Turkey Trip Overview
Booking Flights To Turkey
British Airways First Class Lounge IAH
British Airways 777 First Class IAH-LHR
Transiting Heathrow and British Airways A320 Business Class LHR-IST
Marriott Courtyard Istanbul Airport
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul to Izmir and Back
Ephesus, Mary’s House and Basilica of St. John
Pamukkale Bus and Preiene
Major Sites to see in Istanbul
Radisson Blu Bosphorus
Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul
Turkish Airlines 777 Business Class IST-IAH
The hotel shuttle dropped us off at the domestic terminal at the Istanbul Airport. Unlike most US airports where the counters are all in one long line, here there were several different banks of counters and we had to wander a bit to find the Pegasus Airlines counter. But we got checked in relatively quickly. We’d paid for the extra luggage allowance so that we wouldn’t have to worry about our bags being overweight.
The terminal itself is nothing fancy, to put it mildly. There were some fast food places and I think one friend bought a soft drink but we didn’t venture further. Clearing security was old-school with metal detectors.
Our gate was downstairs in a bare area with a concrete floor and some seats. We were a bit early so just hung out there. The area did start filling up as our flight time approached. When it was time to board, a bus pulled up outside the door and took us to our plane, which we then boarded via a staircase.
Pegasus flies 737s between Istanbul and Izmir several times a day for a very reasonable price. We’d booked our tickets via a travel agency/tour operator that not only got us these flights but also booked our hotel in Izmir and the tours we’d take on this trip.
The plane’s interior was perfectly functional but tired and a bit beat up. But as the flight was only about an hour, that was fine. Since we’d paid for the upgraded package, we got cheese sandwiches and a drink included, as well as bulkhead seating.
In comparison to the Istanbul Domestic Terminal, the Izmir terminal, was quite nice and modern. Lots of space and high ceilings gave it an airy feel. The domestic terminal had just opened in March 2014.
On our return, our Izmir guide escorted us to the ticket counter and made sure we got through everything before dropping us off in the security line. Once we were airside we wandered a little bit, looking at the souvenir shops. I was very surprised to find how small the bathrooms were. Naturally there was a line out the door of the women’s side. Very sad to see that in a new airport.
Our return flight was much the same as the outbound. We parked at a remote stand at Ataturk and were bused to the terminal. It seemed to take quite awhile for our baggage to be delivered to the belt.
So Pegasus does what it needs to do: deliver people safely and on time for a very reasonable price. I’d compare it to flying Southwest Airlines in the US – although you can pre-select your seat. Perfectly fine for short flights though hopefully their international fleet is in better shape than their short-haul domestic fleet.