Turkish Airlines 787-9 Business Class: Bottom Line Review


Turkish Airlines’ 787 is a business class product that I’ve heard great things about over the last few years, but have never been able to check out personally. A springtime trip to the Middle East gave my wife and I the opportunity to fly Qatar QSuites on the way out and then Turkish 787 business on the way back to Seattle. Each airline was excellent but, perhaps surprisingly, we both preferred our experience on Turkish to our time in QSuites…especially for the price.

a seat in a plane

Turkish Airlines 787-9 Business Bottom Line Review

Simply put, Turkish Airlines’ 787-9 business class is top notch. Catering is superb, both on the plane and in the lovely Istanbul lounge. The seat is spacious and comfortable, even for a 6’3″ giant like me. Service was on point, with a chef stopping by each seat to discuss the menu and trolley service for both mezze and desserts. Outside of the mediocre in-seat storage, it’s tough to find downsides here. This is a great way to fly. Thumbs Up.

  • How we found it: We were able to find the availability by searching Turkish’s website for the dates/times that we needed.
  • How we booked it: We booked by transferring Capital One Miles to Turkish during a terrific Turkish Award sale to/from the US. We got two tickets from Amman to Istanbul,  had a four-day stopover in Turkey, and then continued on to Seattle (all in business). The total cost was 32,900 miles + $360 per ticket. We booked the flight and the stopover through a Turkish ticket office via e-mail (Nick describes the process here and here).
  • Cash Price: ~$4,200pp, roundtrip
  • Route: Istanbul (IST) – Seattle (SEA)
  • Ground Service:
    • Check-in: There were several dedicated business class check-in counters at IST, as well as a designated security lane. The line moved quickly and efficiently, staff was very warm.
    • Departure Lounges: In Istanbul (IST), Turkish has both domestic and international business class lounges. We went to the massive international lounge and it was fantastic. The lounge includes showers, sleeping suites, a children’s playground, a cinema and an on-duty masseur. The food selection is over the top, with multiple made-to-order stations that change throughout the day, an olive buffet, Turkish bagel station, pita station, grill buffet, Turkish desserts and cakes, as well as bars that serve coffee, teas, juices and alcoholic beverages. Some of the better catering that I’ve had in a business lounge.
  • Business Class Seat:
    • Comfort: The Turkish 787-9 has 30 business class seats that are arranged 1-2-1 over one cabin. Each seat has ~20-21″ of width and is 76″ long when in lie-flat mode. Because I’m 6’3″, the footwells in many 1-2-1 business products can feel pretty cramped. Instead of a straight reverse herringbone configuration, Turkish slightly staggers both the window and middle seats, which provides for additional footwell width and bed length. It was great. My legs didn’t feel scrunched in lie-flat mode at all. The padding of the seat is excellent and I was able to sleep comfortably for several hours. It’s worth noting that, because of the layout, even-numbered window seats are closer to the window with a table between the seat and the aisle. Odd-numbered seats are the opposite, so are closer to the aisle (and probably feel less private). The middle seats are the reverse: odd numbered rows are closer to the seat next to them , even numbered rows are closer to the aisle.
    • Storage Space: This is the main shortcoming of the seat. Under the footrest, there’s a enough space to put shoes (and they provide a shoe bag). There’s one additional cubby next to the power sources above the IFE controls. That’s pretty much it. On the one hand, the permanent table between the seat and the aisle is nicely-sized and gives some additional space to set things on. One the other, backpacks either have to be on the floor next to the seat or in the overhead compartment.
    • In-flight Entertainment (IFE): The 787-9 has a terrific 18″ In-Flight Entertainment screen with excellent resolution. Noise-cancelling Denon headphones are provided, and seemed more or less equivalent to the Bose headphones on many carriers. The selection of movies and shows is broad, with both new releases and a significant back catalog.
  • Food and Beverage: Excellent, easily upstaging its European competition and on-par with some Middle-Eastern carriers. There is an on-board chef that provides some access to dine-on-demand and that will come by each seat beforehand to take orders and discuss the menu. For me, the highlight was the delightful mezze offering. Both the mezze and dessert services are from linen-topped trolleys that are wheeled down the aisles, allowing passenger to look at the various items and choose whatever (and how much) they’d like. While the entrée choices may not include the ubiquitous “filet mignon” steak option, what they did have was delicious and well-prepared.
  • Service: I’ve heard some reports of Turkish’s onboard service leaving something to be desired, but that wasn’t our experience at all. Drinks were kept topped-up proactively and meal service flowed smoothly with little delay despite the multiple trolley services. To a person, everyone was warm and friendly, while remaining efficient and unintrusive.
  • Cabin Ambiance/Temperature Control: My wife and I both thought it was great. Although the seat “pods” don’t have doors, their orientation combined with the various privacy shields make them feel quite secluded…you’re never really looking into someone else’s space. The cabin was kept a touch on the warm side for my taste, but nowhere close to the sauna that some Asian carriers seem to favor.
  • Internet: Excellent for an international flight. I was able to browse, work and download whenever I needed to.
  • Amenity Kit: Includes a Hackett of London amenity kit with slippers and a variety of Qiriness toiletries, facemask and earplugs.
  • Would I choose to fly it again?  Absolutely…and I’ll seek it out. Both the hard and soft product are great, availability from the West Coast is some of the best around and “saver” pricing is terrific.

