Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Customer Reviews

3 star Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 374 reviews
4/10
3 star Skytrax Rating
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3/10

"bad attitude and are very rude"

(United Kingdom)

Not Verified | I had to travel through this airport on a connecting flight to Antalya on a family holiday from the UK. On arrival we had to wait nearly an hour to go through immigration. For our connecting flight we had to go through security which was very slow. On our return flight back we entered the international terminal from domestic. The security and immigration was quick. In other airports after this point you jump on the plane but at the departure gate they have more security. First someone checks your passport and boarding pass then you go the another person who checks the passport who took over 5 Minutes then I was 'randomly' chosen for swabs to be taken from my clothes, bag and my childs tablet. I do not have any issues with security doing their job to keep us all safe in this current climate. However, the security officers have bad attitude and are very rude. They do not speak to you nor make any eye contact. This treatment really upset me and put a downer on my holiday to Turkey. The airport staff make you feel so low and act as if you are a criminal. The service of Turkish Airlines has been very good and staff were very pleasant. They should try and train all staff good customer service. The airport does not have enough seating near departure gates. Airport staff speak little or no English. The toilets are really smelly. I will never use or pass through this airport again.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitApril 2018
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"had such a stressful experience"

(United Kingdom)

Not Verified | We had such a stressful experience at this airport. Staff in all areas were really rude. We followed all security procedures but couldn't understand why at all points they had to be so rude and arrogant. They also check your carry on bags again just before you get on the plane, which I can't understand as they've already been through security. Security staff said 'open', rumbled through all my daughter's clothing unfolding it all then said 'close'. I've never been to an airport and been treated like this. I asked the security guy why they were being so rude and he said 'listen lady we can make things very difficult for you if we want'. We were completely shocked and disgusted. Put me off ever travelling to Istanbul again.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitMarch 2018
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
1/10

"Terrible staff, terrible management"

(Saudi Arabia)

Not Verified | First of all, this is one of the worst airports I have ever experienced. I landed from an exhausting 15-hour flight from Boston - first time traveling this far alone. I was expecting that the moment I land, I'd find airport staff members to assist in baggage or any form of help. Absolutely rude, ignorant and disgusting behavior. When I passed through the entrance gate, I asked a member about the direction to the announcement screens because it was crowded and he looked at me, shrugged his shoulders and walked away. I helped myself out and looked at the announcement screen. Had to wait two hours sitting over my bag because the airport was outdated and had not enough chairs. They finally announced the terminal 30 minutes prior to flying. I had to run like a crazy person to a really far terminal (I think it was terminal E) and there, I found people already checking out so I lined with them and when my turn came up, the man told me I was in the wrong terminal? I started panicking because based on the ticket, the plane was about to take off. I went to the front desk in horror asking for help and the man said "go check screen". I found other Egyptian customers yelling in anger because their flights were missed due to this last announcement changes. I had to run around the airport asking everyone in a panic and when it was time to take-off, I was able to get into the right terminal (which was on the east side of the airport, I was at the west). When I arrived at the terminal, it turned out that the flight was delayed for an hour and that the announcement was "a simple mistake". I found other tourists worried that they have missed their flights. Terrible staff, terrible management, rude and I would never ever use this place as a transit. When I got to the airport, the man serving beverages made it obvious to me that my requests are annoying.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJuly 2017
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
9/10

"everything seems to function adequately"

(Australia)

Trip Verified | Istanbul is a large and busy airport. Arrived Business Class from Moscow and proceeded Economy Class to Tel Aviv. A week later returned Economy Class from Tel Aviv and departed Business Class to Manila. In both cases the transit was easy and I had airport WiFi in the departure gate area going to Tel Aviv. It was a relatively tight transit so I had only time to go from the first flight to the second flight. There was an additional security check when entering the Gate for Tel Aviv. I was a little slow starting to board and the staff insisted that because I was using a walking stick I join those on a wheelchair with separate transport to the plane and a lift into the plane. On the return journey I arrived late in the evening and had no trouble getting to the Turkish Airlines lounge and later to the flight. It is an airport where despite its business everything seems to function adequately.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitFebruary 2018
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"Appalling airport"

