Turkish Airlines’ Extreme Catering Downgrades

Filed Under: Turkish

Airlines around the world are adjusting onboard service to reflect the new reality. It’s in everyone’s interest for interaction between people to be limited in tight spaces, and that includes interaction between flight attendants and passengers.

While I think there’s merit to reducing service, I think long term it’s also likely that we’ll see significant cost cutting on the part of airlines, as they prepare for a new reality.

Well, Turkish Airlines has revealed an updated service protocol, and the extent to which they’re cutting back service is… kind of surprising?

Let me of course say upfront that there are much more important things going on in the world right now. However, this blog is all about the passenger experience, and I’ll keep covering that (with a reminder that all of this doesn’t actually matter right now in the grand scheme of things).

Turkish Airlines’ reduced business class service

Turkish Airlines is expected to resume scheduled flights as of early June, with domestic flights resuming as of June 5, and international flights resuming as of June 11 (though that could be pushed back).

While it’s possible the timeline will stick, we now have a sense of what Turkish Airlines’ updated catering will look like when flights resume, per ISTFlyer on FlyerTalk.

This is noteworthy because I’d argue that historically Turkish Airlines has the best business class catering of any airline in the world, from the quality of their Do & Co catering, to the onboard chef concept that they have.

Let’s take a look at what’s changing…

Turkish business class catering on flights under two hours

On flights of under two hours, business class passengers will just receive a bottle of water, and nothing else.

As a point of comparison, below is what a meal previously looked like on a flight of this length.

Turkish business class catering on flights of two to eight hours

On flights of two to eight hours, business class passengers will be served a box containing a sandwich, a cold mezze, a salad, a dessert, and water. On flights of over five hours crackers will be served as well, but there will be no second meal.

Across the board in business class:

  • No coffee or tea will be served
  • There will be no welcome drinks and no hot towels
  • There will be no glassware, but rather drinks will be served in bottles or cans
  • There will be no menus

As a point of comparison, below is what a meal previously looked like on a flight of this length.

Turkish business class catering on flights of over eight hours

On flights of over eight hours, business class passengers will be served two cold, boxed meals.

The first box will contain a sandwich or wrap, a salad, two cold mezzes, one dessert, chips, and pide.

The second box will contain a sandwich, a cold mezze, a salad, and a dessert.

As a point of comparison, below is what a meal previously looked like on a flight of this length.

What happens to Turkish Airlines’ onboard chefs?

Duvar English has a story about Turkish Airlines’ new approach to service, and it quotes Turkish Airlines’ CEO as saying:

“The time of the flying cook is over. It’s the time of flying hygiene.”

While the above measures are temporary:

  • There’s understandably no end date for the service reductions, since we don’t know how the current pandemic will progress
  • Airlines will also be in a rough financial situation for quite a while, which will impact the extent to which they invest in the onboard experience

We’ll have to see if “the time of the flying cook is over” refers to a temporary measure, or if this could be permanent. The reality is that Turkish Airlines’ onboard chef has long set the experience apart, but that’s also based on the display trolleys on which they served food.

I would imagine that as long as COVID-19 is a thing, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see airlines rolling around trolleys with exposed food, as Turkish has done for so long.

Service reductions: safety or cost cutting?

As I’ve said all along, I totally support airlines trying to minimize interaction between crews and employees for the time being, for everyone’s sake.

Turkish Airlines is no doubt taking that to an extreme as far as full service airlines go, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As a point of comparison, Emirates and Qatar are adjusting how they serve and present food in business class, but aren’t changing the quality or quantity.

Personally I don’t think it’s fair to accuse an airline of full-on cost cutting yet, because on the one hand there’s merit to Turkish’s very limited service. The flight attendants won’t interact with your food at all, since it will be catered in a closed box, and that’s how it will be served to you.

The question is how this evolves long-term:

  • I support the airline eliminating the service trolleys and reducing service
  • Is serving a cold boxed lunch in business class on a 14 hour flight the other extreme, though?

