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For the best Business Class fares, it is often necessary to hop over to the European continent first. Slowly, but surely, we are starting to see lower premium cabin fares arrive to the United Kingdom.
The latest offer comes from Turkish Airlines, which is offering a great fare of £1,230 for a wide selection of dates between now and mid-2018. You can easily find this fare by searching on the Turkish Airlines website or using Google Flights / ITA Matrix.
I tend to shy away from booking with online travel agents I’ve never heard of, but it does appear that you can save £100 by booking via Kayak.co.uk
Turkish Airlines also fly to Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh, but a quick check revealed that the fare would increase by £200-300 if you prefer to depart from the “regions”. You can also fly from London to Phuket for £1350 or so…
What is Turkish Airlines Like to Travel With?
I have flown much more with Turkish this year than British Airways!
Turkish Airlines offers an excellent Business Class product. Do&Co is responsible for the on-board catering, meaning that the food is usually excellent. Service standards can vary – often depending on the language skills of the crew – but that is true of any airline really.
Turkish Airlines stands out for its layout on European flights. Unlike the “economy seat with an empty middle seat” offered by BA, Turkish Airlines offers an actual Business Class seat. On its smaller planes (737, A320, etc.) this will most closely resemble a U.S. domestic First Class seat in a 2-2 configuration. (i.e. great for a daytime flight, but you wouldn’t really want to try to sleep) On the A330s operating European routes, you would be hard-pressed to find much difference from a proper long-haul, lie-flat Business Class seat.
I consider the long-haul Business Class seat to be on par with British Airways. It turns into a fully-flat bed, but the 2-2-2 configuration means that you are climbing over people if you prefer a window seat.
And, of course, I would remiss if I didn’t mention the lounge at Istanbul airport. Although it can get a bit crowded at times, it is deservedly considered to be one of the best lounges in the world. When travelling on a Business Class fare such as this one, you receive access and can just scan your boarding pass at the lounge entry gate.
What About Earning Miles?
I know that many readers are interested in Qatar Airways fares because of the ability to earn Avios and Tier Points. Turkish Airlines is a Star Alliance airline so no Avios.
Instead you must choose from a wide list of Star Alliance programmes. I personally tend to choose Turkish Miles & Smiles or ANA Mileage Club, but you can also earn with Miles & More. Wheretocredit has the full list. This fare books into “J” class, which is Turkish’s lowest Business Class fare class.
If you want to visit Asia, Bangkok is a great stopping off point. And with this fare allowing you to depart from London, there’s no need to position to Europe for a Qatar flight.
Unfortunately I just spent several days travel hacking a mileage-conscious holiday on Turkish Airlines, when I could have waited a few days and booked a simple Business Class trip to Bangkok instead. Sigh…