(United Kingdom)

Not Verified | Appalling airport. Last minute unannounced gate changes caused me to miss my flight. The gate changes happen every single time I've been through this airport. Never announced. Always last minute. The last time I will ever transit via this airport. It's a joke.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitFebruary 2018
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"Absolutely disgusting behaviour"

(Turkey)

Trip Verified | After booking flights to Phuket with Turkish Airlines, we were advised by our agent that we could pay extra (40tl) and use the business lounge. I called my agent at the airport and they advised again that this could be done. However I was ignored at the desk in the lounge and the lady behind the desk continued to talk to Turkish customers behind me, when I tried to explain she smiled rolled her eyes and said you were given the wrong information and whilst talking back she simply walked off and ignored me! Absolutely disgusting behaviour.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJanuary 2018
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
6/10

"not enough seating"

(United Kingdom)

Trip Verified | Airport too small for Turkish Airlines - some gates are too far away from passport control, and with the low ceilings and not enough seating, boarding itself becomes a mess. I was also surprised that I had to take the bus after the boarding to go to the plane - which was a packed A330-300. On top of that, they have problems communicating in English and they just look at your face if you say something they don't understand. There are enough shops and cafes to spend time, and the prices are okay. Hopefully with the new airport they'll get rid of the problems.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitJanuary 2018
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
yes
2/10

"very crowded airport"

(Romania)

Trip Verified | To be avoided. The growth in terms of trafic in IST over the last 10 years did not go hand in hand with extending and modernizing the airport. As a result IST is e very crowded airport, dirty, unfriendly and has a bad reputation concerning luggage handling. After today I still did not get my luggage or any news about if they located it and when I will get it. Very disappointing experience.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJanuary 2018
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
8/10

"airport is fairly easy to navigate"

(United States)

Trip Verified | I still don't understand why all of the complaints about Istanbul Ataturk. The airport is fairly easy to navigate, with good eating and shopping options, and is fairly efficient for the airport of its size. Yes there are too few seats to sit on, yes luggage trolleys are too few, and yes the traffic at the airport outgrew its capacity five or six years back. But Ataturk still gets the job done. And on the bright side Istanbul's new airport is scheduled to open in October which will remove many of the complaints about Ataturk.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitDecember 2017
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
2/10

"I really dislike this airport"

(Turkey)

Not Verified | I have, unfortunately, had to travel through this airport quite a bit since moving to Ankara a year and a half ago. I really dislike this airport. It’s old and so looks dirty even if it’s clean. It has very uncomfortable, outdated seating and there’s not enough of it. Lighting is all long fluorescent tubes. The few restaurants are small, cramped and there are not any international options. There’s basically no shopping or other entertainment. So if you’re stuck here during a long layover, lots of luck! Even in the international terminal, few staff speak decent English, so communication is very trying unless you know Turkish. (Compare that to Paris where they try to speak to everyone in French before begrudgingly speaking near-perfect English). Security is shocking for a westerner, especially if you’re a woman. While they will assign you a female agent, if you want a private screening you have to ask for it, and there’s no using back of the hands or verbal warning about searching private areas. Bathrooms are tiny and always crowded and there’s always water splashed on the floors and all over the sinks from the way people wash. That brings me to the type of fellow passengers you’ll be dealing with - lots of people from cultures with different ideas about manners and personal space and hygiene and staring. There is free WiFi, but connecting is impossible if you don’t have a Turkish phone number to get a pin texted to you. Plus, the instructions are in Turkish. You can try to find a coffee shop like Mado and use their WiFi, but then there’s the language barrier again when you need the password. Don’t be surprised and try not to be offended if they simply take your phone out of your hands to type the password in themselves rather than attempt to communicate it in English. One good thing I can say is that they have clear signs and I’ve never been lost or very confused about where to go. Overall, the airport needs a major makeover/renovation and they need to hire staff who are much more proficient in English.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitDecember 2017
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