Turkish Airlines ?

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blackcat allie
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Turkish Airlines ?

Post by blackcat allie » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:22 pm

Wondering if anyone has experience/thoughts about Turkish Airlines? Pardon this rather specific question
I'm considering trip to Central Europe, and it's pricing is better than most other options on my rewards program.

More generally, is there good site for objective rankings/reviews of international air carriers?
(Quick google is leading me to commercial sources)
Thanks in advance
“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.” - Daniel Kahneman

jb1
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by jb1 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:24 pm

If you’re unsure... spend the extra money and go with a company you’re sure of.

Try Norwegian airlines

jucor
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by jucor » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:27 pm

blackcat allie wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:22 pm
Wondering if anyone has experience/thoughts about Turkish Airlines? Pardon this rather specific question
I'm considering trip to Central Europe, and it's pricing is better than most other options on my rewards program.

More generally, is there good site for objective rankings/reviews of international air carriers?
(Quick google is leading me to commercial sources)
Thanks in advance
I have flown Turkish several times on transatlantic flights and have been very pleased with the service. They, along with many other "national" carriers have service levels that, IMHO, exceed the service on U.S. legacy carriers by a fair margin.

Startled Cat
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by Startled Cat » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:30 pm

jb1 wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:24 pm
If you’re unsure... spend the extra money and go with a company you’re sure of.

Try Norwegian airlines
This is a curious response. Turkish Airlines has much higher standards of service than Norwegian. Turkish Airlines is a full-service airline; Norwegian is not.

OP, you probably won’t find a better carrier with a sensible routing for your trip (presuming you’re coming from the US), so if Turkish is the cheapest option, it sounds like a no-brainer.

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whodidntante
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by whodidntante » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:33 pm

jb1 wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:24 pm
Try Norwegian airlines
I flew Norweigan only one time, from Stockholm to NYC, when my real flight got canceled and I was tired of being in Sweden. The plane was nearly empty, and it was a newer Boeing Dreamliner plane, but I was surprised they didn't try to charge me for air.

Starfish
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by Starfish » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:49 pm

Any airline flying between US and Europe has to pass safety regulations, so there is no "bad airline". I flew Wow, XL, Aer Lingus and but it never crossed my mind to doubt them.
In terms of comfort, he general principle is that the US airlines are the worst, low cost west European slightly better (or not), West European full service are mediocre and some other airlines are the much better. Probably TA is better than many brand name airlines.

bowest
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by bowest » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:53 pm

You may want to spend $50 for Turkish visa before you go if you're an American citizen and connecting to other countries. You will not be able to leave airport without visa if you miss connecting flight or otherwise get stuck. Turkey does not issue visas on arrival.

Check travel sites for some stories from people who have found this out the hard way. Airline is fine but you'll be stuck in airport (even overnight) if you miss connection and don't have visa.

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Watty
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by Watty » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:27 pm

I have not flown them but when I looked at them a while back I noticed a few things;

1) It seemed like all the flights I was looking at pretty much required an overnight stay in Istanbul. If you did not want to spend a few days there anyway that cost and the time ate up a lot of the savings.

2) I did not feel comfortable with the number of times there have been problems like airport bombings or coup attempts. There is a lot going on in Turkey and the state department has it listed as "Level 3: Reconsider Travel".

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... isory.html

Just FYI, there is a new airport that just opened this spring in Istanbul so if you will be staying there overnight be sure that your hotels and travel connections are convenient to the new airport and not the old airport.

Topic Author
blackcat allie
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by blackcat allie » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:56 pm

bowest wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:53 pm
You may want to spend $50 for Turkish visa before you go if you're an American citizen and connecting to other countries. You will not be able to leave airport without visa if you miss connecting flight or otherwise get stuck. Turkey does not issue visas on arrival.

Check travel sites for some stories from people who have found this out the hard way. Airline is fine but you'll be stuck in airport (even overnight) if you miss connection and don't have visa.
Thanks, great point!

Also appreciate the insights from others. I'm booking economy with credit card rewards travel program, so my options aren't as wide as say Kayak or other robust search engines/sites.
Last edited by blackcat allie on Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.” - Daniel Kahneman

livesoft
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by livesoft » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:15 pm

My spouse has used Turkish Airlines a few times and I've never heard her say anything negative about them.
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Tlmlb
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by Tlmlb » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:35 pm

They are a terrific airline....plus if you want a laugh, google their commercials with Kobe and Messi.

