05/27/2015 01:04 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

12 Reasons Why The Turkish Airlines Lounge in Istanbul Is A Destination Itself


The privilege of entering an airport lounge has always eluded me until now. They are typically not near the gate, and the food is mediocre at best. My fear of missing either a gate change or my flight has always outweighed any luxury the lounge may offer.

At least, that was until I visited the Turkish Airlines Lounge in Istanbul, Turkey. Tom Hanks' character in The Terminal would want to have been stuck here. I can't imagine who wouldn't? The lounge seems to have every amenity possible including the ability to:

1-Store Your Luggage
Clear self-locking storage cubes that look like modern art are available to stash your belongings. As such, bathroom breaks no longer require dragging luggage across wet and dirty floors. Every airport should offer this convenience.


2-Play Pool
This is a civilized way to settle once and for all who is stuck in the middle seat.


3-Putt Your Time Away At The Turkish Open
Sharpen your golfing game while you await your next flight.


4-Munch On Popcorn While You Watch A Movie
Slink into comfy seats and watch the time fly by as you view a film. Flight updates flash on the screen.


5-Wear Your Children Out At The Children's Zone
Your children can have fun and expend all their pent up energy so they eventually sleep on the flight.


6-Spoil Yourself With Turkish Delicacies
The food alone is worth the journey. This is not the typical uninspired food often found at lounges. The cuisine is first rate. Watch chefs prepare local fare such as Turkish bagels, traditional turkish wraps, or the dish similar to a stuffed pizza, Pide.


If that's not enough, sample a wide array of olives at the Turkish Olive bar.


The beverage wall is enormous. Unsure which Turkish pastry to taste? Try them all.


Local delicacies aren't your thing? Indulge in decadent pastries from Demel of Austria.


The food changes throughout the day. Omelettes were offered for breakfast and Pide for lunch.


I seriously considered missing my flight just to investigate the afternoon snacks and dinner in the name of this article, of course. But, the fear of gorging myself into needing a second seat ensured I didn't.

7-Scan The Media Wall
Watch the latest events around the world on nine television monitors.


8-Go Old School With Reading Material
Periodicals and magazines from around the world are available for people who are tired of looking at their screens.


9-Sooth Out The Stress With A Massage
Have a little R&R with a relaxing chair massage gratis.


10-Race Slot Cars
Let your inner child come out by challenging your seat mate to your own Grand Prix race.


11-Listen To Serene Piano Music
Let the piano player calm your travel nerves.


12-Nap Away The Time
A nap is in order after all this activity and eating.


Istanbul is fabulous but who needs to leave this airport with its great food, massages, and fun?