As a matter of fact the flight reported here is just a pretext for a report on New Istanbul Airport which I was very impatient to discover and I hope you will share my pleasure.
I could have travelled thru NIA a bit earlier, but it was just on opening days and I was a bit worried there might be some mess, so flying from Paris to Izmir, I chose to fly with LH, connecting in Munich; which already did last year; but out of summer season, the Munich-Izmir leg is not flown by LH itself but by its co-subsiduary Sunexpress, with low cost (but acceptable) service, for which however LH charges same fare as when both legs are on LH business class (which is yet not especially very good value for price).
Moreover my checked luggage was left in Munich; main tag had been torn off, but though my personal tag, and airline sticker with flights info and barcode were still on it, nobody cared for it for 8 days, and it's only when connecting in Munich again on my way back that they really searched and found it; I was short of time and could not collect it, so they sent it home which took four more days ! A whole week in Turkey without my luggage … so no more LH for me.
And this time I chose TK which offered an interesting combination of C fares for CDG-IST-ADB and back to LGW
My report will deal a little with first leg of itinerary, and mostly IST airport.
You wished airborne? Sorry You will have mostly ground report.
I was amazed by IST airport, and it is a pleasure to share my experience with you.
But first things first, I take off from CDG on june 22nd.
I get to CDG by TGV from Brussels and Lille
I've known T1 since it opened in 1974, still futuristic, but a bit gloomy with its low ceilings and dark areas.
However, I'm still fascinated by long tunnels and treadmills to satellites.
Let's go that way
For a visit to Star Alliance lounge
I won't do pictures of buffet, not fantastic, here is my selection
Our bird today is B777-300
You all know cabin and seats, I guess
While the chef is getting busy
I never found real gastronomy on board any airline, not appropriate conditions I think, but it's nice and served with elegance and smile.
Menu is elegant too, but I forgot to take pictures of the inside
First the tray comes with all cold dishes
Chef is doing alright, but let me check captain is doing his job; seems OK
Let's get back to meal; the main course; aubergine stuffed with beef was delicious..
Congratulations to the chef
Even if I'm not much into jelly desserts which remind me of 1960's British food… you know what I mean.
We are getting closer.
Sorry I need a break
Clean and tidy
Aircraft gets linked up to main building; staff helps passengers to choose their way: international transit, domestic transfer, exit Istanbul
So let us get upstairs
Please follow the guide
An endless vista, I counted 10 treadmills, they had good reasons to put magic flying carpets… but they have not
At the very end of the very end, you are requested to turn right and take escalator down New vista, long long long.
Used to rush hour at immigration at this time, I ask for fast track, but staff invites me to use first entrance to immigration, because, there is hardly anyone and fast track is much further. Quickly set
Even quicker at customs
And we get at once into Domestic area, which is a big plus compared to Ataturk airport.
Trafic jam … but actually I get thru in some 5 minutes
But there, am I tired or just too impressed by volumes …I don't know where to go; fortunately, there are everywhere in the airport, young people wearing purple T shirts; they are here to help passengers; they very quickly tell me the way to the Domestic business lounge.
Get escalator up, turn right, get escalator down and then walk to Gate 6 which is opposite lounge entrance.
Let's go . Are you still with me folks? good.
While on escalator I enjoy the architecture
Watch it, getting off soon.
More hundred meters and treadmills
Here I am, soon in the holy shrine; did you count the up and downs? Do you know which levels we are now? You do? I don't !
30 minutes from my seat on the international incoming flight to the Domestic lounge entrance: not bad I think
Access by scanning bar code; some problems but staff is efficient and am quickly in.
Here I am, a bit further than the flight officially reported. I now invite ou to follow me into NIA discovery. I propose visit of the Domestic lounge, check in areas, TK international lounge, International boarding area.
DOMESTIC LOUNGE: larger than in Ataturk and ground floor as boarding is by special bus here too.
Some tables, easier for meals
Lets go to the loo, but what's this sign at entrance?
Oh dear, don't take the wrong door
This device will deliver a ticket with wifi access code once you have scanned your BP.
Some more views
I did not like the small case used for screens; I could not read from any seat; but departing flights are screened on the right hand side with information in large case which makes things easier; sorry, picture is blurred but you'll guess what i mean , I hope
Some pictures from the van on the way to aircraft
Same type of 777-300 as on international flight from paris
INTERNATIONAL DEPARTURES: on way back from Izmir, I stopped 2 days in Istanbul; hence flying to LGW; each way I used bus transfer to and from downtown Istanbul; 40/45 minutes from Taksim square, on comfortable coach, is a good experience if you consider heavy trafic in the city and 40km distance from airport; very cheap too, about 3€, and assistance for luggage.
Getting to airport is sort of arriving "right in the middle of nowhere"
Which you may also see from air
As a matter of fact, everything outside main terminal building, runways, taxiing and parking areas is still under construction
But Main terminal building is wonderful (airside view)
And very impressive when arriving by road (no other way to arrive at the moment, by the way)
It's big, but difficult to evaluate surface and volume as there is nothing nearby to provide scale.
