Airline reviews Turkish Airlines Fleet & Seats

Turkish Airlines Fleet & Seats

Turkish Airlines Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 10 2.5 Star Rating: OK, if not great Reviewed from 124 flights with 1234 photos.
NEWS: Turkish Airlines has made one of the world's largest commercial aircraft purchase tenders, buying 105 planes valued at US $6 billion. This includes 25 wide-body, long-haul planes and 50 narrow-body, short-haul aircraft.
Turkish Airlines Comfort Class Premium Economy
Comfort Class Turkish Airlines Premium Economy

Turkish Airlines reviews are surprisingly good - that is, once you get past checkin. The poor quality of the staff, and the lack of trainning is noteworthy, so it is surprising that the aircraft are generally brand new, with full service, a free bar and food and new seatback TV.

Turkish Airlines has a pretty large fleet, with 116 aircraft. It is a firm fan of both Boeing and Airbus, and never seems to be able to make up its mind which one it prefers.

Turkish Airlines also are among that rare breed of airlines which offers four classes long haul, and two shorthaul, although not altogether, and certainly not by design.

One thing you are sure of is that Turkish Airlines have seatback TV IFE on all longhaul aircraft. more about Turkish Airlines IFE.

Turkish Airlines Seat Classes

Something of an oddball on Turkish Airlines is First Class. The airline never planned to have this class at all, however it took advantage of Jet Airways accidentally over ordering (by seven!) large Boeing 777s, and it leased four of them - which came with First Class. Not willing to let some revenue go, it introduced this class (oddly!) on the short-haul route from London, and also long-haul to Hong Kong. Other routes occasionally crop up too.

Longhaul Turkish Airlines Business Class comes in three variants, but all three have a very good seat. On the four 777s leased from Jet Airways, the seat in turn was licenced from Virgin Atrlantic, and it is the classic flatbed on a curve business class seat. You fly at a 45 degree angle to the direction of flight (so you can't see much out of the window), but otherwise it's pretty nifty. Slightly poorer is the classic Turkish Airlines Business Class seat, which has a seat pitch of 60 inches. Seats are very conventional, facing forward, in a 2-2-2 configuration. Finally, there is the new seat. Reviews of the new Turkish Airlines Business Class seat are good: it electronically reclines to a 75 inch (188 cm) long bed, but it has some major drawbacks: it goes flat but not completely level; your feet stick into the hole on the ottoman under the seat infront, and it isn't very private at all: there is a smal privacy screen, but you are again sitting next to your companion, with a 2-2-2 layout. It is only on the brand new B777-300 and A330-300 fleets.

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 Business Class June 2011
Business Class Turkish Airlines Boeing 777

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 Business Class June 2011
Business Class Turkish Airlines Boeing 777
A new development for Turkish Airlines is Premium Economy, called Comfort Class. They are only on the latest Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 aeroplanes. The seats look almost like the old business class seats - and indeed, have been mistaken for such - but they are very much Turkish Airline's own design. The seat pitch is great - a very good 46 inches (116cm), and while the width at 19.5 inches (49cm) isn't so hot, the length means the recline goes back 9 inches, or 111 degrees: quite something for economy. There is a 10.6 inch TV screen which flips up and out of the armrest, AVOD, and USB charging for laptops (alas, no proper sockets). Alas, meals are the same as economy, and there is no access to the lounge. Turkish Airlines Comfort Class (Premium Economy) is only available on the mainline routes to Beijing, Sao Paulo, Toronto, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Hong Kong and of course New York. The seats are not only good - they look good too, which explains the sheer audacity of many passengers in the back of the bus who attempt to self-upgrade to Comfort Class. This never, ever, works. Incidentally, if you are wondering why Turkish Airlines has such dull grey colours in the cabin, the airline says its premium economy class has predominant earthy tones of green, brown and grey, with brown textile seats with embroidered green stitching, reflecting the colours and visual richness found in Istanbul, along with a white pearl design on the back wall inspired by traditional Turkish mosaic patterns. So now you know.

Turkish Airlines Economy Class are not always that good, because longhaul is basic, but with a marginally better pitch that you'd expect. Pitch comes in at 32 inches - an inch more than most airlines, although it really doesn't feel that much better. In my Turkish Airlines reviews economy class I do however commend that Turkish (unlike Emirates, Etihad, and the like) is to not cram in so many seats across the cabin on their 777s, having a 3-3-3 layout (others are 3-4-3), and this gives a respectable width of 18 inches. Width, rather than pitch, often defines seat comfort in economy, and here Turkish are good.

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 at Istanbul June 2011
Boeing 777-300ER Turkish Airlines at Istanbul

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER

Long haul, Turkish Airlines generally use the Boeing 777 for their flagship routes. However, there are two different variants, and this can make a significant difference to your journey. Turkish Airlines have 11 Boeing 777s of its own, and three 'specials', which are on lease from Jet Airways of India.

The normal variant of the Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER has no First Class, but 28 in business class, 63 in Premium Economy, and 246 in economy down the back.

The mainline versions of Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER do however have the great delight of Premium Economy. A Turkish Airlines Comfort Class review has to mention that the seats are in a 2-3-2 layout, which makes them seem far less cramp than usual economy - plus of course there is all that legroom.