Bottom line

Turkish Airlines will resume regularly scheduled flights in early June, and the airline is planning some service downgrades that are frankly surprising.

Turkish will go from offering the world’s best business class catering, to offering cold boxed lunches in business class. Obviously we live in a new era for now, and I support most precautions that are taken. Being able to travel again at some point makes me excited, even if we should expect cold boxed lunches in business class.

The big question is how this will evolve long term

What do you make of Turkish Airlines’ service downgrades?

  1. Definitely takes it too far. Airlines can be both hospitable and hygienic at the same time. It’s not just one or the other. This is just too little food.

  2. Lucky you miss the point.

    This has nothing to do with cost savings as the airline has confirmed.

    Its all about safety in an effort to minimize contact points between passengers and crews and also among crew themselves onboard.

    The simplified service offerings will remain as the global medical emergency continues to threaten everyone.

    Related – large lounge buffet offerings will also be a big no-no for sake of health moving forward as well.

  3. People refuse to accept that the virus is a long term problem and life will unlikely be the same for a long time. States reopen and cases just go up. AZ has set record highs for cases and hospitalizations multiple days in a row. So much for the heat nonsense since it is 105 most days now.

    Life goes on for those that haven’t died or are in the hospital but it cannot be the same.

  4. Frankly, I am surprised airlines are willing to serve anything onboard.

    Having crews up and around is indeed a potential risk. Whatever means they can apply to minimize contact is good in my book during these unique times.

  5. I guess you are paying for hard products these days since catering and service have been diminished. My understanding is Turkish air business class seats are not that competitive?
    If so, then people will avoid flying them. If they are, then I don’t see people not choosing them due to lack of good catering.

  6. In midst of the biggest global health crisis for the last 100-years you have time to complain about airline catering?

    We are lucky the airline is even allowed to operate and we must not sit in bio-hazard suits onboard.

    I’ll happily skip the food, and any other typical perks as we muddle our way forward in society.

    May everyone remain safe and healthy.

  7. No worries. I’ll take my money elsewhere… Qatar seems to keep high level of service and Food in Premium cabin

  8. How many people have lost their father, mother, sister, brother, wife, sister, uncle, aunt, cousin, and instead we complain about inflight catering?

    Seems too many have their priorities up in the clouds and not earth bound realities.

    Anyhow kudos to TK for coming up with a solution that tries to minimize risk.

  9. Maybe economy of premium economy will make more economic sense for various trips over the next year? Assuming catering and other service downgrades in business class, it would be interesting if you could compare the cost of economy/premium economy vs business/first and identify it here are any sweet spots of value.

  10. Stinks. Unnecessary. The more one talks about new normal the longer this crap will continue until it becomes permament. Horrible.

  11. This is a capitalist world (well, most of it).

    People will choose what product they want to spend their money on. If it is their intention to keep the service at this level post pandemic, then that’s their choice, and the public in turn will have the choice to vote with their wallets.

  12. Never was a big fan of TK, took them only when their fares were far below QR. But for you Lucky, it must be a disappointment, since you never left out any opportunity to praise TK, as much as you never left out any to find a flaw with QR lol……

  13. I am amazed by some of the comments here.. You can definitely serve a hot, delicious meal and still have hygienic processes. TK is taking it way too far!
    As indeed TK’s hard product was never industry-leading. they made up with the food. Now that’s gone, so I wonder why I should still fly TK…

  14. If they’re trying to incentivize people to travel, then they have a lot of work to do. I’ll take my business elsewhere.

  15. Safety my a**. This is just pure BS, if anyone is concerned with safety and health they should never come without 1000 yards on an airport, more so an airplane.

  16. I can understand the desire to minimize person-to-person contact, but I can’t understand why food can’t be prepared in the galley by masked FAs and served on a single tray. How is that any different than handing out the boxes? This is pure cost-cutting using the pandemic as an excuse. If they are worried about fresh food waste, then make the meals strictly by reservation. You don’t order ahead, all you get is the lousy cold food in the box.

