I'm looking at flights home to Seattle out of Barcelona in June. There is one on Turkish Airlines that has a 14-hr layover in Istanbul. We get into Istanbul at 11:35pm and depart on Turkish for the flight to Seattle at 2:10pm next day. We won't have any checked luggage. I've read about the Yotel at the airport. Has anyone ever stayed there? I don't really think we have enough time to explore any of the city and we'd need to have a visa to do that anyway. This is our first trip to Europe and any advice from experienced travelers is appreciated. Thanks,
I'd keep looking for another flight, but the visa process was easy (unless something has changed)--you just walked up to a counter to get it.
The rooms at the Yotel are really small. I mean, tiny. It would be fine to crash for sleep and have a shower, but 14 hours gives you more time to kill. And to share that cell… ouch!
Also, by the time you pay for a late checkout, the savings over a more direct route will diminish.
There are other flights out of Barcelona but they include 12-hrs on Condor out of Frankfurt or Aer Lingus out of Dublin. I read reviews of those airlines that were terrible. If it was a shorter leg, I'd go ahead and book, but do we want to spend 12 hrs on a terrible flight? Does anyone have experience with either of those airlines? Delta has flights out of Barcelona but they're quite expensive. I suppose if it comes down to it, we would book one. I just wanted to look into the fares under $1k first.
I've only flown Aer Lingus once, but it was fine. Comparable to any American carrier (really, in economy, they're all awful). I don;t know Condor, but I noticed they codeshare with Lufthansa, which has in general been good for me.
BUT if you do the Turkish flight, get the visa and make an adventure of it--it's an amazing city!
Hi Jody. Welcome to the wonderful world of travel to Europe.
If you have to have a layover on the way back, Dublin is my go to. I have reasons, that I'll explain, despite absolutely hating the hotel right by the airport, the Maldron Dublin. Back in 2017, flew back from Milan through Dublin, with a stay at the Maldron. It's an expensive dump, and with the six hour layover, completely useless. We should have just hung out at the airport. With a 12-14 hour layover, we'd get a cab to anywhere but the Maldron.
The reason I'd pick Dublin over any of your other mentioned airports (even over Istanbul, which, for my money, is the best people watching airport I've ever been to, hands down). US Customs and Border Patrol is set up in Dublin, so you clear all that at departure, and have an easy exit from the airport on your arrival. Given the length of a flight from anywhere in Europe to nearly anywhere in the US (much less SeaTac), the chef principle is what I'd invoke here. You want to do as much as you can in prep (departure) and the least in service (arrival) as possible. Never in my life had I left O'Hare airport, the place where every American travel is eventually stuck, as easily as my return from that 2017 trip. I brought back wine on that trip, three bottles of primo Piemontese reds, so I had to check my bag, and I was still out of the airport within 15 minutes of getting off the plane. Even better if you can carry on.
Now, as I'm a bit older, I see the value of clearing pre-flight, and walking out. I'm applying for Global Entry when my passport renewal is complete. But I check to see if I can get a deal to fly through Dublin on the return, just because of the process.
Also, got a nice whiskey sample after breakfast, and it's nice to have that stop over where you can read all the signage.
That said, Istanbul is an amazing airport. And, given the large number of long layovers people have there, there are numerous
tours you can get that will pick you up and drop you off at the airport. You are correct that you will need a visa, and given where Turkiye is now, I would make sure all my papers are 100% in order. The visa itself is so easy my mom could do it. It's an e-Visa for tourists.
Whatever you wind up doing, excited for your first trip!