Last year thepickytraveller flew Turkish Airlines between Istanbul and Tokyo to experience the famous sakura. While TK’s business class surely is a strong product in terms of food and CIP lounge, unfortunately the quality of service is erratic.
In a few years TK has widely expanded its route network and popularity among international carriers, offering good connections via Istanbul and competitive prices for J class. It was even voted world’s 4th best airline in 2015 by Skytrax, which sets the expectations quite high.
TK’s business class cabin is roomy, though privacy is not guaranteed (annoying 2-3-2 seat configuration in the B777, so be sure not to be assigned the middle seat…). Booking a seat on a TK flight is complicated as their online booking system for seats opens only a few months before the flight departs and won’t function for existing bookings… So if you buy your ticket online long time in advance, you won’t be able to reserve the seat and will have to call their customer service approximately 3 months before departure to do so. Not very convenient, especially as their customer service agents not always speak good English…
The quality of service onboard varies a lot and depends on who you are served by (as some flight attendants clearly meet the J class standards, others will treat you with cold politeness and detachment). TK’s strengths are food (clearly selected with care and flying chefs onboard the aircraft) and a state-of-the-art flagship lounge at Istanbul airport (big, efficient, impressive).
All in all Turkish Airlines business class is not a bad choice for your international journey, but it gives the feeling of an airline that expanded too rapidly and forgot to stay concentrated on the basics. However they offer good value and efficient routes. Let’s hope they improve some aspects of their service soon.