  17. This is like extreme cost-cutting. Like, cmon. If that’s the state in J Class, then it would be horrendous to see the meal boxes in Economy class. Imagine paying 3500 bucks to fly Business to Istanbul but getting served with a simple box. (I agree with the intention, but EK’s cost-cutting seems reasonable.) This is plain cost-cutting and blaming, in the name of a pandemic. What’s gonna be a difference in serving everything in a single tray than in a single box? There is still limited contact. And….No COFFEE SERVICE? AND NO SERVICE ON FLIGHTS UNDER 2 HOURS? It’s plain cost-cutting.

    Tbh, Emirates’ Economy meals on a flight from DXB to FRA has a more comprehensive catering service.
    1. Everything is served in single-use plastics or single-use paper sheets
    2. Quantity isn’t reduced but they just decided to chuck off all the extras like the Bread, Chocolate, Butter etc. However, it is available on request.

  18. “Health concerns” has replaced the 9/11 “national security” as alleged global threat to airlines. Hospitality becomes hostility.

  19. I guess Skytrax predicted this when they downgraded TK to a 3 star airline when TK pulled out. I guess likewise with LH’s 5 star rating due to their new business class, Skytrax is pretty good at predicting the future


  20. of course is cost cutting, they are bleeding money ( have you seen the airline news lately?), of course is to decrease the handling of the food, of course is not going to be the same as it was before and is going to be for long time. is a new world, and it will be for long time. get over it.

  21. I agree with some measures to limit contact and potential contamination but with some airlines it seems like the pandemic is also a convenient excuse to roll back service. I fly business class regularly and the service offerings are one of the biggest draws. Unclear why a small bottle of wine or beer can’t be served but a water can, or why food can’t be heated, and in some cases no pillows or blankets-do were they providing unlaundered linens before?? Air Canada is also doing much the same and yet charging full prices in business class. I’m booked with Qatar for an overseas trip in late July and they seem to have figured out how to adjust without cutting off the premium offer rings entirely. So it CAN be done but some airlines just don’t want to invest in the extra precautions. This definitely influences my choice in airline.

  22. A number of responses here illustrate everything that is wrong with this “hobby” and a non-trivial chunk of its adherents.

  23. On the other hand, Israel just announced that Hotels reopening can not have any Buffet service, be it meals or just a salad bar. Since this was the cornerstone of most Hotel’s food and beverage plans, it will be interesting.
    I expect the Hotels will get permission to have sanitary Buffets with no self service.

  24. There are def more important things going on at the moment but this downgrade in service is exactly one of the top 2 reasons that I cancelled my roundtrip flight from ATL-IST in business that was supposed to take place at the end of August. I’m just not up for accepting a degraded experience and paying full price for it. I picked Turkish specifically for catering because I fly to experience good food and beverages onboard. Without that, there isn’t much sense in me taking flights over 6 hours in premium cabins or at all at this point.

  25. I flew Turkish Houston-Istanbul. Very funky layout, bit warm, but the food – wow it was amazing. It was over the top, close to BA First and rivaling AirFrance business. But it’s a new world. Airlines are going to make changes.

    The biggest problem is Istanbul is a changed city given the turn towards extremism. I wouldn’t feel as safe or welcome. And at the end of the day, travel is about getting you from point A to point B.

  26. Let’s be honest without the food Turkish Airlines just becomes a LCC their cabin crew were always miserable anyway 98% of the time. And I’m Turkish and flown them 100s of times.
    If business class reduced that much in terms of service and food I’m guessing ticket prices would also have to be reduced heavily too. Can’t expect to charge a full fare on this offering!

    And all the travel bloggers/ Instagrammers – what are they going blog about now??

  27. While a huge step down, this food actually looks better than what is currently being given on KLM. God Save the Points had a recent trip report flying business class from AMS to JFK. It was even more depressing.

    Several people asked why bother with a premium cabin. For many of us, the soft product is nice, but the biggest factor is the hard product. I will take a better seat to stretch out and lie down on any flight over a great meal. I think this is even more important during a global pandemic. With business class, the number of non-household contacts within 6 feet of you will likely be less. Yes, planes are not completely full right now, but there is no guarantee in economy class. But if you sit in a window and/or bulkhead business class seat, you will have very few (if any) people within 6 feet of you for an extended period of time.

