Confirmed: Turkish Airlines’ New Business Class Seat

Filed Under: Turkish

While Turkish Airlines has an excellent business class soft product, unfortunately their seats leave a lot to be desired.

The good news is that this year Turkish Airlines will introduce an all new business class seat, which will debut on their new 787-9 aircraft. The airline has 25 Boeing 787-9s, as well as 25 Airbus A350-900s on order, and they should receive the first of each of those in a few months.

Up until now, Turkish Airlines hasn’t officially revealed much about their new business class seats, other than to say that they’ll each feature direct aisle access, and that they’ll be private.

In October Turkish released the 787 seatmap

Before Turkish Airlines even shared any hints of what the new seats would be like, last October Turkish Airline published the seatmap for the new 787-9, which gave us a general sense of what to expect.

As I wrote about the seatmap at the time:

  • There will be 30 business class seats, presumably between doors one and two, which matches the density you’ll find on airlines that have reverse herringbone seats in this space; that should give you a sense of the real estate per seat
  • Seats will be in some sort of a staggered configuration; I don’t think the seatmap is completely accurate in it showing alternating rows of 2-2 and 1-2-1, but rather I think that’s just how the seatmap displays it, when in reality there will be one seat along each window and two seats staggered in the center section

In December the new business class seat was leaked

In early December I wrote about how Turkish newspaper Hürriyet had a long story about Turkish Airlines, and it also talked about the new business class seats. Interestingly it contained the below pictures, leading me (and others) to believe that this would be Turkish’s new business class.

I especially believed that given that the pictures had the Turkish Airlines logo and also had the cabin finishes that I’d expect Turkish Airlines to have.

This is officially Turkish’s new business class

As noted by AusBT, it has now officially been confirmed that the above pictures are in fact of Turkish’s new business class seats. While we don’t have further pictures or details beyond what we have now, it’s good to get that confirmation.

This staggered configuration has direct aisle access from every seat, and the seats are certainly fairly private (Turkish never said they’d introduce doors in business class, and these are much more private than their old seats).

This seat may look familiar, and that’s because it’s a modified version of Singapore Airlines’ new 787-10 business class seat. Singapore Airlines is using the 787-10 primarily for regional routes, but not surprisingly they chose a very good product for these planes. This is a seat designed by Stelia Aerospace, and it looks like it’s based on the Stelia Solstys III seat.

So yeah, now we know for sure that this will be Turkish’s new business class seat. Unfortunately the airline doesn’t have plans to install these seats on their A330s and 777s, though the airline says they have a separate retrofit project for those planes (which we don’t yet know the details of).

Bottom line

Turkish’s new business class seat is a huge improvement over their old one, and I can’t wait for their 787s and A350s to enter service. While this isn’t a cutting edge hard product, Turkish has an excellent soft product, so this should be an all around very nice experience.

I’m also curious to see what retrofit plans they have for their 777 and A330 aircraft, given the (mostly) underwhelming products they offer on these planes.

What do you make of Turkish’s new business class seat?

  1. If this is really what it is, then not really impressed at all… especially with their long north and south America flights this is not the most desirable product…they could have done better ‍♂️

  2. If there is one thing that it is far from being class leading in SQ is their hard-product.
    No airline should copy that.
    I’d prefer them to go with the B/E Diamond that equips AA, AM, AC and otheir in their 780 family.

  3. I think the finishes look nice enough, though they should have gone with a reverse herringbone seat, especially if they could fit the same number of seats in the same space. Additionally, SQ uses this on regional flights, which I think says enough in terms of the quality of this hard product.

  4. @Noah
    I actually prefer SQ’s regional seat than their long-haul one in some of their planes. At least you don’t have to angle in an awful position to sleep.

    It also reminds me of TAP portugal’s new a330neo seat to a lesser extent.

  5. Not sure why so much criticism of this. It looks like an ordinary staggered configuration. It’s not Q suites, but beyond that it’s about as good as it gets in terms of all aisle access configurations. Is it materially different or worse than the El Al 787, which everyone has only great things to say about?

    Also, I think the finishes are particularly elegant. The cabin looks gorgeous.

