Is an 1 hour 5 min. layover in Istanbul enough?

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Oct 13th, 2013, 01:01 PM
  #1
jgg
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Is an 1 hour 5 min. layover in Istanbul enough?

Looking to fly from West Coast of US to Kilimanjaro. Turkish Airlines has the best airfare by over $800 (5 of us flying so really significant). I've read some reviews on Turkish Airlines here and feel comfortable flying them. My only concern is the layover in Istanbul is only 1 hr. and 5 min. We generally only do carryon so that may help - but what do you think??
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Oct 13th, 2013, 02:23 PM
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I have flown many times with Turkish Airline and like it a lot, but 1.5 hours layover, in my opinion is a bit short, because you never know if the flight would be delayed (bad weather, mechanical problem, inspection etc.) .

I would do it if it is the same airline from US to Istanbul, and then Istanbul to Kilimanjaro, because that way THY has your intinerary in its system and will re-book you for the next flight. Otherwise, they will re-book you but may use a different route to K. per their liking.

One example is last week my sister flew from Vienna to Heathrow (BA) and the Cathy Pacific to Hong Kong. She missed the Cathy Pacific flight because Heathrow was fogged-in, and instead of booking her on the next Cathy Pacific flight, BA re-booked her using Swiss Air going from London to Zurich then to Hong Kong - adding 5-6 hours to her flight time.
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Oct 13th, 2013, 03:00 PM
  #3
jgg
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Yes, it is Turkish Airlines the whole way from Us to Kilimanjaro. Plus, we have two nights in Arusha before we head out on our safari - which was supposed to be used to have time to get over jetlag/traveling before we head out on safari, but could come in handy for other reasons. Just worried about all five of us getting rebooked - only one nonstop from Istanbul to Kilimanjaro each day.
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Oct 14th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Though you have planned for 2/days in Arusha, reminder - the Turkish Air flight arrives JRO at 3:30am and you won't be at hotel till about 5am earliest. And the departing flight is at 4:30am. In both instances you pay for hotel nt prior arrival to assure the room/s, and on last day instead of a dayroom, an overnight rate.

1/hr, 5/min is too short most anywhere, but especially so on an international flight where if delays you're up the creek. Delays can be coming out of the States or connecting at IST and as you say... next flight not till next day requiring seats for 5/paxs.

Of course the TKY rates are very tempting, especially for a large group, but you also have to consider the negatives.

Have you checked Ethiopian (out of IAD, Wash DC), maybe Qatar via Doha? Might not be as cheap at TKY, but are options if not going with KLM.
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Oct 14th, 2013, 02:50 PM
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jgg
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Thanks sandi. I checked Qatar and Ethiopian airlines. Flights are $3000 and $4800 respectively so even more than the KLM flight that I was hoping would go down. BTW, the Turkish Airlines flight into JRO arrives at 1:10am not 3:30am and departs at 2:10am not 4:30am. I already knew that our flights would be arriving late and leaving early in the am so have already accounted for that with all of our bookings for the safari.
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Oct 15th, 2013, 02:00 PM
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When are you traveling - month? year?

Regardng those fares, assume for '14, know that when first published they are often high as you show. You might want to wait a few months before booking, as those fares should come down.

Suggest you go into Kayak, www.kayak.com and even Trip Advisor, www.tripadvisor.com and request flight notification weekly from your departing city to/from JRO.

Maybe even consider flying into Nairobi/NBO Kenya that is served by more air carriers at competitive fares, and then the short 50/min flight via Precision Air (a code share with Kenya Air) to JRO. Depending on flight arrival time at NBO, you might have to overnight Kenya, requiring Visa (Transit at USD$20/person, and nearby hotel)... still way less than those fares you indicate. Many travelers do this. Alternative to the Precision flight is a Shuttle Bus, departing NBO 8am at about $35/person (drive time 4-5/hrs (a bit of an adventure), or even arrange a private road transfer at about $400 total)... all depending on how frugal you wish to be.
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Oct 15th, 2013, 02:03 PM
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... further, had friends on the Turkish flight scheduled to arrive 1:10am, but it was changed to 3:30am. Just a reminder that air carriers do change their schedules.
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Oct 15th, 2013, 03:18 PM
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That seems way too short. If you're near the back of the plane to Istanbul, it could take 15-20 minutes just to get off the plane and to the gate of the next flight, assuming that the departure gate is close to the arrival gate. I didn't think most airlines even allowed bookings with transfer times that short. The fact it's the middle of the night makes it somewhat better, but that would give me a lot of heartburn. We did LHR-NBO, a short sleep in NBO, and then NBO-JRO. I can't speak to the price comparison, but if the prices are anywhere close, I wouldn't feel comfortable with only a 1 hour connection time (well, unless it was in Kuala Lumpur )
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Oct 15th, 2013, 03:21 PM
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BTW, can you just take a later flight from IST to JRO on Turkish airlines for the same price? If so, just hang out in the Istanbul airport for awhile, or even take a day-trip for sightseeing? Often times these "stayovers" cost the same as if you just connected in the airport.
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Oct 15th, 2013, 06:53 PM
  #10
jgg
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Thanks everyone. The trip is June 2014. Unfortunately, there is only one flight per day on Turkish airlines IST to JRO. A few more details. The KLM flight is $2800 (I was hoping for closer to $2000). But even the KLM flight has only a 1 hr and 30 min. layover in Amsterdam. I did check the flights to Nairobi, it is slightly cheaper - $2500 but flight on Precision Air is $200 so not really that much cheaper.

The Turkish Air flight is only $1462, plus we will need to pay $200 for our flight to LAX so still at about $1700 it's hard to pass up. What we are leaning towards doing is just purposefully planning on spending the night and next day in Istanbul. Just confirming that we can cancel the first night in Arusha. The flight arrives in IST at 5:10pm and leaves the next day at 6:20pm so we're thinking it's enough time to get a good nights sleep and still have time the next day to see some highlights of Istanbul (a place that has been high on our list to see!!)
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Oct 16th, 2013, 10:52 AM
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Believe you also posted on Trip Advisor and one of the replies mentioned that you spend an awful lot of time deplaning from inboard flight, going thru security again, onto next flight... it was absolutely crazy. Not the way anyone should have to travel.

Travel thru AMS, even with a 1.5/hr connection is a breeze. This is one of the most civilized airports in the world.

However, if you can do a layover - overnight/next day in IST, it's worth it. Absolutely fascinating city and lots of sightseeing to enjoy.


Cancelling 1/nt in Arusha shouldn't be an issue, but you'll still be arriving early morning and you can't start safari in the dark, not even with the break in travel... you'll need somewhere to refresh.
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Oct 16th, 2013, 02:48 PM
  #12
jgg
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Thanks to everyone! Yes, I did post on TA as well as FlyerTalk. Amazing all the different information you can get from the different forums. I was directed to this link: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/turki...-istanbul.html which was very helpful. it confirmed that we would not need to go through customs or passport control and if the plane was on time, we had a good chance of making the transfer. However, I prefer to avoid the "maybe" and we are going to spend the night in IST. As sandi said - I think there will be lots of things for us to enjoy in this fascinating city!! Thanks for everyone's help!!
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Oct 17th, 2013, 08:03 AM
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Granted as an intransit pax you should have no need to go thru passport control*, but most airports worldwide do have security checks at individual gates. However, doesn't appear IST is as organized as would be at AMS.

*Customs is only once you've collected luggage and departing the airport.

And like you... not keen on a 'maybe.' Overnight and enjoy IST for a day, where most sites are in the Old City. Where I'd suggest you get a hotel, so not much to-fro and taxis.
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