How to Make the Most of Turkish Airlines Economy Class

An economy seat comes with perks you might expect at the front of the plane — like two checked bags and amenity kits.
Jon Nickel-D'Andrea
By Jon Nickel-D'Andrea 
Edited by June Casagrande

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Turkish Airlines flies to more countries than any other airline in the world, so there’s a good chance that if you want to take a vacation, Turkish Airlines can get you there.

While a luxury trip in first or business class might not be in your budget, Turkish Airlines economy class offers a phenomenal onboard experience, with free meals, checked luggage and entertainment on all of its long-haul flights.

Based on our most recent analysis, NerdWallet values Turkish Airlines miles at 1.1 cents each.

Here’s what you can expect from your next flight in Turkish Airlines economy class.

How to book Turkish Airlines economy class

When you book a Turkish Airlines flight, you’ll see that the economy fare level includes three different booking classes: promotion, semi-flexible and flexible. The promotion class tickets come with the most restrictions.

For example, if you want to select your seat at time of booking a promotion class ticket, you’ll pay anywhere from $39 for a regular seat up to $119 for an exit row. You can avoid this charge by waiting until check-in for the airline to assign a seat for you.

Using miles to book Turkish economy class

If you’ve got United Airlines miles, you can use them to book Turkish Airlines tickets, as both airlines are members of the Star Alliance. The number of miles you need will vary by destination and date. To fly from the U.S. to Turkey on Turkish Airlines with United miles, expect economy tickets to start around 33,000 miles each way.

The same Turkish Airlines flight costs 30,000 Turkish Miles&Smiles miles, but the taxes and fees are $77.20 (compared with $5.60 for United). If you don’t have Turkish Airlines miles, you can transfer Citi ThankYou Rewards points to Turkish Miles&Smiles at a 1:1 ratio.

If you typically find yourself book tickets with Star Alliance airlines, adding a strategic travel card to your wallet can net you serious value.

  • Aegean Airlines.

  • Air Canada.

  • Air China.

  • Air India.

  • Air New Zealand.

  • All Nippon Airways (ANA).

  • Asiana Airlines.

  • Austrian Airlines.

  • Avianca.

  • Brussels Airlines.

  • Copa Airlines.

  • Croatia Airlines.

  • EgyptAir.

  • Ethiopian Airlines.

  • Eva Air.

  • Lot Polish Airlines.

  • Lufthansa.

  • Scandinavian Airlines.

  • Shenzhen Airlines.

  • Singapore Airlines.

  • South African Airways.

  • Swiss Airlines.

  • TAP Air Portugal.

  • Thai Airways.

  • Turkish Airlines.

  • United Airlines.

Before you start using airline miles to book flights, you have to earn them. Beyond flying, another way to amass a large number of travel rewards is to earn a sign-up bonus for a relevant credit card.

Top cards for frequent Star Alliance flyers
Chase United Airlines Mileage Plus Credit Card
United℠ Explorer Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Aeroplan Credit Card
Aeroplan® Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Citibank ThankYou Premier Credit Card
Citi Premier® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Horizontal scroll

What to expect in Turkish Airlines economy class

Different types of planes

Turkish Airlines operates many types of long-haul aircraft. If you read any Turkish Airlines economy review, you’ll see that the type of plane you’re flying on matters. You could be on a Boeing 777-300, or an Airbus 330. You might get to fly on the newest Airbus A350 or Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Economy class seat maps differ by airplane.

The Boeing 777, 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 offer a 3-3-3 configuration, meaning the plane has three seats on the left, three seats in the middle and three seats on the right.

The Airbus A330 and Airbus A340 offer a 2-4-2 configuration. This means that if you get seats on the left or right of the aircraft, you can avoid a dreaded middle seat. If you’re traveling with a partner or friend, two seats off to the side can mean you’re not sharing your space with a stranger.

Baggage allowance

When you fly to or from the U.S. in Turkish Airlines economy class, you can check two bags weighing up to 50 pounds (23kg) each, plus the ability to bring a carry-on bag, like a purse or tote, and an accessory item, like headphones or a camera.


Turkish Airlines economy class seats offer moveable headrests and recline so you can get a decent rest on the plane. Seat pitch will vary from 30 to 33 inches depending on the plane.

There’s free entertainment for passengers in economy, with a wide selection for kids. Power outlets are located either under the seat or in the seat back in front of you.

Food and onboard service

Turkish Airlines economy class is known for its high-quality food and a menu that emphasizes seasonal ingredients.

On overnight flights to Turkey from the U.S., you’ll get both dinner and breakfast. If you have special dietary requirements, put in a request up to 24 hours before your flight. Dietary accommodations include kosher and Jain meals, all the way to strict vegan and diabetic options.

Onboard service is where Turkish Airlines shines. If you’re flying on a long-haul overnight flight, economy class even gets you an amenity kit with ear plugs, a sleep mask, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste and lip balm.

Amenity kits are usually only given to business class passengers, but Turkish hospitality extends to every class of service, including economy.

Economy class travel tips

There are some easy steps you can take to make your next trip in economy class on Turkish Airlines that much better.

Use miles to save cash

You could save a lot of money by using miles instead of paying cash. Search for award flights using Turkish miles, as well as the miles from a partner airline (like United). Compare fees and other out of pocket costs to find the best deal.

Bring a snack (just in case)

While Turkish Airlines economy class food is fantastic and offers a huge variety, remember that with COVID-19, policies are constantly changing. If you want to make sure that you have a specific kind of food, grab a few munchies before you go.

Invest in noise-canceling headphones

No matter what airline you fly, economy class comes with some things you can’t control — like a crying baby or a snoring passenger next to you. Noise-canceling headphones can make your trip more serene by shutting out the sounds around you.

Consider a light blanket

Airline cabins can get cold. Dress in layers and, if you have a light travel blanket, bring that along. If nothing else, you can use it to cover your legs and feet during a long flight.

Final thoughts on Turkish Airlines economy class

Turkish Airlines can get you a lot of places around the globe, and its economy class product offers a variety of creature comforts that many airlines skip — including hot meals to free entertainment and even adjustable headrests for a good night’s sleep.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.