However when getting closer, you can make out height, or depth as you like.
I like pure lines and light and airy structure.
Two entrances for domestic flights and 4 or 5 (I can't remember) for international
One of the many times I looked up
There is one entrance for business class passengers, but in fact, once inside everyone gets to the same one hall,
and has got to go thru security, before checking in, as everywhere in Turkey
Very fluid as there are many many security gates
Yes it's big
Everything is clearly signed and check-in areas seem very large
They look almost empty, probably because there are many of them, 17 or 18, one for Business, but also because the very heigh ceiling gives such a feeling of huge volume that you do not feel being in a crowded area
There come signs for Miles & Smiles check in, and Business class check-in; though I have my BP and carry on luggage only, let's go and have a look.
I should say elegant and sober
Some seating areas, with bottles of fresh water on tables
I just go thru and after a last look back …
I go thru Fast track for emigration; hardly anybody there
then thru security Fast track, very quick too
And here I am, among what I call the "merchants of the temple"
Une employée m'indique que le salon Business est face aux portes E, TK staff tells me way to the lounge, opposite E gates
Later on I wait for sign to take up his mind
Then I follow business.
Sorry I did not visit M&S Lounge or check in; I will next time
INTERNATIONAL TK BUSINESS LOUNGE:
I pass gates E but can't see any lounge entrance; as I get to a space decorated with plants, I can imagine I'm getting close to the "holy shrine", but NO !
So I move on round and come back to gates E; in fact I looked right and should have looked left where entrance to upstairs Business lounge is.
Here too, sober and elegant. I like
Lounge is on a mezzanine overlooking shopping area on the one side, and huge windows and tarmac on the other side.
Access thru automatic gates, scanning barcode of BP
175 lockers for luggage
Lounge is divided into small rest areas.
Or like that
Contemporary, vintage or would be period; choose your style
That one is very contemporary and seems very cosy.
I make up my mind and will sit in this tea area Looks like a decor for an Agatha Christie's novel, don't you think?
Seating areas are all over the lounge, separated by various food corners and buffets
Everyone's taste seems to be cared for.
Alcoholic drinks are on TV side, seems limited but did not bother as I have no interest for that
I go round and come back to my chair with…
my selection !!
Yes I was so thirsty and lemonade is absolutely delicious
Later I will go on salads, very fresh and tasty.
And to finish with, some sweet things with tea
Turkish pastry, with pistachios, was delicious, but a bit sticky, so I need a hand wash now.
Let's go there with music
No ironing for me, but it's an interesting service; I did not see showers but I imagine there must be.
I like the materials used.
First picture is blurred but I can assure you, it was very clean
And I leave, having a last look at architecture; I really like it
You may make out, downstairs, behind a row of plants (not very visible) a rest area with sort of beach beds; seen from upstairs it may remind of a refugees camp; but it must be comfortable; you may also see, downstairs, middle of picture, an enclosed space, called Terrace; it's actually the smoking area; maybe a problem of tight gate or fan system, but from the mezzanine I could sense a light smell of smoke and tobacco.
There it was, folks, in the Lounge and a view from the Lounge
INTERNATIONAL BOARDING AREA:
International Gates A,B,D,F are all in long piers (or concourse, I don't know what you call them in english) which count 11 to 18 gates each; gates E and C are very few, and are on the main façade of the terminal
I walk along what I called the refugees camp.
My flight is in D area
So I'm invited to take an escalator down
to concourse D whose entrance area seems as large as the whole terminal of an average town.
Then treadmills take you to your gate
Have a break !
At each gate, there is a boarding area with seats and toilets; all flights to UK have another security control at gate (3 altogether in IST airport, 4 when you arrive by train or underground like in Izmir or former Ataturk); I don't know if all international destinations have this last security check at gate.
Each gate leads to one of the huge high buildings adjoining the terminal
Why so high? because, when passengers leave plan, as soon as they leave the short gangway to enter this building, they can be separated: international transit, domestic transfer, exit Istanbul; they are separated before entering the main building, so corridors and escalators for different flows are all in this high adjoining building.
Here too, large windows
A little bonus for fans
Taxiing, for quite a long time; then take off and almost immediately over Black Sea coast
As you guessed, I used this itinerary CDG-IST-ADB/ADB-IST-LGW to discover NIA, which fulfilled my expectations; it deserves full marks, at least on items which I consider as important (I do not care a fig for duty free for instance); but I would wish a few improvements: -generally speaking, most information are written in too small case, at least for an old man like me -the light smell of smoke sneaking out of the so called Terrace -long time wasted to get to and from runway (but what can we expect in such a large airport).
But on the whole, in spite of size, it's fluid and functional; bus access, as long as rail service is not operating, is fair enough; the whole atmosphere of the terminal is quite airy, light and elegant.
Thanks to all of you who have been reading all the way thru
French version: https://flight-report.com/fr/report/42752/turkish-airlines-tk1822-paris-cdg-istanbul-ist#c510236
3 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
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