The start of the journey
On Saturday, November 24th, we started our trip to Europe at around 12:45 PM and headed to Imam Khomeini Airport.
We arrived at the airport at 1:40, the gate was open for check-in. I asked the relevant official that we don’t have luggage and we checked in online. As usual, they said you have to stand in line and check in again through the counter.
Payment of departure and check-in fees, receipt of flight card and passport control were done by 2:30 and we waited for the announcement in the flight hall.
At 4:25, the plane started moving towards Sabiha Gogçin Airport in Istanbul.
The plane was an almost new Airbus A320, we landed at Istanbul airport at 7:47.
Adventures in Istanbul
Considering that our transit was about 3 hours, we decided to go to Istanbul, so we left the transit route and after passing through the passport control and inserting the Turkish entry stamp, we left the airport, according to the signs to the exit. We went to the VIP bus terminal.
We found the special bus for Taksim Square and boarded it. To use these buses, you can use the Istanbul card and pay 18 liras per person on the bus in cash.
These buses belong to the airport and have the HAVABUS sign on them.
After picking up the passengers, the bus left for Taksim Square at 8:03, and after crossing the metal suspension bridge, we arrived at Taksim Square at 8:51.
We had breakfast in a restaurant near the square, where you can find falafel, omelette, bread, butter, cheese, honey and tea.
The name of the restaurant was Seker Manti. After breakfast, we boarded the airport buses at 10:07, and headed to the airport.
missing the Europe flight
The bus driver was absent-minded
Unfortunately, the bus driver was very slow and was constantly playing with the car’s navigation system, and this caused us to arrive at the airport late, and after completing the legal formalities and arriving at the airport, we got stuck on our second flight to Basel.
We immediately went to the Pegasus counter in the exit hall and explained the situation. They took our passports and led us to the passport control along with a policeman. They canceled the Turkish exit stamps in our passports and sent us back to Turkey.
Considering the type of ticket we had bought and the big discount that was given when paying, all the ticket cost was lost and we had to buy a new ticket, by referring to the counters of Pegasus, Turkish and Atlas Jet, we found out that for today from Sabiha There are no flights to Basel.
We had to look for the ticket for tomorrow. Among the airlines, Pegasus was the cheapest, and most importantly, it flew from Sabiha Airport and we did not need to transfer to the airport. Euro, announced for 3 people, if in the Pegasus application online, the price of that ticket was 666 Euros.
Of course, it should not be said that I had bought 3 round-trip tickets from Tehran to Basel for 550 euros (that is, 12 tickets for 4 flights), so the amount of 666 euros for one flight versus 550 euros for 4 flights was a young man’s price. It was not and we bought the ticket online and had to stay at the airport until morning.
The lower floor of Sabiha airport was for incoming flights and the upper floor was for outgoing flights. There were supermarkets and food courts on both floors. such as McDonald’s and Burgerking and…, because we had a lot of time and searching, we found out that there is a food court on the upper floor, on the west side, and there are some uniform shops whose names start with Osta, for example Osta Pide and Osta Doner which had better food and more reasonable price.
After dinner, we went back downstairs to pray.
A note about the prayer hall
To tell you one thing, in most of the airports I have been to so far, even in Buddhist countries, they have prayer rooms. Now, some call it Prayer’s room, some call it Meditation Area, and the Turks call it Mescit. Of course, there are usually several rooms in which there is a place of worship for all religions, along with the necessities of the same religion. For example, for Muslims, it is possible to perform ablution and wash feet, the Quran, religious books, and a special clock for announcing religious times, for Christianity, the books of the Bible, and even for Jews, there is something similar to a podium on which their holy book is placed.
Then we went to the hall to rest.
Moving to Basel
We woke up at 8 am and considering that we had checked in online last night, we went to the automatic check in and passport control counters to be more sure.
And due to the bitter experience of yesterday, we decided to have breakfast in the departure lounge. In the passport control section, my spouse went through the exit gate after getting the departure stamp. Then it was my son’s turn, and the control officer asked him to show me his Turkish residency. He said that he doesn’t have Turkish residency. The officer asked if he has another passport, and he replied no. I had already understood what was happening, so I explained the situation of the previous day to the control officer, but he didn’t accept it and returned my spouse as well, canceling their exit stamp. They escorted us with a police officer to the arrivals section located at the airport.
