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Istanbul Ataturk Airport/Flight Connections

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My husband and I are thinking of flying from New York JFK to Kayseri (Cappadocia) on the same itinerary/day. Both flights would be on Turkish Air. We would depart JFK at 4:30 pm on a Friday evening in August, arriving at Istanbul Ataturk at 9:55 am the next afternoon (Saturday). Then we would have a 4:20 hour layover to connect to a 2:20 pm flight to Kayseri. I’m not sure how much time to allow to deplane (we’ll be flying coach, unfortunately), clear customs and immigration, then catch our next flight (possibly needing to claim and recheck luggage). I know there is more than one airport in Istanbul, but both flights appear to arrive/depart from Ataturk, although the international flight arrives at Terminal 1 and the domestic flight departs from Terminal D. Would you take the chance with these flights? FYI: There are additional flights later in the evening from IST to KAY in case we miss the original one, but there is no telling what the availability will be (especially for 2 people). Our other option is to spend the night in Istanbul and catch the early (7:30 am) flight to Kayseri the next day, arriving at 8:55 am. (We’ll be spending 3 nights in Istanbul later in the trip and don’t anticipate feeling much like sightseeing after the overnight flight from the states, so we would probably just hang at a hotel with a pool if we did stay in Istanbul overnight.)

And a related airport connection question:

On our return from Kayseri, we plan to fly to Izmir, but it won’t be a nonstop flight since we have to connect back through Istanbul. I think that Sun Express flies nonstop from Kayseri to Izmir, but only on Wednesday and Saturdays, and those won’t be our days there (although it’s difficult to ascertain the schedule since they only seem to publish 2 months out). I will have only 2 hours to connect from the Turkish Air flight to the Atlas Jet flight. Is that enough time? Again, I think I will arrive/depart from Ataturk, but this time I will need to claim and recheck luggage because of the change in airlines. Again, my alternative is to spend the night in Istanbul, continuing on to Kayseri at 7:00 am the next morning. I don’t have a lot of extra days to “waste” on this trip, so I’m trying to make the most of my time.

Thanks for your advice.

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