[Now Available In Multiple Lounges] Awesome! Kosher Food Arrives At Istanbul Airport!

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Update, 7/29: Rabbi Chitrik, Chairman of the Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States, shares that kosher food is now available in Turkish Airlines’ awesome business class and in their international Miles & Smiles/Star Alliance Gold lounge! Those massive lounges are highly rated and also include a prayer room.

Options include sandwiches like “Tuna, Egg, Olive spread, vegetables as well as marble and lemon cakes.”

Turkish Airlines is one of the largest carriers in Tel Aviv, with 9 daily flights between Istanbul and Tel Aviv including multiple A330 and 777 widebody flights with lie-flat business class and fresh locally produced meals on flights from Istanbul.

Kosher meals are also still available at the IGA Priority Pass lounge and the kosher vending machine.

Kudos to Rabbi Chitrik for making sure that the hundreds of Jews flying through Istanbul daily have kosher food to eat and for keeping us in the know!

Originally posted on 2/21:

It’s not easy to find kosher food in airports.

There are DDF threads where people report finding kosher food for sale in airports and free kosher food available in airport lounges.

In the US, you won’t find any substantial kosher food for sale at an airport if you’re not in New York City/Newark.

But Istanbul now has a kosher vending machine which will sell fresh kosher sandwiches, snacks, and desserts. You can find the vending machine in between Concourse A and B, in front of Starbucks.

The food is kosher certified by the OK and KTR (Turkish Rabbinate) under Rabbi Mendy Chitrik’s supervision.

Kosher food is also available for free in the IGA Lounge located in the international terminal’s mezzanine, which is accessible for free with Priority Pass. Cards like Capital One Venture X, AMEX Business Platinum, AMEX Consumer Platinum, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant AMEX, and more include Priority Pass lounge access.


Istanbul Airport even features 2 Jewish prayer rooms.

Why Istanbul and not Atlanta, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, or Miami?

Most of those airports have tried kosher food unsuccessfully, though perhaps a vending machine is the way to go to keep costs down?

Turkish Airlines carries hundreds of kosher observant Jews on their flights daily. They’re a highly rated Star Alliance airline and have operated as many as a dozen flights a day between Istanbul and Tel Aviv. They also have a generous baggage allowance (2 free bags to Israel is a rare perk these days!) and operate a highly rated business class lounge. From Istanbul, their flights offer fresh locally made kosher meals.

Plus, they have an incredible mileage program with point transfers from Capital One and Citi.

If you’re flying through Istanbul, let us know your thoughts on the kosher food in the vending machine or lounge!

HT: @mchitrik

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67 Comments On "[Now Available In Multiple Lounges] Awesome! Kosher Food Arrives At Istanbul Airport!"

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Is Turkish airlines safe?


Read the post?


I did, but is it safe?


Based on the way you continuously ask thr question, I’d suggest you pay more and take a different airline.


As long as you don’t take pictures of the Palace.


yes i flew there a lot of times


Hi Dan, can you post a link where you have written how to use Turkish points to Israel? Are Turkish points a bargain to Isreal only if you United has saver award availability? Or also in there own metal?


To fly through IST do you need vaccines etc.?


Have looked at Turkish, but a lot of time their stopover times are so short that I get nervous I won’t make the flight to TLV? Dan, any recommendations for a reasonable amount of time to make the next flight? Thanks


Did it twice RT, no issues. Usually there’s another flight a couple of hours later so worst case, you’ll get on the next one.


The vending machine is certainly a welcome sight for frum travelers. I certainly won’t take that perk away. Surprising though that the entire selection looks to be a single row of sub-sandwiches. 3/4 of the machine is filled with items which would be kosher at nearly any airport vendor or vending machine (bottled water and soda).

Let’s go

Can you pay with US CC? Or need to exchange currency?


So Kosher food is available in the IGA Lounge. Is it available in the Turkish Biz lounge? DW and DD are there today.


They also have real J for the second leg.




How is their J/F?


Has anyone been to this lounge? What kosher food are they serving in the IGA lounge?


My DW and DD are there now. They said:
Kosher sandwiches at the IGA lounge in Istanbul. DD I got tuna and then she got a chocolate and I got a lemon dessert. Sandwiches are mizonot so we don’t have to wash


how good is the hachsher


Rav. Mendy Chetrick is the Chabad Rabbi and the rabbi of the Ashkenazi synagogue in Istanbul. I believe he has also been designated to cerify all foods designated for export by the Chief Rabbi’s office, in addition to the private organizations that are contracted by the companies themselves.


ⓚ (circle K)


This is very interesting as prepared kosher food is very difficult in Turkey. We were supposed to be there for a week and we left 2 days early as my kids were starving. There was one place with not much to choose from for our liking. They needed orders be in about 24 hours before and the food always arrived cold. Maybe something changed in the last year.


Or maybe places were closed due to covid


Any advice on how to sign up for Miles and Smiles? I tried on the app and on a laptop, I used a six digit number for the password, my city is listed. I have tried many times on three different browsers and I can’t sign up. Help???

Out of luck

Wow I was literally in IST on Friday morning and there was no kosher food….


I’m here now. What do you mean by concourse A and B. Can’t find it


Go down elevator or escalator to lower level. It’s right in front of the unity duty free store. Red vending machine


Seems like they did not anticipate the Pesach rush. Lounge and kiosk ran out of food today.


Yup, I’m in the IGA lounge right now, along with dozens of other kosher-observant travellers. We were told they ran out of kosher food for the day.
Does anyone know what kosher food they usually have here in the lounge, so I know what to expect for the way back?


Btw you can get a Turkish eVisa in seconds via WhatsApp

Read more: https://entri.io/articles/turkey-evisa

WhatsApp link: https://wa.link/8qamwg


Can someone explain me where to find the 2 Jewish prayer rooms?
Thank you.


Delayed in Istanbul airport. TG for kosher vending machine.

Elchonon Weissman

I was there over 6 months ago and they had kosher food.

What\'s good for the goose, is good for the gander

I love the Turkish business class Lounge. Even without the Kosher foods, it’s a beautiful Lounge and there are plenty of delicious fruits on offer. As well as tons of drinks including beer


Love the Turkish IST Business Lounge. The golf simulator fun, pseudo-exercise, great way to pass the time.


While there is food I still recommend from experience twice since the food is available that your own (old) food will still taste THAT much better.


Hasn’t it always been available in their business class? Does this mean it’s replacing the regal meal on the JFK-IST leg?


This doesn’t make me feel so comfortable about flying to Istanbul. Man busted at EWR en route to Istanbul with a Gun.


Amazing timing! We’re flying right after Tisha b’Av. Thanks for the post!


went to IGA lounge on multiple occasions and various hours and they NEVER have kosher food available.


Good news, now we have to get more kosher food in united ewr lounge and all lounges in NYC phl and Florida airports


hmm, i was hoping they’d have turkey sandwiches


is the coke in the lounge kosher
and is the papsi on the plane kosher
im asking bec. someone told me no


i was there 2 weeks ago! no food in the vending machines.

Etan G

Just an fyi the American lounge at MIA has hot kosher meals available on their menu as well as kosher wine. They had a great selection and the food was good. While they’re TV dinners it was still great to have before a flight and the food was really good. That there was kosher food, in a lounge, blew my mind.