In the dedicated visa office, they informed us that we had stayed in Turkey for longer than the permitted duration and now we were facing a problem. I objected and explained the situation, but they refused to accept it until I showed them the entry stamp in my passport and said that we entered Turkey yesterday at 7:00 AM, and due to the flight cancellation, they invalidated our exit stamp, which might be the reason for the mistake.
The relevant officer had almost understood the situation, but apparently, they didn’t have the authority or access to handle it. Again, accompanied by them, we went to the immigration office and had our exit stamp corrected in the airport system. However, they announced that we cannot enter Turkey again before three months, and our next trip to Turkey must be at least three months later. Finally, the departure procedures were completed with the assistance of a police officer at the special counter for people with disabilities, without an appointment. We were transferred to the inspection and transit area and had breakfast there.
Move to Europe
The exit gate opened at 10:30 and we boarded the airport bus and then the plane.
And at 11:16, the plane left Turkey for the European airport of Basel. At 14:00 Turkish time, the pilot announced that he was landing at Basel Airport. According to the flight schedule, this hour was equivalent to 12, French time.
After leaving the plane and arriving at the passport control section, the process of checking and entering the Schengen area was done and we entered Basel from the Swiss border entrance.
The reason why I wrote the name of the airport as European is because the management of this airport is shared between France, Switzerland and Germany.
Basel is actually a city in Switzerland.
Basel International Airport (EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg).
This airport, which is actually located in France, works for 3 countries: France, Switzerland and Germany.
It was in the 1930s that two neighboring countries, France and Switzerland, decided to build a common airport in the closest and most strategic area between them. The construction plans of these two countries were stopped due to the start of World War II.
After the war, Swiss experts identified Basel as the best place to establish a new airport among the 4 cities and regions in Switzerland. One of the reasons that this area was chosen for construction was that Basel was located in the closest distance between France and Switzerland.
Therefore, it was decided to build this airport with the discussion between the relevant authorities of the two countries. It coincided with 1946 that the cooperation negotiations for the construction of this airport were postponed for a while and after that it was agreed to France to build a temporary airport in the north of Blattheim region of France and in this way the project will go ahead and France will get the desired land. provide and Switzerland will also provide construction and financial resources. The construction of the temporary airport started on March 8, 1946, and this airport was finally officially opened with a temporary runway of 100 meters.
They even expanded this temporary airport between 1951 and 1953. It was in 1960 that the first expansion project of this airport was approved in Basel, and since then, the terminals and runways of this airport have been reconstructed and renovated, as well as developed and expanded, during the following decades. They gave.
It was like this in 1984 when, after accommodating 1 million passengers the previous year, the airport was introduced as EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, although it is now commonly known as Basel Airport. In 1992, more than 2 million passengers used this airport, and by 1998, that number increased to 3 million.
Regarding the airlines operating at this airport, it should be mentioned that one of the companies that was active at this airport as its main airport was Swissair, which no longer has regular flights at this airport after its dissolution and nationalization.
Afterward, Crossair entered this airport. At this time, Basel Airport faced a significant decrease in the number of passengers and, for this reason, did not open its new terminal as planned. It didn’t take long for easyJet to decide to establish a hub at this airport. Basel Airport regained momentum, and after a while, in 2006, its passenger count reached 4 million.
However, in 2009, Ryanair started operating at this airport, adding it to its central airports with all the postal services and heights that have been accepted during this period. This airline is also considering expanding its routes to this airport.
This international airport is located 3.5 kilometers from the city of Basel in Switzerland. It should be noted that it is also 46 kilometers away from Mulhouse, which is in the southeastern part of France. Although this airport is situated near the nearest point between France and Switzerland, it is also close to Germany, which is why it has German rights as well.
This airport operates as one of the main airports for easyJet, and most of its destinations are European and leisure cities. This airport, which is jointly used by France and Switzerland, is entirely located on French soil. Passengers whose destination is Switzerland and land at this airport do not need to go through French customs and immigration. The airport’s board of directors consists of 8 members from France and Switzerland, as well as 2 advisors from Germany. Interestingly, the airport building is divided into separate Swiss and French sections.
The French police are authorized to carry out random checks at this airport. In 2009, the airport joined as one of the Schengen Treaty signatories. The IATA and ICAO codes of this airport are slightly different from other airports worldwide because this airport has a joint identity among the three countries. However, generally, the Swiss identity is usually used for this airport.
After entering the main hall, which had an interesting Christmas decoration, we took some photos next to it.
And according to the signs that guide you to the destination country, we left France.