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Turkey bans all flights to/from 9 European countries

This just in:

Effective tomorrow (Saturday) 8.00 a.m. Istanbul time (about 9 hours from now), all flights between Turkey and Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Norway, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, and Holland will be suspended till April 17th.

Details here:
Turkey Suspends Key European Flights as Virus Cases Inch Up

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-12/turkey-screens-europe-bound-refugees-for-coronavirus

So, if anyone was planning to fly to Turkey via - or fly home through - any of these countries, you will need to make other plans (or wait until late April).

Posted by
6061 posts

How will you be flying home from Turkey? Are you transiting through a US city? Flying via Turkish Air?

Posted by
5017 posts

Our original tickets were on Air France, SEA-CDG-IST. Return was supposed to be the same, in reverse.

2 days ago, Air France started gutting their schedule, and our flight home from CDG-SEA was cancelled as part of that. A day later, they rebooked us IST-CDG-AMS-SEA, with the last leg on Delta. Now, with Turkey banning flights to France (and Netherlands), those options are out. Our ticket home would require going through one of the Schengen countries just blocked, effectively rendering it useless. I’ll see if we can get a refund, but that has taken a back seat to creative flight planning.

With things starting to go sideways here in the past few days, I started casting around for a Plan B. I just finished pulling the trigger on that plan...

I just booked flights on Turkish Airlines nonstop from IST to SFO, then home to SEA on United - and booked that all in business class, using United FF miles (cash price would have been painful - those miles came in handy). That long nonstop flight should bypass Turkey’s flight ban to Europe, and also bypass the new Trump restrictions on flights coming from Europe (Turkey is not on the list of restricted countries).

So although this little wrinkle has caused us to tweak our plans (we will come home a few days earlier than planned, so we will only have just a couple days in Istanbul) we should be OK. It’s better than being stuck in Turkey for an extra 6 weeks or more (as much as we have enjoyed it, it feels like it’s time to head home). And we will be OK with that.

That is, as long there are no more bans or blockades declared before the plane lands in SFO. Things are happening fast, so anything’s possible....I will be a bit nervous until we’re wheels-up.

Posted by
106 posts

How long have you been in Turkey? Hope your return home is safe and uneventful. This is a stressful time in the world.

Posted by
5017 posts

We’ve been in Turkey for the past 12 days. It has generally been great. It has become more stressful and challenging in the past 48 hours in the wake of multiple travel “bans” (imposed by both the US, various European countries, and capped by Turkey’s flight ban announced about 36 hours ago). Then lots of flights started getting canceled. All that has snowballed greatly in the past 2 days. I know of many people scrambling to get home before more options disappear.

We have a flight out tomorrow, after some hiccups and scares, it seems we are good to go in about 24 hours. Next challenge will be getting home from the airport in Seattle around midnight. I’m hoping Lyft is still running. Then I just hope that nobody has broken into our house to take our toilet paper while we were away.

Posted by
6061 posts

Are you coming home early from Turkey due to the travel restrictions, or roughly as planned? How many times did you have to rebook (more than once)?

Have a good trip home. I really like Turkish Air and felt that their economy class was pretty luxurious (good food and service, nice "goodie" bag with travel items), can't even imagine what their business class would be like. If it's like the photos on their ads, it should be a nice flight.

Posted by
1255 posts

You should also hope you didn't pick up cv in Turkey, as Turkey's insistence they only half a half dozen cases is literally laughable.

Posted by
106 posts

Ufak, your comment is ridiculous. Do you realize that the OP is from Seattle, Washington which has the highest number of Coronavirus cases in the USA.?!? I wasn’t going to be rude to David (the OP) and point that out. But ideally he should have stayed home. He might have brought CV to Turkey. Keep your unhelpful and very negative comments to yourself.