For this trip, I got to fly on a brand new Airbus A321neo, which is Airbus’s new single aisle plane with much quieter engines. For a short haul flight on a single aisle plane, the Turkish Airlines Business Class was the best I’ve ever flown within Europe. Many European airlines, such as Lufthansa, have economy class seats with the middle seat empty as their short haul “business class”. So, when I walked into this brand new A321neo and saw large beautiful seats, I was blown away.
Turkish Airlines is the largest carrier in the world by number of passenger destinations with a total of 315 destinations. Also, no other airline has more non-stop destinations from a single airport or more countries served at 126 countries in total. So, odds are you’re likely to fly with Turkish airlines at some point in your travels, especially if you fly often with airlines that are part of the Star Alliance.
Turkish Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance, so that means you can use miles from Alliance members such as United, Singapore Air, or LifeMiles (Avianca) mileage programs to book award flights. I recently purchased a bunch of miles from one of the LifeMiles promotions that seems to occur every 6 months or so.
For this flight, the cost was 27,000 miles plus $25 in taxes. For the most part, the LifeMiles program does pass on as many fees like other programs, such as the Singapore Krisflyer program.
Turkish Airlines 1706 Stuttgart (STR) to Istanbul (IST) Cabin: Business Class Seat: 5A Aircraft: A321neo Flight Time: 2h, 30m
I often use the “Plane Finder” app to lookup the age of the plane and other stats. I was amazed to see the plane was only two months old. More amazing was looking out of a window with zero scratches or forehead prints obstructing my view.
Cabin Atmosphere (5/5)
For a single aisle, short haul plane, this was the best flight experience I ever had on this type of aircraft. The engine noise was significantly reduced due to the New Engine Option (NEO), which made the flight more comfortable. Furthermore, the temperature was kept at an ideal level and the plane was outfitted with cabin lighting that changed colors to help passengers adjust.
Additionally, there was a wall between business class and economy class, as opposed to just a curtain.
For a short haul flight transiting across Europe, these seats were the best I’ve flown on single aisle business class. The legroom (34in of pitch) and width of the seat were certainly above average. Also, the seats had a modern sleek design to them that was pretty fancy. It appears that since the armrests were designed to be narrower, the seats were able to be wider than on the older Turkish Airlines business class seats on the A321.
Most of the time it can be a struggle to pull the try table out of an armrest, but on these seats, the trey table is spring loaded and just shots straight up and out.
The entertainment system was very impressive with a large screen, plenty of movies, and even some interesting video games like bowling.
The attempt to reduce single use plastic on this flight was appreciated.
While not Bose, the headphones on this flight were the best I ever received on a short haul flight.
Compared to flying short haul business class on other European airlines, where you get a sandwich and cheese, the meals on this flight were much more comprehensive. The Turkish Meze had a good variation of flavors and textures and the grilled lamb chops were delicious.
Boarding processes was a bit hectic, however business class passengers were able to be boarded first. The crew on board was super friendly and was quick to serve food and clean the cabin after meals were consumed.
WiFi was free and pretty decent since I was able to surf Instagram without any issues. However, WiFi service was a bit spotty and unavailable for short periods of time.
In conclusion, flying Turkish Airlines on their new A321neo, was the best short haul business class flight experience I ever had flying within Europe. The wide seats, extra legroom, quiet engines, and delicious food were way above average compared to other European short haul flights.
One of my biggest gripes with flying Lufthansa is that their transatlantic business class flights are great, except right up until you transfer to one of their smaller aircraft that is basically economy plus. With Turkish Airlines, it appears they are attempting to provide passengers with a quality business class experience across both their long and short haul flights.