Team Travel Secrets travels frequently with Turkish Airlines, and on each leg of each trip, we savour the multiple pleasures of the CIP Lounge at Istanbul Airport. No wonder, then, that we find ourselves wishing for long layovers!

The spiral staircase you see below connects the two levels of the lounge, both designed for ultimate comfort and relaxation.  More than 1000 guests can enjoy the lounge at any given time–and even when it is full, the sheer sense of space and quiet elegance never lets you feel cramped. My favourite thing to do is rather old-school; I take a seat beside the window downstairs, and read a newspaper or magazine while sipping freshly brewed coffee.



You can use the CIP Lounge if you are:

  • A Business Class traveller on international flights operated by Turkish Airlines,
  • A Miles&Smiles Elite and Elite Plus member (you may invite your family or one guest),
  • Star Alliance Gold member (you may invite one guest),
  • A First or Business Class traveller on flights operated by Star Alliance member airlines.
  • A Turkish Corporate Club card owner.

Scan your boarding pass to walk in. The first thing you do is deposit your bags in the spacious lockers at the lounge.



Hands free, you can now luxuriate in the comfort of a plush sofa and either catch a snooze or the latest news…


But this is foodie haven, so you’re likelier to head straight for the food and drink, laid out on multiple islands across both levels of the lounge. The spread takes “spoilt for choice” to another level altogether! Vibrant salads composed of fresh, colourful veggies and luscious Turkish dips. The finest selection of tea, coffee, cakes and pastries. In-house chefs rolling out and filling up the region’s specialty, pide (pronounced pea-day), boat-shaped pizza-like tarts, only much more interesting to look at and delicious to taste! The fillings include spinach, Turkish peynir cheese, peppers and more.


A counter for nuts of all flavour and crunch. The olive bar, decked with every variety of the coveted fruit. Soft drinks, juice, wines, spirits, traditional Turkish yogurt drink….see how interesting the yogurt contraption looks!


and the most mouthwatering of them all…hot, fresh Kebabs!


If you are a light eater or want to reserve your appetite for the equally delicious onboard meals, skip the goodies and turn your attention to the other leisurely pastimes on offer: try your hand at the golf simulator. Play a cool game of billiards or recharge your batteries with the micro car race track. Relax in the cool comfort of the mini theater and let Leonard Cohen’s gravelly voice lull you into a soothing nap. Ever thoughtful of your pleasure, they’ve got an old-style popcorn machine right by the theatre!

For some, the handpicked selection of books works like balm to the tired mind. Others prefer to enjoy a neck massage, offered gratis at your chair. Whatever your idea of between-flight indulgence, you will find it here. And like us, you’ll want to come back for more.