Pros and Cons


  • Great value points option from the US
  • Usually has very good availability, especially for those of us on the West Coast
  • Spacious seat that’s 76″ long in lie-flat mode
  • Terrific catering
  • Excellent WiFi for an international flight
  • Seat is very comfortable for sleeping in lie-flat mode
  • Service is efficient and warm
  • Well-managed cabin temperature


  • Mediocre in-seat storage
  • Surcharges are on the high side of moderate (but still less than many European carriers)

Image Gallery

Turkish Airlines 787-9 Business Class Window Seat and Cabin

a row of seats with monitors on the back of an airplane
View from back of the business class cabin.
an airplane seat with windows
Full seat pod. This is the seat in the even rows that has a table area between the seat and the aisle. The odd-numbered window seats have the table/cubby in between the seat and the window.
a black bag with white text on it
Footrest with included shoe bag.
a seat in a seat
Storage underneath the footrest isn’t great, it more or less works for shoes and that’s it.
a seat in an airplane
The seat is designed to feel quite private from the other seats around it.
a close up of a device
This cubby includes the power sources and is really the only in-seat storage…the only real flaw of the seat, in my opinion.
a close up of a lock
The cubby does have a pad lock for valuables if you feel so inclined.
a close up of a device
Seat and IFE controls.
a seat with a mirror on it
There was an additional light source on the window side of the seat as well. It provides a softer (and more adjustable) alternative to the main overhead.
a mirror in a seat
Pop-out mirror.
a tv on the side of an airplane
The fold-out table is huge, which comes in handy with all of the mezze choices.

a screen on a seat

a screen on a plane
The IFE screen slightly tilts down for when you’re in lie-flat.

Turkish Airlines 787-9 Business Class Catering

a tray with food and glasses on it
Trolley service.
a plate of food on a table
The main course of Turkish “ravioli” was delicious.
a tray of food on a table
Dessert, cheese and fruit trolley.

Turkish Airlines 787-9 Business Class Amenities

a black case with a label on it

a blue leather case with a name tag a sleeping mask and other items on a pillow a black bag with a picture of shoes on it

Turkish Airlines 787-9 Business Class Food and Beverage Menu

a menu with white text a menu on a wall

a black and white sign with red text a black and white menu a black and white menu a menu with white text and orange text a menu with white text and orange letters a black and white card with white text

Video Tour of Turkish Istanbul Business Class Lounge

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Carmelita Carlena Harley

So, if I got this right. The stopover is only bookable if you’re booking directly with Turkish and not with other Star Alliance award availability, right?

For instance, Aeroplan will add on a stopover for 5K more miles, where Turkish will add in a stopover for free.

Perhaps ANA is better for free stopovers, though they never have transfer bonus I can save with their round-trip lower pricing. Do they pass on the surcharges?

I’m stuck then, since I don’t have C1 miles to transfer to Turkish.

Last edited 6 months ago by Carmelita Carlena Harley

NO PJ’s?


I will be flying Tk Business from South East Asia to DFW, return, next week.
The “stopover” program allows me 2 days of hotel FOC. I took up this offer.
I also wanted to extend my stay by an additional 2 days. I emailed TK, expressing my intention, stating my proposed flights and, after a couple of email exchanges got their consent to utilize the 2-day stopover offer.
I then booked my flights.
To obtain the voucher for the 2-day hotel stopover, it was necessary to exchange a few emails with TK. It took a couple of days, but eventually, I received the voucher. This was necessary because my stopover will be for >2 days.

I hope the above is helpful to those who have questions about the stopover program.


Just want to clarify, you will get 4 nights at Istanbul and 2 nights are covered by Turkish Airlines?


My first 2 nights are covered by TK.
The next 2 nights are covered by me: I will actually move to a different hotel located in the Galata area.


I love TK and am flying them next week. I usually would choose them over QSuites just because they go more places I want to go. In fact, they have the most destinations of any airline, so that should be true for most people.

One thing though – you say in your review that there are “bars” in the IST lounge. Is this true? They removed liquor during COVID, and as far as I know it never returned. (Self serve wine and beer came back eventually.) I don’t need liquor to enjoy a lounge, but it’s been surprising to me that this isn’t up to international standards.