  6. I guess it’s worse than a Vantage XL seat. The honeymoon config doesn’t make any sense with these huge privacy shields. Better to have a left-right staggered configuration.

  7. @Ric Turkish Airlines does have 3 routes for their 787, IST-DPS Starting July 17, IST-ATL Starting Sept 8? and IST-IAD Starting Sept 10.
    Also Lucky they know for certain not “They should receive each starting next year.” They will began receiving them.

  8. In the article it says TK is planning to fly to Mexico City and Cancun in 2019 and is working on opening a new route to EWR.

  9. A good home airport is vital for a hub and spoke transfer airline like Turkish. It is going to be interesting to see what the new Istanbul airport is like for transit passengers. Potentially, though, 2019 could be a very good year for Turkish.

  10. I can’t wait to fly a Turkish A350 from New York and then their 787 to Denpasar/Bali. Their fares are always so affordable & sensible, their food is reputable. Ahh I just can’t wait so I can ditch my current arrangements with stagnating Qatar!

  11. Ray i was thinking exactly the same, used to fly Paris DPS with Qatar until they destroyed any loyalty from their customers a few month ago by devaluating overnight their ffp and shutting down their ffp call centers.
    Now switching to EVAair, and awaiting TK impatiently.

  12. I actually love Turkish Airlines current business class seats over most others. The open plan allows you to stretch out and actually sleep. Unlike the cramped coffins that seem to be the norm in most “modern” business class.

  13. Looks fab! I know I’m in the minority, but I like their current product. Airy, fully flat and forward facing – combined with the best food in the air and in my experience very friendly crews. This will only improve it further.

  14. Hi there, I have a two seats for my honeymoon booked on the new 789’s on Turkish. From what I can tell, all the seats marked taken in your seat map are marked that way in every iteration of flights. That makes me think these aren’t actually seats but just place holders. Which seats would you guys recommend if we’re trying to sit together in the middle? The seat map and leaked new pictures together certainly don’t make it easy. The phone reps are pretty clueless as well.

  15. Why is it a huge improvement over the old one? I recently had 4 long hauls on TK and I slept very well on bot the 777 as well as the 330.
    What am I missing here?

  16. @ ron — Because the old 777 product had middle seats in business class, while the new one has direct aisle access from every seat.

  17. @lucky

    Nop. On none of the 4 flights I had was there a middle seat. They were all in 2-2-2. In fact on 3 of the 4 flights I was in the middle section. I had 3 flights on a 777 and 1 flight on a 330.

  18. I’ve just booked 787 flight for late this year – the seat map is 2-2-2 for the first 4 rows and 2-X-2 for row 5.

  19. Flying with Turkish Airlines supports the Islamic Dictatorship in Turkey. No westerner should enable Islamic dicattors.

  20. I love the Turkish soft product in business. Looking forward to new seats. Hopefully they will also upgrade their computer system technology as well.
    Not being able to see availability of seats until after purchase really sucks especially when traveling with a companion and get stuck in middle three seats!

  21. I’m confused why the seatmap shows that some of the seats do not have direct aisle access but you’re saying that they all do. I’m not a fan so far, I’ll wait for your review.

  22. Perhaps they might have got a good deal on the seats and same for Singapore because below flat seats are quite expensive… or maybe there were other products they preferred or were on their radar but demand couldn’t be met etc. In my opinion I’d see this as a down grade from their current business class because while it’s direct aisle access it looks a bit cramped and your feet go into a foot well where as their current business class is big and spacious, but to me it just doesn’t seem very Turkish.

  23. Are these the same as EVA airway’s new 787-10 seats? It feels like a lot of airlines are switching to these staggered seats, EVA switched over from the reverse herringbone, why is this become so popular?

  24. Being able to sleep in a middle seat beats being unable to sleep in a knee-room restricted seat with aisle access when you’re on a long haul. This is yet another airline downgrading business class for those who are taller and want to sleep before working at their destination.

    I don’t blame them – I’d make the same decision if I were running the airline – but there is a sizable cohort of customers for whom this is a bad thing.

