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Turkish Airlines is one of the many airlines in recent years to have launched premium economy class, which it sold as Comfort Class, but also one of the very few to have subsequently axed this 'better than economy' offering.
In fact, whereas most airlines treat premium economy as an ‘economy plus’ experience, Turkish Airlines Comfort Class was more of a ‘business lite’ proposition with comfortable seats, upgraded amenities and superior inflight dining options.
Why Turkish Airlines discontinued Comfort Class
Turkish Airlines fitted premium economy Comfort Class seats only on its long-range Boeing 777-300ER jets, and began removing those same seats in 2016.
The fact that only those Boeing 777 jets had Comfort Class meant that passengers with a connecting Turkish Airlines flight to or from Istanbul, such as within Europe or to the UK, most often had to 'downgrade' from Comfort Class to the less comfortable standard economy seat for a major portion of their journey.
This led to the Star Alliance member rethinking and then axing premium economy Comfort Class. Unfortunately, it’s no longer possible to book a premium economy ticket for travel on Turkish Airlines.
What do business travellers miss about Comfort Class?
1. More legroom and space: Premium economy with Turkish Airlines offered up to 46 inches of pitch compared to 32 inches in economy (pitch is the distance between one point of a seat and the same point in front or behind).
The seats were also noticeable wider – Comfort Class was 19.5 inches in a 2-3-2 configuration (the same as its business class) while economy class is currently 18 inches in 3-3-3 formation.
2. Earlier boarding: Turkish Airlines premium economy also offered priority boarding ahead of the 300 or so economy passengers, meaning less queuing and more time settling down onboard before the flight.
3. Better amenities and features: The amenities given out in Turkish Airlines economy was already very good but in Comfort Class, they were even better with just about everything you needed for a long flight, such as lotions, dental kits, slippers, socks, eye masks and a shoehorn. The seats have more recline and an adjustable leg rest for greater comfort.
4. Better meals: Finally, the inflight dining in Comfort Class was a much-elevated experience compared to economy. Think white linens, proper crockery and cutlery and most importantly, better quality food served over multiple courses – just like business class.
What classes are available now on Turkish Airlines?
With Turkish Airlines’ premium economy Comfort Class now gone, the airline continues to offer the traditional business and economy class cabins on all of its flights.
Turkish Airlines business class
As is common with European-based carriers, Turkish Airlines’ business class seats can vary wildly depending on what type of aircraft and route is being flown.
The large Boeing 777s also have fully-flat beds in business class, but in a less convenient 2-3-2 layout, although the airline also plans for these to be upgraded with an all-new business class.
Both the Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 usually fly on long-range routes such as to Asia and the USA.
On shorter dashes within Europe and on single-aisle jets, business class may be a separate cabin with recliners in a 2-2 configuration or the dreaded ‘Euro-Business’ layout which sees standard economy 3-3 seating all throughout, but with the middle seat converted into a table as needed.
Turkish Airlines economy class
Economy class is of course present in all of Turkish Airlines' jets. With a relatively young fleet overall, Turkish Airlines’ economy cabin is generally regarded as spacious and modern, with decent in-flight entertainment and catering included.
Turkish Airlines FAQs
Which alliance does Turkish Airlines belong to?
Turkish Airlines is a member of Star Alliance. Passengers who have the equivalent of Star Alliance Gold status with another Star Alliance member airline (such as Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss, United Airlines, ANA and Thai Airways) can enjoy the same travel benefits as Gold members of Turkish Airlines' Miles&Smiles frequent flyer program including access to airport lounges, priority check-in and boarding, fast-track security and extra baggage allowance.
Can I upgrade on Turkish Airlines?
Members of Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles frequent flyer program can use their miles to upgrade an economy class ticket to business class. Only certain economy tickets can be upgraded – sale tickets are often excluded. Cash upgrades at a discounted rate may be available at the airport.
Does Turkish Airlines serve food?
Yes, Turkish Airlines includes a meal with every ticket, and those meals are generally regarded as being very good quality. Shorter European domestic flights may have simple items such as sandwiches and Turkish meze, while longer international flights will have multiple hot food services depending on flight time. All meals are already Halal-certified, while other special meal options are available by request.
Is alcohol is served on Turkish Airlines?
No alcohol is served on Turkish Airlines' domestic flights, but alcohol is served on international flights and also in Turkish Airlines airport lounges.
Is WiFi free on Turkish Airlines?
Inflight WiFi is free for Turkish Airlines business class passengers and also Miles & Smiles Elite and Elite Plus members who are flying in economy class. Miles&Smiles Classic and Classic Plus members in economy class receive 10MB of free WiFi, after which they have to pay to remain connected. The cost of WiFi in Turkish Airlines economy class is US$9.99 per hour, although the US$14.99 package for a whole 24 hours is much better value.