The crew come around with a lavish trolley of Turkish mezze and salad.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Review: Inaugural Istanbul-Miami Flight

Turkish Airlines recently launched its daily flights between Istanbul and Miami. The Turkish carrier, a Star Alliance member, returns to the Florida city after a gap of 14 years, since it stopped operations to Miami in 2001. I had the privilege of experiencing the Turkish Airlines Business Class product on the inaugural flight from Istanbul to Miami.
My six-hour flight from Mumbai to Istanbul was uneventful on TK 721, a 7am departure, operated on a Boeing 777-300ER. I spent most of the flight catching up on my sleep, so that I could stay alert to experience the inaugural Istanbul-Miami leg to the fullest.

I spent my three-hour transit at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport in what is easily Turkish Airlines’ crown jewel – The Business Class CIP Lounge. This massive lounge, spread across two levels is tucked away discreetly at one end of the busy terminal. The lounge features multiple seating and dining areas and boasts some of the best F&B options I have ever experienced at an international lounge. IMG_8257I settled down with some sparkling water, a demitasse of heady Turkish coffee and walked around checking out the live food counters — Salads, grills, pastas, Turkish street food favourites and the works. I recommend the Turkish pizza, and if you can brave the queues, it’s well worth the wait. IMG_6964

This lady walked around the lounge with her delightful cheese trolley.
This lady walked around the lounge with her delightful cheese trolley.
A few decadent pieces of gooey baklava later and it was time for me to board the inaugural flight to Miami
A few decadent pieces of gooey baklava later and it was time for me to board the inaugural flight to Miami

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The Istanbul-Miami flight TK 077 is operated on a Boeing 777-300ER, configured in three classes.

Business Class – 28 seats in a 2-2-2 layout
Comfort Class (Premium Economy) – 63 seats in s 2-3-2 layout (You guys might want to try Turkish’s Premium Economy, which is said to have the most comfortable seats in the market)
Economy Class – 246 seats in a comfy 3-3-3 layout.

A look at the Turkish Airlines Business Class seat, home for the next 12.5 hours. A very simple, elegant flat-bed seat, with a width of 22 inches and a pitch of 78 inches, USB port, power port, entertainment control panel, seat control panel, reading light and centre console.

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Here’s what the central row of seats looks like. Love the Turkish, geometric wall art in the cabin. IMG_6970

Fresh orange juice served as I settled into my seat.
Fresh orange juice served as I settled into my seat.
These comfy slippers are also provided.
These comfy slippers are also provided.
I switched seats for a short while to get this back-to-front view of the spacious cabin.
I switched seats for a short while to get this back-to-front view of the spacious cabin.
After a smooth take off, the menu, wine list and beverage list were distributed.
After a smooth take off, the menu, wine list and beverage list were distributed.
A look at the lunch menu on board today's flight.
A look at the lunch menu on board today’s flight.
The crew also distributed this chic amenity kit, branded Jaguar, containing lotion, lip balm, eye shades, socks, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste and earplugs. My iPad now fits perfectly into the black Jaguar pouch.
The crew also distributed this chic amenity kit, branded Jaguar, containing lotion, lip balm, eye shades, socks, comb, toothbrush, toothpaste and earplugs. My iPad now fits perfectly into the black Jaguar pouch.
I love the idea of distributing a pamphlet, showcasing the turndown service in a premium cabin on a flight. Turkish's turndown kit seems pretty impressive. I can't wait to try it out.
I love the idea of distributing a pamphlet, showcasing the turndown service in a premium cabin on a flight. Turkish’s turndown kit seems pretty impressive. I can’t wait to try it out.

Turkish Airlines Business Class offers the concept of a ‘Flying Chef’ on board some of its long-haul flights. There are two liveried-chiefs, toque et all, who come around, taking orders, prepare and dish out meals, in addition to the flight attendants. I think this idea adds a nice premium, bespoke touch to the Business Class experience.

It was lunch time and the crew, and chefs come into the cabin to take drink and meal orders.
It was lunch time and the crew, and chefs come into the cabin to take drink and meal orders.
As an aperitif, I choose champagne with sparkling water, which is served with warm nuts.
As an aperitif, I choose champagne with sparkling water, which is served with warm nuts.

Turkish Airlines is particularly proud of their food and beverage offering and this is evident in its main meal services in Business Class. The courses are elaborately laid out on trolleys and plated before the passenger with great finesse. There is a visible emphasis on fresh ingredients, using quality produce and maintaining a Turkish identity.

The meal service begins. There is no meal tray here, the table is entirely laid out before the passengers by the crew. Here is my table layout with cutlery, olive oil, spices, bread and butter. The electric tea candle adds a romantic touch.
The meal service begins. There is no meal tray here, the table is entirely laid out before the passengers by the crew. Here is my table layout with cutlery, olive oil, spices, bread and butter. The electric tea candle adds a romantic touch.
The chef brings out an amuse-bouche.
The chef brings out an amuse-bouche.
The crew rolls out an elaborate trolley of salads and Turkish mezzo
The crew rolls out an elaborate trolley of salads and Turkish mezzo
I like the idea of food being served from a trolley rather than on a tray. It makes for such a personalised experience.
I like the idea of food being served from a trolley rather than on a tray. It makes for such a personalised experience.
Using the inflight WiFi (Free for business class passengers, yipeee) I tracked my flight. We were somewhere over Hungary.
Using the inflight WiFi (Free for business class passengers, yipeee) I tracked my flight. We were somewhere over Hungary.
My main course arrived in the form of Turkish meat kebabs, served with pilaf.
My main course arrived in the form of Turkish meat kebabs, served with pilaf.
Dessert and fruit once again came on a trolley, with a wide selection of the famous Turkish pastries.
Dessert and fruit once again came on a trolley, with a wide selection of the famous Turkish pastries.
After dessert, I settled down, with a cup of green tea. I absolutely love how Turkish Airlines serves their tea and coffee. This silver plate and the silver lattice cup holder are exquisite.
After dessert, I settled down, with a cup of green tea, and a Colin Firth movie. I absolutely love how Turkish Airlines serves their tea and coffee. This silver plate and the silver lattice cup holder are exquisite.
The lights are dimmed and there's ten hours to go before we land into Miami.
The lights are dimmed and there’s ten hours to go before we land into Miami. (A left side view of the cabin). 
A quick espresso before landing into Miami.
A quick espresso before landing into Miami.

A small snack is served prior to landing into Miami. A little over 12 hours after taking off from Istanbul, we touched town at Miami International Airport, at around 8pm.
Here’s what I loved most about my Turkish Airlines Business Class experience: the lounge at Istanbul airport, the free WiFi and the excellent food and beverage service.

Watch this space for more premium travel updates and trip reports from Mumbai’s very own #avgeek.

Riaan’s Rating: 4/5

Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Miami flight operates daily with easy connections on their daily flights to Mumbai and Delhi.
www.turkishairlines.com

 

 

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