We are flying home from Athens to the USA. We expect to book a flight that changes planes in Istanbul. We would appreciate it if anyone could advise us on how much time to allow for making the connection, guessing there would be a customs/ passport inspection station. Thank you, Hank, Novato Ca
No, you would go straight to the connecting gate. Istanbul is not in the Shengen zone anyway. Passport inspection/customs would occur in Athens.
Are you doing a single ticket, ATH to USA via IST or are you doing two tickets/bookings, i.e. one ticket ATH-IST and a separate ticket IST-USA?
If the latter, the "collective wisdom" for that situation is minimum 3 hrs, 4 is better.
If a single booking then whatever the airline puts together should work
Thank you for the advice, we are purchasing a single ticket through Turkish Airlines.
When you get off the plane in IST, you go through a perfunctory security check. You need your boarding pass and passport out. The lines may look long but they move fast. You have to put all your stuff in bins through the xray machine and you go through a metal detector. I went through this past October, and it was Mickey Mouse - they didn't even blink for my nearly full water bottle. I don't remember if I took my laptop out, but they didn't care about my other electronics (phone, kindle) and everyone kept their shoes on. It can take 20 minutes or more to get from one gate to another. There is a more thorough security check at your boarding gate for the US flight. First they check your passport, then they do a body frisk and carry-on examination by hand, including shoe removal. There can be a fairly long line for this. Once I had to take everything out of my 2 pieces. After the security check you are at the gate. I'm pretty sure there was a toilet available, but nothing else. If you leave the gate, you'll have to go through the security check again, of course.
Most of the time, in the central duty-free area, there are stacks of boxed Turkish delight for sale. There are usually lots of free samples - well worth stopping for.