In a continuing effort to “up their game” and enhance their international Business Class experience, Turkish Airlines unveiled their new Arrivals Lounge at Istanbul Ataturk Airport last week. The new Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge is located in the arrivals hall and will be a great addition to the collection of Turkish Airlines lounges. The Arrivals Lounge will be open from 0500 AM to 1230 PM. It has 38 seats and provides a comfortable ambiance for passengers to relax and refresh from their flight. Amenities will include shower facilities, rest areas, food catered by DO & CO (probably the best in the industry), WiFi and dedicated staff for clothes pressing and ironing services.
The Arrivals Lounge is open to all passengers on Business Class tickets or those having Elite Plus Membership. It will not be available to Star Alliance Gold or Miles and Smiles members and eligible passengers are not permitted to bring a guest.
Now, it’s kind of a small lounge so I get why they are being so restrictive on the entry. Nobody wants to pay for the highest level of service and then be cramped in a small lounge where everyone can get in. I get it. But what disappoints me about this lounge the most, are the hours. According to THY, the lounge was only intended for passengers arriving in the early morning hours who are unable to check into most hotels. Looks like they took their cue from United Airlines and their SFO Arrivals Lounge.
Let me explain for the Americans. Turkish Airlines serves 21 airports in the continental United States. Most of the airports only have one TK flight per day except for JFK (three flights), SFO (five flights), BOS (six flights) and ATL (three flights). So guess how many flights from the US arrive in IST in time to take advantage of this lounge? Three. Yup, that’s it. Just three. Clearly this was not targeted for American passengers, which is a bummer because Turkish Airlines is one of my favorite airlines and I wished they did more to promote themselves to the US market.
In case you were wondering which flights landed in IST in time, your choices are TK4 and TK2 from JFK, landing in IST at 0540 AM and 1140 AM, and TK8506 (operated by Luthansa, connecting in FRA) from BOS, landing in IST at 1125 AM. But if you really think about it, only one of those flights offers enough time to even remotely enjoy the lounge (TK4). The other two leave you with less than an hour. That’s barely enough time to get off the plane, much less do anything else.
If one of our readers is lucky enough to experience this lounge, we would love to hear your feedback! Thanks.