A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a case about a ticket suspension with Turkish Airlines due to a double charge and delayed refund.
You can access Turkish Airlines here.
Email from the reader:
I was wondering if you could maybe provide some advice/guidance on the nightmare issue we experienced with Turkish Airlines.
On the 6th December 2022, I phoned Turkish Airlines to book an advanced seat so that my baby daughter can sleep in a bassinet during the flight from LHR to KUL via IST, which is scheduled to depart on the 16th December 2022.
The customer agent then informed me that my booking has been suspended. No explanation for the suspension was provided. More irritatingly, no notification of this suspension was provided to me through email. Checking my booking online & through their app also made no reference that my booking was suspended.
The TK customer service, to my knowledge, raised a ticket to begin investigations as to why the booking was suspended from the call on the 6th December.
The investigation is still currently pending. Since the flight is scheduled to depart tomorrow, I have now informed them to cancel my booking and have since re-booked myself with QF & MH.
I suspect that this mess is due to TK initially double charging me for this booking. I disputed the charge against them and subsequently against AMEX, as TK failed to reimburse me within their T&Cs (15 days as per their legal document). Once TK reimbursed me, I informed AMEX to drop the dispute. I have shared my credit card statements with TK to illustrate that the required amount has been paid by myself and the appropriate credits & debits have now been applied.
As you can imagine, my new booking with QF & MH is significantly more expensive (GBP 4.5K more expensive). Would I be correct in understanding that TK is liable for this additional cost that I have incurred? Also, I was wondering if there may be any legal grounds to pursue further against the airline.
Turkish Airlines and a customer service nightmare?
Unfortunately, not an atypical situation with this airline, where customer service agents can only open tickets and do nothing else. Whether someone deals with the tickets promptly is an open question.
The only way to get Turkish Airlines to pay for the replacement tickets is to open a Money Claim Online case against them in the UK. You can access MCOL here.
It would have been better if the reader had tried to check in with Turkish Airlines and then not been allowed to fly and not cancel and refund the ticket before this step.
The reader should document the case, what happened, when and where, and how many times they were in contact with the airline with no resolution. The only option, in the end, was to purchase replacement flights.
Turkish Airlines is lovely in the air, but god forbids it if something goes wrong, as you are entirely on your own.
The best course of action would have been NOT to dispute before flying, even if this meant paying a significant amount in advance.
It is too easy for airlines to suspend electronic tickets, keep the money, and force passengers to fight for their rights. Unfortunately, it is completely lopsided in favor of the airlines.