Flying on long haul flights can be an exhausting endeavour and usually require a couple of days recovery time, but do the perks of a business class flight really make much of a difference?
In January, I flew from Bangkok to Istanbul before a flight to Dublin with Turkish Airlines on their business class service.
Here are all the questions you may have about travelling on a business class flight answered.
Is the leg-room all it's cracked up to be?
The first thing that springs to mind when you think about flying business class is the leg room. I think having the extra space makes a massive difference to the comfort of your flight all round. The seats on the Turkish airlines flight to Istanbul fully extended into a 188cm bed.
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So after watching a movie and enjoying a three-course meal, I was able to fully extend the seat to lie flat and a plump pillow and blanket are complementary. This was the first time I’ve had a good night's sleep on a long flight.
Turkish airlines business class chairs also had a massage feature as well as the usual reading lamp and charging port. There were complimentary slippers and as I was at the front of the cabin, there was a storage cubby for shoes.
What are the perks?
Perhaps this is an understated perk of flying business class but being able to skip the queues and cut the waiting around that usually accompanies airplane travel was fantastic. From check-in, boarding, security checks and disembarking - everything ran so much smoother when compared to flying economy class. When I arrived in Dublin airport, I was the first one through immigration and my bag was one of the first to come around the carousel. The whole process from Thailand to Ireland was completely stress free.
Other perks included a complimentary amenity kit. It contained an eye mask, fluffy socks, moisturiser, face mist and a lip balm. All were very high quality, including the bag which was from fashion brand Coccinelle - it makes a great make up bag or small toiletry bag following your flight!
The cabin crew also handed out Denon noise-cancelling headphones at the start of flight which I slept in and kept out all of cabin noise for the night.
What is the food like?
At the beginning of the flight, business class passengers were given a menu with a choice of starter, main course and dinner options and the in-service chef came around to take our orders. Everything was prepared fresh by the chef on the flight. I ordered the prawns with glass noodle salad for the starter followed by rigatoni with parmesan and tomato sauce and a brownie with chocolate sauce for dessert. The food was of restaurant quality and was also served with proper, porcelain plates and cutlery, the table trays were covered with a table cloth which was a lovely touch.
Before landing in Istanbul, breakfast was served which included fresh fruit, a croissant or danish, cheeses and passengers had a choice between a mushroom and tomato omelette or a crepe with vanilla custard. The crepe was delicious. The airline offers a dine on-demand service, so if you would prefer to have your meals at a certain time, you can let the cabin crew know.
What is the business lounge like?
I had a two hour 45 minute layover in Istanbul before my flight to Dublin and had plenty of time to check out the Turkish Airlines flagship business class lounge. For particularly long layovers, there are 13 suites available for booking. There’s also 13 shower rooms.
I met with the concierge on arrival and used the shower facilities. The bathrooms were pristine and the service provided complementary shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion and towels.. Being able to shower and change into fresh clothes between flights on such a long journey was an incredible luxury and made a massive difference to how I felt on arrival in Dublin.
The lounge itself was beautiful, with plenty of space to relax. There are a variety of food stations with chefs making an assortment of fresh food including local Turkish delicacies like Simit, traditional Turkish bagels.
The whole area was spacious and relaxing, there’s even a child’s lay area, meeting rooms and other spaces attached to the main lounge. I enjoyed a Turkish coffee and some treats before my next flight.
Is it really worth it?
For long haul flights, business class is definitely worth the cost. Usually after long haul flights in economy, I need a day or two to catch up on sleep but being able to fully recline the seat, transforming my space into a bed and getting a proper sleep immensely helped with jet lag.
As the business class lounge in Istanbul had shower facilities available with everything from fresh towels and a hairdryer supplied, I was able to feel completely refreshed for the next leg of the journey.
A flight of this length would usually leave me feeling exhausted and craving my own bed but after flying business class I felt fully functional and ready to take on the day as normal. I think for anyone who doesn’t want to lose a day or two after their long haul flight - upgrading to a business class ticket is the way to go.
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