really happy that I had a large meal earlier at 13 Coins Sea Tac and snacked a little in The Club at SEA “S” Concourse Lounge.

My dinner selection was a prosciutto with melon starter, along with beef, mashed potatoes and asparagus and carrots. I paired this with the Cerro Anon Grand Reserva Temparillo Rioja red wine from Spain. The dessert items was a cheese cake presented all at once on a tray. I appreciated that everything was served all together since the flight itself was so short.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Dining
Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Dining – Beef, mashed potatoes and asparagus and carrots.

After I enjoyed supper, the crew brought around a small box of chocolates. This paired well with the left over Rioja Wine. I settled into the balance of Top Gun Maverick; still a great movie the second time around.

Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class – Chocolate Service

After everything was cleared away, I settled into relax mode into the seat. The Icelandair Saga Business Class seat itself is pretty compact; especially when it’s reclined in front of you. As I indicated earlier, it was more like a premium economy or a domestic first class product. For the price paid, I couldn’t complain. I did mange to get a little sleep in the light recline of the business class barca lounger seat.

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The Second Service: A Light Breakfast

At about 80 minutes prior to landing, we had a second service. We received a small plate of Cut fruit (melon and cantaloupe) along with a small ham and cheese bunwich with European cheese.

Icenlandair Saga Premium Business Class – Second Service

The second service weent down quickly and was quite tasty. 

Approaching Iceland

Arriving into Reykjavík Keflavik Iceland:

We had no waits for landing at Keflavik International Airport. We landed about ten minutes behind schedule at a dark Keflavik International Airport at a Gate. With no bus gate, this was great news.

Arriving into a Dark Keflavik International Airport

As Icelandair Saga Business Class travellers, we were among the first off the plane. Having been through Keflavik International Airport before, and been amazed at the immigration queues, we headed straight for immigration ahead of our 150 new travelling friends.

Getting Stuck in Keflavik International Airport Immigration Lines

Unfortunately, the “first off” strategy did not work for us. We had a line of about 250 people ahead of us queuing for immigration to get into the EU. The line was primarily for all those international passports. Those travelling on EU passports could clear using automated kiosks.

Getting Stuck in Keflavik’s International Airport Immigration Lines

After we had gotten through the immigration queue, our ninety minute connection had pretty much evaporated. There was no time for the Icelandair Saga Business Lounge Keflavik with only seven minutes to spare before boarding of our Icelandair Saga Premium Business Class Reykjavík – Paris flight. I had time for a quick washroom break before heading off to Gate C28 for our next leg.

My frequent flier points for this Icelandair flight successfully credited to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan twelve days after the flight. While it wasn’t the fastest credit, it posted without any intervention.

The Bottom Line: Icelandair Saga Class

Icelandair offered a cost competitive way to get over to Europe in a reasonable amount of comfort. While the business class seats aren’t state of the art, we did have access to the usual amenity in business class; additional luggage allowance, access to a lounge at the departure airport and in Iceland, a full meal along with a complimentary beverage and bar service.

While you won’t ever confuse Icelandair business class seats for a fully flat business class product in a major international airline alliance, it’s a reasonable way to get over to Europe, assuming the price is right.


If you’ve flown Icelandair Saga Business Class, did the lounger seating detract from your experience ?

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The Seattle Tacoma International Airport has a high volume of travellers that pass through it’s doors resulting in a need for premium airline lounge space. The Club at SEA “S” Concourse recently moved from its old location into space that was vacated by the Delta Sky Club “S” Concourse. How would The Club at SEA personalize their new lounge space and make it their own? Read on to find out…


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