  28. people will stop paying to fly business class as it is too much like economy class. so in a long run it will hurt the airlines
    kind of like when airlines eliminated the olives for Marti his and orange slice for old fashions etc

  29. Funny so many are willing to risk their health for merely an airline meal.

    Ultimately the health and safety of employees and fellow passengers must take precedence and applaud TK for taking as many precautions as they can.

  30. I have flown Turkish Biz and always thought their catering was some of the tastiest aloft, along with LH. I have mixed emotions. I will not be purchasing any biz class tix anytime soon, because of this.

  31. Some of these responses are really sad, and show blissful ignorance to flight attendants being in front of hundreds of faces a day during a pandemic. The people who typed these responses probably work at home in front of a computer all day, rather than potentially exposing themselves and their families to the coronavirus by going to work.

    The response should be “thank you TK for caring about your flight attendants.” Emirates and Qatar, on the other hand, see their flight attendants as expendable if they get too old or too sick. They haven’t cut food service like Turkish because they don’t care if their flight attendants get infected.

    As for these services coming back, of course the long haul business class meals will come back as soon as it is safe for flight attendants to have more contact with passengers. TK is not going to define itself on serving business class meals out of a box. The only possible change I could see being permanent are no more meals on flights under two hours. All of TK’s competitors use economy class seats for short haul business class, so they need to serve food so that passengers don’t feel like they are flying economy class. TK has proper 2-2 recliner seats on most of its planes, and market research shows that short-haul business class passengers prefer a proper seat and no meal over an economy seat with a full meal.

  32. My personal guess: this is intended as a temporary extra-cautious measure to show how ‘safe’ flying with them is. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a quick return to the old service within a very few months.

  33. in my opinion it is all nonsense. As long as the scientists do not know it themselves, the whole world has run wild. I paid a business class ticket for a flight from Amsterdam to Bangkok before May 14, this flight was canceled. In order to keep the airline from bankruptcy, I did not request a voucher, but a date change, so that I could use my ticket later. Now that my ticket has become less valuable due to the downgrade of service, I consider converting my business class ticket into economy class and have the price difference refunded. But a warning on my part is the advice to the CEO of Turkish airline to continue to maintain the famous service.

  34. @Alonzo:

    Same here. Flying Turkish to Greece ATL-IST-ATH in fall specifically so we could fly on their 787 *and* because of the service I’ve grown to love. If this doesn’t clear up by the time September rolls around, I’ll cancel and book elsewhere and save my money/miles. As others have said, this is using COVID as an excuse to reduce service levels while completely ignoring the MANY hygienic ways of providing the same (or nearly the same) service pre-COVID. It’s an evening flight so the seat is really the most important aspect, but c’mon…this is just getting ridiculous.

  35. I have a biz ticket, using United miles, for August with Turkish.

    Given the whole situation, I was planning on canceling it.

    This story just puts the nail in the coffin.

  36. “Let me of course say upfront that there are much more important things going on in the world right now. However, this blog is all about the passenger experience, and I’ll keep covering that (with a reminder that all of this doesn’t actually matter right now in the grand scheme of things).”

    Some constructive criticism: it isn’t what you say, it’s how you say it that matters. True, tone can be hard to convey sometimes through the written word, but you can come off as tone deaf at times…just a thought.

    With regards to this issue…you have to wonder, if this what people in business class are getting, what will be they be serving to people in economy, just a sandwich and bag of peanuts?

    With regards to this article…

  37. Great deal if the ticket prices drop by 60% otherwise I would never buy a ticket on this carrier!

  38. Ugh lucky can you stop apologizing for doing your job. It’s INFURIATING to read your constant contortions. You have added hundreds of words to articles like this that are – frankly – throwaway.

    Put a disclaimer at the top of the site and be done with it.

    And keep up the good reporting work. This piece, for example, is very useful to me in planning future travel.

