Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tips on overnight layover

I and Vikram luckly found an en-route to home through Turkey (Istanbul).
There is a Japanese pop song which got big hit in 70s 'Fly me to Istanbul' - of course I had that song in my head repeatedly.

Arrived at Istanbul around midnight.
Connection flight to the US leaving around 6:30am.
Hmm, quite a layover.

It is pretty common to sleep over at an airport when you do a budget travel. I have done it several times. These are what you can do for overnight layover.

- Drink over night: Possible but not a good idea. Unhealthy and there is a risk of missing your flight if you enjoy too much.
- Go out of the airport and sleep at a nearby hotel: Better option if you have long enough time to do but not cost effective. Also you need to go through immigration and security. Time consuming. Depends on the country and your nationality, you need to obtain a visa to enter the country.
- Use airline lounge at the airport: If you travel with business class and above, a usage at lounge comes with it. But even if you are flying economy, you can pay and use the facility of the airline you are flying with. Or, I believe if you have a mileage card or credit card of a certain airline, you can pay and use their lounge. (not sure, I have not done this yet). Free drinks, snacks, comfortable chairs to have a rest.
- Simply sleep on the chairs at the airport: Cost effective. I have seen most of the airports in the US have armrest in between seats on purpose to avoid passengers to sleep on. I found all chairs at Istanbul airport DO NOT have armrests in between. PERFECT.

Here is the thing you need to remember when you sleep overnight at an airport.

All international flights provide a blanket. Domestic flights may not but you can ask for it.
Politely 'borrow' the blanket and take it with you when you get off the airplane.
Depends on the season and AC control level at the airport, you may get frozen without a blanket.

Fortunately, Istanbul airport was not freezing, rather hot. But it is useful to have a blanket anyway. Fold it to make a pillow or so.

Here is the Turkish Airlines' blanket.
Yes, I borrowed it. I meant to return it (really)... but somehow it came with me to my home. Oops.

Quite a large airport. Turkey has been the hub of the merchandise for thousands of years.
Only one terminal, so the gates numbers go high.
I have never seen 3 digits gate numbers before.

It's a 24h operation airport. Some of the restaurants and bars are open all night long. (yey!)

Proper way to kill time at the airport.

Flying from middle eastern country to the US is another story.
Please refer separated blog which Vikram posted.

'Fly me to Istanbul' by Mayo Shono (1978)
(Refrain part only)
Fly me to Istanbul
Let's roll on the shiny dessert
A paradise, only at night

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