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Review: Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Travel Service - Airport

Istanbul, Turkey

Watch your time!

  • By SilverTraveller Ian.Waugh

    214 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • March 2017

54 people found this review helpful

As of this winter just coming to an end, Turkey maintains ‘summer time’ all year round – but nobody seems to have told the mobile phone companies … if you rely on your mobile instead of a wristwatch then check the local time shown at the top (or bottom) of the flight announcement boards – which display the true local time. Hopefully, by next winter, this will no longer be a problem!

A big airport but gate number zones are quite well sign posted – and none are as far a walk as I had in Frankfurt on the way out (though Frankfurt is MUCH less busy!).
At busy times of year (like Novruz/Nowruz, when I passed through last week) the airport gets very busy- especially if you’re coming in on a transit flight from overseas and have to go thru security again (not too big a problem for Star Alliance Gold card holders, who can use the fast-track business security).

There’s a desk beside gate 215 with a large selection of complimentary newspapers including the Financial Times (which does have a small, mainly international, news section), New York Times, and Wall Street Journal – plus English language editions of a few Turkish ’papers – which do make interesting reading to get another view on some of the items that might get very one-sided treatment back home.

If using the main Turkish airlines lounge, it gets very busy just inside and on most of the entrance-level floor – but if you go downstairs you’ll probably find a seat. The big plus for this lounge is the many serving hatches where chefs prepare a variety of hot food to order. And they have luggage lockers where you can leave your cabin bag if you’ve a lot of time to spare (again, the ones on the entrance level are usually busy, but I had no problem finding a vacant one downstairs.

From memory, there are also two or three smaller lounges that serve, e.g. ‘priority pass’ holders, and airlines that are not ‘Star Alliance’.

If you’re not using a lounge, then getting a place to sit down near your departure gate can be an issue.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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