  39. People from all over the world choose for Turkish Airlines and their Frequent Flyers Program due to the excellent onboard catering and the fantastic lounges. By reducing now the catering to a level even lower than what Ryanair is offering (of course for a fee) the main reason why we travellers are choosing for TK is gone and TK downgrades from the top in catering ranking to the bottom line with this offer. That they even don’t serve drinks is for me a step too far away. With mouth masks and a small tray a lot is possible. I’m really wondering what the 4 flight attendants in business class will do on an intercontinental flight because honestly serving the meal boxes is not time consuming, unless the real saving is not coming from reduced catering but from reduction of flight attendants on board ?
    And in case TK is taking his loyal customers seriously, even in the post covid-19 era, I would suggest that both status, upgrade vouchers and miles are extended for at least an extra period equal to the period of this minimalistic catering. So that at least we still get value for our loyalty. If not I’m afraid they will loose substantial number of customers

  40. What kind of service is this? I’ll never fly with this airline if all I get is that junk. A bottle of water? A filthy box of leftovers? What kind of service is this? Poor people who travel in economy class, they’ll only get the much hated bag of peanuts

  41. Understanding, this is a trying time for everyone and is likely to remain for a long time.
    Having travelled Turkish Airlines as my Number 1 airline over the years, I am always impressed with their service. I applaud them for taking this action and this in no way will affect my decision to continue my travels with the airline.
    Welcome to the new normal where everyone has to be even more conscious of safety, while being part of the solution.

  42. No issue here. Passengers will vote with their feet lets see what happens.
    Very subjectively will not fly anymore unless forced to by work if I get this level of service at similar or higher price. Greta must be happy less planes in the sky for quite some time…

  43. Why do all meals have to be cold? I wonder how offering a simple hot meal on a metal tray would be unhygienic…

  44. If flying is not safe – nobody should fly or only “essential trips” should be allowed. I don’t think a sandwich during 8 hrs flight is acceptable whatsoever..if airlines like Emirates and Qatar can keep the standards despite of safety issues – others should as well, if they can not – they should not offer business or first class tickets. Its pretty obvious people who have to fly will choose different airlines.

  45. The virus is not transmitted by food or drinks. So any cut in quality or quantity is non-sense. The virus is transmitted by close distance of an infected person to other persons, e.g. crew. Therefore, minimizing the interaction is understandable – which is the way EK and QR go.

  46. What nonsense. People (and airlines) need to stop being driven by panic and hysteria. Get over it, folks: Life carries a 100% fatality rate. Being driven by panic will not stop you from dying. It will only stop you from living.

  47. Times are tough in the industry (to say the absolute obvious) and I think everyone gets it. When the time is right to spend to attract marginal business, Turkish will probably be at the front of the line based on my experience flying them. In all seriousness, if you’re really going to complain about this with everything going on in the world, take a second and read the room.

  48. If TK isn’t serving wine enroute will they allow you your own beverage service? Like some dry airlines used to do?

    I assume passengers can bring their own grub?

    Haven’t flown since Mar 22 so don’t even know if preflight food and beverage is available at the airport?

    During one of the inevitable BA cabin catering strikes BA gave us a voucher to buy food at the airport. Ended up mushy when it came time to eat but better than a catered bunwich.

    The fun of flying is gone, sadly

  49. Give me a break James this has nothing to do with safety! The airlines are using this pandemic to cut costs. People like me will stop buying business class tickets if this keeps up. Not worth the extra money.

  50. I get it. This entire post and it’s comments are a late April 1st joke.
    Most of you sound like buggy whip investors in 1910 or mimeograph investors in 1965.

  51. As a medical doctor, I support any measures which airlines are taking, both to maximize hygiene, as well as cost cutting to stay flying. Survival and safety takes priority over appeasement of passengers who love to peeve over trivial non issues. Turkish Airlines has my support in taking the above measures.

