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Turkish Airlines Flug von Dar es Salaam nach Frankfurt

We are taking this opportunity to share our utmost negative experiences with Turkish Airlines, as well as BMI, acting on behalf of Turkish Airlines, starting from Saturday, September 4th, until Monday, September 6th, 2010. As you can figure from the attached tickets, we have booked two Business Class tickets from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to Frankfurt Germany. In addition, we booked for special allowance of travelling with our cat as “pet on board”, which got twice accredited, once via Mr. Mustafa Özkahraman, Country Manager of Turkish Airlines in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as well as approved via your Head Quarters in Istanbul, which got mentioned via the Office Attendant in Dar es Salaam.

1)Particularly we like to mention, that we had the opportunity of being accompanied to the plane by Mr. Mustafa Özkahraman and his Ground Manager Abubakar, which is a nice service and deserves to be pointed out. Reaching the plane and taking the seats, the Service Supervisor (a young gentleman by the name of Andrew or so, British or South African origin) told us, that according the BMI rules, no animals are allowed under no circumstances on board, and that we will have to board our cat in the cargo area. After telling him, that one: our cat has been booked according the regulations applying for Turkish Airlines and two: that our cat is not at all prepared to travel in the cargo area (no medication was used or available at this point of time), there will be no other option than leaving it on bard. He left urgently to check with the Captain, who will be the only authority to agree. Returning from the cockpit, he asked us to leave the plane immediately, since the Captain denies any exception and is not willing to discuss the case that short before take off. At this point of time, all other passengers were already embarrassed by the fact, that the plane started to be officially delayed and that we seem to be the reason for that. On top, three crew members were sitatuated around our seats begging us to leave the plane. In the mean time, I took the liberty to call the Country Manager Mr. Mustafa Özkahraman on his personal mobile phone to ask for his kind support. He then promised immediate action and not even two minutes later, the Ground Manager Abubakar entered the plane, talking three times to the Captain and going back and forward to try to calming down my fiancée, who was already suffering hard from the situation and the fact, probably not flying with her cat or even not to fly at all. After a delay of almost twenty minutes, the Captain finally accepted to fly under Turkish Airlines rules and agreed to the pet on board. Mr. Özkahraman’s kind efforts and support were the only ones which are thankfully to be mentioned here. We have to admit, that the BMI crew had a certain understanding for our situation and kept professional at all times. What we are highly disagreeing on, is the fact, that up to our mind, a wet-chartered flight operated by a third party has to stick to the rules of the chartering company; Turkish Airlines in this case. But the utmost embarrassing thing has been, that the Captain not even bothered to come seeing us and explaining whatsoever to us personally. In fact, we haven’t met him at any point of the journey.

2)Reaching Entebbe to reload fuel and welcoming other passengers on board, the plane seemed to have a mechanical problem, which got announced one and a half hours after touchdown. No other information got mentioned in mean while and we ended up sitting six and a half hours, exactly from 21h30 until 4h00 in the morning, for further explanations. As a matter of fact and as communicated much later on this journey, it has not been the problem of fixing the plane, rather then the fact, that the Captain denied to take off again, since this would have exceeded his duty time by one hour when reaching Istanbul.

3)After these six and a half hours of use- and senseless waiting time in the plane, the Ugandan Country Manager (Orhan) took the decision to leave the plane and lodging the passengers to a hotel while the situation is getting solved. Arriving the airport building of Entebbe, we entirely got stopped by the Airport staff denying completely to let us enter the Country of Uganda, since most of the people where coming from Tanzania without the required Visa. Long discussion between the Country Manager, the Ground handler of Turkish Airlines and the actual Airport staff started and the crowd got moved from the Immigration area to another waiting area without any results, since we then got moved back – after another waiting period of one and a half hours – to the first point, the Immigration area. Other then our friend, who was also travelling with us (H.E. Dr. Guido Herz, German Ambassador to the Republic of Tanzania), most of the passengers were asked to pay for bribe (ranging between USD 20.- and USD 100.-) from the Immigration Officers, or the passports were sequestered. Loud discussions started, before the Country Manager Orhan solved the situation while agreeing to pay whatever is needed to allow the passengers to leave the Airport and being brought to the respective hotel.

4)We finally reached our hotel by 8h00, after another one and a half hours of travelling time in a bus, and checking in to our room by 8h30. At 11h00, a telephone call was waken us up being asked to be at the reception by 12h00, since Turkish Airlines will pick us and bring us back to the plane, which was supposed to then take off immediately. Coming to reception, the only information was that there will be a lunch held from 13h30 and no other information what is going on and when we are leaving for Istanbul was communicated. Approximately 255 passengers were crowding the lobby for nothing and absolutely tired from the handling as mentioned above.

5)Finally by 16h00, we passengers shared some weak information between ourselves, that the plane will somehow take off at the same scheduled time as it should have the day prior. No Turkish Airline staff was seen at the hotel at this time giving concrete timings or information regarding the reason for this stop. The Country Manager arrived later at the hotel – by 17h00 – to handle the pick up back to the Airport, still without any information.

6)We reached the Airport with the last shuttle by 18h30, being told that the plane will take off rather by 19h25, which already seemed to be a wrong information, since we were running out of time and the entire passengers were queuing immensely outside the Airport building. Again, there was no service at all at least trying to open a second line and moving onwards, and not even any additional service for the passengers paying the full Business Class rate like us. Here we wasted another two hours of standing and waiting, still without any follow up or whatsoever. As a matter of fact, the actual departure time was then around 21h30-22h00.

7)As we finally entered Istanbul Airport, still no information was given regarding the happenings to our diverse connecting flights, since no Turkish Airline ground staff bothered to be helpful anyhow, we were left completely alone and stranded by ourselves.

