YUL has a really beautiful international lounge; it's the picture I have as a cover shot. But, on our departure date, a Sunday, it closed at 8:30 p.m. Seriously! (This is also true: At the Iberia lounge in Madrid, they don't even put out hot food for dinner until 9:30 at night…) Since our flight wasn't leaving until 23:00 we went over to the domestic lounge.
It was pretty drab and eerie and old. The TK flight was really smooth. We were all boarded and left the gate early. Business was about half full. There was a huge amount of staff for the biz cabin including, yes, the chef with the toque. Dinner started around midnight Montreal time: They served snacks, an amuse bouche, then mezze by "candlelight" then main courses, then dessert, then, if you stayed up for the tea and coffee cart, there was more chocolate and so forth.
I got five hours sleep.
The seats are among the most spacious you could imagine, but to achieve that they have very little storage. I prefer the reverse herringbone of Cathay Pacific, which afford you more privacy, but there you go. The actual seat comfort was mediocre. Very good in a lie flat, and OK sitting up, but impossible to find a comfort level in between. The in-flight video was interminable, just not very much selection at all compared to most other international flights. They have a pamphlet on making up the bed, and they make a bed for you, and it's comfortable, but it seemed like a lot of fuss.
After I slept, about an hour out of Istanbul, they came around with an enormous breakfast. Although this sounds silly, I will say that Turkish actually served too much food (but of course you don't need to eat it). Flight staff were really friendly, although language was a little bit of a barrier.
There is an arrivals lounge at IST but I was too tired to bother.
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge
Montreal - YUL
Istanbul - ISL
Turkish just needs a few tweaks to be better than probably all the European domestic carriers: A little more comfort in the biz class seat, a wider selection on the in-flight program. And I definitely prefer the option to IST from North America, rather than say a UK hub first.
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