Question on Ataturk Airport

Jun 19th, 2010, 05:03 AM
  #1  
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Question on Ataturk Airport

Hi, just 2 weeks left for the start of our Turkey trip! I had a question regarding logistics at Ataturk Airport. I will be coming in on the Delta flight from New York at 10:15 am Staurday, July 3rd. Family and friends are arriving on Turkish Airlines flights from NY and Chicago, about 45-50 mins before me. Looking at the airport website, it seems like the only international terminal is B, so we are all arriving at the same terminal. My question is, how large is Terminal B? Is it relatively easy to find each other? Is there a a particular point in the arrivals hall where it would be best to arrange to meet? Since we are coming in on different airlines, I am not sure if the Delta gates are far off from the Turkish Airlines gates with different exit points, etc.

Also, after we have all reached and cleared customs and immigration and picked up our luggage. we need to transfer to the domestic terminal (A) for a Turkish Airlines flight to Izmir. Doing a Google search indicates it's about a 15 min walk under a covered walkway. Are there travelators, escalators, elevators, etc? Also, are we allowed to take our luggage on luggage carts? That would be much easier than yanking it along behind us.

Finally - should we change USD for lira in the international terminal itself? Or are there exchange bureaus in the domestic terminal as well? We'd prefer to get to Terminal A first and check in for the Izmir flight to get rid of the luggage, but if there are no exchange bureaus, we'll stop to exchange money first. I assume we can also buy prepaid cell phone SIM cards there too? And bottled water?

Thanks!
Baby_Bear is offline  
Jun 19th, 2010, 05:31 AM
  #2  
 
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"Finally - should we change USD for lira in the international terminal itself?"

I flew into Ataturk in October but wasn't paying enough attention to answer your questions about the airport. However, if you have an ATM card you can get lira easily at an ATM at the airport and get a better exchange rate than at an Exchange Bureau.

"after we have all reached and cleared customs and immigration"

I don't think you will go through customs when entering Istanbul. You might be asked at Izmir if you have anything to declare and you probably won't.

If you are American you will have to get a visa before going through passport control (immigration). The visa windows are just before the immigration lines and the fee is US $20. Just step up and show your passport and hand over the $20 and they will give you a stamp for your passport. Have a twenty ready, don't expect them to make change for you. Hand over your passport and the visa stamp at the immigration window.

"...and picked up our luggage."

Why can't you check your luggage through to Izmir? If you pick it up when you arrive then you'll have to check it in again for your connecting flight. You should be able to check in in NY and check your luggage through to your final destination and get boarding passes for both flights.

I checked my luggage in in Florida, flew to Atlanta to Paris to Ist and picked up my luggage in Istanbul.

Have a great trip. Turkey is beautiful and fascinating.
Luisah is offline  
Jun 19th, 2010, 05:32 AM
  #3  
 
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If in doubt about checking your luggage through to Izmir, call Delta and ask.
Luisah is offline  
Jun 19th, 2010, 06:17 AM
  #4  
P_M
 
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I'll bet you a cup of Turkish coffee you can check your bags through, even if the tickets were purchased seperately. If you did purchase seperate tickets just show Delta the onward ticket at the check in counter and they will send it all the way to Izmir. Most major airlines have a code share agreement for bag checking. Please make the call and let us know.
P_M is offline  
Jun 19th, 2010, 09:52 AM
  #5  
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Thanks. I don't actually need to call, as I had already enquired at the time I made the booking. Delta does not have a code share with Turkish, but does have a baggage sharing arrangement. However, after discussing with the rest of our family group, we decided that we would first collect our bags in Istanbul, and then check in for Izmir. It reduces the chance of bags getting lost or delayed in transit, and as we are on a pretty tight timeline in Turkey, most of us didn't want to take the chance that our bags might get delayed.

So - back to my original questions. Please do share what you know about Terminal B (is it easy for people to meet up), also ease of transferring from B to A. Thanks!
Baby_Bear is offline  
Jun 19th, 2010, 09:54 AM
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I think it's likely that the checked bags can go through to Izmir, but there are countries, the U.S. and Australia are two, that require you to pick up your luggage, go through security and customs and check it in again for the ongoing flight. I don't know if Turkey requires this procedure but the airlines should know.
Luisah is offline  
Jun 19th, 2010, 10:04 AM
  #7  
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Luisah - I am sure Turkey allows bags to be checked thru, but the point I was trying to make was, we personally want to pick up our bags first in Istanbul. It's not a question of what the airlines allow, it's a question of our preference. I understand you have a different preference and that's absolutely fine.
Baby_Bear is offline  
Jun 19th, 2010, 10:50 AM
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Sorry, Baby Bear, I think we posted about the same time so I didn't see your post saying you want to get your bags in Istanbul.
Luisah is offline  
Jun 19th, 2010, 03:54 PM
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It is very easy to meet outside the customs check mof the international terminal.

