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Turkish Air

If I say one more nice thing about Turkish Air, people will think that I am on their payroll. But when I keep reading about all of the people being inconvenienced by the canceled flights of some of the other carriers, its hard not to be appreciative of Turkish Air.

In the past 24 months I have been on 14 Turkish Air flights. Later this week I start a trip that will add 4 more Turkish Air flights to that list.

None have been rescheduled or canceled. Nor have I heard of anyone on a canceled or rescheduled Turkish Air flight (but yes I am sure it happens)

None have been late arriving, that I can remember (which means if they were a little late, it had no impact on connections, etc.)

On two occasions I have had change my itinerary; both times done on the phone, both times took about 30 minutes to complete and one time cost $112, the second $27.

Yes, you have to change in Istanbul no matter where you are going. It's a well run airport for that, better than Amsterdam, way better than Paris or London.

Yes, if you are traveling from a city that Turkish Air doesn't serve (they code share with United), and if you are going to someplace in Northern Europe, it can be a long trip.

Pay particular attention to their Multi-City Fares. They can be as cheap or cheaper than round trip fares. Prices are not the cheapest, but far from the most expensive.

Posted by
1428 posts

My son, daughter, and her husband flew Turkish Air in 2018 from Atlanta to Athens. The flight was $850 which was considerably cheaper than alternatives. Interestingly enough, Turkish Air flew from Miami closer to where we live but prices were no less than alternatives. We didn't take it because less convenient for us to go to Miami and we only do if there is a price or schedule advantage.

But I agree that it is worthwhile to consider both airlines’ and countries’ track records over last year in making plans.

Posted by
112 posts

Thank you for this. TA is not really on my radar as they dont fly to Australia or NZ but reliability is a bit one - and I can easily enough fly to Singapore (well hopefully will be able to come 2022) and pick them up from there.

At the moment plan A is to cruise to Europe ex the USA and home as far as Singapore. However I'm very aware that I need a plan B - so may well factor TA into that plan. Istanbul wouldn't be a bad stop to add either

Posted by
12391 posts

An extended layover in Istanbul generally costs nothing on a Turkish Air flight. A trip to Istanbul becomes one of two things for most people. Either an unexpected surprise that they love; or an experience they are glad they had but dont wish to repeat. Win-Win

Posted by
1404 posts

Some friends wanted to go to Dubai next winter on Turkish Air, as it was a good price from where we live; but as it necessitates a flight change in Istanbul, they had to cancel.
The reason?
They have both had two Moderna Covid Vaccines here in Canada, and Turkey does not recognize those at present.
They were only going to be in transit, and not leaving the secure zone, but still not allowed to land there.
I expect it will change one of these days.

Posted by
12391 posts

Look up if a PCR test replaces the vaccine requirement. I really don't know.

Posted by
1790 posts

We fly Qatar in a few weeks to Egypt. I have been monitoring their flights all summer. While a few have had a delay, none have canceled, which is partly why we picked them.

Posted by
1780 posts

Ironically, today they were saying that Moderna seems to be performing better than Pfizer because it has more "oomph" in it. Which apparently also increases the risk of reactions.

Posted by
12391 posts

Okay, so the plan was to fly to Istanbul, get the PCR test in Istanbul and fly on to Budapest. Then yesterday I drove past a testing site that said next day by 5pm PCR test, so, what the heck I got one.

Today I got to the airport about 4:30 to check in. Where is your PCR for Hungry? Haven't got one. I have a long layover in Istanbul, I will get it there if the one I got yesterday for some reason doesn't show up.

In minutes I had two Turkish Air employees explaining they couldn't give me a boarding pass. Never have I had bad news delivered so kindly and with empathy.

Two options for solving the problem. 1, let them split my ticket and book the Budapest leg on another reservation. 2, call the lab and find my results.

I went to the back of the line and called the lab. In 10 minutes I had the results. I held up my phone and a thumbs up to the ticket agent about 20 people ahead of me. He sent another agent to the end of the line to get me. Both agents looked as happy as me as they handed me the boarding passes.

Life is good.

Posted by
1404 posts

I will correct my earlier post here about Moderna vaccines...it seems my friends cannot enter Dubai with Moderna vaccines, not that they can't enter Turkey.

Posted by
1942 posts

James, this was s true for me. “ an unexpected surprise that they love; ”. Our Lufthansa flight was cancelled a few hours before our planned departure, pilot strike. Our travel agent immediately booked us on a TA flight out of Chicago and truthfully, the experience was just like in the “good old days of flying”. Roomy seats even in the middle of an economy class section and the food was plentiful and excellent! It was a truly terrific case of serendipity!

Posted by
12391 posts

I had my PCR test checked 3 times before I got here, and I only now discovered that the report had the date, but not the time. People apparently looked, but did not read. My TA flight into Budapest had every seat sold. Still its a ghost town.

Posted by
2795 posts

Another vote for Istanbul and airlines in Turkey-we flew the other one-is it named Atlas? between cities and were quite impressed. Our trip was a long time ago-2012. We also went to Germany and Salzburg and our 16 yr old daughter said Turkey was her favorite part of the trip.

Posted by
12391 posts

Since my post I have completed 3 1/2 more flights on Turkish Air.

Prior to getting the boarding pass back to the US, my COVID test was checked, as was my passport.

On every flight Prior to boarding there was a recorded announcement that the plane would be boarded in small groups, starting from the back of the plane. And each time, 5 min later, the TA staff would simply yell out that it was boarding time for everyone and everyone started getting on.

Then there was the recording about not everyone in a row removing their mask to eat at the same time ... Ignored. And the deplaning announcement about staying in your seat till the row in front of you got off ... ignored.

The food was pretty good airplane food. They tried to get fancy and put each thing in a different shape bowl so you can't stack them after eating which makes keeping it all on the tray till they clear it more difficult.

Still the best airline in my opinion.