Why I absolutely dislike Istanbul’s airport

To start this post, I’d like to say that this is me releasing my repressed emotions of a layover I had in Istanbul over a year and a half ago. Am I being irrational for this? Probably, but I don’t care. I needed to get this out of my system, as I was reminded of this as I was working on another upcoming post. If you ever wanted to hear me write a semi-unhinged post, you’re in luck.

Where do I begin? In the summer of 2015, I was headed to Bosnia (an amazing country which I highly recommend!), but since it’s a bit out of the way, I had to connect in Istanbul. Then, things started to get ugly. I don’t mean ugly in that sh*t went down, but rather my time in the airport was rough. As in, it was horrible and that’s it.

My layover was five hours, which more or less is normal. However, when you arrive to the terminal, you really only have one strip where you can buy the usual overpriced trinkets and travel stuff and get nourishment at the food court. While I do admit it wasn’t bad at all in terms of the aesthetics, boy oh boy was the whole thing bland; there was a distinct lack of variety in the stores, so even then you couldn’t find your own distraction. In other airports I’ve been to, there at least were places to sit down at, but with Atatürk Airport, you didn’t have that. So, unless you were eating, you basically were out of luck. If the layover was shorter, this wouldn’t have been a problem, but five hours took its toll. It wasn’t just me who suffered from this-I saw plenty of people sprawled out in whatever free space they could find. Okay, no worries, I’ll try to spend some time on the internet. Nope. Their internet, when it worked, was absolutely counter-intuitive. See, you had to find a little counter at a coffee store, which was tucked away, get a receipt, and punch in that number to get limited internet access. All of this after having to ask several people if their internet is working and how they even got it. While I was attempting to access it to kill time (i.e. watch videos and check in on Facebook), other people were trying to find information about their next flights, so this could have compounded things. Way to go, airport officials.

This next point is me probably being whiny, but I don’t care anymore. Normally the process for connecting flights is that after a little bit, you get your gate number which enables you to sit down and relax. Maybe you wait an hour or so, but in Istanbul, I was waiting for the better part of four hours. Yeah yeah, my flight wasn’t until later, but I don’t see how you need to take that long to announce it. Coupled with the fact that you can’t sit down very easily, you’re going to have a long layover ahead of you. If airport officials made these extra tweaks, which honestly shouldn’t be too hard, then Atatürk Airport would be vastly better. Alas, it isn’t.

Even to this day, I’m still holding a grudge towards Atatürk Airport. I know that at the end of the day, it’s just one of the many things that happen with travel, but for now, I still need time to get over these events.


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