  52. @[email protected] et al,

    This is DEFINITELY cost cutting camouflaged under the banner of hygiene and covid 19 . It will be a long long time before soft products return to pre covid 19 levels ( if ever). Stinginess masked as profit necessity will the order of the day. Bye Bye J & F , hello Y, here I come. Save the money for a better hotel or nicer presents for your kids and better half.

  53. I said here and other places way back that Covid-19 would be trotted out everywhere by businesses and individuals to cover up and justify all and any inefficiency, laziness, lateness, cost-cutting etc, etc.
    Comments on same are met with the all-encompassing “covid…” as the excuse you should suck up and not challenge. I’m over it!

  54. @ Rob – Istanbul is probably a lot safer than your Houston and much of the US nowadays, what with the mass shootings, race riots, police brutality, white supremacy and extra judicial killings that appear to plague the US with depressing regularity.

  55. @ Rob – Istanbul and Turkey are probably statistically a lot safer that your Houston and the rest of the US. Watched CNN lately ?

  56. I believe that for the time being you just need to be patient and if your business experience has to be about all the bells and whistles then you may need to not travel business class ,but if you enjoy the actual space element with a comfortable lie flat bed and the basics then nothing much is different – this is what many business people do and want

  57. I absolutely Love Turkish Airlines and they ALWAYS have amazing 5star service. It’s unfortunate Covid19 has ruined this Earth and stole many lives and interrupted human lives for the better. But I’m proud to say Turkish Airlines always does a great job. Flying to Istanbul in less than 2 weeks. So I’m excited to finally go back to my favorite place in the World Turkey. The place i call home.

  58. Donna, what a racist comment… seek professional help for your “wHiTe MeN aRe EvIl” issues — SMH

    For the record, I’m SE Asian, just in case you throw another racist slur

  59. @Endre, I think @Donna is being ironic (at least I hope so!) with her comment.
    Irony and dry humour are lost on Americans, and those bought up in that ‘culture’.
    Stop looking for offense where there is none.

  60. Actually, the first box on the longer haul flights looks better than the international business class catering I’ve eaten on AA lately.

  61. Still better than business on Air Canada. And no sleep as well – you don’t even get a pillow……!

  62. When this was all over I was heading from nz to uk in business class planned to use Turkish airlines from Australia to London but seeing this I take my money to Qatar or somone else the demand co food was the attraction with this gone the product is crap compared to others sorry Turkish airlines I think u guys have made a BIG BIG MISTAKE cutting cost is understandable but to point of changing the product like this is silly it will cost customers cost me and from comments other to

  63. @StuartP

    People will still fly business or first over economy for long distance flights, I believe. For shorter flights they might not see the point of flying in premium class, but for transatlantic or flights from Asia to Europe, transpacific, etc, it’s all about the seat, especially if it’s a lie-flat seat.

  64. I think this shows that Turkish Airlines cares about the safety of its passengers. This is obviously a temporary measure and I am sure the flavors that we love are packed inside these boxes.

  65. This is pure bull. It has nothing to do with hygiene and all with cost cutting. This virus is here to stay, until we have a vaccine. And we need to get back to normal sooner than that. We won’t get there, we will not help economy bounce back if we take so drastic measures.

  66. @Pa100

    I totally agree.
    This is bullshit, absolutely nonsense and only cost-cutting !

    Where is the risk when meals are served on an airplane?
    Where is the risk when crews serving champagne and hot towels?

    Do you also avoid a visit in a restaurant?

  67. I think we should give Turkish Airlines credit for creating a meal box with such quality in such a short time. An airline that can adapt itself to any circumstance definitely wins in my book. Knowing Turkish Airlines and its excellent onboard meals, I expect this meal box to be nothing but delicious.

  68. @Andy….Bravo! I couldnt agree more with you….this is the exact message for TK …don’t use an excuse to cut down in-flight meals but concentrate on other issues ..if food was an issue then people should be eating packed sandwiches at home as well…

  69. Finally! TK realized that humankind doesn’t need warm meals – we’ve been making the barbaric mistake of serving warm dishes for thousands of years! Thank you, Turkish, for finally showing us The Way!

