Why I Still Don’t Like the Turkish Lounge in IST

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Turkish Lounge IST is part of the Iraq Homecoming Trip Report.


I flew Turkish 8 times as part of my RTW ticket (see 25,000 Mile RTW Trip Including Iraq Booked!). While flying direct is the most optimal way to book such a ticket, I had no choice but to transit in Istanbul over and over, and over, and over again (see Vilnius to IST: Turkish Flight Review 1 out of 8). Accordingly, I went to the Turkish business class lounge many times.

I have already written a thorough review of the Turkish business class lounge in IST, both the old one which I enjoyed (see Turkish Airlines Business Class: Where Costco Meets Chuck E. Cheese) and the new one which is not as good (see New Turkish Airlines Lounge Review: I Miss Chuck E. Cheese). Rather than take the same pictures, I would like to share why I still do not like this lounge:

  1. There is no liquor, only beer and wine.

    Efes is the worst beer in the world.
  2. The golf balls are nerf.

    Where are my noodles?
  3. The Wi-Fi is terribly slow and requires going to a machine to print out a password. With such ‘exclusivity’, I would expect my web surfing to be flawless.
  4. The food break at night still happens, leaving passengers with no food.

    The food is great, if you arrive when there is food.
  5. The beds are reserved for a select few.
  6. The seating situation is even rougher than before. People are scoping out seats itching for someone to leave so they can swoop in and rest. The couches are worn out from the traffic.
  7. There is also a battle for charging ports as there are not enough outlets.
  8. The place is noisy. Given the layout, guests are on top of each other. Here, more than any other lounge, I have found people using Facetime without headphones.
  9. The shower rules are next to impossible to secure. I have yet to qualify for a shower.
  10. The chai is always empty or brewing.
  11. The staff is not friendly, especially the barista.

    The barista should have more Turkish coffee.
  12. The gates are far, far away.

    2:05AM to Baghdad, better get going now.

Overall

The Turkish business class lounge in Istanbul is a big Sam’s club bus station with no personality.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I was just there last week. In general, not too impressed with the new IST terminal. One huge building that requires a massive amount of walking between gates. The lounge was ok, but not that great. And the terminal is quite far from the historic city.

  2. Agree with most, but not all – everyone qualifies for a shower, it just takes ages to be assigned one. The barista that served me when I was there was nice, so I guess unfriendly service isn’t global (though most people are fairly aloof, presumably due to huge passenger volumes over long hours). Yes to no liquor, but at least the Turkish wine is decent. Yes to seats and noise, and the WiFi wasn’t too bad (despite being super crowded) during my few visits. Also when’s the food break? Food seemed to still be going round at 1-2 AM before my flight.

    • Updated the shower info. Thank you for sharing. I haven’t tried in so long to get a shower because of past failures.

      I added another complaint: lack of charging ports.

      And food: I was told different things different times: Post 10PM, more than once, there was no hot food. There was only the packaged hummus and salad.

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