Istanbul Airport is Horrible

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Jan 31st, 2016, 12:25 AM
  #1
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Istanbul Airport is Horrible

I was travelling by Air Canada with my family including 3 kids. Air Canada was operated by Turkish Airline from Istanbul to Pakistan.
While traveling to Pakistan I had to stay about 11 hours at Istanbul airport we were not given hotel to stay, the behaviour of Air Canada and Turkish airlines agents was rude, insulting and non informative.
On my return from Islamabad(Pakistan) to Canada on Jan 14th, 2016 via Flight No AC6711 operated by TK 711. Flight was delayed which resulted delay arrival at Istanbul and hence connecting flight AC811 missed.
Here starts real nightmare of my life. My family with small kids had to spent 30 hours at airport without Hotel, Turkish Airlines denied to provide Hotel because our Canadian Passports were not valid for 6 months(It does not make sense, we did not come to stay in Turkey otherwise we would have 6 months valid passports, we were stuck because of delay flight by Turkish Airline). About 7 hours we were kept waiting for new booking at a place where there was no water and food and no shops to buy. My small kids were starving and thirsty. From 10:30 AM till 10:30 PM we were treated like animals and everybody at Turkish Help Desk tried to cheat and get rid of us, they cheated to provide us Airport Hotel but later after 3 hours wait said Airport Hotel is fully booked. My family with small kids is ruthlessly humiliated and mentally tortured, I humbly request everybody never travel through Turkey, people at the Airport are unfriendly, rude, unprofessional, cheater and dishonest. I saw lot of people over there in trouble. No body was helping them. I made a footage of a lady who fell in front of Turkish Help Desk and became unconscious.
ykharal is offline  
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Jan 31st, 2016, 09:42 AM
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Sure, no problem, lol.
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Jan 31st, 2016, 04:13 PM
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A very unpleasant experience to be sure, but it could happen to anyone, anywhere. Flights are delayed for all kinds reasons every day and there is always the possibility of a missed connection. As far as your passports are concerned, a savvy traveller will never leave his country without a passport valid for at least six months after the intended return home. In effect, a passport valid for 5 years is really only useful for 4.5 years. So you were stuck between a rock and a hard place; you couldn’t leave the airport because your passports’ expiration date would not allow you to go through immigration, and you couldn’t get upon a different flight home until seats were available.

Why you were restricted to an area that had no food or drink available is not clear from your post. It does sound as though employees tried to be helpful but were not successful . There seems to be something missing here.
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Feb 1st, 2016, 02:04 PM
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The Turkish Airlines Lounge is pretty nice.
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Feb 1st, 2016, 03:11 PM
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The Turkish lounge is actually rated #1 for biz lounges.,

The OP will probably never be back. This is just another "get even" post.,
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Feb 1st, 2016, 05:09 PM
  #6
P_M
 
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I think the OP has come and gone but here are my 2¢. It sounds like a great deal of the OP's grief stems from the fact that they did not have passports with >6 months validity. I would never travel overseas with a passport that will expire in the next 6 months because you never know when or where you will get stuck. If the OP is still reading thanks for the reminder to carry a more current passport and I hope your next trip will be better.
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Feb 1st, 2016, 10:04 PM
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i've been through the ist airport several times, with no problems. i consider the turkish airlines lounge the very best i've been in, and i've been to a few good ones, like the united club in hnl.
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Feb 2nd, 2016, 09:31 AM
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P_M is right, I think. As an infrequent international traveler, I find the fact that passports are essentially invalid within 6 months of expiration annoying and ridiculous, but it is what it is.
Good reminder to renew them bright and early...
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Feb 14th, 2016, 05:02 PM
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Well, here is an article by someone who generally likes IST/Ataturk Airport,

http://loungeindex.com/Middle%20East/Turkey/IST/

but even he (she) admits:

"If you miss your connection at Istanbul airport, don't expect the plane to wait for you, or any help from THY (TK/Turkish airlines) staff. They hate you."
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Feb 15th, 2016, 11:14 PM
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The Turkish Airlines lounge at IST is indeed incredible.

I think, though, that TA staff can come across as brusque or curt. I don't know if it's communication style, or a different ethos of service, or something I'm just unaware of or ill informed about, but I did notice a different style and just tried not to personalize it.
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Feb 16th, 2016, 04:31 AM
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I don't remember the airport but loved the Turkish Airlines personal. Especially towards children, which makes it all the sadder in this story : I'm pretty sure staff would have helped a family with kids.
Must be more - there is always more in these stories - than what OP said.
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Feb 16th, 2016, 08:08 AM
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Agree about attitude toward children, now you mention it -- the pilot's greeting was always, "Ladies and Gentlemen and dear Children" -- never heard that on another carrier.
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Mar 21st, 2016, 08:19 AM
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sue_xx_yy,
Thanks for posting that very informative article. Will definitely keep it for later use.

It is hard when something happens and you don't even know your options. If you don't travel much, you may not know what questions to ask or what information you need.

I have been through IST/Ataturk, and guess I was just lucky. I transferred from an international flight to a domestic flight with no problems. I also arrived from a domestic flight and later departed on an international flight. There seemed to be lots of food, snacks and drinks everywhere. I didn't need any help, so don't know how that might have been if there was a situation where I needed it.
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May 2nd, 2016, 08:43 PM
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I have been through istanbul 3 times by now over the last year. My experience has been nothing if not great everywhere in Istanbul. The airport is crowded, but then so is JFK. People like Ykharal blame everyone else except themselves. The 6 month true almost everywhere. Why would you even travel with a passport expiring in six months. In fact when I use my United points, I prefer to fly via Istanbul
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