For an airline with a lounge that is etched in so many travelers’ minds, it sometimes comes as a surprise that Turkish Airlines has only one of its award-winning business class lounges outside of Turkey. In 2014, the airline opened its first overseas lounge in Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport. Called “Lounge Istanbul – Moscow,” it aimed to be a more modest version of the humongous airline lounge found in Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport.
Before my flight out of Moscow with Turkish Airlines, I managed to check out the Lounge Istanbul – Moscow which is located in VKO’s relatively underused Terminal A. The 635 square meter lounge which can seat 150 passengers is open 24 hours a day. TK has quite a number of flights originating from Vnukovo Airport. Aside from the 4x daily flights to Istanbul, there are also several flights a day to Antalya as well as flights to the Turkish capital, Ankara so it does make sense to operate a lounge there. Aside from Turkish Airlines passengers flying on business class, the lounge is also open to Star Alliance Gold members.
The Lounge Istanbul – Moscow is located at the far end of Vnukovo Airport’s transit area, near the fountains. After going up an escalator, the lounge is hard to miss with its trademark arches similar to the one in Istanbul.
I arrived at the lounge a good 3 hours before my flight and found myself the only passenger there! First impression – it’s like a bite-size version of the original albeit still huge at 635 square meters. I was greeted with the pool table and mini library as I entered, similar to the real thing.
There are several types of seating available inside the lounge. Dining tables and chairs alternated with lounge chairs.
For those just planning to just relax, there are also a number of armchairs to choose from. Other passengers started to arrive after a few minutes but it never got crowded at all (the most I counted was 3 passengers). Most flights out of Moscow utilize narrowbodies such as the A321 or the 737-800 which have the capacity of 20 passengers at most in business class.
There is a computer station for those planning to surf or get some work done. Printers are also available for last-minute ticket printing!
TK’s trademark 6-screen TV wall is also found here. There is also a small meeting area at the far end of the lounge.
Flight information screens also display the status of flights departing from Istanbul which is quite helpful for those transiting towards another destination.
Food & Drink at Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul – Moscow
As there were no other passengers when I got to the lounge, I noticed there were mostly cold dishes at the buffet table. There was a nuts and olives section as well as a table filled with various types of Turkish salads and cold appetizers. I was pleasantly surprised to find lentil soup here as well – probably one of my favorites among the lounge food offered by TK.
A few minutes after I arrived, the chef started cooking some hot dishes. After the hot items were cooked, the chef called me from where I was sitting to offer me some Turkish beef patties.
A couple more passengers arrived and pide or bread stuffed with meat and/or cheese soon followed.
The drinks section consisted of your mineral water, juices, softdrinks and beer.
The Lounge Istanbul – Moscow has no shower facilities. TK flights out of Moscow are only about 2 to 3 hours in terms of duration. If you need to freshen up before your flight, your best bet is at the Tchaikovsky Lounge just next door – a pay per use lounge which has a shower area. Entry is at 3,300 Rubles (cash only).