Airline of the Year  

Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Customer Reviews

3 star Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 365 reviews
4/10
3 star Skytrax Rating
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8/10

"many shopping, food and lounge options"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | This airport is huge and very busy at almost all times of the day. I greatly appreciate that there are comfortable benches to sleep on while on a long layover. There are restroom facilities everywhere as well as many shopping, food and lounge options. With the recent UK/US travel ban for electronics, there was an added security check at the gate. This was chaotic and poorly organized. The security officer took my boarding pass and created a lot of the confusion with the gate agent when I boarded the plane. There is free 2-hour wifi access. Unfortunately to get on it you'll need mobile access as they send a text message with the access code. They need to fix this as many travelers don't have access to a mobile number when traveling abroad.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMay 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
yes
7/10

"not too bad overall"

(Papua New Guinea)

Verified Review | On arrival at Istanbul Ataturk, there was a long walk to immigration, then long queues but they moved quickly and the staff were friendly and painless. If you have an e-visa, get in the normal foreigners line but, when you get to the end, make sure to go to the booths at the far left. There are ATMs near immigration, then a duty free shop next to the baggage counters. All bags are x-rayed at customs but it's quick. Emirates left my luggage in Dubai but the local staff were very nice about it. The train station is a bit of a walk but is convenient if you can handle the crowds with luggage. Basically, arrival was pretty painless. So was departure. A security check at the entrance but at least you go inside first. This is a full check, including taking out laptops, so there seems no point in the second check after passport control (which was fairly quick). The airside area is a bit crowded (although less so than Dubai when I arrived there) and it is remarkably dirty. However, there are plenty of conveniences and a few bars with runway views. Prices are on a par with other airports, which means 2-3 times the prices in central Istanbul. It's not too bad overall but definitely can't compare to good western airports or the major Gulf airports.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitApril 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
yes
4/10

"infrastructure seems to be very, very poor"

(Ukraine)

Verified Review | For a transit hub of that importance, transiting millions, the infrastructure at Istanbul Ataturk Airport seems to be very very poor, inadaptated, and not welcoming. The wifi service proposed for free in Ataturk airport is really inapropriated for such an airport. Only 2 free hours, and yet, you have to reconnect everytime you move from one place to another. The airport also clearly lacks seats and lounge for passengers in transit. It's a permanent competition to get a place to sit and relax, and I'm not talking about the very few plugs to charge telephones and laptops. And then, too many flights are boarded and unboarded by bus, on aprons sometimes located very far away from the terminal (once, 20 minutes by bus to get to the aircraft). This doesn't only includes smaller aircraft, but even flights operated on wide-bodied aircrafts, making the transit very unconfortable. However, the airport is very clean, the variety of shops and restaurants is wide, and the staff is always ready to help. I'm even impressed by the efficiency the airports manages to transit as many passengers with such small infrastructures.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitApril 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
3/10

"this airport lets its main tenant down"

(Singapore)

Verified Review | Turkish Airlines may be one of the best carriers in the world but this airport lets its main tenant down. To me, Istanbul Ataturk is London-Luton and Old Doha Airport rolled into one - the worst of both words coming together. Duty free shops litter the entire terminal, there is nearly nothing to do here, the signs are confusing, and there is a severe lack of seating (especially in the bus gate areas). It's tolerable if the bus gates are used to handle flights with less than 200 passengers but not when the gates handle 300 plus passengers for each long-haul flight. On top of that, their free WiFi never worked for me. I gave up after trying multiple times to log-on using a Singapore and Portuguese number as I never received the pin verification SMS. I guess the only saving grace for this airport is that Turkish Airlines provides free newspapers to transit passengers. Without these, you'd probably die of boredom. I really hope the new Istanbul airport is way better than this.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMarch 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
3/10

"huge, overcrowded and not very clean"

(Netherlands)

Verified Review | The airport is huge, overcrowded and not very clean. The navigation is confusing and the airport staff only adds to this. No comfortable waiting areas, and airport cafes look strange and not welcoming (and I could not find a single one with electricity sockets to recharge my laptop). No free internet; paid options are available, in theory, but very challenging to configure, at last I gave up, as they also needed an sms confirmation, and my Dutch Vodafone did not work in Turkey. Boarding was fast and efficient, and so was the passport control. Summing up: better avoided if transit is too short (2.5 hours), please also be sure that if something goes wrong with your flight, then you are really in trouble, judging from the overall attitude of the Turkish transfer staff.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitFebruary 2017
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
3/10

"a very crowded airport"

(United States)

Verified Review | Istanbul Airport is a very crowded airport. Not very modern. After a long, intercontinental flight you may find yourself exiting via stairs, exposed to weather, and then taking a bus to the terminal. Not convenient or a nice way to end a long journey. Transiting is not bad, but I cannot recommend when other airports such as Dubai are so much nicer.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJanuary 2017
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
5/10

"transit was great"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | I transited in Istanbul Ataturk Airport while flying from UK to Nepal and vice-versa. While flying to Nepal transit was great. I had 2 hours to roam around. I must say this airport is small and compact. There were a lot of people in a small area and it was crowded. WiFi was just okay, not brilliant. There were a lot of place to eat but because it was already midnight not many were open. While returning my plane was 2 hours delayed from Nepal. I was really worried as my transit time was 2 hours that means I would have to run, but guess what there was 3 hour delay.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitDecember 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
5/10

"not a particularly welcoming airport"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | Transit in Istanbul Ataturk from London to SE Asia. The airport is huge and can be confusing. On the outward leg of the journey the plane had developed a fault. On landing it parked in a remote part of the airport and it took a long time for bus transfer to the airport. We were off-loaded at a door and left to find our way into the lounge. There were no signs and no indication of how to find our way to any gate. Eventually after a long tedious walk we found the main lounge area, more by luck than anything else. On the return, however, we were taken to an arrivals door. Once inside all passengers were subjected to yet another security search, not experienced on the outward leg. Once through this, however, it was a short hop into the lounge area. Distance from lounge to gate can be long: a 15 minute yomp to departure gate. Pleany of shops but not a particularly welcoming airport.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitDecember 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
6/10

"very busy and disorganised"

(United States)

Verified Review | We had to use this airport 4 times within just 2 weeks, both arrival and departure. For arrival, if you use Turkish Airlines Business Class, you have a special line for immigration (special advantage for the hometown airlines), saving you a lot time when airport is busy and queue for immigration is long. It is the same for departure, special line for immigration if you are Turkish Airlines Business Class passengers. Also the special line takes you directly into its VIP lounge, bypassing all the walk and crowd. As for the airport, it seems like a jungle, very busy and disorganised. Shopping options and dining options also are not optimal, rather limited, especially considering an airport of this scale. I will only recommend this airport if you are Turkish Airlines Business Class passengers.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitDecember 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
3/10

"staff are rude and not helpful"

(United States)

Customer service at Istanbul Ataturkis horrible. E-Visa machine is a pain to operate and there is no assistance for using it. Staff are rude and not helpful at all. Would never recommend using this airport voluntarily.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitDecember 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