My flight was delayed only an hour due to bad weather and runway work. Still it was a LONG flight to Istanbul, where, because of my many-hour layover, I was entitled to a free hotel stay. The problem was finding the right transfer desk to set it up.
The current Istanbul Airport is a maze. I had chatted for quite a while in SFO with a woman from Tanzania, dressed in a very stylish orange suit, while we waited to board the plane to Istanbul. I bumped into her again three times in the Istanbul Airport, her orange outfit standing out in the crowd, while we each tried to find our respective desks. Navigating the place is a nightmare.
It’s the largest airline hub in Europe and thousands of people from all parts pour in and out each day. To take advantage of the hotel deal, I had to get a visa so I could leave the airport.Finding the desk was challenging, but the line to get visas was not long at all. Only this couple in front of me.
Next stop was the dreaded obligatory passport control. All these people are non-Turk nationals waiting in one long winding line to get into Turkey. This line required incredible patience after being in the air for 13 hours. Do we look happy?