Most people go away, making all the plans about where to stay and what to do, but they miss a massive opportunity to make any trip better, they overlook the flight. The flight has to be what makes any trip a success or failure. For example getting on a plane and turning right instead of left is everyone’s idea of a ‘dream flight’ but it can so easily be made a reality.
If we think about this for a second, we can spend thousands on a trip, great location, brilliant hotel and saving for spending money so we can relax and enjoy ourselves but the journey there is often ignored. By the time we have our week or two in the sun, we get back on the plane to come back to reality. Spending 8+ hours in a cramped seat is not anyone’s idea of a relaxing time, unless we have room to stretch out it gets too much. All that relaxing and money spent can go to waste in one flight. It can mean coming back home in pain and ruin the money already spent on relaxing.
We discovered this issue a few years ago and now do all we can make sure we do not ruin any trip, by booking business class flights.
But is it expensive?
First of all not all flights need an upgrade, unless anyone can afford it. Business class is not really needed on flights up to about 3 hours, it is nice but we have not really felt the benefits on shorter haul. However that said, when cost is everything in today’s society, we have to weigh up value for money as well as the basic cost of a flight.
If cost was everything, in life we would all be driving the cheapest possible car around, not enjoying the ride and having no cup holders. Flying has to be approached the exact same way, you travel in the comfort you can afford, however we all know that some cars offer better value for money than others.
We had a trip planned to Singapore (check out our other review here) and knew how long the flight was going to be, so we started our search early, minimum 6 months before, wanting to get business class seats. We found a great deal (not much more per person than premium economy on other airlines) so we had to grab the seats.
We got seats with an airline that is not that well known in the UK, Turkish Airlines and we got more than we ever expected.
What do you get?
As with any business class flights there are certain perks that are expected and others that can easily be missed but they all add up to so much, especially when we stress free and want to start to relax.
Getting to the airport is all down to how you want to get there (we drive and do a meet and greet, to set things off on the right foot) then wander up to the check in desks. Now this is the first thing that stands things apart for business, no queue! Straight to the desk using the Business lane.
A smile by Turkish Airlines agent and bags taken then off to the next unknown secret, the fast track security check. No big lines and again straight through. The stress is already beginning to melt away.
Now what to do with the few hours before the flight, that’s right the complimentary lounge where drinks, coffee and snacks are all included. There really is no better way to wait for a flight than in an airport lounge. All in the price of your ticket.
Then the big event, the short walk to the gate and priority boarding.
This is where the true value of an upgrade is measured. Imagine getting on the plane and turning right and not left. We have all done it trying to catch a glance at how the other half live but trying to look without showing too much interest.
Turkish Airlines Business class has spacious, comfortable and well equipped seating areas. Being that we had a long flight and had a change at Istanbul, we got to sample 2 types of aircraft in business.
The smaller plane had a 2×2 seating set up rather than a 3×3 in economy, meaning bags of room as well as ample leg room. What this meant was when the person in front leans back in their seat it does not intrude into your area. With a TV per seat tucked away in the armrest of the chair, there is plenty to do and air stewards plentiful means a relaxing and peaceful trip.
The second leg, with the larger aircraft have fully flat seats/beds again with more than enough entertainment for the entire flight. The beds lay flat and the air crew happily bring out bedding and pillows so a good sleep can be had. This might all sound too good to be true, but check the photos of all that leg room. The controls for the seats also had a massage button, where the seat massages you as you sit watching the latest films and shows, with a set of noise cancelling headphones supplied by the crew.
These seats really are a pure joy to sit in and to enjoy a good movie whilst being looked after or stretched out having a snooze.
Most people do not look forward to food on a plane, heated up tubs of gloop that fill a gap, however Turkish Airlines have their own chef on board for Business class, this is not a joke. The food we had was nothing short of restaurant quality, tasty, fresh and all prepared to high standards served on china plates.
One of the best reasons to fly with Turkish airlines is the choice of food. The menus handed around had some great selections and choosing the Turkish options was a great choice. Something we would never have tried, with peppers, dips, cheeses and many other mixes gave us hours of conversation about how good the food was.
Our best meal was the steak, cooked to perfection, tender, tasty and effortless to cut. Considering this was all cooked on board, with the presentation and flavours though out the meal has to be commended.
We have to make a special homage to our stop over. In all our trips and flights we have never been so impressed with an airport lounge. The Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul is nothing other than amazing. Our stop over was for 3 and a half hours and being business class, we had use of the lounge.
Making our way through the airport we found the entrance, nothing special. A warm greeting, a check of our tickets and then allowed through the barrier to what what had us saying, “there’s more…!?”
It felt like the entire end of the airport was just this one lounge, it is huge. There must be about 10 different feeding stations from pizza to Japanese (these were the ones we found). Drinks cabinets everywhere and large comfy seating areas with plenty of seats. Free wi-fi, golf driving range (in a net) a large scalextric racing track, TV’s and more.
At the end of the first level, where the 4 levels meet and mix is an impressive set of stairs with an amazing surround had us standing and admiring the lounge.
The lounge is something else and without the business class flights we would have never have had the opportunity to explore it. For those that go through the airport and never get to experience this lounge, it is a shame that it got missed.
People may think that business class is excessive, however booking with Turkish airlines it was an amazing treat and to those that have never been invited to sit on a sofa at a check in desk in Singapore whilst waiting to check in their bags, it is a wonderful experience.
We tell people not to knock the cost as the value for money of getting off the flight at the other end, refreshed, relaxed and ready to go is worth every penny and should be part of the cost to a relaxing holiday or trip.
We would like to thank Turkish airlines for their hospitality and congratulate them on their lounge and their in flight food.