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Turkish Airlines Arrival & Departure Lounge at Istanbul Atatürk Airport

On a recent trip to Europe flying Turkish Airlines Business Class from Bangkok to Istanbul, I had the pleasure of experiencing both the arrival and departure lounges at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport as a guest of Turkish Airlines.

Turkish Airlines Arrival Lounge Istanbul

Turkish Airlines Arrival Lounge
Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge

Landing at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport at 5.30 am, I am met at the gate by a Turkish Airlines official who ensures a VIP access to Customs and a swift escort to the Arrivals Lounge.

Turkish Airlines Arrival Lounge
Arrivals Lounge

Located on the international arrivals floor, the arrival lounge is a recent addition to the airport, launched in September 2013. The aim is to offer premium passengers the opportunity to freshen up after an international flight and to highlight the airline’s commitment to making Business Class travel on Turkish Airlines “a uniquely pleasurable experience.”

Turkish Airlines Arrival Lounge
Wifi and Internet at Arrivals Lounge

Arriving after a Sydney to Bangkok flight, an 8 hour layover in Bangkok Airport followed by an overnight flight to Istanbul airport, the Lounge is a sight for weary eyes. Ultra-modern and inviting, circular arches give the space a sense of privacy and intimacy.

Free and reliable wi-fi, as  important as air to a traveller is readily available as well as a charging station for mobile phones and electronic devices.

Turkish Airlines Arrival Lounge
Shower at Arrivals Lounge

Aside from the gripping modern décor, the lavish shower facilities in elegant travertine beckon the weary traveller to stand under a long, hot rainfall shower. Plush towels, slippers and a hair dryer are provided in the privacy and comfort of the Lounge. There’s even an ironing service if required.

Turkish Airlines Arrival Lounge
Bathrooms at Arrivals Lounge

Although served a delicious breakfast on board Turkish Airlines a few hours earlier, the range of food and beverages at the Lounge is tempting. The catering is provided by by Turkish Do&Co, a continuation of the service on board. A colourful array of fresh fruit, fresh juices, Turkey’s national drink, Ayran, pastries and jam, soft drinks, nuts and dried fruit are on offer as well as an omelette bar where a chef prepares on demand your choice of egg.

Turkish Airlines Arrival Lounge
Modern Design

After a shower, a change, breakfast and Turkish coffee, it is time to lounge on the coveted day bed and connect home via the fast and reliable wi-fi.

With a capacity of 38 seats including two coveted day beds, the lounge has a comfortable and chilled ambience in which to refresh and relax after a flight, particularly when arriving in the early morning and hotel rooms are not yet available for check-in.

Turkish Airlines Arrival Lounge
The Library

The Turkish Airlines Arrival Lounge Istanbul is open daily from 4:30 am to 12:30 pm and is available exclusively to Business Class and Elite Plus passengers arriving on a Turkish Airlines international flight.

Turkish Airlines Departure Lounge Istanbul

After a tour of Turkish Do&Co catering facility, it was time to leave Istanbul and experience the facilities of Turkish Airlines Departure Lounge.

Turkish Airlines Departure Lounge
Turkish Airlines Departure Lounge

After an express check-in and a dedicated access to Customs, the sight of Turkish Airlines Departure Lounge feels like an oasis in the middle of the airport hubbub.

Turkish Airlines Departure Lounge
Spiral Staircase

The circular design of the Arrivals lounge features throughout the two level Lounge, connected by a spiral staircase beneath a global sphere. The second level is a recent addition, increasing the size of the facility by 40 per cent and catering to over 1,000 guests.

Turkish Airlines Departure Lounge
Lower Level

The lounge is grand and beautiful with circular arches, a green garden, a miniature model of Istanbul with a race track, a golf simulator, a library with a pool and an automatic piano just to name a few.

Turkish Airlines Departure Lounge
Feurich Automatic Piano

If you can free yourself from the lure of the free wifi, there are many facilities to explore and enjoy. Meals and snacks by Turkish Do&Co are aplenty. Fresh pide is prepared before your eyes and a Manti station is set up where a cook is meticulously preparing the little Turkish tortellini, as they are called.

Turkish Airlines Departure Lounge
Manti Station

Select your own plates from a Meze bar or held yourself to a Simit, or Turkish Sesame Bagel from a cart. Soft drinks abound and liquor with a diverse range of whisky, rum, vodka and gin is available.

Turkish Airlines Departure Lounge
Concert Room

On the lower level, you’ll also find compartments to hold your luggage, a lavish dining room with a crystal chandelier, a children’s playground, a prayer room, rest and shower space and massage facilities.

Turkish Airlines Departure Lounge
Library with Pool Table

The only issue with enjoying the lounge is forgetting that you are indeed in an airport then making a quick dash to the gate before the last call for your flight is announced.

Turkish Airlines Departure Lounge
Miniature Model of Istanbul

Turkish Airlines is named the Best Airline in Europe at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 World Airline Awards, by Skytrax.

Other Turkish Airlines feature articles: Review of Turkish Airlines Business Class, Behind the Scenes at Turkish Do & Co Catering

Photography © by Corinne @ Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

UPDATE 29 February 2024: As of March 2024, Turkish Airlines will fly into Australia and offer direct flights between Melbourne and Istanbul starting with 3 services per week with potential to grow to a daily service in the future.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.