Turkish Airlines in the Istanbul Airport definitely has the best lounge I’ve been in …

Hey Air Canada … take note how much you suck in comparison. You claim to be the best in North America, but claiming this is like claiming to be a one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind … better but still shitty!

I’m not stupid enough to expect you to actually match a fantastic lounge, but I do expect the respect that you claim to give your Super Elite travellers and not treat us as though we haven’t been across the world.In North America, we get completely ass raped when it comes to actual flight comfort … you can flight domestic in most other countries and you get a meal. On American and Canadian airlines, you’re lucky if they don’t charge you for the goddamn oxygen.

The showcase lounge for Turkish Airlines is located in the International Departures section of the airport has private relaxation rooms, showers, a playroom, private infant rooms, a billiard lounge, a library, and a business center. What? Did you say billiard lounge … yep I wasn’t kidding

The lounge seems awesome but here is another fantastic benefit, Turkish Airlines also offers free tours of Istanbul to anyone with a layover of a least six hours. Try that with Air Canada eh?

I was even impressed with the entry system: you scan your boarding pass and, if you’re allowed in, turnstile-like doors automatically open. This eliminates the need to wait in line while someone manually checks your boarding pass and keys in your frequent flyer number – like a goddamn monkey.

Once you’re checked into the lounge (Star Alliance Gold works here), you’re greeted with three different bars with a vast array of alcohol.

The lounge itself is quite spacious and includes an impressive selection of food options, including a chef’s station that makes omelettes as if it’s in a hotel and not in an airport. There’s plenty of local and international options for food as well as a staffed coffee/tea bar.

The cold Turkish appetizers were absolutely phenomenal … I had 4 plates of mezes …

An office area has plenty Sony Laptops for those who don’t have computers, a kids section with multiple PS3s. The lounge’s seating areas are quite large on their own, with the bonus of secret quieter areas if you don’t plop down in the first comfortable seat you find.

There is even a movie theatre inside

What I Liked:
· Food options were extensive, both local and international.
· Decor is really cool with the curved ceilings and traditional Turkish inspiration.
· Bathroom was very nice and clean, with attention to detail.
· The Turkish coffee station is excellent with its fresh juice, teas and lots of options.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The fact that I had to leave the damn lounge to head to my flight to Barcelona.

Overall I give it a 9 out of 10. Just fantastic … but I’m sure that Emirates or Quatar Airlines will have this beat, hence the 9 instead of a 10

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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