As somebody who travels for a living, I’ve flown almost every major airline. But over the past few years, Travel Secrets has developed a special fondness for and friendship with Turkish Airlines. Every time we fly out of India to discover and cover a new land for the magazine, the experience is beautifully bookended by the comfort of flying Turkish.
Here’s what makes it my favourite airline in the world:
- The longest part of your flight is spent on the plane, and this is where your body craves deep relaxation. The best part about flying Turkish is the abundant legroom. The fixed ottoman lets you stretch out your feet and unwind. I like to play around with the seat control and adjust it to my comfort. Press the Massage button and your back is treated to gentle kneading while you recline. slide the screen back into its slot and push the button on your seat arm to recline into a fully horizontal bed. Curl up and catch up on sleep. It’s wonderful to wake up just before the plane begins its descent into Istanbul so you can freshen up with a steaming cup of coffee.
- I’ve never been a fan of eating heartily on a flight, but when they serve you such fluffy omelette and hot bread…well, I end up polishing off every last crumb! The Mezze platter that precedes lunch and dinner is composed of ingredients so fresh you can taste the sweetness of peppers and the fruity burst of extra virgin olive oil. Each grain of the tabbouleh is infused with flavour. The platter is served with a variety of hot breads. My tip: go for the one studded with seeds. It’s the best! Each time i savour the elegantly presented meals on board a Turkish flight, I make a mental note to emulate their plating skills once I’m back home. 3. The crew on Turkish flights present a cheerful, friendly countenance. They truly care about your comfort, going the extra mile to ensure you enjoy your meals and your flight. On a recent trip to Amsterdam, the chef on board went out of his way to serve me a luscious fruit platter, since I was fasting. Really, it’s these little touches that count!
- I don’t know about you, but I love watching movies among the clouds! Turkish Airlines offers a super-generous choice of movies, and one is spoilt for choice! Blockbusters, action flicks, drama, Turkish films and world cinema–only on this leg, I was a bit surprised to see fewer Hindi movies on the menu.
- More than 1000 guests can enjoy the Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge at any given time–and even when it is full, the sheer sense of space and quiet elegance never lets you feel cramped. My favourite thing to do is rather old-school; I take a seat beside the window downstairs, and read a newspaper or magazine while sipping freshly brewed coffee.
- The lounge is foodie haven, so you’re likelier to head straight for the food and drink, laid out on multiple islands across both levels of the lounge. The spread takes “spoilt for choice” to another level altogether! Vibrant salads composed of fresh, colourful veggies and luscious Turkish dips. The finest selection of tea, coffee, cakes and pastries. In-house chefs rolling out and filling up the region’s specialty, pide(pronounced pea-day), boat-shaped pizza-like tarts, only much more interesting to look at and delicious to taste! The fillings include spinach, Turkish peynir cheese, peppers and more. Read my complete review of this wondrous lounge here!
- The way they handle glitches. Very few of these ever happen, but if they do, the airline handles them with supreme grace. Twice, weather conditions forced me to spend the night in Istanbul, and the seamless hotel transfers and in-airport care actually made me thankful for the delay!