I hopped on the hotel shuttle and arrived at the airport about two hours before my flight was due to depart. In addition to the standard airport security checkpoints, they actually had an additional screening area right where you walked through the front door of the airport.
After check-in, I made my way over to experience the grandeur of the Turkish Airlines Lounge.
Turkish Airlines Lounge, Istanbul
Once inside the lounge, you’re greeted by a massive library with a pool table front and center. This place was incredible. Instead of just one massive seating area, the lounge was separated into multiple rooms spread between two floors. It had to be the largest lounge I’ve ever visited.
Without further delay, I made my way over to one of the coffee stations to begin my breakfast.
Just like miniature Starbucks, they had these stations spread throughout the lounge, so there was never a crowd or a line to grab a cup of joe. They also had food stations spread throughout the lounge as well to prevent crowding. The paninis were fantastic.
After sampling some of the breakfast foods, I went ahead and explored the rest of the lounge.
You could spend hours here and never run out of things to keep you occupied. They had a player piano, a game area with a slot car track and a virtual driving range, and a TV room, where you could grab a set of headphones and tune them to the channel you’re watching.
They were even nice enough to provide charging lockers for your cell phone.
After checking everything out, I went ahead and grabbed another bite to eat.
I definitely had to try the honey. I don’t think it really gets fresher than this!
I was sad that I couldn’t try all the desserts. There were just too many. It was like being in the Capitol in the Hunger Games series.
If you wanted something to drink, they pretty much had that covered too.
The lounge was truly magnificent. Tons of space, lots of places to sit and relax, and lots of things to keep you occupied during a layover.
Although Turkey itself wasn’t my favorite country I’ve visited, I’d gladly connect at the airport again just to make it back to the lounge.
Off to Naples!
Turkish Airlines flight 1879
IST [Istanbul] to NAP [Naples]
October 21, 2017
Depart: 8:30 AM
Arrive: 9:45 AM
I made it over to the gate on the lower level, where we boarded buses to take us to the plane.
It probably took at least fifteen minutes to circle around the entire airport to the plane. I certainly wasn’t complaining though, as I loved taking in all the sights along the way.
After boarding and getting settled in, the crew came around with a tray of pre-departure beverages and menus for our meal. Amazingly, out of the sixteen seats up front, only five were filled for the flight.
Seriously, try the orange juice. It had to have been freshly squeezed that morning.
After a long taxi (this plane must have been parked another city over), we were in the air.
For breakfast, Turkish Airlines once again didn’t disappoint. The meal started with more orange juice, fruit salad, and some Turkish specialties. For the entree, I decided to go with the Gözleme, a grilled flat pastry stuffed with cheese.
The meal was fantastic, as I’d expected. Do & Co really did a great job with these menus.
After finishing up, I went ahead and ordered an alcoholic beverage. Just as before, I’m not really sure they understood my request, as I just got orange juice with no liquor.
To keep it simple, I just went with some champagne after that. 🙂
I was happy to see that they had the airshow running for almost the entire journey. Between that and gazing out the window, I was fully entertained for the only two hour flight.
Before landing, the crew came around to clear any remaining glassware and offer us some roasted hazelnuts.
After touching down and pulling up right next to the airport, all that was left was to clear immigration.
My second Turkish Airlines flight was equally as good as the first. I’d certainly recommend them if you’re flying a premium cabin throughout Europe, as I don’t think I’ve ever had a better short-haul flight with any other airline.