In the world of airline consolidation, mergers, and failures, it’s easy to argue that competition has suffered, and along with it customer service. That can often be an easy argument to make in the U.S.
Then there’s Turkish Airlines in the international airline world. Turkish is truly the quiet giant. But it’s not sleeping. They’re competitive. They want to be the best. It’s not just a numbers game (for example, most of you probably don’t know that Turkish flies to more destinations in the world than any other airline). For Turkish, it’s still a customer service game. No where is that more evident than in the massive business class airport lounge in Istanbul. This two-story lounge easily qualifies as not only the biggest, but the best airline lounge I’ve ever seen.
There are dozens of different food stations, from pizza, to ice cream, to baklava, bread and rice pudding, and strudel. Want a traditional Turkish sesame bagel? They bake them right in the lounge. There’s an entire table devoted just to olives and pasta. Then there are the Turkish dumplings. Want a steak or fresh fish? Just ask. I found some delicious vegetarian garlic noodles—I had seconds.
There are no small bags of peanuts in this lounge. There’s a whole station dedicated to nuts. Bars are everywhere, serving top shelf premium brands. Don’t want alcohol? Specialty teas and coffees are right there. Every conceivable soft drink brand and apricot, peach, apple, and other fruit juices are available. There’s not just one TV, but multiple screens showing nine programs simultaneously in numerous locations. Wireless is free—and fast.
Want to watch a movie? They have a theater, complete with a popcorn machine. Want to play pool? No problem. Practice your golf swing? Easy. Race small electric cars? You can. There are dozens of large screen Apple monitors and computers to use. Two player pianos offer classical tunes. Turkish Airlines boasts that this multi-level lounge is actually bigger than some airport terminals—and they are right.
Did I mention it’s an airline lounge? Now you actually have a compelling reason to get to the airport early!
For more information about airport lounges, check out:
- Secret Airport Lounge Access
- Apps That Can Get You Access Into Airline Lounges
- Accessing First Class Airline Lounges Without a Ticket
By Peter Greenberg for PeterGreenberg.com