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. I 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.