Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport

Customer Reviews

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Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 41 reviews
4/10
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1/10

"avoid by any means"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | Worst airport experience so far. Traveling from Antalya to London by Pegasus via Sabiha. Firstly to transit you need to exit airport and then enter it for international departures. No indications at all, and on our inquiry on Pegasus counter in baggage area, a young lady shouted on us, in quite a rude way, that we should exit first. So we need to wait to pass full baggage and passport control (hopefully we have 3 hours). Airport was crowded and has no special waiting area, so you could wait either at gate or in numerous fast food restaurants (all crowded) at sitting at floor as many others. No complimentary drinking water. And as a bonus, there was another long baggage control at the gate, with opening bags and pat downs. Asking a reason, we were told that it was required by London. So quite a mess and nonsense. Avoid by any means.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitNovember 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

"unhelpful staff"

(United Kingdom)

Unverified | Well where to start. Unhelpful staff, no one speaks English, although I speak some Turkish were not interested in helping. Could not find gate and staff not interested. Signage useless, even when you understand the language. Transiting through airport to catch flight to N Cyprus told had to buy transfer visa £20 although I know I don't need one, but staff insisted. Rip off, giving bad name to country and airport. Bad reviews mean tourists will avoid this airport. Staff training needed, basic English needed. Employ people who want to do the job and not standing around gossiping. Bring someone in and ask them to find their way to different gates when there is no gate numbers on information boards. Toilets dirty.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitOctober 2017
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
no
7/10

"the line moved quickly"

(Indonesia)

Unverified | Our Pegasus flight touched down at SAW 25 minutes ahead of scheduled time. We were lucky as we needed only approximately, 10-15 minutes from the aircraft door until we cleared the immigration counter. There were 5 counters serving the arriving passengers, so the line moved quickly. It took another 10 minutes until we got all our suitcases from the belt and another 10-15 until we got our last checked baggage (oversized one from another belt). Add another 15 minutes more and we were already on our way to Istanbul Ataturk Airport which took almost precisely 2 hours by private shuttle. The airport provided electric wheelchair for our party at no extra cost, sadly the operator spoke no english.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitSeptember 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
yes
7/10

"Pleasantly surprised"

(United States)

Unverified | Flew to and from Tirana, Albania through Sabiha. First experience after many at Ataturk Intl visits. Pleasantly surprised, international departure was busy but moved quickly. The terminal is close to gates, comfortable seating. The return to the airport was much more efficient through customs and luggage pickup versus Ataturk. The drawback with all airports in Turkey is the wifi issue, forcing passengers to have an active simcard to receive a text message with wifi code. I use a data hotspot and data apps for keeping in contact with loved ones, which means no internet in Turkish airports.
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
Wifi Connectivity 12345
yes
1/10

"gotten worse in the past four years"

(United States)

Verified Review | I have been transiting Sabiha Gokcen to travel to Georgia since 2013 and it has only gotten worse in the past four years. The only English speakers at Sabiha Gokcen are English-speaking passengers. I have never met a local who works at this airport who speaks English - even in the lounge! The toilets are perpetually filthy with water all over the floor because transiting passengers do their ablutions using the sink. It is quite a site to see several guys washing their feet in the sinks. As other travellers have noted there is never enough seating so sitting on the floor is common. And as other passengers have noted, there is no free Wi-Fi. Some shops will give you a temporary internet code (1 hour) if you buy something from their shops. I really like Turkish Airlines (excellent economy-class meals, modern fleet that is well maintained, well-trained pilots) but Turkish airports are just awful - whether Sabiha Gokcen or Ataturk. The English-speaking seatmates I've had on Turkish Airlines flying to/from Turkey are in agreement that Turkish Airports are overcrowded, poorly managed, poorly staffed, and in dire need of outside help to better understand their international passengers.
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
3/10

"staff do not speak English well"

(Israel)

Unverified | I passed through Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen airport on transit twice, several hours each time. The airport staff do not speak English well what makes it difficult to understand them. There is no free WiFi at the airport. The airport is small and is very very crowded beyond its capacity. What makes it very unpleasant and there is no place to seat at the food court. All flights were late at their departures.
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
5/10

"very few seating options"

(Bahrain)

