The new Istanbul Airport opened last month (what it was like on Day 1) and with that opening, there were 2 of the 5 Turkish Airlines lounges opened that day as well (the Miles & Smiles Lounge and the Business Lounge – the Domestic Lounge was already open).
Video & Review: Turkish Airlines Lounge in New Istanbul Airport
New Info About the Turkish Airlines Exclusive Lounge
That left two more Turkish Airlines’ lounges to open – the Exclusive Lounge and the Arrival Lounge. Both are slated to open this summer (the Exclusives lounge was still boarded up when I was there last month).
While the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge and Miles & Smiles Lounge are really nice, you know there is something extra for a lounge to be named “Exclusive”. There has been a lot of questions and theories about who would have access to the Exclusive Lounge. What I had heard from many different people was that it would be exclusively for Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles Elite Plus members flying on business class tickets.
Who Can Use the Turkish Airlines Exclusive Lounge?
Apparently, Business Times says they heard from Turkish Airlines that the Exclusive Lounge will be like the others in that all five lounges are “available for Business Class, Miles & Smiles Elite Plus & Elite, Star Alliance Gold and Corporate Club passengers“.
Furthermore, Turkish told the Business Times that the Exclusive Lounge will “be located on the international departure terminal, mezzanine floor and provide a la carte dining, private suites with enclosed showers and a bar area, among other features.”
Will Access To All Lounges Really be the Same?
It seems strange to me to say that passengers that are Star Alliance Gold could have their pick of any of the lounges – why have one be “exclusive” if it is just another lounge? To be honest, I personally had thought that it would be exclusively for long-haul business class passengers with Star Alliance Gold status. That would help it to be a true differentiator, especially building up such things as the “private suites with enclosed showers” as part of the lounge features.
It is possible to buy Turkish Airlines business class tickets for quite cheap for short-haul flights so it is strange to allow even those passengers access to the Exclusive Lounge. The same would be true for the host of Star Alliance Gold passengers flying in economy (ever see that line for TK flights? Always packed with way more passengers than business class holds!).
My guess is that Turkish Airlines meant that those lounges are available for those passengers but they will be requiring some combination of those requirements for entry to the Exclusive Lounge.
I will be flying through Istanbul again in September on a paid, long-haul business class (their brand new business class cabin, woohoo!) fare as a Star Gold so it would be great if I got access! Even if I don’t, maybe I can get a sneak peak to let you all know what we may be missing out on! 🙂
No More Paid Access for Turkish Airlines CIP Domestic Lounge
One more bit of lounge news – Turkish Airlines had been allowing passengers to pay for access to the CIP Domestic Lounge but they will stop that as of June 1, 2019. My guess is they weren’t having that many guests so let people pay for access but now that it is getting busier, they are ending that program.