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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 319 reviews
4/10
3 star Skytrax Rating
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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
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