There is only one exit door. When you go through that door you have to go either left or right, because there is a barrier infront of you where lots of people are hanging to welcome loved ones or customers.

If you go right after exiting customs, there is a Gloria jeans Coffee shop about 150 feet away.

If you go left, there is a Sports Bar and Cafe again about 150 feet away. There are ATMs on both sides and there are banks on the right.

The domestic terminal will be on your left.

Do not bet that the time difference between flights will be 45 minutes. It could be 15 or 90 depending on the clearance to take off at JFK and any other possible delays.

You can hire a porter who will have his own larg cart. Or you can get a cart but by using Turkish coins which you will not easily find in the luggage carousel area. So, i recommend that the second group hires a porter and comes out of customs to meet the first group who will also load their cases on the large cart and all will happily traipse to the local terminal. I would think that $20 should get you and your luggage there.
otherchelebi is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 03:58 AM
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Thanks, otherchelebi. How about exchanging money? Should we do so in the international terminal itself or are there cambios in the domestic terminal too?

Also, a couple of us want to buy prepaid SIM cards, and also bottled water for everyone. Is there a grocery/convenience store type place we can buy those at?
Baby_Bear is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 04:05 AM
  #11  
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Also, one follow up question - I saw you posted on another thread to say cabs in Istanbul now only have one rate, and no extra charge for baggage. Are there any surcharges or anything we as tourists should watch out for when hailing cabs? We have 5 days in Istanbul after Izmir and Cappadocia. Most of our daily sightseeing is taken care of by our Turkish travel agent, but we will be doing stuff on our own in the evenings, etc. Thanks.
Baby_Bear is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 06:26 AM
  #12  
 
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OtherC, t

I'm curious. The OP has made it clear that they want to transfer their luggage themselves but I'm wondering about security procedures for check-in luggage. I have a memory of tight security at both Ataturk and in Ankara -- for both checked luggage and carryons.

So, when entering the domestic terminal with a cart full of luggage, does it have to be taken off and sent through the security checkpoint and then retreived and checked in at the departing flights counter?

Thanks,
Lu
Luisah is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 07:17 AM
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Hi Babybear,

- The banks will change your money. you would get slightly less than at a cambio place at Tahtakale or in the Grand Bazaar, but for just a cab and firstday's incidentals this will not amount to much, maybe a dollar over a hundred. You will have banks at bot international and local. But the banks at international will be closer to Gloria jeans, and you will have time before your friends arive.

- There are at least two kiosks run by the GSM operators right between the customs exit and Gloria Jeans or the banks. You can buy prepaid sim cards in either. I believe, TURKCELL has better countrywide coverage than Vodaphone and Avea. The costs should be very similar.

- I think you are more likely to find a place which sells bottled water for a reasonable price (in regular stores, half litre bottles should sell for half a TL.) in the domestic terminal. You can buy it at the Sports Bar or Gloria but it will be much more.

- There are absolutely no surcharges that the cabs can put on their meters.
Just check that they start when you get in, 2.5TL if i remember correctly, and do not continue from the prior customer.

Just two nights ago, my wife left two bags with six pashminas, two of my windbreakers for our guests, six sandals or flipflops of urs and guests' and her nice Lumix ZX28 camera in the baggage of a taxi cab. And that was that, just as a carry on my daughter left in a yellow cab in Chicago last years.

So, write down the license plate number of every cab that you hail on the road, just in case, and make this a habit, especially in Istanbul, and especially at night.

If you can try to get a cab from a Taxi stand with the name of the taxi stand written on the side. Those are always much better, and of'course easy to trace to that stand.

Hi Luisah,

- You are right, Once our friends leave the international arrivals terminal their luggage will be subject to a newsecurity check at the entrance to the domestic departures terminal. This is one more reason to get a porter, who can do all the lifting and reloading and taking all the way to the check in.

- One more bit of advice, if you are within 24 hours of any THY flight, do your checking -in and seat selection on-line.
You will need PNI code or ticket number for that.

This will also allow you to go to a less busy counter, or sometimes the business class counter.
otherchelebi is offline  
Jun 21st, 2010, 05:15 PM
  #14  
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Thank you so much! Really appreciate you taking the time to answer my many questions. We are really excited about the upcoming trip!
Baby_Bear is offline  
Jul 29th, 2012, 08:54 AM
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HI I am doing the same thing in a couple of weeks, flying in on Delta and meeting others on Turkish airlines. Since you finished your trip in mid-July can you please tell me how it worked. Did you get in around the same time and where did you end up meeting. Any helpful advice/tips/tidbits you can give regarding this and anything regarding Istanbul would be so much appreciated. THANK YOU!!
luvvtravel is offline  
Jul 30th, 2012, 01:07 PM
  #16  
P_M
 
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Baby Bear's trip was 2 years ago, I don't think s/he has posted lately so it might be best to start a new thread.
P_M is offline  

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