When planning my inbound trip to London from Istanbul, I really wished to fly Turkish Airlines as I was hoping to try out their renowned business class lounge at IST – and not to mention that their product in the air is generally deemed a lot better than BA. Unfortunately, their flight ticket was THREE times more expensive, so I had to stick to BA instead.
As a result I could only use the iGA lounge as an alternative. Besides TK’s lounge, there is also a Skyteam-branded lounge at IST, although it is closed at the moment. So I think all non-SA premium passengers are directed to this lounge for now.
The shade of Covid-19 seems to be already going away in Turkey, as both Istanbul’s streets and airport are very busy now. However, I’m really impressed by how excellent they are enforcing the face covering rule – literally every one is wearing one indoors, and if you don’t wear it properly (e.g. not covering your nose) you’ll certainly get a warning . At the same time in London and UK…
Back to the topic, being a fairly new and big airport, IST is very well designed although I didn’t spend a lot of time in the terminal. The signage is great so you won’t have any difficulty finding the iGA lounge.
Once you’ve proven your qualification, a receptionist will mark your boarding pass electronically, and you can scan it at the gate to walk in.
Once inside, you’ll find the lounge being separated into two main areas by the middle wall.
The left part is smaller, with massage service (not sure if it’s paid), a bar, a pool table and some work desks.
There is also a terrace – it seems to be a very Turkish thing which I find interesting.
The right part is the dining area and more seats.
For safety reasons there’s no hot buffet, but you could order the items from the chef instead. There are four dishes which to be honest is decent enough especially under the current circumstances.
There is another food stall where you order cakes and the likes.
There is a cold buffet, and all food items are wrapped in plastics. Beverages, whether hot and cold, are self service.
The ceiling of the lounge (airport) makes me feel like in a sci-fi film 🙂
Although a bit lacking in character (which is typical for third party lounges), the lounge is definitely adequate enough and a good place to dine or rest for a couple of hours before your flight. I do hope though, that I could use the TK lounge next time, before my matched TAP Gold expires!