Early this year, the new Istanbul airport was inaugurated and Turkish Airlines shifted their operations from Ataturk to their new home. The new airport is simply gorgeous. However, it is quite far from the city, and without any rail connectivity I am not sure how popular it is with the locals. For transit passengers that do not head to the city, its a perfect hub.
Turkish Airlines should have 3 lounges in the international terminal. But as of September 2019, only two of them are open – Miles & Smiles lounge and the Business lounge. Both are next to each other, next to the D gates, but the entrances to them are away from each other. This review is about the Turkish Airlines Business lounge.
The entrance to the Business lounge is next to D2 gate. If you follow the arrows to the D gates you will see it. There is a person next to the escalator checking your credentials and allowing you to go upstairs.
Once you arrive upstairs, there are a few automated gates where you can check into the lounge. If you have any problems, there are lounge attendants waiting to help you. Once you checkin, there is a HUGE screen welcoming you to the lounge.
After entrance, on the left there is a baggage storage area, computer terminals as well as concierge who helps you with sleeping rooms or showers. While I was there, no one was using the computer terminals – I found out the computers (IMacs) to be quite useful, as I needed to print something quickly and this was a great way to get it done. Once I arrived I immediately checked in with the concierge to arrange a shower for me. As it was morning period there was a short wait. I was given a beeper and asked to wait.
Less than 20 minutes the beeper rang and I headed to the shower. The shower was quite spacious and clean with nice amenities as well as bath robe included. After a long flight back from Cancun the warm shower was very much welcome. On this side of the lounge you will also find the sleeping rooms. I dont have a photo/info about them as I didnt use them this time. This is also the quiet side of the lounge and I am sure that if you use the sleeping rooms, you do not hear a lot of public noises.
The lounge itself is huge. On the other side of the entrance is the main food, drinks and entertainment options. The first sight is of a huge piano. Once you cross that you will see a lot of areas with food, drinks, and seating options. What I liked about the lounge is that each area is a bit different – thus you can choose to relax in a plush sofa or a nice upright chair to grab a quick bite or catchup with work.
There is also a nice kids playing area, with a small dummy airplane and a slide to go with it. There is also a pop corn machine to keep children entertained.
As was the case with the old TK lounge at Ataturk, in this lounge too, there are spectacular eating options. From fresh salads, dips & sauces, to live cooking stations – where food is cooked right in front of you. Just from the lounge you can understand that food is central to the Turkish culture. I am sure in a single trip you will not even try 10% of the options – you really need to visit this lounge multiple times to enjoy the food it offers.
It was early morning when I arrived and all I wanted was a nice fried eggs. I headed away from all the cooking stations and went to a live omelette stop. The guy there was making eggs as per request. I asked for a fried egg – over-easy and thats what I got. It was served along with nice potatoes and tomato!
As the lounge is on the top floor you get a nice view of the terminal below, while keeping all the noises away.
There is also a Art gallery within the lounge for the art buffs. Should keep you busy for some time atleast.
In conclusion, this is a fabulous lounge. I was there for a short amount of time and I am sure next time I fly Turkish I will take a longer layover just to be able to enjoy all the offerings.