Why I will avoid Turkish Airlines – Part 1 of my Turkish Airlines saga of 2014

I used to love Turkish Airlines – and the love came on strong and fast. During the summer of 2013 I got a chance to fly them on a trip from Tel Aviv to Stockholm as well as the return trip from Copenhagen to Tel Aviv. These flights were short and involved transferring through Istanbul, but I was pleasantly surprised when I was given meals on such short flights as well as when I had a great video on-demand system in my economy seat. I appreciated all the help the flight attendants offered and it was a simple process from boarding to exit.

Everything changed in July of 2014. I was in Israel again with my fianceé, and we had planned a trip to Turkey for 10 days. Due to the conflict with Hamas in Gaza, we had to cancel the trip (or, rather, Turkish Airlines cancelled our flights). The one clue of the unfortunate circumstances to come was that they didn’t even call us ahead of time – we found out when we tried to cancel and were told the booking no longer existed. Only about an hour before the flight did I receive an email explaining this.

The saga began a few days later when we trekked to the Turkish Airlines office in Tel Aviv and re-routed my fianceé’s flight and asked for a refund for mine. The officer said my money would be reimbursed and all was well. Unfortunately, she was incorrect.

Upon return to the USA I called Turkish Airlines because the refund had not posted. I kept calling for weeks and even received something called a “feedback number” that was supposed to boost my status in the customer service system (clue: it did not). It wasn’t until early September when I was told I had to go to visit a customer service office in person (something I had done in Israel) to get my refund.

I had two options: go into Manhattan or visit the ticket booth at JFK Airport.

Wait until next time to read about my visit(s). Yes, I do mean plural.

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