Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport

Customer Reviews

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Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 35 reviews
4/10
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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
3/10

"slightly chaotic, allow plenty of time"

(Turkey)

Verified Review | The airport layout at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen is quite compact with only 1 terminal which should mean short walks to the check-in desks and the gates normally. However, expansion in the number of flights means it is slightly chaotic, so allow plenty of time. I travelled through SAW 3 times on international flights in the last month (August). Outbound experience The airport ground staff are inefficient, but if travelling in Business Class you can use the priority entry (first security check) and TK CIP passport and security control. TK/TGS staff allow you to use the priority CIP lines but the service only starts at 0700 an the security staff are sometimes 10 to 15 minutes late. There is no communication between the different services. Majority of security and TK/TGS staff don't speak English, they use hand gestures to communicate with non-Turkish speakers. At TK business class check-in counters the ground staff don’t speak with you during the whole check-in process - all is done without exchanging a single word. Inbound experience Business Class passenger can use the priority line for Turkish immigration, which goes fast, but then you have to wait around 45 minutes to get your “priority” labelled luggage delivered. IST Ataturk which has more flights to handle is sometimes faster the SAW. Duty Free staff is inattentive and cannot speak English.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitAugust 2016
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
2/10

"the malaise is disappointing"

(Malaysia)

Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen is a clean airport. Ground staff is inefficient. Duty Free staff is inattentive and cannot speak English. Turkish Immigration is always rude and they aren't any different here. No free WiFi is a big no-no. This airport has so much to offer yet the malaise is disappointing.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJune 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
2/10

"staff were very unhelpful"

(Lebanon)

The airport barely has any staff that speak English. The gate was only announced an hour before the flight and then it was changed again. I had a 3.5 hour transit at this airport and there was nothing I could do. The airport had no wifi. The staff were very unhelpful.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMarch 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
9/10

"not too big or busy"

(United Kingdom)

Sizewise it's not too big or busy - it is easy to access the food court and shopping etc. Toilets are very clean and tidy. Most flights depart on time as I see. Overall its good and recommended for flights to Turkey but connection options are better from Ataturk 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
6/10

"ground service is pretty slow"

(Germany)

Sabiha Gökçen is the smaller of the two airports in Istanbul, still handling more than 25 Mio passengers per year. If you do like the B737-800, SAW is the place to be. Sometimes you spot a lonely A320 or Embraer on the apron, but nearly all aircraft movements at SAW are 737-800s. The airport layout is quite compact with only one terminal resulting in short ways to the check-in desks and the gates. Even if the aircraft is parked on an outside position, the bus transfer to the terminal doesn't take long - if there are stairs and busses avaliable. Things at SAW seem a bit more organised and less stressful than at Atatürk airport, but when more international flights arrive at the same time, queues at the immigration can be quite long. Also, ground service is pretty slow and sometimes you have to wait for your luggage for more than half an hour. With that in mind, allow youself some extra time if you need to change planes at SAW. Airport staff is not that helpful so you better know yourself where to go and what to do. As at Atatürk Airport, free WiFi doesn't exist. There's no train connection but several bus lines call at the airport with the frequent and resonable priced Havataş-busses being the most comfortable connection to Kadıköy or Taksim. Although SAW is not amongst my favourite airports, I still prefer it over Atatürk Airport when travelling to and from Istanbul.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJanuary 2016
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
yes
6/10

"displeased with this airport"

(United States)

There were nice basic amenities at this airport like the typical Starbucks and fast food and such but other than that it was not a go to spot. There was wifi there but you had to pay for it. I feel this should be a necessity in an airport. There was only one person working at the passport control for non-Turkish citizens. The common excuse was that they were understaffed but here is my argument. If you are an airline sending so many international flights, it is your responsibility and obligation to be able to fulfill the needs of the services you provide. Had these occurrences not happened to me I might not have realized how unhelpful the staff was, both airline and general airport staff. Only one out of every six staff members did I witness actually give advice to people and keep in mind I ended up being at this airport for about 12 hours. Not a good time. If everything was down to under staffing, even that is not a good enough excuse. Overall I was very displeased with this airport although most of that distaste may come from the anger I have with the airline I took. Objectively, I am sure their are worst airports but this one definitely has room for improvement.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitDecember 2015
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
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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