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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 317 reviews
4/10
3 star Skytrax Rating
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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
5/10

"the airport can barely cope"

(United Kingdom)

Ataturk is struggling badly to cope with the expansion of airport traffic over the last decade. There simply aren't enough airbridges anymore, and this can have a significant impact on travel times. On a recent transit trip from Dubai to Birmingham and back, only one of those four legs used an airbridge, and all four flights were on Turkish Airlines. My flight from Dubai to Istanbul parked some significant distance from the terminal, this added up to 30 minutes travel time to a flight that was already running an hour and a half late, with significant impact on transit passengers who were already concerned about making their connection. If your flight is lucky enough to secure and airbridge and you're travelling from the EU, then Ataturk does potentially offer one of the smoother transit experiences, there's no requirement to go through security again if arriving from the EU, so even a short 1-hour transit becomes viable under these circumstances. If not arriving at an airbridge, or if arriving from outside the EU, then travellers may face significant transit times, security for transit passengers is a bit of a scrum. Otherwise, facilities would potentially be excellent if only the airport was processing the number of passengers the facilities were actually designed for. There's a reasonable range of shops and eating options, and the main lounge (which I've used on past trips) is excellent. Walking times between gates aren't outrageous, though there's almost never enough seating at those gates. As things currently stand, everything's bursting at the seams; shops, restaurants, toilets, gates - the airport can barely cope.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitApril 2016
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

"airport is struggling"

(India)

I have used this airport 12 times in last 3 years. Not enough jet bridges. While arriving from Mumbai, there is additional security check before you go to transit area, but no security if you are coming via European union. Airport is very crowded and congested. you can't reach from gate to lounge without rubbing your shoulders with fellow passengers. Signs are confusing - I was looking for lounge and sign boards were misleading, it took some effort and enquiry to find the location. Not enough seats and space for transit passengers who don't have lounge access. For using trolleys you need to use coins. In one of me past travels i decided to go outside in city, the immigration officer was rude. Overall Turklish Airlines is good, but airport is struggling.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMarch 2016
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
no
1/10

"staff not friendly"

(Hong Kong)

No free WiFi which was unexpected - horrendous 1-hour long line for passport control at departure. I can understand if security lines were long (because of recent events) but passport control? Staff (perhaps overworked) not particularly friendly either. I can only say I love Heathrow now. Avoid this place or arrive 3h before flight.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitMarch 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
9/10

"line moved quickly"

(United States)

High marks for IST. Arrival - long walk from the plane to passport control. Despite throngs of people, the line moved quickly. I would say that there were 25-30 passport desks operating. Staff very helpful and friendly. Good command of English. Departure - 9.00am. Very few people at passport control or security. Got through security less than 20 minutes after arriving at the airport (I did not check luggage). Signs a bit confusing, but were fine after a careful reading. High marks, too, for Turkish Airlines lounge. Spacious, with many food stations offering a wide variety of food. Pool table, golf and video games available if you want.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitMarch 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
8/10

"quick and efficient"

(United Kingdom)

Last August had to transit at Istanbul Ataturk Airport and the experience was horrendous both ways. However this time much to my surprise it was a completely different story. Staff attitude still ranges from indifferent to bad, however security, check in and passport control were all quick and efficient and the public transport to the city cheap and fast. This is probably a one-off but credit where credit is due.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitMarch 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
2/10

Istanbul Ataturk Airport customer review

(Czech Republic)

It's nothing an overpriced piece of concrete. There is no free WiFi, you have to register and it seems only a Turkish mobile number will work as no code is sent to a foreign number (I made several attempts). Two Turkish coffee and a sandwich for €12? And why sell duty free items in Euros if you insist on charging in Turkish Lire (at the airport exchange rate) if you pay by credit card? The guy at the shop tried to instill the blame on my credit card company. Why would a Euro credit card insist on the transaction being in Turkish Lire? I will be avoiding this airport from now on.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMarch 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

"makes Heathrow look deserted"

(United States)

Turkish Airlines should be really pushing hard to get the new airport completed. I'd say that this place makes Heathrow look deserted! In spite of it all we had no problem here. We were supposed to have a 3:15 layover on the outbound but it turned out to only be about an hour--maybe that was good. There was decent seating at the gate and we boarded the bus transfer before all seats were filled. On our return we had only 1:15 layover. Of course the plane landed at one end of the L-shaped airport/terminal and we taxied to the exact opposite one to park. At least with the bus transfers they use both the front and rear exits. They bussed us to one end of the domestic terminal and we had to walk to the opposite end to get our bus to the plane. It was marked a 15 minute walk but that would be waking rather quickly. Our boarding pass was marked “Group B.” I guess the “B” stands for “bus”! Still no problem as our cabin (rearmost of an A330-300) was a bit less than half full and no shoving or pushing! I was on the wrong side of the plane to see the terminal when we taxied, but I think it is more likely than not that your plane will not park at a jetway. If you know you will be bussed and are flying on a widebody in coach, it is probably better to sit near the back exit of the plane. It is good to have more than 1:15 layover but if your flight is at the last one/only one of the day on that route, I have a hunch that they will hold your connecting departure for 15 minutes for you. I will likely transit this airport at least twice in the next 12 months because Turkish Airlines provides good service and much better food and amenities than other airlines, especially for the price. I’m sure what has been said about the workers at this airport is true. I didn’t have a need or really the time to find out. At least both of our bags made the transfer when the connecting time was about an hour. So it seems that at least works reasonably well. From the other reviews I don’t seem to hear about displaced luggage.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitFebruary 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"horrible experience"

(Slovenia)

Horrible experience. Snow in Istanbul in December, nothing exceptional but the airport completely collapsed. Ground staff have no information. We have even waited 3 hours after landing in the aircraft because they were not able to park. When the pilot mentioned some issues with stairs we saw airport workers playing on the snow nearby and ignoring us for about half an hour.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitDecember 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
no