REMINDER: Avoid Turkish Airlines During Wintertime

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Turkish Airlines has canceled a good portion of its flights over the past few days due to snow in Istanbul which is forecasted to continue for the next couple of days.

Turkish Airlines Cancellations

The airline seems to go through this every year and the operations collapse with the customer service that is not known to be that great even in good weather.

You can access the Turkish Airlines website here.

Here’s the list of flight cancellations for today:

Download (PDF, 412KB)

Conclusion

It is usually very difficult to get rebooked by Turkish Airlines to other airlines in case of irregular operations.

Passengers who are traveling from the European Union can refer to the EC 261/2004 legislation that requires airlines to rebook affected passengers at the passengers’ (not the airline’s) earliest convenience.

Duty to care applies (hotel, meals, transportation expenses etc.) but no payment because of delays due to force majeure type of event. Some could argue that snow during the winter time in Istanbul is not an exceptional event and appears to affect Turkish operations yearly.

I had a friend traveling from Bogota to Barcelona via Istanbul upgraded with one of their elite vouchers to business class (TK*G) and the airline rebooked him on Air Europa to Barcelona via Madrid in business. I was almost sure that they would never ever do this

Remember that it probably will take a couple of days for Turkish Airlines’ operations to recover fully after the snow stops. Crews and airplanes must return to their usual rotations.

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  • M.

    My TK flight CGK – IST on 7/01 had been canceled (final destination WAW) and my ticket have been rebooked at the airport by TK staff on flight CGK-PVG with Garuda, PVG-MUC with Lufthansa and MUC-WAW with LOT Polish Airlines. So there is no any problems with rebooking TK tickets to any other carriers.

    • Gnopps

      It seems people at outstations are being treated better than travellers in the IST-hub.

      • The key is to get the outstation to rebook you which could be difficult if the flight TO IST is operating but the flight out is cancelled.

    • Seems that some stations have been more helpful than others when it comes to rebooking affected passengers. Good that Jakarta did that for you.

  • beth

    Two years ago I flew Turkish in winter and it was a nightmare. Got stuck in Istanbul, no hotel voucher, no help, no info. Rebooked to flight that was also cancelled. No help cancelling and refunding portion of tickets not used. Absolutely awful.
    The problem is that it’s really hard to get non-Turkish airlines flights out of Istanbul, and almost impossible to get them going toward the Middle East and Asia. Add to this an airport that is nonsensical in it’s layout and staff who could care less and it quickly turns disastrous.

    • There are plenty of similar or even worse horror stories during previous winter snowfalls in Istanbul. The airport cannot deal with snow.