Skip to content

Watch as TPG UK reviews Turkish Airlines in business and economy at the same time

May 28, 2020
4 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor’s note: The team at The Points Guy loves to travel, but now is not the time for unnecessary trips. Our team has temporarily ceased taking review trips and we are not publishing new flight or hotel reviews. While bringing our readers unbiased, detailed reviews of travel experiences is one of our core missions, now is not the time. We all love to travel and know you do too. So, to help keep you entertained — and maybe inspire you — we are publishing a video review that was filmed earlier this year. Hopefully, this will help you once we’re all ready to start booking trips again.

Earlier in 2020, Jean and I headed to the brand-new Istanbul Airport (IST) to check it out. On our way back to London Heathrow (LHR), we flew with Turkish Airlines to pit the experience of an economy passenger against a business-class passenger.

We flew on Turkish's long-haul-configured Airbus A330-200 on the relatively short hop.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

As with all flight reviews, we pay for our own travel. Check out our experience on board in the video review below:

Business class: Nicky Kelvin

TPG paid: £679 (about $837), which included a business-class leg from Beirut (BEY) to Istanbul (IST).

I was blown away by the experience at the new airport. The lounge was expansive and had an incredible variety of high-quality options. On board, the service was quick and friendly, the food was tasty and the seat was comfortable.

On the downside, because of the size of the new airport, taxi times can be incredibly long. The seat was great without a seatmate, but on a long flight with someone sleeping in the aisle seat next to you, you would have to climb over them to get out.

I was disappointed that although on a long haul aircraft, the Istanbul to London hop only includes short-haul service — both in terms of food and drinks and amenities. That being said, comparing this flatbed experience against the product an airline like British Airways operates on the same route, there is no comparison.

Finally, I was happy to earn 2,180 KrisFlyer miles to put towards my next Singapore Suites flight!. Based on TPG's most recent valuations, those KrisFlyer miles are worth $28.

Read more: Turkish delight: A review of Turkish Airlines’ 787-9 in business class

Photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy
(Photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy)
Photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy
(Photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy)

Economy class: Jean Arnas

TPG paid: £115 (about $142)

Jean also found the airport experience to be amazing.

On board, the service was fast and friendly, the food was rich but not that tasty — though it was free. He also thought that the leg rest and head adjustment felt more like a premium economy product.

On the flip side, there were very limited alcoholic drink options on board. For example, there was no vodka, gin or Champagne/Prosecco. There was complimentary Wi-Fi capped at 10mb, with a $30 charge for unlimited Wi-Fi, which Jean found expensive and perhaps even cheeky.

Photo by Jean Arnas/The Points Guy
Photo by Jean Arnas/The Points Guy
Photo by Jean Arnas/The Points Guy
Photo by Jean Arnas/The Points Guy
Photo by Jean Arnas/The Points Guy
Photo by Jean Arnas/The Points Guy

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases