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COMPLAINT: Left stranded and ignored by Turkish Airlines

 
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Old Jul 16, 2012, 12:45 PM
Joanne Joanne is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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* I have had the most appalling service from Turkish Airlines, which left me stranded in Istanbul indefinitely, costing me more than 1000 USD. I had purchased a return ticket from Cape Town to Istanbul and called their call centre to change my return flight to a different day. The call-centre staff informed me that my ticket had been changed, that I would incur a penalty fee (which I agreed to) and said I should be at the airport 2 hours before my flight and that I should present my credit card at the airport. I arrived at the airport 2 hours before departure, went to check in and after spending 40 minutes in the check in queue was informed that in fact there had been no ticket change, only a reservation change and that I needed to first buy my new ticket from ticket sales before being able to check in. I went immediately to the ticket sales and waited in that queue for 20 minutes at which point the staff there shouted out that they would be closing for 20 minutes, despite the long queue of people. I told them that I could not wait that long as I would miss my flight and the lady there said that as it was now an hour before my flight, she could not sell me my ticket so I could not fly. She said that all other flights to Cape Town are fully booked and that all I could try was to come on standby every night at 11pm. I explained that this was not acceptable to me as this problem was not my fault, my visa in Turkey was about to expire and that I had an important international work commitment (with flights and accommodation booked for me and my team) commencing in a few days in Namibia. She gave no reply, walked off and did not appear again for another twenty minutes. On her return, my queue number came up on screen. I went back to her and while speaking to her, she pressed the button to call for the next person in the queue to come to her, so again, I was cut off from resolving the problem. I told her that we were not finished yet and she told me to take another number and wait in the queue again. I called the customer service centre from the airport, visited the Turkish Airline offices the next morning and called the customer services every day for 5 days requesting them to put me in a business-class seat (all that was available) at their cost, indicating the urgency of the situation and have still had no response whatsoever now nearly two weeks later. As a result, the project I had lined up in Namibia had to be postponed at the last minute, incurring several costs and inconveniencing a whole team of people and in order to return to South Africa before my visa expired I had to purchase another airline ticket which cost me more than 1000 USD. There were also additional costs of accommodation and food having to stay in Istanbul an extra week. I called again today to find out what has happened, and still my ‘urgent’ query is being processed a week and a half later. I find this complete lack of accountability and lack of responsiveness utterly shocking and am stunned that they have such little disregard for their customers. I strongly advise other travelers not to book with this airline which clearly has no interest whatsoever in assisting their passengers when problems arise.
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