Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Customer Reviews

3 star Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 384 reviews
4/10
3 star Skytrax Rating
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3/10

"oblivious airport staff, chaos everywhere"

(Slovakia)

Unverified | This turned out to be a nightmare experience. I purchased the ticket with Turkish Airlines AUH-IST-KSC. Transiting time in Istanbul of 2hrs was sufficient enough - so I thought - to get refreshed, buy a cappuccino and some croissant. Wrong. For some unexplained reason, IST airport started with Security control checks in the transit area. Don't ask me why. I have an aviation background and I failed to understand logic behind this decision. Passengers coming from the airplanes and transiting to another flights are cleared already, but obviously not for IST airport authorities. I understand the high security threat of potential attacks, but to force passengers in the transit area to go through security checks (again) simply doesn't make any sense to me. Especially when the airport doesn't have procedures to speed up the process or to accommodate passengers with shorter connecting times. There were definitely more than a thousand people waiting, waving with their boarding cards, trying to get the attention of oblivious airport staff, chaos everywhere and waiting time approximately 2 hours. There is no process for passengers with short connecting times and staff clearly do not care. When we approached them, it was like speaking to a stone. No interest, no friendliness, no pro-active approach. They told us that this is the everyday case (hundreds of people with short connecting times not being able to make it for their flights due to the waiting times at new security checks) and they don't care, procedure is procedure. I was told that if I miss my flight, I should go back to the Turkish Airlines transit counter and they will help me to get to my next flight. My next flight would be in three days - and only that was the argument that finally counted and someone from the Turkish Airlines helpdesk helped me to get through. I'm positive I wouldn't have made my flight otherwise. Other than that, this airport can't surprise me anymore. I've never been able to connect to Wifi, shops are okay, but nothing special and staff are fine too. I'd never recommend to anyone to fly through this airport with a shorter connecting time than 3.5hrs.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitSeptember 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
7/10

"I cannot fault it"

(Saudi Arabia)

Verified Review | Expensive Duty Free Shops and Trolleys hard to find. Landed and departed from this airport and overall I cannot fault it, except for the fact that it is hard to find baggage trolleys before going to the carousel to collect luggage. No clear signs of where to find them either. Furthermore it requires 1 Lira to operate one and this can be annoying as if you have just arrived, you will be required to change money first and then buy a low value item from the shop in order to get a coin. Departures has a nice selection of restaurants with local and international eateries. As for Duty Free shops, they are ridiculously over priced and are more expensive than shops in downtown Istanbul.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitSeptember 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
yes
1/10

"badly run and staff are so rude"

(Ireland)

Unverified | The airport is badly run and staff are so rude. A member of staff told me to join a queue labelled domestic transfers for visa clearance. Stood in line only to have a finger waved to me and told to go to the international queue because I don't have a Turkish passport. This should be made more obvious to save embarrassment. In the end apparently I didn't need to stand in the international citizen queue so I am still baffled as to what I was meant to do. There is no wifi to speak of and generally it is a busy airport, lots of hanging around with not much seating to speak of. Would avoid in future.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitSeptember 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
4/10

"internet such a joke"

(Finland)

Verified Review | The airport is busy and crowded. However, toilets are relatively clean and directions are well marked. The most surprising thing about this airport is the internet. They provide 2 hours of "free" internet for a week. Please wake up and try to access the reality around the world. "Two hours of free internet for a week". I have never heard or seen or lived such a joke. I am IT professional and I know what is "free internet" and "limited internet". I returned to the same airport after 8 days, but I was not able to use the "free" internet because my weekly quote has been used up. It seems in Turkey a week consists of 8 days. Moreover, you need to validate your phone number using the confirmation sent to your phone. When you are traveling you are on roaming and you have to pay for receiving messages. You get unlimited internet access in the airport of third-world countries nowadays.
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
1/10

"staff are unhelpful and rude"

(Australia)

