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Sabiha Gökçen International Airport

I am looking at booking tickets for my RS tour In Turkey next year. This question is similar to a recent thread.
I plan on flying from Izmir to Istanbul on the last day of the tour.
1. The flights to SAW are 1/2 the cost than the flights to IST. Does anyone have comments about the airport and the ease/difficulty of getting to the city center. I understand the airport is on the Asia side.
2. There are flights at 10 am and 2 pm. I would rather take the 10 am flight. Does anyone know the practicalities of getting to Izmir airport from the Kusadasi hotel if I decide to go earlier than the bus?

(Also, to update a previous thread, I was able to find affordable tickets out of Akron/Canton airport on Turkish Airlines. I looked just by accident, because flights are always cheaper from Cleveland.)

Posted by
2147 posts

We flew from Izmir to SAW and took a taxi to our Marriott courtyard hotel. On Saturday afternoon, the taxi ride took 2 hours! Traffic was awful. Our original flight was at 1 pm but we were able to take an earlier one, I don’t recall the time. It wasn’t 10 am.
The savings was why we went to SAW to begin with but the taxi ride was excruciatingly slow. And, we weren’t going to the city center! I hope this helps.

Posted by
6877 posts

I looked at Google Flights for some random dates a week from now. There are 4 different airlines that fly from Izmir to IST: Pegasus, Onur, Atlasair, and Turkish Air (in other words, lots of competition). Prices range from $32 to $54 for a one-way ticket. Are you finding something wildly different? The distance between Izmir and IST is not far - I would not expect expensive fares.

Here is the transfer info for SAW airport - there is very cheap bus that will take you to directly to Taksim (main transport hub on the European side of Istanbul):

Posted by
261 posts

I arrived to that airport two years ago. We took a bus that left you on the asian side, and then took the ferry. The bus was about two hours long, at about 8 pm
On the way back, we took a shuttle at 8 am and the ride was also about two hours... If the price is significantly cheaper, buy the ticket, but take into account that time.

Posted by
11292 posts

Agnes is right - it should be the same price, or close, for an advance purchase ticket to fly into Atatürk vs Sabiha Gökçen, and the transportation into the center is MUCH faster from Atatürk.

Depending on when you're flying and on which airline, you may also be using the new airport - check carefully. It's opening in stages, but domestic flights will use it first.

Posted by
1094 posts

Thank you Judy, Agnes, MR, and Harold.
I did two silly things.....
1. I only looked at Turkish airlines.
2. But the one that takes the cake is that I was looking at TRY instead of USD. I should have figured it out because I was shocked at the prices. 160 and 320. OOPS.

But I am glad to learn about the difference between the airports.
Turns out a Pegasus flight for $45 will be perfect and it goes to IST.