On the way to the coastal town of Bodrum, I spent quite a long time IGA Lounge At the internal terminal of Istanbul Airport before my domestic flight.
With no Star Alliance Gold status, lounge options are slim when flying short-distance economy tickets. Combine this with an early arrival on a separately booked Etihad flight, and I have plenty of time left to fill it.
Turkey is a country with a number of mandatory internal destinations, where Istanbul serves as a hub not only externally but also internally. I could see that many travelers would have to spend some time at the domestic terminal to make a connection, as I did.
At the risk of wasting fun, I can honestly say that the IGA Lounge is by far the worst airport lounge in my experience.
IGA Lounge Istanbul (Domestic) – Access
The IGA Lounge is located at the end of G Gate of the domestic terminal, about a 12-minute walk from the security.
Instead of a separate room with full walls, the lounge is a separate part of the airy main assembly. It features glass walls lined with some WrongThe liage around, but for the experienced lounge-hopper, it has no illusions of being a premium facility.
The lounge is a priority pass and part of the lounge network. I used a priority pass voucher from one of my Canadian-issued Visa Infinite Privilege Cards to enter.
In addition to the preferential pass facility on Visa Infinite Privilege Cards (which will no longer be valid), you can access it with unlimited Priority Pass subscriptions that come with the American Express Platinum Card or Business Platinum Card, or unlimited LoungeKey membership on the Crypto.com Visa Card.
The lounge has no doors, just a gap in the glass wall with a check-in desk. A patron of things to come …
IGA Lounge Istanbul (domestic) – seating
The seating area in the lounge is more desirable and varied than the concourse seating.
First, there is a group of tables with office-style lounge chairs. This was where I spent my time bulk.
Wrapped around, there are more of these seats along the windows. There’s not much to look out of the window, which is opposite the other terminal, and what I guess is the car ramp for the passenger drop-off zone.
There are also some poolside-style recliners on the windows. Unfortunately, there is no way to adjust the relay. (Also no pool.)
The seat cushion is comfortable enough because you sit and squat from behind – until you get to the backrest and realize that the angle is completely wrong.
At the buffet, there are some sturdy dining chairs on the table and a few lounge chairs by the window for groups of four.
Power outlets are scattered across the floor throughout the lounge. However, the seats and tables are distributed quite inconsistently, with some getting power and others not getting.
Outside of seating, the IGA Lounge is not in a precarious condition, not a comfortable environment. The place faces west with a glass ceiling, exposed to the harsh sun all afternoon.
Furthermore, high-ceiling concourse has very little conduction and any little air conditioning that may be present is ineffective.
To add insult to injury, the only constantly shaded part of the lounge is the staff area at check-in.
IGA Lounge Istanbul (Domestic) – Dining
I won’t go that far because the food looks good on the Maple Leaf Lounge menu, but.
After entering the dining area, you will first pass by the snack bar. Includes some cookies, nuts, coffee and tea and an espresso machine.
There is also a fun nut warming contraption.
On the back wall of the main dining room, there is a cold and hot buffet.
I couldn’t help but try a turkey Filled: Ripe rice wrapped in grape leaves. It wasn’t great, so I switched to that product to sample some cold meatballs, which looked a little more hungry than cabbage and corn slaw.
The hot food station was closed, and this was the only area that did not have self-service. The food was often unmanned and service personnel were difficult to track.
The service was far from professional, with staff dropping off the basing cart with dirty dishes in the middle of the dining room when guests moved to one side to serve hot meals.
The lounge felt less stuffy overall, but it’s actually quite a small space, so I don’t think it needs a lot to run. Instead, I would like to say that it is an arbitrary force that goes beyond the wrath of Turkey but seems to be an extension of the friendly hospitality, and the character of the lounge itself.
Nothing was labeled, and a few labels floating around were either in the wrong place, or were completely out of sight. This was especially frustrating since some people have allergies but not all nuts.
The only reason for the release is that beef mince is hard to eat, and I’m a sucker for raspberry cheesecake.
IGA Lounge Istanbul (Native) – Bar
Bottled beer is available in snack bars and buffet self-serve beverages in the fridge. These coolers also contain water, Coca Cola, homemade beer and everything else that is different.
Near the coffee station, there is a self-service wine and wine station. You can choose vodka, gin, whiskey or Turkish red and white wine.
IGA Lounge Istanbul (Domestic) – Other Services
There is no toilet in the lounge. The nearest facilities are less than a minute away from Concourse. The lounge staff will let you come back if you leave to relieve yourself.
The Wi-Fi at Istanbul Airport is a bit complicated, and I can’t work with public Wi-Fi.
Lounge offers two options for connecting to Wi-Fi: via the Airport app (which is not explained how) or with a password. After struggling longer than I should have, I asked the lounge staff for the password, and they were glad to be compelled.
There is a small office station, which seems to be a computer to meet the needs of minor printing. There is also a shoe shine machine parked opposite the wall smack in the middle of the lounge as you enter.
You can get a massage in the lounge. There is a massager with an upright chair. It’s not very personal, like a concourse massage.
I did not ask if they charged for the service. Save yourself for the hammam.
The lounge offers a bogie ride to your gate if it is far away. It was right next to my lounge. The value of this facility also assumes that you want to stay in the lounge first.
The four hours I spent in the IGA Lounge are four hours long.
I will go out of my way to avoid the IGA Lounge in the future. In fact, I disliked my experience so much, I almost decided to lounge-hop and pay a fee to enter the Turkish Airlines Domestic Lounge (195 Lira, or free with Star Alliance Gold or Business Class tickets).
I just stayed because I was working Wi-Fi. I would arguably like Concourse.
It is a shame that such a sophisticated, well-known airport is unable to offer a good lounge option in its inland terminal. I think this part of the Turkish aviation market is not very lucrative for travelers in a country where there is no shortage of competitive low cost carriers.
The domestic IGA lounge in Istanbul is a little more than a part with an impression of monopoly, and sadly this is what it provides.