  70. I don’t see this as cutting back on service. I am sure Turkish Airlines has looked at every possible scenario in order to ensure the safety of its passengers. And if the airline really thinks this is a necessary hygiene measure then I am sure Turkish will go from offering the world’s best business class catering, to offering the world’s best cold boxed meals.

    Anyway, it’s good to hear that they are resuming their flights, and I am definitely looking forward to trying this out for myself.

  71. As Ben said, the boxed meals are intended to minimize interaction between crews and passengers for the time being, for everyone’s sake. Even the IATA recommended simplified catering procedures that lower crew movement and interaction with passengers. And most airlines are announcing sharp reductions in in-flight meal service.

    Southwest Airlines will suspend all in-flight snack and beverage service.
    Alaska Airlines will offer no food or drinks on flights shorter than 250 miles, including in first class.
    And the list goes on and on.

  72. I equate business class meal service to fine dining at a nice restaurant. If all the restaurants here in NYC are only for takeout or boxed or delivery, then I’m fine with airlines serving business class meals in prepared boxes too.
    Once restaurants reopen, however, then I’d hope airlines will revert back to their pre covid-19 dining experience.

  73. Well….its not about safety when you are paying 3000-5000 for a seat. With that cost, you are paying for luxury. How would you feel if you saved up your money so just once you could travel in style, and then you got the same level of service for 5x the price? You cant be succesful cost cutting on the only seats you make a profit on. People will fly elsewhere. And they should, turkish airlines is a horrible example of pathetic customer service well before this. After how they handled my missed connection back in november, I would never use them again regardless.

  74. I would actually point figures if an airline wasn’t taking such measures during these times. Obviously the IATA recommended taking some precautionary measures to add extra layers of protection. At least, Turkish Airlines made the effort to create packaged meals, rather than suspend all their inflight meals, like what most US airlines are doing.

  75. Lucky…Someone is using my name SK and writing their comments…the comment below was not written by me
    “”””Finally! TK realized that humankind doesn’t need warm meals – we’ve been making the barbaric mistake of serving warm dishes for thousands of years! Thank you, Turkish, for finally showing us The Way!””””

  76. Right now most travelers prefer hygiene over luxury. Yes obviously, this is not an ideal situation, but I do appreciate Turkish Airlines for being very responsive to the current circumstance.

  77. I think this situation should be met with understanding. Because the important thing here is to provide transportation in healthy conditions rather than focus on foodservice. Most people are prioritizing hygiene right now, and Turkish Airlines is listening to what its customers want.

  78. Turkish Airlines has always prioritized its inflight meal services by offering delicious world cuisine as well as a rich variety of Turkish dishes. And I don’t think they would have taken such measures if they didn’t think it was necessary. And to be honest, I am excited to give this new package a try. 

  79. I am sure that when the time is right, Turkish Airlines will bring back its great food service, but it actually makes more sense to limit interaction between the cabin crew and the passengers.

  80. As a flight attendant let me tell you it is all about cost cutting There should be rapid tests given to all would be passengers and crew On a narrow tube for hours at a time guess what people If someone has it chances are most of us will have it by time we get there box meal full on service it won’t matter.

  81. Nonsense. When you remove the quality in-flight dining experience, Turkish Airlines offers a mediocre in-flight business class experience with seats well below industry standard.

  82. @Donna, keep your race war BS out of here please.

    As a TK E+, I am very disappointed by this. Every 6-8 weeks I take at 12 hour flight from IST to Asia (after connecting from West-Europe). So this box thing is a joke. They can perfectly do a decent catering service by serving everything on a tray. The number of contacts between crew & pax will be exactly the same.

    Many airlines are going to use this to enforce some drastic cost-cutting that has been in the pipelines for some time. I am employed by an airline and let me tell you, some of them aren’t planning on reverting the changes they have made/will make in the future.
    I can only hope TK will go back to their famous catering concept, as others have mentioned, without that, they are a VERY mediocre airline with subpar seats.

