A Travellerspoint blog

Istanbul to Chicago to Zeeland!

Home sweet home!

This morning we got up and had breakfast in our hotel, then took the 45 minute taxi van ride back to the airport. The views of the city were really cool, I especially liked when it just looks like a sea of rooftops. So, of course I couldn’t resist some window pics!

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The new Istanbul Airport (I believe opened in April) is pretty amazing. It almost seems more like a high-end shopping mall than an airport. Right now it’s kind of in the middle of nowhere, which I assume is why it took so long both times to get to hotels (in opposite directions), but there’s plenty of room around the airport so I assume hotels will start going in.

Just to enter the airport, you have to go through security just like you normally would to get to a flight gate area. Then you have to go through it again to get in after you have a boarding pass. For this flight to the US, we also had to go through THREE security checkpoints to enter our gate (it was glasses off from. the walkway) - twice our passports and boarding passes were checked, and then all of our luggage was hand searched and we were patted down. Then they checked again as we boarded, and in Chicago, we had to show our passports to get off the plane! Crazy! - we didn’t encounter anything like that anywhere else, or even in Istanbul when we went though for other flights on this trip.

We did find out upon arrival at the airport that our flight was delayed 2 hours, and after we went to our gate it got delayed another 30 minutes. While Turkish Airlines is wonderful in-flight with care packages (slippers, socks, eye mask, earplugs, toothbrush and paste), food (2 full meals the longer flights and sometimes a snack, but even a full meal on a 1.5 hour flight!), and beverages (sodas, juices, beer and wine all included at no charge, and offered frequently); they don’t seem to do so well with on-time flights, being helpful when their delays cause you to miss a flight, or getting all of your luggage to the final destination on time.

We landed in Chicago at about 8pm (9 in Michigan), and by the time we deplaned, got through customs and immigration, and got the shuttle back to the hotel we parked at, it was 10:00/11/00. So we got home a little after 2 and probably weren’t in bed before 3.

Our bodies are all out of whack on time, so we were all up by 7:30! I foresee naps in our future! ;)

Posted by Rowlandfamily 05:13 Archived in Turkey

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