Istanbul Airport Terminals
It took months of delays but now the new Istanbul Airport is open for service. The previous airport was small and it was hard to get from gate to gate. The new airport is a single terminal building and is the largest in the world. Five piers extend from various parts of the business. Four of the piers are for international travelers and one is for domestic travelers.
Looking at the airport from above you would see an H shape. From above the design of the building isn’t much but the interior is a work of art. Wavy ceilings and space between gates makes the airport feel comfortable and provides space between other travelers. Many of the stores at the airport are high end, and you might find yourself forgetting that you are at an airport in the first place.
While the airport is open to the public there are some areas that aren’t open yet. The government wanted to get the building open so there were not any more delays. For the most part, the remaining work takes the form of shops and eateries that are still being worked on. Some might find it frustrating that the airport is not fully functional yet, such as reported problems accessing WiFi, but you are likely to find the terminal much better than the predecessor.
Location and Contact Information
The new IST Airport is located on the Northwest part of central Istanbul. The district is known as Areavutkoy District. It is by the shore of the Black Sea. You can contact the airport at +90 444 1 442 or visit their website at istairport.com.
The airport is about 53 KM to Avcilar, 42 KM to Bakrikoy, 41 KM to Besiktas, and 85 KM to Sabiha Gokcen Airport. The average distance from the airport to central parts of Istanbul is 45 KM.
The five piers of the terminal make up the different concourses at Istanbul Airport. Concourses are lettered from A to G, skipping E. All the concourses except for G are for international travel. Concourse G is located on the Southeast side of the airport.
One of the things that everyone wonders about a new airport is what the security setup is like. The large terminal was only designed with one security checkpoint for local passengers and one for those who are just transiting through the terminal. This can cause delays and causes transiting passengers to have to check with security then head to their gate, even if it is closer to where they land.
Transiting to and between gates is not as easy as some other new airports. You currently have to either walk or use moving walkways. There is no transit system currently set up at the airport. Those who need assistance, such as those with mobility issues, will need to organize having a wheelchair at the airport.
You might catch staff using Segways to get to where they are going.
It can take quite a while to get through security and from gate to gate. It is recommend that you plan to have at least 2.5 hours to get through security and to your gate, especially during busy times. For those who want to spend time at a restaurant or lounge, you might want to add another hour to that time.
The gates at IST are very large. They have plenty of space for travelers to sit at. You will find that the areas are clearly marked and have ropes delineating different sections. The gates all feature large windows so that you can look out onto the tarmac.
Additional seating can be found spread randomly throughout the airport. So randomly that you might find yourself wondering why seats are placed where they are.
You will find plenty of services available at the airport. Besides the standard lounges and and food/drink/retail stores. You can also get luggage storage, find nursing rooms, access showers, find meeting points, and shop at duty free stores. There is also a car rental facility at the home.
You can find out more about the lounges below.
The primary air provider at IST is Turkish Airlines. They operate a lot of the flights but by doing so, they are able to offer a wide range of options and transfers. There are over 50 other airlines that operate out of IST. Some of the main ones include Air Canada, United Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, and JAL/Japan Airlines, just to name a few.
Lounges at IST
There are currently five lounges open at Istanbul Airport, all of them are open 24 hours a day. Here are the lounges:
- Turkish Airlines Lounge Domestic
This is the domestic lounge and it features snack, WiFi, TV, a children’s area, and snacks.
- Turkish Airlines Lounge Miles and Smiles
At this international lounge you will find snacks, showers, WiFi, alcoholic beavers, and more.
- Turkish Airlines Business Lounge
At the business lounge in the international pier you will find snacks, showers, WiFi, premium food, and television.
The IGA Lounge offers food, snacks, drinks, showers, television, a play area, and other amenities.
- SkyTeam Lounge
Premium food, snacks, drinks, WiFi and other amenities can be found at the SkyTeam Lounge.
You can get a PCR COVID test performed at the New Istanbul Airport. The test is administered at Biotest which is located on the Arrivals floor at exit gate number 14. Make sure that the PCR test meets the requirements for your travel.
Istanbul’s New Airport features two hotels, one on each side of the airport. The hotel runs about 110 euros. The location is great and offers travelers the option to stay at the airport without having to get a visa to stay at a local hotel. The hotels are both YotelAir hotels. The rooms are a decent size for a hotel and are very bright despite being inside an airport.
In addition to the hotel, you will find sleep pods spread throughout the airport. These sleep pods are available on an hourly basis. These are a great option for those looking to take a nap or those who don’t want to rent a whole hotel room.
There are not many options for hotels around the New Istanbul Airport. The options at the airport are the best, despite being slightly more expensive than some travelers might be used to.
To help support travel, the airport offers a parking garage with capacity for 40,000 vehicles. It is a high tech garage that also features a car wash, tire change, mini maintenance area, and fueling.
Plans for the Future
Despite the airport already being considered one of the finest in Europe and the largest in the world, there is still more work planned for the future. Future plans include more runways and more terminals. By 2027 the airport hopes to make the capacity they are capable of serving between 150 and 200 million passengers.
The construction is being carried out in a total of four phases. The next phase is phase three and includes the addition of another terminal building and a new runway. In the last phase there will be another runway and the possibility for additional satellite terminals.
By the end of the construction you could find the New Istanbul Airport sporting six runways and three or more terminal buildings. What is already in place is great for those who are looking to travel through the airport, the plans for the future will improve the airport even more. The one thing that we would like to see the airport adopt is a transit option to help people get to and from gates.