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Turkish Airlines Business Class Is All about Pampering

Turkish Airlines Business Class Is All about Pampering

By on May 9, 2017 in culture

Photos by Sadaf Syed, Author of ICover: A Day in the Life of a Muslim-American COVERed Girl

(This story was translated into Turkish and published in the AirportHaber Magazine. http://www.airporthaber.com/thy-haberleri/abdli-gazeteci-thyye-hayran-kaldi.html )

I had the privilege, along with my Photojournalist colleague, Sadaf Syed, of attending Turkey’s DS Centre of Policy Studies’ Spring 2016 Journalism Academy. This Think Tank is an extension of the Daily Sabah newspaper, a nationwide, English language publication focusing on the local, national, regional and international developments of Turkey. The immersion experience for international journalists included tours of Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep with visits to the Parliament and Presidential Palace; discussions with academics and counter-terrorism experts; and, a visit to Nizip’s Syrian refugee camp.

Starving writers have to be creative to take advantage of such educational opportunities, and thanks to Turkish airlines sponsoring our round trip, direct flights from Chicago to Istanbul, they made it happen.

This is the first time I have flown Turkish airlines; and, I’m not going to lie. I think I am in major like.

The top-notch hospitality we received from everyone we encountered inside Turkey could be felt on our flights as well. There is a genuine, organic pride of serving the customer while displaying excellence in cultural cuisine.

This is my first time flying business class and now, how do I go back to coach? We started out in the Turkish Airlines lounge at O’Hare where we enjoyed a relaxed atmosphere and light dinner of sandwiches, fruit and vegetables. They provided a full array of beverages, alcoholic and non. There were Wi-Fi cubicles where travelers set up shop with their laptops.

Turkish Airlines, you’ve spoiled me! Once on board, we sat in our spacious seats that convert to beds. I stand 5’10” and I’m slightly claustrophobic. I need this experience in my life! I was fully comfortable in 20 hours of total flight time. There was a Batman theme happening and we were provided menus shaped like bat wings with high end, Turkish beverages and food offerings. They offered herbal blended teas (hot or cold- you pick!) for whatever may ail you from digestion issues to edema. I chose a relaxation blend that included Melissa, chamomile and lavender.

The food. The food! Turkish food inside the country and on Turkish Airlines is simply mind blowing! I grew up with the faire thanks to my Turkish aunt and to experience it full time for a week in Turkey and on board Turkish Airlines was worth the trip in and of itself. We chose selections from an appetizer cart that included hummus, eggplant, fresh salad, salmon and shrimp. For main selections, I ate baked Alaskan on my way to Turkey and Kefta Kabob on my way home.

Turkish Airlines Personal Chef, Fundu Argac

A trip to the bathroom is made more pleasant with pink roses and lemon scented soap, hand wipes, cologne and lotion.

I hear the Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul is like a mini playground for adults and children alike along with amazing food and complimentary shoulder massages. Darn it- we were running late and missed the opportunity.

We took some short, domestic flights with Turkish Airlines while on our trip in coach class, and I didn’t feel crammed. They served breakfast even on a one-hour flight. (Though breakfast to Turks is a sandwich, olives and tomato, but who cares? It was fresh and tasty.) Hospitality? Turkish Airlines has this concept down beautifully.

Sadaf (far right) and me with DS Journalism Academy Organizer, Rumeysa Kadak

Would I fly Turkish Airlines business class again? Oh yes! I dream of a next time!

This article was originally published in LinkedIn, HuffPost and Turkish AirportHaber Magazine, April 2016.


About the Author

About the Author: I'm a Writer and Muslim Activist. I'm also a Board Member of the #MyJihad Public Education Campaign. Follow my blog at yasminareality.com or follow me on Twitter: @yasmina_reality. I'm also now on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YasminaReality Peace! .

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