Transfer at Istanbul new airport

When March shifted to April the old airport and home of Turkish airlines in Istanbul, Atatürk airport was closed down for commercial traffic and a new airport, Istanbul new airport with the same IATA code: IST was opened. Lately when I traveled home from Taipei to Stockholm I flew with a favorite airline of mine, Turkish airlines and got to transfer at the brand new airport. At 5:30 a Sunday morning my Boeing 777 flight arrived at IST and I was excited to check it out. Two hours of transfer between my flights so enough time, or?


Istanbul airport

I had googled pictures before to find out how the new airport looked and my conclusion was that it seamed to be like a big shopping mall. Big was the word. When my flight arrived we taxed for 25(!) minutes and parked at a gate. But, we were not allowed to get off there so a bus came and picked us up to bring us around the airport for yet another 15 minutes before we ended up at security check. The lines were long but it went smooth. It was an efficient system and not like Arlanda where they built a logistic system of the boxes that doesn’t work properly. 10 minutes later I allocated my gate and started the walk.

The main terminal


And it was fancy. I had nothing against the old airport although it always were crowded but this one felt so spacious and like the shopping mall I had imagined based on the pictures I googled. There were clear signs and a lot of them so getting lost would be difficult. The airport was huge though so a lot of walking is needed when you transfer here.

The mall

img_9404Istanbul airport

Istanbul airportimg_9407

These pictures refers to the area I call “the mall”. The centralized location where you can find high end fashion stores, fast fashion retailers, a bazar and cozy coffee places where you can have a snack. One floor above you find restaurants and various airline lounges. If you woke up here you wouldn’t knew you were at an airport. I was a bit short of time so I had unfortunately not time to stop by and look at the stores or check out any airline lounge but what I saw I liked. All new, fresh and spacious. Everything had not opened yet so more excitements to come.

Resting areas

Istanbul airport

There were plenty of space to rest. Different zones with different themes. A lot of places where you could unpack your laptop and sit down and work, comfy zones where you could lay down – if not going for the hard floor as the people on the picture or kids zones. I liked what I saw. The wifi was working good aswell once you got logged in. It was a bit tiring to get connected since you needed to get a text with a code and my phone didn’t accepted the Turkish network at first but once I got on then – swosh!

Gate zone


Then some more walking to my gate if not taking the flat escalators. After ten hours of sleep at my previous lift I needed some movement so I used my legs as the main mean of transport to get to my gate.

Boarding area


And another ten (?) minutes walk later I was there just in time to get my boarding pass before the boarding begun.


I talked to the gate agent who said that it was a tough month moving everything and now with this huge airport everything takes much more time due to the long distances. I agree. The airport is huge. Making a transfer in one hour will require a lot of running. Not impossible but two hours is what I would recommend if you would like to walk in normal pace. Are you excited about going to Istanbul new airport or have you already been there?

/ Pernilla that was happy to check out the new IST airport


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