8)We arrived at the Business Class Lounge at the Airport, absolutely tired and fed up with the entire situation, were I was asking for the smokers area, which got pointed out by Mr. Mustafa Özkahraman and the Turkish Airline crew in Istanbul, which checked us in at the ground floor. Being told that there is no option at the Business Class lounge itself, we have been told by the Lounge receptionist, that there might be another option but he doesn’t know, since he is new. I kindly asked him to try and find out with his manager, whereas in the meantime my fiancée was taking a seat inside the Lounge to take a rest. The receptionist was not willing to find out for himself so his manager, Ms. Pinar Engin, who addressed herself in a absolute rude manor, not even letting me introduce myself nicely and denying to shake my hand. She immediately started yelling at me in such a load voice, that all of the surrounding guests were attracted. Trying to state, that I was just asking for an option to smoke, she told me that this is not her business to inform me about, that she does not care of anything besides her Lounge and that for anything else regarding smoking, she is more than happy to let me discuss this point with the police, since smoking is prohibited on government level. I was not even given to say anything, as she was cutting all of my sentences to ask, for what reason she believes to being forced to use this kind of language to talk to me. Absolutely tired I shortly gave up on this conversation, whereby another Turkish Airline receptionist mentioned, that there is actually a smoking facility at the other end of the building. I kindly asked in the round, if it would be possible to take us there with one of the outside parked Turkish Airline PremiumClass carts, when the Manager, Ms. Pinar Engin, told me that this service is for “other” guests, and if not so, she would not even think of especially taking us with it. At this point, she finally managed to turn me completely angry, whereby I was very politely and calmly asking for her business card. She told me that she has one, but she is not willing to hand it to me, since “guests like us” are tending to “write funny letters to her management”. After I just repeated the same question regardless to what she has just told me, she wrote her name (PINAR ENGIN) on a ripped piece of paper and denied again to give me her title/position in English, but in Turkish language (Yolcu Hizmet Memucu, I am sorry if I am misspelling, I cannot read it throughout). While she was writing it down, she said loudly to her colleague at the reception counter: “Typical German!”, whereby both receptionists immediately started to laugh loudly and one of her colleagues replied with “bloody Germans!”.

After this occasion I went inside to meet my fiancée to tell her about the happenings. When she asked the Lounge waiter, who was serving coffee at the neighbour table, for a glass of water, he ignored her, as well as on a “Excuse me, Sir” from my side. I stood up from the table asking him again with “Could I please place an order, Sir”, he pointed to the buffet without saying a word. We then decided to leave the Lounge, since we had the deep impression of not being welcome at all, which got again stated by the two receptionists and Ms. Engin, who again started to laugh at us while leaving the Lounge without saying or even looking at them. We then had the great opportunity to sit on the floor next to the SKY restaurant for the remaining hours while waiting on our flight, since Mr. Caner, waiter at the Premium Class Lounge, refused to let us sit in the closed restaurant area, while all the other tables had already been occupied.

9)Coming to the security check point at the gate 220, the security crew, apparently employed by the operating company of the Airport Istanbul, refused entrance to my fiancée, stating that the pet carrying box has to be scanned together with the inside through the x-ray. Being through numerous security checks up to this point due to the layovers and knowing just by common sense, this will harm the cat immensely and might cause severe damage to its health. So my fiancée was refusing from her part and offering to take the cat out, going with it through the magnetic scan and send the box through the x-ray only. Since the crew was not accepting, still insisting to proceed their way and we - from our part - were absolutely exhausted from the mentioned nightmare trip, we started a large argument with the help of one of the Turkish Airline crew (a flight attendant, who accompanied the plane afterwards), which fortunately ended by having the opportunity to take the cat out of the box. Still, at the boarding point before leaving the building towards the plane, another crew member of Turkish Airline stopped us and asked us to wait, because another passenger was agreed to take her pet – a small dog – as well and therefore our pet will not be allowed due to the “one pet on board only” policy of Turkish Airlines. I therefore shortly introduced that crew member to our situation and was given entrance.

10)On board itself we faced a visible lack of service and attendance, caused most probably by the flight attendant, who just got into argument with us regarding the cat. Since she was still ashamed by the former situation, she actually kind of refused to give us any service, and not only the more attentative service which should be applicable within the Business Class. As a matter of fact, there was no real and sincere Business Class available, simply due to the configuration of this particular plane, just sparing the seat in between out, but still having no more space to the seats in front than in the Economy Class.

We are travelling intensively, and we are absolutely sharing your point and welcoming the situation, whereby – for example – a Captain decides not to operate a flight due to security reasons while the plane is damaged, as well as being used to lay over situations and understand the need for it.

Misunderstandings between BMI and Turkish Airlines, misinformation and most unprofessional handling of lay over situations, rudeness and most important racist comments, which are definitely also considered to be an act of crime in Turkey, are just unacceptable. It still leaves us breathless by the amount of numerous unsatisfactory and utmost disappointing experiences we faced by this past trip.

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 - schlecht    - geht so   - mittel    - gut    - vorbildlich

  • Service
  • - schlecht
  • Essensqualität
  • - schlecht
  • Unterhaltung
  • - schlecht
  • Sauberkeit
  • - geht so
  • Freundlichkeit
  • - schlecht
  • Pünktlichkeit
  • - schlecht
  • Sitzkomfort
  • - schlecht
  • Preis-Leistung
  • - schlecht
  • Durchschnitt
  • 1.13 Sterne
  • geflogen
  • September 2010
  • Flug Nr.
  • --
  • Strecke
  • Flug Dar es Salaam nach Frankfurt
  • Klasse
  • Business
  • Reiseart
  • Geschaeftsreise

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