Soaring in Style: Turkish Airlines Business Class — A Class Apart

I have had the fortune of travelling internationally on multiple airlines. For me, Turkish Airlines represents the gold standard in long-haul flying, and their flights from Montreal or Toronto, Canada, to Istanbul are symbols of excellence and opulence, particularly in their Business Class offerings. Turkish Airlines transforms the ordinary ‘cross-the-pond’ journey from something you need to do to get there into an extraordinary experience, making the flight itself a memorable part of your travel adventure.

Flying business class with Turkish Airlines (TA) provides access to the Air Canada business class lounges at Montreal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport or Toronto Pearson International Airport. These lounges are great for pre-flight relaxation, offering complimentary dining options, Wi-Fi, beverages, and comfortable lounge-style seating. However, the Turkish Airlines business lounge in Istanbul is on a whole other service and offering level compared to the ones you’ll find in Canada.

Renowned as one of the best airport lounges globally, this opulent space redefines the pre-flight experience. From the moment you step through the doors, a harmonious blend of contemporary design and traditional Turkish hospitality greets you. The TA Istanbul lounge offers a variety of business-class services, including private sleeping quarters, shower facilities, and an extensive selection of incredible gourmet cuisine. Add to this the state-of-the-art meeting rooms equipped with cutting-edge technology and friendly, professional and courteous staff, and you’re guaranteed to be in a very comfortable and relaxed state of mind before you head to the gate for your flight.

Onboard Elegance: The Business Class Cabin

Once on board, the transition to comfort continues seamlessly. What truly sets Turkish Airlines Business Class apart is the exceptional level of service provided by the onboard crew. Renowned for their warmth and attentiveness, the flight attendants ensure that every passenger’s needs are met with grace and efficiency, creating an atmosphere of unparalleled comfort and relaxation.

Turkish Airlines Business Class cabins feature spacious seating arrangements that effortlessly convert into fully flat beds. The carefully designed layout ensures privacy and complete comfort for long flights.

The culinary journey on Turkish Airlines begins as you settle in. Stewards offer passengers a choice of a refreshing lemon or melon drink or water before taking off. You are handed amenity kits featuring high-quality skincare products, along with plush bedding and noise-cancelling headphones, which contribute to a restful and rejuvenating travel experience.

Once in the air, Business Class passengers are offered a cocktail or other drinks while being treated to an extensive menu curated by world-class chefs that showcase the best of Turkish and international cuisines. From delectable appetizers to mouthwatering main courses and decadent desserts, every dish is a celebration of flavour that is meticulously prepared and served with a subdued flair. Meals are paired with wines, or you can select from a variety of beer and spirits. The dessert tray is beyond a Turkish Delight with a variety of sweet options. Coffee and tea are served along with nightcaps. Stewards assist passengers with bedding and adjust seats for sleeping, comfort, reading, or watching a movie.

Exceptional In-Flight Entertainment

TA has an extensive selection of in-flight entertainment offerings, including a  diverse selection of movies, TV shows, music, and games. The intuitive interface and high-definition screens are easy to navigate and provide a truly immersive experience. I loved the fact that I had Wi-Fi and was able to comfortably knock off several hours of work over the course of the flight.

Turkish Airlines’ commitment to excellence in service and renowned Turkish hospitality make their Business Class service one of the world’s best. If you want to start and end your trip on a high note, this is the only way to fly!

Recommended Destinations and Helpful Information

Türkiye is a travel paradise in the Mediterranean that offers a rich tapestry of cultural heritage sites, stunning cities, and a culinary adventure. With its ancient treasures, unique destinations, and unparalleled cuisine, Türkiye is now easier to discover than ever before. Canadians with regular passports do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days every 180 days when travelling to Türkiye for tourism purposes.

ABOVE: The Grand Bazaar is an ancient shopping mall—a must-see in Istanbul.

A journey in the country begins in the heart of it all, İstanbul, an enchanting city where ancient history meets modern allure. The metropolis, included in Travel + Leisure’s (T+L) “The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024” list, stands out as ‘one of the must-visit cities’ with its historical landmarks, unique architecture, vibrant culture and art scene and a wide range of shopping opportunities. From stylish, Michelin-starred restaurants to local eateries serving traditional delights and street foods, the gastronomic journey in İstanbul is also a feast for the senses.

ABOVE: Bordrum is one of the most glamorous destinations in the Mediterranean and home to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Beyond İstanbul, coastal Aegean charms like İzmir and Bodrum invite visitors to savour the good life. İzmir, which took place on renowned travel guide Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2024” list, mesmerizes with its cultural heritage, pristine beaches, and spellbinding wine destinations. The Michelin restaurants of İzmir and its surroundings, including the charming district of Urla and the premier summer destination of Bodrum, promise unforgettable culinary experiences with authentic Turkish dishes against stunning Aegean vistas. Bodrum’s luxurious yet laid-back ambience unites with beautiful coves, golden sands, Blue Flag beaches and clear waters, offering unique experiences ranging from blue cruises to diving.

Year-Round Destinations

As travellers venture further, the allure of Antalya awaits on the Turkish Riviera, where ancient history seamlessly intertwines with modern luxury. Antalya is a year-round destination, especially ideal for solo and family trips on the Mediterranean coast. It offers a delightful escape during the winter months with its mild and temperate climate, perfect for strolls along the picturesque coastline or exploring the city’s rich historical sites. Türkiye, with its spellbinding UNESCO sites and diverse landscapes, also calls on visitors looking to experience a holiday that is utterly out of this world.

ABOVE: The limestone caves in Cappadocia were inhabited for centuries.

Cappadocia is the most enchanting spot to explore in Türkiye, with its unique formations of fairy chimneys, magnificent underground cities, rock-carved houses, churches, and monasteries, the remarkable experience of hot air balloon rides, and the fantastic cave hotels.

Besides, the country has recently added two new sites to the UNESCO list and witnessed numerous significant discoveries. One of the most crucial findings this year was the human and animal sculptures at Göbeklitepe and Karahantepe, in Şanlıurfa, in the South Eastern part of Türkiye. Whether visiting such ancient ruins and UNESCO sites, haggling in bustling markets, or simply relaxing on pristine beaches, Türkiye ensures an unforgettable experience for travellers, beckoning them to immerse themselves in its captivating blend of history, culture, and hospitality.

Photos: Resim Goster, TAG