Turkish Airlines Business Class Review
From my traveling experience, I have boarded a lot of flights from various carriers. Most of my flights are long-haul, traveling from the UK to Malaysia. I started flying with Turkish Airlines since 2012, since then, Istanbul has been one of my favorite cities and I started to become Turkish Airlines frequent flyer – Miles & Smiles.
There are four different types of membership, for a start, everyone will be given the Classics red card, and then with enough points, it will be upgraded to Classics Plus (silver), Elite (Gold) and Elite Plus (Black). The interesting thing about this membership is you could also collect the air miles if you fly with any other carrier that belongs to the Star Alliances. So, for example, if you fly with Thai Airways or Aegean Airlines (Greece) you can still deposit the collected miles into Miles&Smiles card. I started with classics membership, then I slowly collect my miles until one day I reached about 50,000 miles. Then, of course, it got interesting!
How to get upgraded to Business Class
One of the easiest and guaranteed ways to get upgraded to Business Class is by using the airlines’ frequent air miles. Most airlines have their own frequent flyer program and a number of miles required to get an upgrade differ from each routes depending on the distance of the flight.
I booked an economy ticket from Manchester to Kuala Lumpur, and as usual, I booked it through Expedia.com. It was a non-direct flight with an 8-hour transit in Istanbul. At the Manchester Airport, I tried to talk to the Turkish Airlines ground staff about upgrading my economy ticket to business by using my miles. I know I have enough miles to do it. At least for the first leg of the flight; MAN – IST.
Unfortunately, the staff declined my request and stated that I should have done it prior to the check-in process by using their website. I was quite disappointed. I never knew the process, but at least I learned something new that day. So for you that want to upgrade your flight with your air miles, please check the airlines’ policy prior to check in process.
However, I still got an extra luggage allowance for my Classics Plus card. It was a 20kg extra luggage. As this was my last flight from Manchester after four years study in the UK, at least I benefited a lot from that extra 20kg. I managed to bring a lot of stuff back to Malaysia. I also found that the ground staff was so nice, she had also advised me to try talking to the Miles & Smiles officers about getting the upgrade once I reached Istanbul. So yeah, of course, I did it!
My flight from Manchester to Istanbul was pretty nice, but still, it was quite an uneventful journey. Their foods were awesome as usual. The hospitality never fails to impress me, the entertainment provided was ok, but I was still thinking about getting the upgrade. I will definitely want to use my miles for the free upgrade. It is the only obvious way to be upgraded to the business class without having to beg to the airlines.
So, after about 5 hours, I finally reached Istanbul, and as usual, I made full use of my time in Istanbul. I was longing for their famous sour yogurt drink – Ayran. I was also dying to savor the Turkish specialties – Çai and Knafeh.
What is Knafeh?
Knafeh is a Levantine dessert, that is so popular in the Levant region; Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon also part of Turkey. It is a cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup, that is said rooted back to the former Ottoman Empire. It is a very delicious dessert.
Turkish Airlines Business Class Experience
So, I made my way back to the airport, with a fairly full stomach. That Knafeh and also another Tukish dish – İskender kebap made my trip complete, at least for this time. At the airport, prior to passing through the security and border officers, I managed to drop by the Miles & Smiles counter and made the request to upgrade my flight. To my surprise, the officers were quite rude. I had no idea, maybe because they did not understand English and because I did not know Turkish, they treated me quite badly. However, one of the officers asked me to go through the border as usual and drop by the business class lounge. I followed her advice. I thought it was impossible. Feeling confused and a bit irritated, I went to the business class lounge.
I was very fortunate that day, the receptionist of the lounge granted me the free upgrade. He did not deduct my miles, nor that he asked me to pay for it. Finally, all the hassles worth it. He issued me a new boarding pass, and I was given the entry to the business class lounge. I was on my cloud nine! I will finally board a business class flight without any extra cost! You got to be kidding me.
Of course, when you board on a business class flight, you will be able to hop on the priority boarding. As I entered the plane, I was greeted by the flight crews and chef, ushered to my seat, and offered the welcome drink.
Immediately after that, the chef of the flight presented us with the menu, explained the dishes and requested us to make the order for the dinner and breakfast (at the end of the 10-hour flight). This made the whole experience worth it as I can personalize my meals.
Turkish Airlines Meals
One of the reasons why I always preferred Turkish Airline is because they served very high-quality foods. They break the stigma that airline meals are bad. I had experience eating a stone-cold sandwich in another carrier that caused me having diarrhea for 3 days. It was a nightmare. I understand how bad airline meals could be. However, believe me when I say, Turkish Airlines meals are great. Obviously, I was very excited for having this upgrade, just to experience their meals in business class.
All in all, after having some obstacles of getting the upgrade, it was a very worthy experience. Especially for getting this free upgrade. It is not every day that I will be able to experience flying in business class. Without any doubt, the Turkish Airline lounge in Istanbul, its in-flight dining options and the overall experience really worth every penny (if you have to pay for it). Plus, if you up for a long-haul flight, having transit in Istanbul is also a very good way to spend your time. Therefore, I highly recommend Turkish Airline to every traveler out there.