Day 9, November 20, 2013 -- AYT-IST-LAX
Time flies, especially when you're having fun! Our tour of Turkey came to an end after nine days of amazing travelling around this beautiful country. We had to have breakfast at 3:00am and leave the hotel at 4:00am to get to the Antalya Airport on time for our 6:45 flight out. After the very simple breakfast, we left the hotel. On the way to the airport we picked up our guide at a gas station. Antalya is his home so I guess he spent the night at home instead of staying at the hotel.
Leaving the hotel in the dark.
Last picture of the mini bar on the bus.
Needless to say, the city was still asleep.
Arriving the Antalya Airport. Our whole group came from the LA area so we would be on our last legs together.
A huge Burger King inside the airport.
This airport is quite nice, much bigger than I had imagined.
Bidding farewell with Ahmid, our guide for the nine days.
Going up to the departure level.
Looking back down to the check-in hall.
At the gate. No free wi-fi here.
We've joked around of having "President Aquino" of the Philippines with us on this tour. Got to have a picture of him and his wife.
Boarding the plane to Istanbul.
actually, pretty nice
Leaving Antalya as the sun rises.
Snacks--cheese sandwich (OK), cake (yummy!), and fruit.
a cute picnic basket
following the transit signs
out to landside
We noticed that we were back at the "meeting point" where we waited for everyone the first night we were here before taking the elevator up to the departure level.
IST is a very busy airport if not a bit confusing.
No lounge access, but here is the entrance to the TK lounge.
We had to use their code for free wi-fi so we were trying to get as close as possible.
We actually found some comfortable seats down a level on the right and still able to utilized their code.
Time to get to the gate. BTW, it's better to get water from the vending machines at the different gates for TL 1.75 instead of buying them from the cafes/vendors for TL3.
After a slow and horrendous secondary security check (behind the glass windows in the background), we were able to relax a little before boarding our plane. Everyone had to be questioned of where we came from, who packed our bags, and if there was anything in our luggage that looked like weapons, etc. etc. before they put a sticker on the boarding pass. The security personnel were not very nice either. Felt sorry for those who couldn't speak or understand English very well.
Drink--TK signature homemade lemonade, excellent!
Snack--Turkish hazel nuts, great!
TK is really not a bad airline, even in economy. They even have printed menu for economy class, which I have not seen for many years.
First meal--Grilled Chicken Breast with sauteed vegetables and potato puree. (or Rigatoni)
For people who wants wine, they passed out little bottles of red/white wine for people to enjoy with their meals.
Second meal--two hours before landing, Smoked salmon with sour cream sauce or Turkish Style Minced Beef with sauteed seasonal vegetables and rice.
A cute amenity kit in a little pencilcase-like tin box, even for economy.
Unfortunately, I had a drunk woman sitting behind me and she claimed that I made her spilled her drink and walked up to me with her foul mouth. I called the FA and told them that I do not want to be harassed and I wanted her to stay away from me. I think she was so drunk that she did not bother me after that.
Back to LAX, the new baggage claim area is really nice but it took forever to get our bags. For some reason the carousel was not working right and stopped a few times. Workers had to unload some of the bags from the belt before it would move again.
All in all, we had a great journey in Turkey. For the price that we paid it was worth every penny. I am not sure if I am ready to deal with American European Travel again for their pre-trip customer service (or none of), but I must say that we had a great time enjoying the sights, meeting some amazing people in our group, and enjoying the wonderful country of Turkey.