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Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Customer Reviews

3 star Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 328 reviews
4/10
3 star Skytrax Rating
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4/10

"international arrivals is bedlam"

(United Kingdom)

There is free wifi at Istanbul Ataturk but only for phones (that are capable of receiving an international text/SMS). Connect to the wifi with "free" in the title, put in your number (include country code then miss the first zero as per normal) and hit enter, they text you a code to put in and you've got 2 hours free. This is the case with international arrivals and domestic departures, haven't tried it yet for international departures. But if you are working off a laptop or tablet then there isn't wifi. Domestic departures is chaotic but fine with a few eating choices and quite a lot of seats. There's a semi outside smoking area airside if that's your thing. International arrivals is bedlam. It took us a full 2 hours to get through immigration (just because of the queue). It took us so long to get through that we weren't even on the baggage screens anymore.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitJuly 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
4/10

"a bit of a mess overall"

(United States)

Istanbul Ataturk is a bit of a mess overall. First of all, it is quite difficult to navigate. The gates are all over the place (I had to walk about 15 minutes to get from place to place), and you wind up and down stairs, terminals, and very busy, overcrowded hallways. Second, most planes can't even reach the gate. I connected through here, and only 2 of my 4 flights did not require getting to the plane by bus - representative that this airport is far beyond its capacity. Third, I had to go through a second security checkpoint on my way to New York JFK, which was quite a mess (passengers spilled out of the actual gate and into the hallway, blocking other passengers). Staff did not direct passengers to get into the line, and I had about 5 people check me individually, it seemed very unorganized. Fourth, there simply aren't enough seats or chargers in this airport. I sat on the floor for about an hour charging my phone (no plugs near seats), and had to fight for a place to sit while waiting for a connecting flight. Lastly, there is no free wifi.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMarch 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
3/10

"not a single bathroom was clean"

(United States)

Istanbul airport is really worn in some parts. Not a single bathroom was clean and there were puddles on the floors. Free wifi only works of you have a local phone number. Seating areas worn, cracked floors and hardly any places to charge your electronic equipment.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJuly 2016
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
7/10

"very smooth, quick immigration"

(India)

Arrival very smooth, quick immigration and straight onto baggage claim. Baggage claim took a bit of time but all in all a good experience. Departure reached early, again quick and friendly, immigration with very friendly guards. Duty free quite big and spacious though quite expensive. All in all recommended.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitMay 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"very chaotic and stressful experience"

(United Kingdom)

A very chaotic and stressful experience from check in to departure. Check in desks seem to be manned by the rudest staff with no manners and an arrogant attitude. Turkish Airlines staff are the most unhelpful I have encountered. Sales staff in duty free are just as bad and boarding is a shambles with no pre boarding for Business Class. The airport is dirty including the public toilet areas and prices are expensive. A poor experience and I cannot recommend this airport.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitMay 2016
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
7/10

"smiling good natured staff"

(Australia)

Istanbul Ataturk clearly cannot handle the volume of passengers given Turkish Airlines is growing so fast. Contrary to other reviews, we found ground staff to be as helpful as their English skills allowed them to be, and some searched out English speakers for us. We had luggage and transit problems but all was eventually sorted out by mostly smiling good natured staff. Just as well we allowed 5 hours transit though, as it took nearly all this to sort everything out. They really need to get going with the new airport.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJune 2016
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
2/10

"excruciating experience"

(United States)

Istanbul Ataturk was an excruciating experience - the bathrooms were poorly equipped, small and not clean. The airport has a ton of shopping opportunities, but nothing you might need while traveling or in transit - no convenience type store with necessities but if you want booze or designer purses you're all set. No seating at all for those without access to a lounge, there is absolutely no where to sit, we had to wedge in at a gate to sit and wait for out gate notification. No one was cleaning these areas. The funny thing is there are cleaning staff everywhere but nothing seems to be touched. Would never take a flight with over 1hr lay over here again. No Wifi.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMay 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"no free WiFi"

(Canada)

There is a lot to spend your money on in Istanbul Ataturk so if you're looking to shop and buy Turkish treats you'll probably like it here. However, even if spending money in the stores - the staff will treat you like you're a pest and not a customer. My friend waited half an hour for staff to assist. If you've been sucked in by Turkish Airlines to have a ridiculous layover then no there is no free WiFi and even trying to buy WiFi is made painful to access as you need a European (possibly Turkish) phone number. You need a "passcode" to be texted - so not free to an international customer and again you need a European number to get it. I paid 1€ for WiFi - still needed the number and the login didn't work but they had no problems taking money from my credit card. One of the worst airports ever. I'll not fly through here again unless it offers a ridiculous cost saving.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMay 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
8/10

"well-equipped, with good shopping"

(China)

The principal airport of Istanbul, on the Europe side, is a huge complex catering not only to Istanbul but also a lot of transfer passengers via IST. It is well-equipped, with good shopping, many food outlets, and good lounges (there is even a HSBC lounge that foreign customers of the bank can use - only here and in Brazil). The airport is run smootly except no free internet. Public transportation is very good, with regular bus route to Taksim, and a light rail (metro) to reach Golden Horn. Taxis are aplenty but perhaps you should agree on price. A good airport.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitOctober 2015
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"absolutely chaotic"

(United Kingdom)

Avoid Istanbul Ataturk if you can. Absolutely chaotic. Toilets really bad, some cubicles don't have actual toilets. On the way back to London when we asked a staff member about the gates she just replied 'I don't know' and left. Security staff shouted at people to move along more quickly. Never again.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitApril 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no