Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-200 (IST-FRA)

After a few blissful hours in Turkish Airlines’ excellent Business Class Lounge in Istanbul, it was time to return to Frankfurt aboard their A330-200. Although the plane is outdated, with threadbare seats configured in a 2-2-2 configuration, the service and food were absolutely superb–not just better than almost every short-haul flight I’ve flown, but many long-haul flights as well.

How I booked my Turkish Airlines business class ticket

Turkish Airlines flights are bookable with miles through a number of Star Alliance programs such as Air Canada’s Aeroplan, Avianca’s LifeMiles, or United’s MileagePlus (though I’d mostly recommend avoiding the latter). 

Since I couldn’t find any partner award availability for the flight I wanted, I ultimately decided to book the flight using Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, paying 30,000 miles (earned by transferring 30,000 Citi ThankYou Points) and $165. Although that’s relatively poor value–you can often find business class tickets from the US to Europe for just 45,000 Miles&Smiles miles–I had strict travel requirements and didn’t have many other options.

My flight details were as follows:

  • Turkish Airlines 1593
  • Istanbul (IST) – Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Departure: 3:35 PM, May 21
  • Arrival: 5:40 PM, May 21
  • Flight Time: 3h 5m
  • Business Class, Seat 2A


Istanbul Airport is a behemoth and requires a ton of walking, so I left the Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge at 2:15 ahead of a 2:35 boarding. I arrived at our boarding gate, F17, just as boarding began at 2:40 and was on the plane five minutes later. Preflight drinks, including both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, were offered during boarding.

a woman serving drinks on a tray in an airplane

Turkish Airlines business class cabin & seats

Turkish Airlines A330-200s come in four different layouts, a remarkably large number for a single plane. Most of their A330-200s are configured in an outdated 2-2-2 configuration, though one is actually set up in a 1-1-1 configuration. Upon boarding, I discovered that I was in the more common 2-2-2 variation, with 22 angle-flat seats spread over four rows.

a chart of seats with text and symbols

The seats are 21 inches wide and offer lots of legroom, with 61 inches of pitch. Though we’re now used to seeing lie-flat seats in modern widebody business class cabins, these seats, which do not go completely flat, are comfortable for such a short flight and beat the hell out of what you’d find on a similar-length flight within Europe or the US.

a plane with seats and people in the background
a seat on an airplane
a plane with many seats

On the inside armrests are seat control buttons with heavily worn plastic buttons that were difficult to operate.

a close up of a seat

Recessed within the outside armrest are tray tables.

a seat on an airplane

They fold out and were more than large enough to fit my 16-inch MacBook Pro.

a laptop on a table

At waist level on the inside armrest is an old, plasticky IFE control that can be released with a button and is wired into the seat.

a device with buttons and lights

On the left side of my seat was a USB charging port and what looked like an Ethernet port which you occasionally find on older planes.

a usb port in a wall

Turkish Airlines A330 business class lunch service

I wasn’t particularly hungry on this flight given my overindulgence in the lounge but, for the purpose of, um, fulfilling my blogger-istic duties, ordered lunch anyway. The lunch menu had three options of main course. I ordered the lentil ragu with gnocchi.

a menu of a restaurant
a blue and white menu

The meal service began with hot towels, shortly followed by a prawn salad with cocktail sauce. I don’t eat prawns, but the salad looked delicious nevertheless. A side of stir-fried greens, cheese plate, and dessert was served together with the salad.

a plate of food on a table

Shortly after salads were served, flight attendants came around with a basket of warm bread. They were fluffy and crusty in all the right places.

a basket of bread and rolls

After my salad was cleared, my gnocchi arrived. Though it didn’t look particularly appealing, it was absolutely delicious.

a bowl of food on a tray

Turkish Airlines A330 entertainment & Wi-Fi

On the back of each is an old touch-screen monitor. It was, unsurprisingly, relatively small and fuzzy by today’s standards, but the entertainment selection was very good.

a screen on the back of an airplane

Turkish Airways A330-200s do not offer Wi-Fi connectivity.

Turkish Airlines A330 business class lavatories

There are two business class toilets on this flight, which are strangely located at the front of the economy cabin. They were kept clean throughout the flight.

a toilet and sink in a bathroom

It’s nice to see an airline differentiate business and economy on such a short flight, which Turkish Airlines has done by offering cologne from the Turkish brand Eyüp Sabri Tuncer, as well as Molton Brown soap, hand cream, and scented oil diffuser.

a group of bottles on a counter
a group of bottles on a counter

Turkish Airlines A330 business class service

The service on this flight, like the food, was A+. Plates were cleared promptly, drinks were refilled, and the cabin was kept extremely clean. I also found crewmembers exceptionally friendly and responsive, a luxury that shouldn’t be taken for granted.


Despite an outdated A330-200 cabin, I thoroughly enjoyed my Turkish Airlines flight thanks to excellent food and all-around fantastic service. Though I probably wouldn’t redeem another 30,000 miles for this flight given its length, I also wouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of Turkish Airlines’ excellent redemption rates for longer flights.

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