Verified Review | In the summer of 2016 I had to transit via Istanbul, but there were no flight availability on Ataturk Airport (IST), so I had to land in Sabiha Gökçen Airport (SAW), then to take the corresponding flight from Ataturk Airport thus a change of airports was required. It was my first time in Sabiha Airport, which I find very small for a secondary airport in Istanbul. The outlook of the terminal is very old, and the crowded, stressed passengers do not help the overall energy around. No Free Wifi was found and very few seating options were possible for early comers. Though the airport and TK desk agents barely speak English, they did the necessary to put us on the shuttle bus heading to Ataturk Airport for the next flight. With the heavy usual traffic, we spent around 2 hours to get there, but the TK bus did it on time. I think that the shuttle bus was an exceptional measure for our group of travelers, because usually transiting passengers are supposed to take care of their own transport from SAW to IST airport in such cases, and options are available with local airport taxi cabs in Sabiha Airport.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitAugust 2016
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"has quite limited facilities for passengers"

(Russian Federation)

I've been passing throughout this airport a few times, last time in May 2017. Budget carrier Pegasus Air is using this airport as a main hub. This airport has quite limited facilities for passengers. You may feel comfortable there only during slow winter season, in January-February you will find enough sitting places, but if you are planning to spend there 6 hours during high season this airport is a non stop nightmare. Prepare yourself that you will be standing on your feet for 6 hours. Or you may find some limited sitting in food establishments area but you have to buy food and you will sitting during the time while you are eating. Most of staff barely speak English. Very crowded. They are not allowed to wait inside the gate areas (if you don't have boarding pass to that flight). So it was a challenge. Next time I will think twice before I will travel with a transfer using Sabiha Gokchen Airport: short transfer time (under 2.5 hours), there is big chance to miss connection due long line on passport control and pay for ticket again, long transfer time will made you totally exhausted because of absence of sitting areas. So this is the real price to travel cheap. Wi-Fi isn't free. One of the worst airports in the world.
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
no
1/10

"1.5 hours from domestic to international"

(United Kingdom)

I arrived at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen on a cheap flight from Antalya and I had international connection to Prague. Everybody stood in the line for the passport control. There were 8 counters and to our astonishment, only one of officer was working. I had 1.5 hours to move from domestic to international. I ask and member of staff if he can help me as my flight was already boarding. He didn't speak English - another passenger explained my situation and he told him that it's not his business. I lost my flight and had to buy a new ticket for 15 hours later - a bad experience
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitApril 2017
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
no
2/10

"crowded and quite poorly organised"

(Netherlands)

Verified Review | I had to get from Amsterdam to Antalya, and in winter time Turkish seemed to be the only decent option with a daily service. The flight was via SAW, the other airport in Istanbul. The scheduled transfer time in SAW was 1 hour, however the crowd at the passport control was far too huge to manage this within the time indicated in the reservation. I approached employees of Turkish Airlines and informed them about possible problems with my connection to AYT, and they could not help but tell me that yes, indeed there is no a way to pass through the passport control except waiting in the line, then another employee put me on a fast track line, and then another one kicked me out of there in 20 min, explaining that I was not entitled to it. At the end, it took me over 1 h 30 min to pass the passport control, and I was rebooked to the next flight departing from SAW at 00.10 am instead of initially planned 8.05 pm. On the transfer desk they also gave me a voucher for a meal in McDonalds, the voucher could be redeemed only for the cheapest burger menu worth c.a. EUR 4.5. Needless to say, that is below anything that can be expected from a major air carrier, and I went to another place to get my meal on my own. The airport itself is crowded and quite poorly organised. There is no free internet in the airport, and the paid access is quite challenging to configure and get through. The are several food courts, most of them look cheap, while those better looking are expensive and the food is very mediocre. Most of the airport and Turkish Airlines staff cannot speak any English, and those who do, are not particularly helpful. Summing up, the transfer desk of TK in SAW is not functional, as most of the staff cannot speak English and do not know what to do in case of the issues with problematic transfers, I also need to point out that they were neither attentive nor particularly polite (to put it straight - they just did not care even a bit). I would strongly discourage anyone to travel via SAW, as the airport cannot handle transfers in a decent manner, due to apparent infrastructural, organisational and human capacity constraints. The voucher for the cheapest McDonalds meal in SAW was the final touch in the ungraceful picture of transfer in SAW.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJanuary 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
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