Turkish Airlines Resumes Full Onboard Dining Service

Filed Under: Turkish

Turkish Airlines has historically offered the world’s best business class catering, though that was cut back due to coronavirus. Well, it looks like the carrier’s award-winning catering is making a comeback.

Turkish Airlines resumes premium catering

Effective immediately, Turkish Airlines has resumed its premium onboard dining and hot meal service on all business class and economy class flights of at least 2hr15min.

After having suspended most service towards the start of the pandemic, the airline is now back to offering full premium menus prepared by DO & CO.

The airline notes that with these updates, breakfast specialties will include the following:

  • Honeycomb from Erzincan, “kaymak” clotted cream from Afyon, Anatolian style spicy pepper and tomato spread
  • “Gözleme” Grilled Flat Pastry, stuffed with cheese and spinach
  • Cheese and Tomato Omelette with sautéed mushrooms
  • A selection of regional cheeses: aged cheese (Kars), “Ezine” (Çanakkale), with marinated Turkish olives, dried figs and apricots

Meanwhile dinner specialties will include the following:

  • Grilled Turkish Style Meatball, with sautéed zucchini and roasted red pepper bulgur pilaf
  • Grilled Swordfish Brochette, with celeriac potato purée, Tuscan-style vegetables
  • Traditional “Dolma” Varieties, minced beef stuffed vine leaves and zucchini and “Karniyarik,” eggplant with minced beef, tomato sauce and yogurt
  • “Manti” Homemade Turkish Ravioli with minced beef, tomato sauce, yogurt
  • Grilled Lamb Chopswith polenta crespelle and ratatouille
  • Sea Bass en Papilotte and julienne vegetables
  • “Karniyarik,” traditional stuffed eggplant with minced beef, buttered rice
  • Grilled Chicken Brochette with grilled tomato and pepper bulgur pilaf
  • Rigatoni with homemade Parmesan Tomato Sauce

I’m seeking clarification as to whether we’re seeing a full return to the previous service or not — my guess is that we won’t immediately see the return of the meal display trolleys in long haul business class, though service should otherwise more or less be back to normal.

Turkish Airlines’ long haul business class catering

Turkish Airlines’ long haul business class catering

Turkish Airlines’ long haul business class catering

Turkish Airlines’ long haul business class catering

Turkish Airlines’ long haul business class catering

How bad were Turkish’s catering downgrades?

Shortly after the start of the pandemic, Turkish Airlines took its catering downgrades to the extreme, even more so than what we’ve seen at US airlines. In business class on long haul flights, meals were cold and served in boxes, there was no coffee or tea onboard, and there was no glassware.

I believe all of that has been restored at this point, which is fantastic news. Turkey continues to be open to visitors from around the world.

Turkish’s new Boeing 787-9 business class

Bottom line

Turkish Airlines is back to offering proper catering on all flights of at least 2hr15min. You can once again expect full hot meals, a proper drink selection, and some of the best catering in the sky.

Anyone have plans to fly Turkish Airlines anytime soon?

  1. I know I like to give you a hard time about posting updates that are a day late/dollar short for me – but this is fantastic news! Will be flying them in about a month, A 787 connecting to 777. I flew them last fall when service was cut and it’s just not the same…

    Any ideas if they will start flying the newer configuration/787 to NYC?

  2. Great news! I’ve flown Turkish Airlines on several occasions and experienced exceptional premium services including outstanding onboard catering! Looking forward to another flight in the coming months. American international carriers should strive to meet high premium customer services of Turkish Airlines! Long overdue!

  3. Very old news Lucky. Flights have had hot meals since mid February on the routes you indicate and I’ve personally experienced these changes. The menu you indicate is the same as I had and it’s still a far cry from the onboard chefs of yesteryear.

  4. EXCELLENT! Flying them in J for the first time in August to Istanbul, around Turkey, and then back to the US (both international routes on the 789 version).

    Hoping the IST business lounge is at full operations by then!

    It feels good to be planning trips again and burning up these miles.

  5. Oh, and used ANA via 176k Amex MR points + $640 for the two of us to get four flights all in business (ORD – IST – ASR – ADB – ATL (via IST))! I priced that flight out, and it would be over $12k cash. Interestingly it took almost 5 days for points to transfer.

    I’m so glad to have resources like this site as I’m only about a year into learning / earning.

