Turkish Airlines, a member of Star Alliance, flies to more countries than any other airline in the world (at least, it did before the COVID-19 pandemic). The Boeing 737 is widely used on Turkish Airlines’ short-haul flights between Istanbul and Europe. It’s also used on many medium-haul flights to destinations throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and northern Africa.
In this review, we test the Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 Business Class experience on an overnight flight from Muscat, Oman to Istanbul, Turkey.
|Route||Muscat (MCT) to Istanbul (IST)|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 737-800|
|Class of travel||Business|
|On-time performance||We arrived on time|
I booked this flight as part of a Singapore Airlines award ticket from Muscat to Amsterdam for 29,000 KrisFlyer miles + approx. $210 taxes & carrier charges.
Muscat International Airport was excellent! The terminal was modern, clean and spacious, albeit surprisingly busy during the middle of the night with all of the redeye flights departing for India & Pakistan.
There was a separate premium check-in area that I was able to use as a Turkish Airlines Business class passenger. Business and First class passengers also get access to a dedicated security screening & immigration area, which I used before heading to the Primeclass Lounge.
The lounge, too, was very good with plenty of buffet food to choose from and a fully-stocked bar. There were plenty of seats and lots of different sections including clean showers and a games room.
Boarding was via a remote bus bay. Turkish Airlines arranged for Business class passengers to board first via a separate bus.
The Hard Product
Turkish Airlines has four rows of Business class recliner seats on its Boeing 737-800 in a standard 2-2 configuration.
I would have enjoyed a lie-flat bed given the 2.25am departure time, but this was perfectly adequate for a short-haul product. The leather seat was comfortable and well-padded, with plenty of legroom.
A personal in-flight entertainment screen folded out from underneath the centre armrest. Overall, I found the product somewhat better than Business class on a Qantas or Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800.
It’s worth noting that, on flights within Europe, Turkish Airlines is one of the only airlines to offer proper Business class seats. Most European airlines simply offer Economy seats with a blocked middle seat as a Business class product on short-haul flights. On this particular route from Muscat to Istanbul, Turkish Airlines is competing with Oman Air which also runs Boeing 737s featuring Business class recliner seats.
The seat reclined a fair way back, and I was able to sleep comfortably for a few hours during the flight.
The Soft Product
Service began with a pre-departure juice or water. An amenity kit, packet of hazelnuts, a menu and newspapers were also offered. Pillows, blankets and noise-cancelling headphones were already on the seat when I boarded.
This was the menu for the flight:
The cabin crew were friendly and attentive. After takeoff, I was asked if I would prefer breakfast straight away or before landing. I opted to eat after takeoff, and the cheese omelette was served promptly with various accompaniments:
I also tried the cheese plate, which was served with traditional Turkish simit:
Having flown on many different airlines, I’m often asked which is my favourite. For me, Turkish Airlines is right up there with the best in the world. Why? Because of their consistency.
With Turkish Airlines, I have always received great service and exceptional Turkish food. It doesn’t matter if I’m in Economy or Business class, nor whether I’m on a short domestic flight or a long-haul flight. The product is consistently good. Like all airlines, it’s not perfect – but I always enjoy flying with Turkish Airlines and I think their Skytrax 3-star rating is unjustified.
This flight was no exception. I enjoyed the Turkish food and found the service to be great. Nothing was too much trouble for the crew, who even offered me more food before landing – even though I had already eaten breakfast at the start of the flight.
Furthermore, the transit experience in Istanbul has significantly improved since the new Istanbul Airport opened and the Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul is simply stunning.
(Turkish Airlines also typically has very good award availability – making it relatively easy to book a Business class seat using miles in any Star Alliance frequent flyer program.)
Turkish Airlines 737 Business Class
Turkish Airlines rarely disappoints. Just beware that Turkish Airlines’ Boeing 737s, A320s and some A330s do not have lie-flat beds in Business class – something to consider if you’re booking an overnight flight such as this one.