When visiting a City (or even Country) I’ve never been to I normally never hesitate to jump on the next underground train or public bus to reach my hotel or destination. But when I went to Istanbul recently, my first time in the fourth largest city in the world, I’ve chosen a Airport Shuttle Service from Atatürk Airport to the City Center of Istanbul. There would have been an underground line available, including a change of trains, but with luggage, I wanted to take it more relaxed this time.
Already in advance I booked my Airport Shuttle Service from Atatürk Airport Istanbul online, during my actual booking process of the Trip on Expedia. It was offered for a reduced price of just 17 Euros return so I checked the little box and had a shuttle service. As this was my first time that I booked something similar I was quite excited about what to expect. If you’ve already flew at least once you might have noticed these people with signs after the exit of the airport. They are picking up people, shuttle services or taxi drivers. Who knows. So that’s the way I expected it to be after landing in Istanbul, and waiting at the passport control.
When I arrived at the Terminal there were at least one hundred people with signs, hooray. And how could it be otherwise, I haven’t found either my name or the name of the operating company Payless. Yes, Payless is a rather impractical name if you are asking all over for “Payless Shuttle Service” as everyone understands that you are asking for a service that is free of charges. Luckily, and after asking at every Airport Shuttle Service Counter, I finally found it in the last corner. A small yellow sign with black letters: Payless. The man even understood English very well and after checking my reference number from Expedia we were told to sit down for about 10 minutes (great time to exchange money) in order to wait for a driver.
It was already 9 pm, the plane landed on time at 7:20 pm and the sun was in its last stages of setting down when our Bus arrived at the terminal. In total, we were 6 people plus luggage plus a driver in a bus for 9 people. We drove off into the night and according to the driving of the chauffeur, you realized that he must be used to driving in Istanbul. No road was too small or no almost-accident was unusual (the traffic in general sucks. Really.), so I assume you have to drive like this in such cities. After loading up the two other couples, and a first sightseeing tour through the city, we finally reached our Hotel shortly after one hour.
All in all, it was a more or less pleasant experience and I’ll definitely book any Airport Shuttle services again in the Future. What about you, do you book such services or do you rather take Uber’s or public transports?