  83. As an ex QR biz flyer but having a september biz TK trip and holding TK E I consider flying other *A airlines and even return to QR, depending the after Covid19 madness. I do NOT look forward to boxed meals in biz…

  84. Well,if they can serve a bottle of water they can serve a bottle of vino.
    Hey,how about changes in pricing.
    I am not paying 8K to go to Europe from Oz so someone can dump a economy box of food in front if me.

  85. Well,if they can serve a bottle of water they can serve a bottle of vino.
    Hey,how about changes in pricing.
    I am not paying 8K to go to Europe from Oz so someone can dump a economy box of food in front of me.

  86. I enjoy TK; if they adjusted their prices (down) to reflect this “new” downgraded service AND their hard product was excellent, I would be fine flying them. I fly Biz mostly for long hauls 8+ hrs, sleep and service are my priority. After price.

  87. That tiny cold box on a 7 hour flight in business just isn’t ok. Most airlines provide more food in economy. There’s no safety in that, it’s just extreme cost cutting. I don’t understand this whole “minimize contact between passengers and FAs” when the flight attendants are wearing full PPE anyway…

  88. You get on a plane you take your chances. Giving less or worse food won’t make the difference. Letting hundreds on a plane and then saying we are worried about transmission so we will cut back on food is just silly.

  89. Airlines alone cannot make such decisions. This is obviously a recommended measure by the International Air Transport Association so that passengers and crew can return to travel with confidence. The risk for the virus to be transmitted inside a plane are already very low due to the natural environment in the cabin. And if having a boxed meal will reduce the already low risk then why not. Honestly, I have full confidence in this decision.

  90. Not able to follow how @airfrance, @britishairways or @lufthansa can still be selling FIRST CLASS long haul seats for the ‘onboard experience’ w/ boxed meal service?
    First class prices are the same or higher than pre-CV19.

    Who would pay?

  91. I would humbly suggest that anyone who wants to social isolate and decrease the risk of covid-19 will be purchasing space with the greatest separation between themselves and other passengers.

    If your wallet can afford it you would travel private. The rest of us have to choose between First Class (and forget the food), Business (who cares about the food) or Covid class.

    Having experienced a DVT on Emirates, I will only travel long haul in lie-flat. While traveling around the Philippines recently I had to use Air Asia for short flights but paid for extended legroom.

    I think the airlines understand that there will always be a market for separation and legroom so will continue to sell Business and PE at a premium and ignore the soft product completely.

  92. Once again “being moderated”? What the heck.

    Whats wrong with

    “I would humbly suggest that anyone who wants to social isolate and decrease the risk of covid-19 will be purchasing space with the greatest separation between themselves and other passengers.

    If your wallet can afford it you would travel private. The rest of us have to choose between First Class (and forget the food), Business (who cares about the food) or Covid class.”

  93. What a shame, they had built an exceptional product. I expect substantial fare reductions or I for one shall be in the back.

  94. @Daniell HA, Turkish listening to what thgeir customers want. Tortally not true, as many commenters have pointed out, Covid is transmitted by person to person contact, serving meals in boxes doesn’t limit that. They could serve the exact same food as normal just on one tray, like Emirates or Qatar. This is cost cutting, and I can’t say i’m mad about it. People vote with their wallets, and turkish airlines only redeeming quality is food. Without that, they have subpar seats and bad delays. If they continue to charge 3000+ for a biz class ticket, than people will go elsewhere. I respect airlines that are adjusting their cost, I just bought a BA biz class ticket in the middle of christmas for 1800 rt and upgraded it to first with avios with no taxes, an absolutely phenomenon for BA. I don’t expect excellent service/food but I bought bc the price was low. If turkish doesn’t lower prices, they will bleed BADLY.

  95. Have tickets purchased for Singapore to Chicago via Istanbul in January 2021… flew Turkish before in business and it was superb.. will be following closely.. if they will not return to usual business product by years end, we are cancelling and going a different airline… there still are several that are offering a true business product even amidst the craziness of covid19.. which btw has nothing to do with food… we can go to restaurant now and eat but airplane no? doesnt make any sense.. very sad.

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