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Connecting in IST for Athens

We (3 adults) are traveling SFO-IST on Turkish Airlines and connecting in IST to Aegean (operated by Turkish Airlines) to Athens on April 14 and wonder if anyone knew what the procedure is for connecting.
We have 2 hours and 20 minutes between arrival and departure in IST (if all goes well).
We are hoping that Turkish Airlines will check our bags straight to Athens but they may not because its on a separate ticket,
and if not, what is the procedure once we arrive in Istanbul?

I have read not so good things about customer service in Istanbul so it would help to have an idea of what to do.
I am thinking: immigration / baggage retrieval / check in again with TK / security.
Thanks for your help.

Posted by
16852 posts

I have not had the experience of connecting in Istanbul but I would be encouraged since the major airlines have an "interline agreement" that means your bag can be checked all the way through. If there's any argument necessary to accomplish that, you'll have it with the check-in agent at SFO.