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Ataturk International Airport (IST)

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Ataturk International Airport, DHM, Istanbul Yesilkoy 34830, Turkey. Location: The airport is located 24km (15 miles) west of central Istanbul / Airport code: IST.

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      12.12.2014 13:52
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      A busy international airport

      Ataturk International Airport is one of the two international airport in Istanbul, Turkey. It is one huge airport, and looks busy 24 hours a day. Even at around 3 in the early dawn, you could see a cleaner with a bucket and a mop ready to take care if there is an unwanted spillage on the shiny floor tile.

      The arrival area is a very luxurious but straightforward. It shows where you need to go if you have got your e-visa ready, and where to if you need to process the on-arrival visa. The passport/ visa checking portal was a nightmare. At least for me, because I went there during Summer holiday season. It was a long queue, and the queue was horrible. Nobody was there to make sure there's no queue jumper, and people did jump queue *gasp*.

      The checking officer in the arrival gate was far from friendly. She looked grumpy, probably because she had to do the midnight shift. However, she was professional, she was willing (although not smiling), to show around to people who apparently missed the sign, where they needed to go to get they visa sorted first before start queuing again.

      I did not have to wait for long to get my baggage. It was a huge baggage claim area, so I had to be very careful to read the belt number correctly, or else I would have to go back all the way to the information board because they don't have one near the conveyor belt.

      The departure area is way more cheerful. It's much brighter, much more commercialised, and somehow people are nicer. Even the checking officer was trying to make a friendly joke with me, before wishing me a nice and safe flight, with a very articulated English. For the passengers who needed to wait for their flight there are restaurants and cafe too.

      The only thing that I probably would want them to add as a service to the passengers is a free wi-fi on the arrival area, or at least the one with one hour limitation like the one in the arrival part Heathrow airport. This is a big place and someone could easily get lost. Arriving in an unknown place without the ability to get connected is quite frustrating, especially if your sim card does not work abroad. But overall, I like this airport.

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