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

May 28, 2020
4 min read
Watch as TPG UK reviews Turkish Airlines in business and economy at the same time
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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.

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.

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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

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Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
BEST FOR DINING AND GROCERY REWARDS
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points on Restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

    Earn 60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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

There’s a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It’s been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you’re hitting the skies soon, you’ll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there’s no reason that the foodie shouldn’t add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x).
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel.
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months.

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories.
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits.
  • Few travel perks and protections.