Changing planes in IST – don't for the time being

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  DavidGordon10 14 Mar 2018
at 15:36

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  • DavidGordon10

    I have been booked on flights via Istanbul twice in the last few weeks – at my choice, polishing the Star Alliance card.

    Changing planes to go to Kuwait, last month, I just made it. The incoming flight from LHR was very late (~2 hours) but I got to the Kuwait gate just in time.

    Today, less lucky – the incoming flight was about 1.5 hours late and I missed the flight to Abu Dhabi by about 20 minutes, so I am stuck in the airport for about 16 hours until the next available flight.

    There appears to be an increasing problem with delayed incoming flights, due to overcrowding at the airport. Maybe the new Istanbul airport will solve the problem? Also, rebooking is a nightmare, 1.5 hours queueing in the TK lounge with an utterly chaotic system for dealing with delayed passengers.

    So I will avoid changing in IST until the new airport is up and running and trouble-free.


    Thanks for the head-up. I tend to avoid IST mostly on aircraft type and schedule grounds. I prefer a short flight to London or Paris and then a longer one on a wide body plane. Plus, for me, Star Alliance comes third in terms of priority.


    I have had similar experiences at IST. The last time, a few months back, my inbound TK flight was running late & this was exacerbated by a very looooong taxi – to remote stand – doh! Once at the terminal I literally ran all the way to my departing QR gate (via security check) & boarded as soon as I arrived (very hot & bothered) at the gate. Beware IST connections!!


    DavidGordon10 – thanks for sharing this. While a long way off, I’m due to transit IST with the family over the New Year period. The inbound connection is only around an hour, so very much hoping the new IST airport will have sufficient runways and gates at the terminal to handle the level of traffic the current IST struggles with.

    Last time I visited IST was a few years back and the wait to take off, and hold before landing was lengthy.


    My experience with TK and IST a few years ago mirror many of the comments above….

    Firstly and comically, and according to the gate agent, they managed to lose their parked up aircraft somewhere in the vastness of the Chep Lap Kok night, thus delaying us by well over an hour.

    We then arrived and as @thebiseats described “exacerbated by a very looooong taxi – to remote stand” . In our case the remote stand was actually TK’s main hanger!!

    Fortunately , our connecting flight to EDI had been inexplicably rescheduled 2 hours later.

    Similar to AF, TK’s inflight experience is let down by its home !!!


    A brief “all is well that ends well” note – in contrast to the chaos at the lounge desk on arrival, the next day TK and Eithad staff were charming and efficient at getting me onto the Etihad afternoon flight. My checked bag was happily on the same flight.

    Only two problems remained:
    I only discovered too late that the best seats on which to sleep in the TK lounge are not actually the ones that are the most flat
    I missed a huge and fine dinner in Abu Dhabi on Monday evening. My friends have been telling me about it ever since…

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