I have a 4 hour layover on this airport next week. Any experiences? I have a feeling it's going to suck, but my layover is at night so I should avoid the worst traffic.
Apparently there is no universal free wifi, even though they claim on the homepage that they have one. So if someone has wifi IDs and passwords saved somewhere that would be awesome!
Also apparently it's super-expensive there, even at BK, so I'll take my own snacks with me. Just nothing to drink, because of the security BS, unless if I fill an empty one in Helsinki after security. I won't risk it with Turkish tap water. :D
I had 2 layovers over 2 weeks on this airport, both were 9 hours each. I was a mongol and didn't carefully plan my flights, also I have an ex-gf in Istanbul and planned on her picking me up and showing me around the city, which didn't pan out. So I was stuck there for the whole 18 hours.
>no free Wi-Fi
Flight 1 what I did for entertainment was people watch, tried to lie down on the benches and rest (but not sleep, because I arrived late at night and flight was early in the morning), I saved battery on phone because I didn't know what hell awaited me and I didn't have headphones with me. My observations are that there are a bazillion Asians, they all travel in packs. I tried talking to some people but I was awkward as fuck and couldn't assume that everybody else spoke English right off the bat. At some point I found this abandoned stuffed dog (I was basically alone in the area, it had been there for at least 3 hours) and took it. As soon as I found out my gate I went there and passed the time talking to other people from the flight, it was a lot easier for the last hour or so.
Return flight was monumentally better. Had more confidence after the trip, was feeling refreshed and ready to get back home. I explored a lot more of the airport, found the main area with Victoria's Secret in it, then whipped out my second phone that I had already charged and it was loaded with 1 season of King of the Hill, again lied down on bench and watched that for the entire duration. Had headphones that a cool canadian guy gifted me during my trip. When battery inevitably drained I just found a wall outlet, most didn't work but I found one.
>pic related, the dog
Cool story brah! I couldn't even imagine spending 9 hours there.
They have wi-fi but you have to pay for it (with credit card). it's not very expensive - so little in fact that i suspect it might cost less to administer if it were free.
There are far worse airports in the world (or indeed in Istanbul) to spend 4 hours in. Super-expensive? Depends, some places are, but if you find the food court bit (the lower floor one, there's a more expensive one upstairs fairly nearby) there's a place that does very reasonably priced and very tasty Turkish food (and several US-style fast food franchises too, but ignore them). The other shops are pretty OK as airport stores go too - the Turkish government is really using its air connections as a massive tool of international cultural and political diplomacy.
Take a pc and upload a couple of films before you go. Also take a book.
The airport has food halls like anywhere else and sells the same shit at inflated prices, although its not as expensive as you think.
The departure lounges are huge and its easy to find one not being used if you want to try and sleep.
There's something to be said for ebooks, you can bring eight hours of books and it doesn't weigh a tonne.
I sometimes bring a book and toss it but that doesn't help for the return trip