Turkish confirms killing of Comfort Class


There are many stories out over the past couple years describing how profitable and valuable a premium economy cabin is to airlines. Turkish Airlines gave it a go, adding Comfort Class to their 777-300ER planes, the aircraft they use on their longest flights where such an offering would likely be in the greatest demand. The net result for them: It didn’t work. Company executives have confirmed that they are going to be removing the Comfort Class product in the coming months; rumors of these cuts first surfaced last October.

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The Comfort Class cabin was larger than comparable offerings by most competitors, featuring 63 seats across 9 rows. The reviews I’ve read were mixed, for the most part, with some complaining that it isn’t sufficiently close to business class to justify the premium charge. My only experience was quite pleasant, with a mostly empty cabin (thought that’s not good for the company, obviously) and only a modest surcharge for the upgrade (~$275 for IST-JFK).

The company blames the products failings on the limited deployment and inability to make a similar product work on their narrow-body planes. Indeed, they only have it on the 77W fleet so a very, very small portion of their aircraft. But it is hard to believe that they couldn’t come up with a hybrid option for the shorter flights. Why not just a blocked middle seat like EuroBiz on most other carriers? Or maybe that’s too much of a benefit given that it is what business class is selling for in many cases. But Turkish actually has bigger seats for biz on their smaller planes; they could make it work.

Instead, however, it appears they’re going to try to simply improve (and expand) both the coach and business class offerings to make up for it. From a personal perspective it is a shame; I think they priced their Comfort Class at the right point to be a great value for the customer. Then again, that’s probably why it failed as a product.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

9 Comments

  1. It is a shame. I paid for Comfort Class because it was a reasonable compromise for me / my client. They didn’t notice my slightly higher travel costs and I got a less exhausting flight from LAX-IST. There aren’t many companies willing to “put you in business for all international flights” anymore, at least in my line of work!

  2. Agreed, a real shame in general although I wasn’t too pleased with that middle seat either, but made the new IAH-IST flight much more pleasant.

  3. Agree, flew IAH-IST and thought the seat was great, same spacing as Biz. Shame, marketing fail.

  4. I loved comfort class and it felt like other carriers’ biz class — so many are copying this PC now like AC and LX — wonder if it will work for them? I will miss the TK comfort class!

  5. Having flown this cabin several times it will be missed. I found the seats as comfortable as any outside true premium cabins, and would say combined with the excellent meals (albeit dubious wines) it rivalled UA’s old C product! I know some complained the pitch and recline wasn’t great but I found it comfortable. Of course, on all the occasions I flew CC, the cabin was hardly half full and upgrades were being sold for a reasonable $275 or so (each) between HKG-IST and IST-LAX. In my case, I flew these segments on an extraordinarily good fare ex-HKG to LAX via IST as a MR, a fare less than normal economy, so I can see from the airline’s point of view the cabin was just not generating the $s anticipate.. My other TK flights have been in business, trying both 777 and 330 versions. I suppose it will take some time to phase out and the TK ticket office across from my condo has not removed the huge CC posters from its window!

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