A frequent visitor to frequent miler

Ok, so good to know that you can book a stopover on a one way over the phone. I was sure I had read that you could only include a stopover on a RT. I fly out on Turkish from Seattle next week. Next time I would love to do a stopover in Istanbul!

Max Gross

Should read “gave my wife and ME”… Drop the “my wife” and try it out.


The only thing is that you can’t do a stopover like you can with other programs such as Aeroplan or Alaska. You can book a flight into IST and a long layover to another destination but you can’t build in a stop for multiple days.


This is the thing: they advertise a service like this. But I cannot figure out how to use it. https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-int/flights/stopover/ I assume this has to be for an itinerary that you can only book over the phone, as the website won’t show you connections over 24 hours. I would want my own accommodations, but booking a stopover of 2-3 days would be pretty desirable.

But what is described above in the article is a 4 day stopover in Istanbul from Amman. It may be that Amman to Istanbul was a separate cash fare. If so, then my question is answered. But if both of them are on the same itinerary, then there is a trick that is worth knowing.


I just flew them RT to US. Had Ferragamo amenity kit on both legs with Ferragamo contents.


Last year jfk-ist was Versace amenity kits. I guess they switch it up fairly often


Flew Turkish ORD-IST, same flight number–twice within a year. The first time (10/22) we got this plane -787-9 but the most recent (9/23) we got the outdated 777-300 with side by side open seating. Disappointing that they switched out the aircraft although I suppose that can always happen–just buyer beware.

Add to that– booking for multiple people can be a nightmare as many can attest. Turkish is not for the faint of heart. The pricing you got was amazing. Unfortunately the east coast does not as frequently have saver fares in Business as SEA. Also their fees are high. A regular business class award can have $400-500 of fees.

The overall experience on both flights we took was outstanding. Most recently we flew back from Turkey via Frankfurt and flew the FRA-JFK route in business on Singapore and the food on Turkish was better. (and yes we used book the cook on Singapore)

The service on Turkish was top notch, the cabin was very comfortable. The lounge in IST is amazing.


Thanks so much for the review.
Always great to read your input.
One thing I’ll say “Objection Your Honor” to – in a friendly way -is the following:
… “a 6’3″ giant like me” …
I beg to differ …: 6’3″ is anything BUT gigantic 😉
It’s quite normal.
At 6’7″ I was the short guy on my Basketball team 45 years ago 😉


Methinks Tim is a “giant” because the rest of the FM team is so — um, er, uh — “diminutive”


I know … even at 6’3″ it can be a challenge … Snobbish favorites are the 6’8″ ‘throne’ on Jet Blue, and surprisingly Aer Lingus single seats (fantastic) …. Virgin Atlantic (even though 6’8″) is extremely tight in the shoulders and frustrating …


A couple questions:
What was the process for booking the stopover? Did it included 2 nights of free 4-star hotel?
Booking process in general? The website errored out for me and I had to call in (twice actually since the payment system was down during the first call), but I did get SEA-IST-TLV ticketed for 47K + $200. Not quite as good a mileage rate but lower taxes.


I’m also curious about this process. There are suggestions online that it can be done, but it seems there are two programs. One is the stopover for 1-2 nights with Turkish, but my understanding is that requires taking the first available flight to destination (I.e. it is a cool stopover if you are on a route without everyday offerings). The second is what is described here — more of a traditional stopover similar to what Air Canada does for 5k. Would be great to see some content on how to make these happen. I’ve been eyeing a Turkish flight on one leg of a 2025 trip, and I would love to build in a 2-3 day stopover in Istanbul. In lieu of that, I’ve considered one of those tours they do on a 6+ hour layover. But it would be great to have a bit more time, rather than cramming in a tour between legs.


You can’t do a stopover like you can with other airlines or loyalty programs, you can just do a long layover and get a free hotel and a tour.


Hey Tim, I just called Turkish and emailed a bunch of ticket office to price out an award: LAX – IST – LHR with a 2-day stopover in IST. I was expecting it to be 45K (Turkish charges 45K for this itinerary with a layover < 24 hours). But Turkish told me it’s actually 60K, no free stopover. Tried HUCA and emailing, same answer. Any idea why this isn’t allowed?


This is outstanding information. Thank you. This is one of those tools that just seems so powerful. I can imagine using the stopover rules multiple times, since Istanbul is such a cool, important city. Rather than just plan an entire vacation around Istanbul, why not do several with smaller Istanbul stops on one leg of the trip.


How long of a stopover did you book? I believe you can only book a stop over of 24 hours?


You are lucky your luggage made it. Mine didn’t and 3 months later I am still waiting for compensation.


I generally find Turkish flights to be too warm. I do request for a bit cooler and usually they will go down a bit.


Thanks for the review, must have been some sale as usual rate for Turkish seems to be 120K miles plus high taxes


I believe you can only book one business award per Turkish account? How did you book two award seats?