TRIP REPORT: Turkish Airlines, Zagreb - Istanbul


Recently flew Turkish Airlines from Zagreb to Istanbul, and onwards to the US. I arrived at Zagreb Airport which was very quiet at that time of day prior to my evening flight, and upon checking in I proceeded to the Primeclass lounge.

The lounge is easy to find, located more or less in the center of the international departure lounge after passport control, across from the gates. While this lounge will not win any awards when compared to an international business class lounges at a major airport, it does have plenty of room and a decent spread of food and snacks. I didn’t overdo it with food, as I expected a good dinner meal on the Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul later that evening. In addition to plenty of varied seating and tables, there are lockers where you can leave your bags if you plan to rest or nap. You could also leave your bags here while heading out to the terminal to walk or grab food at one of the restaurants.

After some light bites and some work, it was time to head out to the concourse for my flight to Istanbul. This is a reasonably short 2-hour hop over to Turkey.

Business Class on this particular international Turkish Airlines flight was nearly empty, with only a handful of people for over a dozen seats. There was also an amazing amount of space between the seats, even fully reclined with the footrest, there was extra room. It did mean you had to physically get up out of the seat and walk over to access the storage space under the seat in front of you! The seat itself also features TV screens, which are taken out of the armrest, although I didn’t watch anything.

There were 3 flight attendants for business class, so we were well cared for. Everyone was offered a choice of pre-flight beverage, I went for the radioactive red one, a departure from my normal orange, I believe this is sour cherry or something along those lines. We also were given menus before takeoff so as to get started immediately once airborne.

There were two main courses, in addition to three side dishes, starting with cheese, a small salad, mango panna cotta, and a Turkish meze sampler. All were very fresh and tasted great. For the main course, I chose the swordfish steak option with cauliflower, which was very nice. Again, you would never believe this was served on a short 2-hour flight on a 737. Afterwards coffee and tea was served and shortly after it was already time to begin our descent.

Once we reached Turkey, we spent a decent amount of time circling and turning in the pattern before we started our approach. After landing, we parked in a remote spot and had to take buses to the terminal. Since business class get a separate bus, and there were only a few of us, it was kind of barren and quiet on the ride to the terminal, which took a decent bit of time while we drove and drove around all the planes and active runways. Istanbul is a huge and busy airport.

I’m not sure if it was because we came from Croatia, or because my continuing flight was to the United States, but I had to go through another security screening before entering the terminal…unlike when I flew from the US to Turkey and I could just walk off the plane. 

In any case, the flight on board Turkish Airways was excellent and unlike what you will get on other airlines on a 2-hour flight.

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  1. Anonymous09:13

    Wow ZAG looks deserted! I guess you departed after all those Ryanair flights.

    1. Anonymous11:20

      Better deserted than overcrowded. I recently flew from TSF and had to sit on the floor, and even that was a privilege! Finding a good spot. Not much different at VCE. So I’m very much looking forward to my flight from ZAG.

    2. Anonymous11:44

      Another troll, that's all.

    3. Anonymous12:24

      Who exactly is the troll? The author who said based on his personal experience that the airport was empty? If you look at the departure board TK flies frm ZAG at a very quiet time.

      Anon 11.44 you are the troll.

  2. Anonymous10:44

    Its a shame Air Serbia and Croatia Airlines Business class product has deteriorated so much over the years.

    1. Anonymous13:45

      Well yea, but they don't have sultans who would be pumping copious amount of money into their airlines.

    2. Anonymous11:08

      @13:45 you might wanna check financial results of TK.. If anyone, then TK is making money for sultans, not the other way around.

  3. @author
    Security check on arrival to IST is not because of Croatia, US, or any other country. When you came to Turkey from the US, it was direct flight between 2 countries, not transfer flight. Turkey was your destination. In that case, you go to immigration and customs, and leave the airport. Going from any country, transferring through IST, and continuing the flight to the next destination, both domestic or international, you are subject to transfer security check. Used IST at least 5 times during last two years for transfers, and it was always the case.

    1. Anonymous08:41

      not true. i flew from Ljubljana to Dubai via Istanbul and didnt have any extra security ... but i did everytime i flew to US, also in Belgrade ...

    2. Transfer. IST. Security. Full stop. You can write another 100 times it's not true, it does not change the fact that ALL international passengers transferring IST have to pass security control on arrival, before proceeding to the departure aerea and gates, A to F

  4. Anonymous23:52

    Thanks for the really nice Tripreport

  5. Anonymous06:44

    That swordfish meal really got me.These are very expensive fish i am suprised it was being served .TK really spare no expenses.
    Thanks for the review


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