  6. @Ben

    Do you know if it’s still Do&Co responsible for the catering? Or is this just the return of hot meals?

  7. Great news for Turkish Airline,like few other international airlines.Their flights from US to europe,India& fareast countries will now be full& packed.I was avoiding US airlines because of poor meal service(No hot food,tea or coffee) It is time to get back to some sense.Thank you Turkish Airlines.

  8. Their meals are indeed excellent but I wish they updated their menu a bit more frequently. I think I have had pretty much all the main dishes in the list you provided above over the last 4-5 years.

  9. We flew FRA-IST last month and I was impressed with the brownbag “meal” they provided in Y. I’m sure this will be an even better upgrade, but I definitely wasn’t complaining. It was far better than any domestic Y service, even pre-pandemic.

  10. My September flight they had the cold box foods in J but I thought it was pretty good. They served hot meals in J on my flights in December and January as well but it all came in one tray. Quality of food was back to being top notch though by December.

  11. I just looked at the photo of the menu I took a picture of from my January flight. It’s the exact same menu as you laid out above. They served the starter salad with hummus, fried eggplant appetizer and cake dessert all in one tray and then after finishing the salad, they replaced it with the main course (swordfish which was pretty good). They covered the tray with a plastic cover but the meals were served on actual plates/bowls instead of in a box/plastic etc. For snacks they did have the awful cheese sandwich though.

  12. I’ve got TK J booked with UA miles for August on the 789, on my way to Belgrade. Very excited! I’m hoping LH F opens up by then since I’ve got the points to burn, but if not I’ll be more than happy with Turkish!

  13. @WHS
    I flew turkish out of IAD in Feb and there was no meal service- just the box with snacks. I flew back today and full meal service is restored.

  14. Flying TK 6 (ORD-IST) next week. Will be happy to provide the datapoint of what they gave us. Curious about the trolley and the chef-hatted gentleman, will he be back?

  15. Just a question, If given a choice, would you fly Turkish Air Business Class or Qatar Business Class?

  16. “I’m seeking clarification as to whether we’re seeing a full return to the previous service or not — my guess is that we won’t immediately see the return of the meal display trolleys in long haul business class, though service should otherwise more or less be back to normal.”

    United and Lufthansa offer full meal services, but even then, in some cases, there are still some cutbacks. United on transatlantic flights for example doesn’t offer appetizers for the first meal, and on flights departing the US to Germany, Lufthansa doesn’t offer side salads. Plus their pre-arrival breakfasts now make you choose between the cold cuts plate and the dairy dish being offered, while pre-arrival meals to the East Coast don’t offer a soup dish anymore.

    Not huge complaints overall, in the end you’re still getting a decent amount of food and a hot meal as the entree, but it is still interesting to note.

    It will be interesting to see how “full” the onboard dining experience will be on Turkish these days, just as a point of comparison.

  17. I just flew their IST to LAX route in Business this past week. Food service was way better than the boxed lunches back in October, but I certainly wouldn’t say it’s back to being the same premium service from before. Main meals are tasty but appetizers and desserts are lackluster. Good to have coffee and tea back! The business lounge in Istanbul is also still operating at a reduced capacity from before but good enough where I don’t have any complaints there.

  18. Horrible airline, keeping their cabins at a sweltering 24 deg C. Never again! Regardless of catering.

  19. I can confirm that full catering is back on the >2h15’ routes to Europe and the Middle East. I had two excellent meals on ZRH-IST-ZRH in March. The only remaining difference is no pre-departure beverages.

  20. Agree that Turkish has the best food in the sky (at least for business class). Only problem is that the starter trolley tends to make me full 😉

  21. I vowed never to fly them again. Qatar are so much better. I used thousands of miles to upgrade flights with Turkish Airlines in January as I had a long stopover. Business class was a joke, the lounge had no shower or rest facilities and not hot food except toasted sandwiches. Also no alcohol. COVID attacks warm food and booze in airports?! No thanks and never again. I contacted their service teams and suggested they warn customers of their limitations or why bother offering upgrade offers…?! They didn’t even seem apologetic.
    I flew Qatar a week later and they were amazing.

  22. I am flying in June from Istanbul to Los Angeles do you know which Aircraft it would be? I hope it would be a Dreamliner.

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