Unverified | Istanbul Ataturk is the worst airport I have ever been to. Staff are unhelpful and very rude - I asked twice which queue I needed to line up for a European transfer and they both said I needed to go through passport control. Wait 60+mins only to find out I wasn't meant to line up for passport control. Toilets are beyond disgusting and there is no wifi unless you have a phone which works in turkey (in which case you won't need wifi). Horribly overcrowded and very limited places to charge your phone. Could not stand this airport.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitAugust 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
2/10

"airport is overcapacity"

(Vietnam)

Verified Review | The airport is overcapacity due to high travel season. The airport does not have enough space for every passengers. If you have to apply for e-Turkish visa at the airport, it will be a disaster because only 2 or 3 out of 9 machines can work properly. The staff at the airport show a poker face for your question. They are impatience and helpless. So you'd better to solve all the problem on your own. It took me almost 4 hours to obtain e-visa which is supposed to take only 10-minutes. The airport wifi never works unless you have Turkish phone number I supposed. The system shows that after you register on the network, there will be a code will be sent to your registered number. I input my Vietnamese number and never had a code.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitAugust 2017
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
2/10

"a great disappointment"

(Romania)

Unverified | The toilets in Istanbul Ataturk airport are absolutely outrageous! Extremely dirty, no toilet paper or soap, hair and water on the floor and a nasty smell. Staff members not very friendly either. Customer service in some of the cafes very poor. A great disappointment, unfortunately.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitAugust 2017
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

"signs are not clear and extremely confusing"

(Netherlands)

Verified Review | Messy airport, the signs are not clear and extremely confusing. There's a line for domestic flights and one for international flights. However, the latter doesn't have a sign that says international. It only says "Passport Control - All nationalities". I had a domestic flight to Antalya, but I didn't know there were seperate lines. I stood in line for an hour, only to have the clerk tell me that I need to stand in the domestic line around the corner. This corner is very hidden, so I (and several other confused travelers, including big families) moved to another line, only to be told that this was also for international flights (there was no clear sign). Also, the passport control doesn't accept e-tickets on your mobile device. When I flew from Ataturk to Amsterdam, the clerk was extremely rude and said he didn't accept it. When I asked why he, he ignored me and started helping the man behind me. Even if you checked-in online, they make you check in a second time at the machine just to re-print your boarding pass. I've never had this problem before in the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, the US, Italy, China and Japan. This is a clear lack of technology, bad instructions (they don't tell you a paper boarding pass is mandatory before you wait in line for passport control, so I waited 30 minutes for nothing), and rude staff.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
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
4/10

"in bad need of a renovation and repair"

(Australia)

Verified Review | This airport is in bad need of a renovation and repair. More people should be employed to keep the area clean. The toilets were so filthy I decided to wait and use the toilet on my flight. The amount of passengers sitting on the ground was not acceptable, especially when they are children. Make sure you get there early as customs lines are always very long. All Turkish airports are extremely expensive and everything is in Euros so eat and drink beforehand if possible. At the gate waiting areas had carpets that were badly stained and seats were old and ripped. Some eating areas have been improved however more is needed. Security is good once you enter the airport.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
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
7/10

"Airport is well designed with clear signalling"

(Bahrain)

Verified Review | Istanbul Airport attracts thousands of passengers everyday around the clock. For passengers transiting between flights, the transit zone is clearly lacking seating and amusement for kids. In such cases, the lounge access is the only solution. With all the capabilities of the Turkish Airport Company, experienced by smooth check-in procedures and excellent crisis management, it is recommended to provide more seating in transit area. It is so unfortunate to see tired passengers laying on the ground in such a well reputed Terminal and regional hub. In most cases, such lack of seating made people occupy coffee shop seating area and food-court while hungry travelers can't get a seat. Cleanness and service is very good in this airport, and the duty free shopping area is diversified. The Airport is well designed with clear signalling, and taking into consideration the travelers with special needs, which is something that has been neglected in other airports that I visited in other countries. Enjoy the charming Istanbul, and keep the great service. I hope that these small notes will be taken in to account by the Airport management.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitSeptember 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
yes