1. Not enough direction signs.
2. Long queues at the passport control. Somehow they are moving relatively fast, but on a Saturday there are only three people working in passport control booths and each one constantly has a queue of at least one hundred people. It took us 40 minutes to go through security (which, by European standards, is too long).
3. After these 40+ minutes since arrival, our baggage still wasn’t there. This reminded me of another Italian airport, Milan Malpensa.
4. Overall, the airport is humungous and seems to be poorly designed – too much unnecessary walking required.
1. Now, this is an airport that seems fantastic upon arrival. Relatively new (or recently refurbished, for the 2004 Olympics), it is clean and bright. But once you arrive for departure you realize it’s not that amazing.
2. It’s quite confusing – there is a distinct lack of direction signs inside and I am not one to be lost in airports often.
3. Unfriendly service from more than one or two airport employees. Plus unclear directions from the customs and tax refund employee.
But at the same time, there is one great thing about this airport as well. It is the hub of Aegean Airlines which just might be my new favorite airline of all:
1. Fast and efficient employees, friendly as well.
2. Great food, especially for a flight that didn’t last longer than 50-60 minutes. I was a bit skeptic when I requested vegetarian and diabetic meals for us during the booking process and yet the request was met. Above everything else, the food actually tasted great (I don’t like in-flight food normally and sometimes skip meals). Alcohol was also available.
3. Apart from that, take off and landing were superb. I know this is very circumstantial and situational, but nevertheless both were a nice bonus.
All in all, I was very happy with Aegean.
Airports worth mentioning (and they do NOT suck) are the two airports of Istanbul: Atatürk and Sabiha Gökhen. I’m more fond of the latter for I have used it much more frequently compared to my one time in Atatürk. Sabiha is a spacious and yet compact facility where you both don’t suffocate and yet you don’t have to walk for miles before getting somewhere. Always a non-stressful experience.