  25. I too view this a HUGE downgrade. I travel quite a lot on mostly transatlantic but also transpacific business class and I never, ever travel alone on these flights, so privacy is a non-issue. During 2018 I flew with SAS, Lufthansa, Austrian, EVA, LOT, Swiss, United, Thai and Turkish and I LOVE Turkish (and EVA, I must admit). I really enjoy their current seats. With all these staggered seats you get so extremely close to the screen and have so little room for your feet, I just end up feeling confied and somewhat claustrophobic. With TK it’s easy to find a nice ”relax” position between lie-flat and upright, which I really enjoy. Love having the screen up front vs in my face. Will really miss the old seats. I also prefer the design of the old seats. Oh well.

  26. I agree with Lukas as I think this as a downgrade as well. I’ve flown on TK 777 business class and loved loved loved the legroom especially when sleeping or lounging. With this new configuration, your feet will be cubbyholed in that small tiny space that other airlines have.
    For ultra longhaul flights, having foot/legroom space helps.

  27. the world continues to put their money for products customers actually want, which is state of the art J class *without a door*. Anyone who tried the AA/AC/CI reverse herringbone seat seat can attest to the fact the tray, even when stowed, is so in your face.

    And there are tons of seats in this config offering lots of privacy. have no idea people insist every seat being all anti-social. On top of that, IIRC safety regulations kinda mandate those bulky air-bag type of seat belt for any type of herringbone, original or reverse – not exactly all that comfy to have that around your waist when trying to catch some sleep.

  28. Whose idea was it to put that huge partition between the honeymoon seats and between the passenger and the window on A and K seats?!? First SQ and now TK?
    Are there privacy concerns about geese looking through the window at passengers or couples looking at each other?

  29. @Lukas

    Just came off a SQ A350 and those seats are like prison cells. The current TK seats are comfy and roomy and I would rate take them anytime over SQ.
    Aisle access is easy to arrange when picking your seat, privacy is a non-issue to me as you know beforehand you won’t be alone in that aluminium tube.

  30. @ron

    Damn it. They look really tight but I’ve not tries them.

    Have a couple of TK long hauls coming up. Really hope they’re not switched to these new planes.

    Also, at TPG they write about these new seats as totally revolutionary. What a bunch of amateurs.

  31. Just took SIN-EWR in those seats, IMHO it was really difficult to sleep with how the seat flattens and angles, and still requires either the FA or the passenger to manually folding the seat up/down.

  32. I find award flight availability on line very easy. Usually four seats–or none if all taken.
    But then I book 11 to seven months in advance. The old seats were very exposed to me and did not seem fully flat. I look forward to this 787 from Atlanta which I just booked two award seats on. On ANA I prefer their old seats on 777 to new on 787; seems more spacious, but I am usually too tired to figure out why.

  33. @Lucky – I have upcoming ATL-IST Jclass in September. I prefer window seat with side table on aisle side…what seat #s are those?
    Thank you

  34. @Mag, have you found out anything about the 2 seats in the middle, I’m in the same situation on an upcoming 787-9 flight and none of their Rez agents I have spoken to have a clue and could care less

  35. @Mag. I found a way to start booking a dummy flight to pull up the seat map — (use the American Express Travel booking engine), and so far the seat map looks as confusing as ever. I am feeling that odd #’d rows (1EF, 3EF, etc) will be the married seats but of course I have no way to know for sure. @Lucky, can you chime in on your best guess?

  36. @JD Either aisle F is blocked or is not really a seat. In every seat map I checked for the next year or so, they’re all marked as booked. I know it says there’s 30 business class seats, but I can’t help but think there’s only 26.

  37. Hi Lucky, I find your articles very helpful. Thank you. One thing in my over 3 million miles (1 with Delta, and 2 with United) I have never transferred points. Is it hard to transfer points to Turkish Air from United or even from American Express? All insight is appreciated. And are the points the same. Example its 155K points to fly from ORD to VCE. Would it be the same number of points? Thanks again for your insight. John D.

  38. Fly 12/31 out of ATL and site/app refuse to let me change my B789 seats. It appears the window seats will be staggered with every other one closer to the aisle than the window. Is there any confirmation of this as I’m only blindly going by the posted site pictures. Thanks

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