Tyranny of Turkish Airlines

Back to Forum

This topic contains 9 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  planegeek 20 Aug 2015
at 17:56

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

  • Anonymous


    For quite some time, I thought I am unlucky one with the Turkish Airlines, having regular flow of problems with them, but talking to other travellers and visiting various forums, I have discovered that considerable number of passengers have been facing the same problems…

    Constant delays, lost luggage, cancelled flights for silly reasons, unfriendly, unhelpful and VERY arrogant and incompetent cabin crews are just a few of those “glitches” with this operator who – under most unexplainable circumstances – have been awarded the European operator of the year prise!!! One cannot help but wonder how bad must other operators be…

    By the way, I am frequent flyer with Turkish Airlines and a holder of their Classic Plus card. Unfortunately, it is the best route and connection from my current work post that forces me to be “loyal”, but I am eagerly waiting for an opportunity to change them – and will gladly do so as soon as I get a chance…

    In addition to all discrepancies with bad cabin crews, flight delays/cancellations and lost luggage, I am very frustrated with the Turkish Miles and Smiles programme. I have written endless number of emails and spent a lot of time calling their “support centre” in order to resolve my problems, but without any reply – or in those few rare occasions when I managed to get some response, I was just insulted or laughed at.

    For a number of my flights from Nairobi to Istanbul (and back), I have been credited only half the mileage, while some miles have not been credited at all – otherwise, I would have already qualified for Ellie card! My endless complaints have met only deaf ears of the Turkish Airlines’ “customer care” and “support centre”…

    An airlines who is bearing epithets of the best European air carrier must do much more to deserve such a name! Not being able to answer valid questions from its customers is an insult to the industry and spitting on passengers! I can only hope that they will be properly punished for it and that market will find a way to end their arrogance, putting them in proper place.


    Remember THY has always stood for THEY HATE YOU


    I avoid THY wherever possible. Good food (even in economy), but complete insouciance – and sometimes outright lies when things go wrong. Have successfully managed to avoid them for the past three years but sometimes they are the only viable option for Central Asia…

    Have you though about another Star Alliance program? Yes, you’d start your status building all over again, but then you are not getting full status at this rate anyway.


    Similar to Emirates – when things go smoothly they are fine, but Lord help you when something goes wrong.

    I too had problems with my miles and smiles account with 50% of my miles being taken away with no explanation and no response from multiple contacts. As a result, I have taken my last flight with Turkish Airways. As for airline of the year, I think you need to understand the old boys network / money machine that makes needs awards to see how they have been so successful as it certainly isn’t on their service.


    I have commented on Turkish Airlines before and have documented here taking them to court in Turkey before finally reaching an out of court settlement after I sued their CEO personally.

    Based on my own experiences and of others here it is clear that the problems with Turkish begin when something goes wrong and if the transit is through Istanbul.

    The staff at IST are rude, unhelpful and clearly only interested in passing the problem to somebody else, the ‘helpline’ is laughable and has staff that clearly hate their jobs.

    Turkish Airlines has the potential to be a godd airline, the aircraft are quite new, the food is generally above average and the cabin crew pretty good but when things do not go to plan they fall apart and that is their major problem.


    This Turkish Airlines passenger apathy goes back to the 1960’s when I first flew with them LHR/IST on a B727. The cabin walls had nicotine stains so thick you could scrape it off with your fingernails. No carpet in the aisles just black rubber runner mats. No tissues to clean up spillages just a toilet roll on an old coat hanger. No alcohol in economy and maybe other classes too. No tea. No coffee just rather thick fruit juices. It reminded me of the aircraft spoof in the film “Modesty Blaise ” where Russian Cabin crew marched down the aisle throwing apples to the passengers for their snacks. My flight was delayed for 50 minutes even though we were queuing for the take-off runway. The delay was caused by a late female Turkish passenger who was boarded from the front even though we had left the gate. I had the only empty seat next to me on the back row and of course she was brought to it. I asked why she was so late and she started shouting very loud in Turkish. I sealed my lips. It was the longest 4 hour flight of my life. I never flew Turkish Airlines again and I never will. I believe that an English Football Team claim to fly with them as a matter of choice. I wonder what they really think ?


    SuhByungDoh: “It reminded me of the aircraft spoof in the film “Modesty Blaise ” where Russian Cabin crew marched down the aisle throwing apples to the passengers for their snacks”.

    Perhaps not so spoof – I remember an SU flight from BKK to KUL (a very long, multi-stopping journey from Moscow to Singapore during the 1980s) where service was from a large plastic bag, not apples but bananas!!


    I’ve always enjoyed my flights on Turkish, whether international or domestic. Very satisfactory on-board service, clean modern aircraft, excellent lounge at IST.

    Many of their business class fares, such as LAX-IST, are very competitive.

    No problem redeeming miles, either, though their call centre staff are sometimes less than fully informed.

    My only complaint is the god-awful early morning departure times of some of their flights, eg IST-JNB.


    I have flown TK to central Asia recently and found the service to be good especially if you are lucky enough to take the 777 service ex-LHR which offers flat beds in business class. One of the challenges however is the use of shorthaul aircraft on mid-haul routes (around 6 hours), which don’t allow you to sleep properly on overnight flights. Another is Ataturk airport which they have completely outgrown. The business class lounge, though teeming at times, is a nice concept of 2 floors, various different areas and nice touches like freshly cooked pide.

    The dates accounced for the initial phases of the new airport and not at all realistic and are almost certain to be missed. I also recently met with TK at their IST HQ offices. One of their staff openly admitted to me that much of their new management are not skilled or experienced in the airline industry and are making bizarre decisions. TK has got too big too soon and the comments on this forum paint of picture of the consequences of that.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below