Advice/suggestions re TK customer service?

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  • LDB

    Having never flown TK before I find myself flying 4 return trips in close succession all in J class. 3 were booked via agents, one by me on their website. All but one is a connecting flight. I also signed up online for Smiles & Miles. 2 agent booked returns have passed without incident save for S&M issues and an inability to check in online for one of the flights after I was notified of a very minor change in flight time. My travel agent checked me in online saying the TK website could be tricky and there was more than one way in.

    In respect of my December connecting flights booked by me online I have already received 3 notifications of very minor (5 or 10 minute) time changes. Each time I get both text and email notifications telling me to call TK customer service in Istanbul to confirm the flights. My experience with other airlines is that calling is only necessary if I object to changes which I don’t in these cases. The phone number is not freephone calling from London and the calls are always very slow and laborious, with lots of requests to reconfirm information they already have, seemingly deliberately and unnecessarily so. I am assuming that if I do not call in response to these notifications I could find myself unable to check in online but can it be worse that that? Can they cancel my tickets or bump me off the flight?

    Re S&M, despite being allocated a number the app and website kept saying my membership did not exist. I tried emailing TK, asking for help in the Istanbul lounge and at the airside Istanbul TK info desk etc. Everyone told me I had to call the Istanbul call centre. That call was even more lengthy, repetitive and expensive.

    Any thoughts/advice? Must I call when they tell me to? Is there a better way of dealing with TK when UK based? Why do they adopt this practice (they say it is because some of their customers are picky about connection times).


    When dealing with TK always assume the worse.


    Several times I’ve had TK flights retimed, usually by just 5 or 10 minutes, but then, wham!, no online check in.

    After one exasperating call to yet another Bangalore based script reader, I’ve just ignored further updates, checked in at the airport, and never had a problem.

    On the plus side, their in-flight service is very good, especially the food, and they go where others don’t.

    How else can I get to Bishkek?

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    When I had an issue with them crediting my AC account I eventually gave up, and that was escalating the issue to the management.
    Everything ignored , no resolution and just put it down to experience.

    My friend who holidays in Turkey a few times a year advised me that Turks generally don’t take to feedback or complaints , especially when its negative.

    So, maybe it’s a cultural thing, and as maxgeorge says you’ll enjoy the on-board experience. Very good indeed.


    I travel with TK regularly. I rarely have any problems with the flights.

    I understand that the new airport at Istanbul opens this October and flights are being retimed by small amounts as the switch from Ataturk airport gets closer.

    The online customer service can be quite poor – largely because of language challenges and workload. However, I’ve always been sucessful at the airport offices. There is a national rate phone number for TK in the UK – 020 7471 6666

    As for points credits… I consider the Star Aliance partnerships to be very poor. I often find that partner airlines don’t award credits to my TK account. LH and MS are particularly bad. There is a clear table of which booking classes get credit as well as the very useful


    LDB – you may have already resolved your issue in which case please ignore the below.

    I have a family trip with TK flights scheduled for the end of this year outbound and start of next year inbound. On the inbound there was a tight connection time. A couple of alterations to these timings left the connection in IST on the return very tight. (Due to the new airport opening).

    I used a low cost online agency, which was my first mistake. They proved to be totally hopeless. TK call centre couldn’t really help and said either the agency or a TK ticket office were the routes to go down.

    In the end I visited the TK ticket office at LHR T2 and they couldn’t have been more helpful. They altered my inbound flights, changed the arrival airport to LGW as opposed to LHR, which matched by outbound airport and all of this without fuss or charge.

    Credit where it is due to their office at LHR and lesson learned in that I will never book with an agency such as this again, just to save a few £.


    Now I am back straight back into it. My husband and I along with some friends flew to Tel Aviv from Singapore with TK, and had very mixed experiences with them…. Our flight from Singapore, he and I were upgraded to J so the experience was a good one. We stayed for a couple of days in Istanbul and then left for Tel Aviv which is only a 2 hour flight

    On this flight they managed to obliterate a suitvcase of ours and we were delayed over 1 hour at the airport because we just didn’t see that they had wrapped it in sellephane and we didn’t recognise it, we were assured that the bag had not left Istanbul and was only after this one piece of wrapped luiggage was the only one left on the belt did we see that it was ours…

    The their credit they accepted full responsibility and we had to go to a supplier and get a like for like replacement so only a slight inconvenience

    When we flew back to Istanbul from TA we specifically told them that we were not flying directly to SIngapore and that we would be staying in Istanbul for a night, my husbands bag made it off but mine again was lost…. 2 hours later it seems that the luggage was in a transit bin and they were reluctant to go and get… Well they had never met a very insistent traveller who threatened them with all sorts of wrath and finally we got the bag, another 2-3 hours wasted..

    We tried on our way back to Singapore to upgrade our fully flex tickets and they promptly told us it was to be over $3000 USD each so we didn’t take that option and having checked our bags through hoped and prayed that our luggage would arrive !

    Well it didn’t my husbands bag didn’t make the flight and was finally delivered 2 days later, so in closing their in flight service is not bad even in Y I was not totally disappointed but their baggage handling and ground service is absolute pants and I will next time fly CX from HKG I will not fly them again

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