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 Business Class June 2011
Business Class Turkish Airlines Boeing 777
The best seats for Turkish Airlines Comfort Class undoubtly have to be the ones at the back, because of Turkish Airline's odd habit of filling the aircraft from the front. They run from row 11 to row 20, and most people prefer row 16 back. The seats are not only good - they look good too, which explains the sheer audacity of many passengers in economy who attempt to self-upgrade themselves to Comfort Class. This happens consistently, however boarding passes are always checked, the manifest examined, and the interlopers are booted out. However, mid flight it will happen again, and if you go to sleep with an empty seat beside you, chances are your belongings will be dumped on the floor and a stranger from back in economy will be in that seat. You can prevent this to some extent by extending the tray table and putting large bags on the seat, but you've got to be determined. It is one of the rare instances were crew will be efficient, if you point out to them there is a self upgrader.
Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 Economy Class June 2011
Economy Class Turkish Airlines Boeing 777

There are of course three special Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER which are on lease from Jet Airways of India. These are a very different beast, if only because they have First Class.

In Business Class the seat is very obviously the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class seat, and it is the classic flatbed on a curve business class seat. You fly at a 45 degree angle to the direction of flight, but this is no bad thing considering every seat has access to the aisle. There is no premium economy on these aircraft, however economy is still in the 3-3-3 layout that gives much more width on the flight, compared to other operators.

Turkish Airlines Airbus A330 / A340

Although Turkish Airlines prefers using Boeing for its prestige routes, there are some where the greater range of the A340, or the fuel economy of the A330 are better, and Turkish Airlines of course thinks nothing of having a mixed fleet with both these types.

Turkish Airlines has nine of the four-engined Airbus A340-300 series, along with 7 of the A330-200, and another 7 of the larger A330-300, however they are pretty similar inside.

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 Business Class June 2011
Business Class Turkish Airlines Bathroom

Business Class is in A330s arranged in just 4 rows of 2+2+2. There are no less than three variants of the A330, with some (5 aircraft) having a 61" pitch, two (JNF, JNG) have a 55" pitch, and seven (JNH-JNN) have the new seat with 76" pitch (which reclines to 177 degrees. The A340 has 6 rows of 2+2+2. The old style upright seats are ok, with plenty of cubby holes to put things in, on the 7 older A340, while 2 newer A340s (registation JIJ and JIK) have a 73-77" pitch.

Row 1 gets a bulkhead with loads of legroom - and unfortunately basinette fittings. If you don't want to be blighted by sitting next to a couple with a crying baby, ask if there are any children onboard before asking for this seat. At least the seats are fairly modern, with a pitch of 54 inches, and width of 21 inches. It reclines electronically to lie at a slope of 160 degrees. On the A330 there is a small walk up bar at the front of the cabin, in front of 1D and E. These seats are great if you want a drink, but to be avoided if you want to sleep.

Economy Class is in a 2+4+2 formation, giving a marginally narrower seat than the 777, however it is ideal if you are flying as a couple, as it means the end of clambering over two people when you want to leave the window seat. Turkish Airlines reviews always show that although not very notiable, the extra pitch (slightly better than on the Boeing 777) of 33 inches really does help longhaul. The seats have a video screen, and have the remote clamped into the arm. In the A330s row 5 gets a bulkhead, while row 22 gets an emergency exit, but it is blighted by light spill from the toilets ahead of this seat. On the A340, the bulkhead seat is row 7, while the emergency exit is row 23.

Turkish Airlines Airbus A321 at Istanbul June 2011
Turkish Airlines Airbus A321 at Istanbul

Turkish Airlines Airbus A319 / A320 / A321

For most of your flights around Europe and middle east, Turkish Airlines use the single aisle Airbus, in three variants. It has 10 of the small Airbus A319, 27 of the midsized A320, seating 8 in business class and 138 in economy, and 27 again of the big long A321, seating 12 in business and 165 in economy.
Turkish Airlines Airbus A321 business class seat  June 2011
Airbus A320 Turkish Airlines business class seat

The A320s seat 135, in economy with a 3-3 layout. Row 17 and Row 18 are the overwing emergency exit - if you ask to sit here, you will get 2 inches more legroom. Row 18 is highly prized, as the seat here reclines fully. Pitch is 33" and width is 17".

All models have large 14 inch fold down LCD TV screen under the overhead lockers for both classes. Service can be a bit slow, with only a single aisle for service.

As is usual, Turkish Airlines haven't fitted special seats for the business class on the Airbus 320 - instead, the seats use the Lufthansa style variant with a flip-down console in the middle seat, which makes a small cocktail table for business class in a 2-2 cabin layout, and then beyond the curtain can be flipped up again for the 3-3-3 of economy. Other than that, in Business Class the seats are identical, although you do get the perks of uprated headphones in these seats, although as the IFE normally consists of just one short comedy, there's little point.

Turkish Airlines Boeing 737 at Istanbul June 2011
Boeing 737-800 Turkish Airlines at Istanbul

Turkish Airlines Boeing 737

Turkish Airlines has a solid fleet of 69 Boeing 737s, almost all of which are the new Boeing 737-800 type. Although initially they were used mainly for domestic routes, many are now finding their way onto all the European routes too.
Turkish Airlines Airbus A321 at Istanbul June 2011
Turkish Airlines Business class seat

Business Class seats are in a 2+3 layout, with the A and C seats are made from a normal set of three seats, with the armrests pushed closer together to give lots of seat width. It is recommended going for these seats, but here rows 2 and 3 are the best, as row 1 is the bulkhead row, which gives you nowhere to stow bags containing things you want quick access to.

Turkish Airlines Airbus A321 business class seat  June 2011
Airbus A320 Turkish Airlines business class seat

All planes have had a minimum of three business class rows, but with just a sliding curtain that can move according to demand, and sometimes you'll find your seat moved if the curtain moves, thanks to a sudden influx of people in the cheap seats. On the other hand business class can go all the way back to row 20.

Economy is in the usual 3+3 pattern, with row 10 being the emergency exit seat, with a lot more legroom.