Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines has put a nice price tag on business class tickets from Budapest to Shanghai. Flights with a layover in Istanbul start at €1,448 (~HUF 513,852) and include a chance to enjoy one of the world’s largest business class lounges.
A Boeing 737 hosts you on your flight from Budapest to Istanbul. The onward journey takes place aboard a Boeing 777-300ER, that features lie-flat-seats in a 2-3-2 configuration in its premium cabin.
We expect further shakeups in the airline industry over the following months. Some services might be cancelled, aircraft changed or downgraded. The schedule we describe may very well change.
Search & Book
Fare rules for these tickets are not very restrictive. There is no sales or travel period. The minimum stay is only two days (or a single night from Saturday to Sunday) while the maximum stay is 12 months. You can find multiple flights at the lowest fare in each week of 2021, primarily for weekday departures.
You can find suiting travel dates with Google Flights (instructions). The lowest fare displayed may drop by €100 or more when entered in our flight search. However, these fares are mostly offered by online travel agencies while we recommend booking through turkishairlines.com.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
Turkish Airlines issues these tickets in booking class J. Most Star Alliance frequent flyer programs credit 100% of your travel distance without tier bonuses:
- 22,466 Miles on TAP Miles & Go
- 19,886 Kilometers on Air China PhoenixMiles
- 17,470 Award Miles + 4,368 Tier Miles on Miles&More
- 16,850 Miles on Avianca LifeMiles
- 16,156 Miles on Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- 14,042 Miles on EgyptAir Plus
- 12,356 Miles on South African Voyager
- 12,356 Miles on Air Canada Aeroplan
- 12,356 Miles on EVA Infinity MileageLands
- 11,280 Award Miles + 1,884 PQP on United MileagePlus
- 11,234 Miles on Copa ConnectMiles
- 11,234 Miles on Singapore KrisFlyer
- 11,234 Miles on Air India Flying Returns
- 11,234 Points on SAS EuroBonus
- 11,234 Miles on Ethiopian ShebaMiles
- 11,234 Miles on Aegean Miles+Bonus
- 11,234 Miles on Thai Royal Orchid Plus
- 11,234 Miles on ANA Mileage Club
- 11,234 Miles on Asiana Club
Turkish Airlines Business Class
Turkish Airlines’ Business Class product receives a lot of praise, especially for their outstanding catering that features on-board chefs on long haul routes. Their seats are comfortable and fully reclineable to a lie flat position.
Main point of criticism is their 2-3-2 seating pattern aboard their Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, that denies direct aisle access to the middle seat. Their Airbus A330 family feature are 2-2-2 pattern, which solves this problem. These reviews describe Turkish Airlines’ business class as fantastic and highly underrated:
- Turkish Airlines A330 Business Class Review by The Points Guy
- Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 Business Class Review by Onemileatatime
Cover Picture: Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge in Istanbul