ShoogyBee
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by ShoogyBee » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:57 pm

I'm assuming you will be transferring flights through Istanbul, correct? If so, you've probably heard that they recently opened a huge and brand new airport there. I've heard that a lot of the airport staff do not speak English and also aren't customer-service oriented, although some European airports are similar with the latter. I haven't heard anyone say anything bad against the airline itself, but they didn't particularly care for Istanbul's airport.

...

criticalmass
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by criticalmass » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:33 pm

bowest wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:53 pm
You may want to spend $50 for Turkish visa before you go if you're an American citizen and connecting to other countries. You will not be able to leave airport without visa if you miss connecting flight or otherwise get stuck. Turkey does not issue visas on arrival.

Check travel sites for some stories from people who have found this out the hard way. Airline is fine but you'll be stuck in airport (even overnight) if you miss connection and don't have visa.
Some incorrect information above.

1.) A Turkish e-Visa is $20 not $50. (Add on another 2 bucks or so for the credit card fee). It takes about 2 minutes with a web browser. The visa is valid for 6 months, multiple entry with a 90 day stay limit.

2.) You certainly can get an e-Visa on arrival, if you are a USA citizen. However the fee is higher than $20, and you will probably have to stand in line for a while at the e-Visa machines.

criticalmass
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by criticalmass » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:39 pm

ShoogyBee wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:57 pm
I'm assuming you will be transferring flights through Istanbul, correct? If so, you've probably heard that they recently opened a huge and brand new airport there. I've heard that a lot of the airport staff do not speak English and also aren't customer-service oriented, although some European airports are similar with the latter. I haven't heard anyone say anything bad against the airline itself, but they didn't particularly care for Istanbul's airport.
You've heard, or have experienced? I've only been through the New Istanbul Airport once, but folks were as friendly as any major international airport in USA, (actually much friendlier than most). Not sure what you mean about "a lot of the airport staff do not speak English." It's hard to find many Turkish citizens that don't speak some conversational level English, let alone the travel industry where it is nearly universal.

What did you hear that was bad about the New Istanbul Airport since it opened a whole 2 months ago? It will have teething problems, but so far not nearly as bad as when Denver (DEN) opened up in the 1990s. It is one of the most beautiful airports in the world in the terminal, but it is also the largest or one of the largest depending on who's counting. Far better than LAX, JFK, MIA, LGA, although I realize this isn't saying too much. Worst thing about the IST airport is there is no rail access to it from the city for the time being.
Last edited by criticalmass on Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

criticalmass
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by criticalmass » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:49 pm

Watty wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:27 pm
I have not flown them but when I looked at them a while back I noticed a few things;

1) It seemed like all the flights I was looking at pretty much required an overnight stay in Istanbul. If you did not want to spend a few days there anyway that cost and the time ate up a lot of the savings.

2) I did not feel comfortable with the number of times there have been problems like airport bombings or coup attempts. There is a lot going on in Turkey and the state department has it listed as "Level 3: Reconsider Travel".

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel ... isory.html

Just FYI, there is a new airport that just opened this spring in Istanbul so if you will be staying there overnight be sure that your hotels and travel connections are convenient to the new airport and not the old airport.
Good point about the new airport location, be sure to keep that in mind IF you are visiting Istanbul and not just connecting to another plane, which is what the OP's intention is.

Regarding the Turkey security issue, the full travel advisory is important for context. Nearly all of the big concerns are in the eastern part of the country, hundreds of miles (km) from Istanbul or its airport. Things can happen just like in the USA but they do take security quite seriously in that country, in particular places like train stations, shopping malls, and especially airports. You get your baggage screened when you walk in the front door and then again when you enter the secure/air side areas. I've never had my bags screened or walk through a metal detector in a USA shopping mall, but that's common in places where they take security seriously.

Would you feel comfortable visiting the USA, with nearly weekly mass shootings in shopping malls, outdoor concerts, schools, office buildings, cities, etc? Unfortunately State Dept doesn't provide a Threat Level for USA for comparison. Many feel far more comfortable in Europe, including European/Asian Turkey.

criticalmass
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by criticalmass » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:54 pm

blackcat allie wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:22 pm
Wondering if anyone has experience/thoughts about Turkish Airlines? Pardon this rather specific question
I'm considering trip to Central Europe, and it's pricing is better than most other options on my rewards program.

More generally, is there good site for objective rankings/reviews of international air carriers?
(Quick google is leading me to commercial sources)
Thanks in advance
Turkish Airlines is a full service airline and has decent service (above most USA carriers). If you do use them for connecting flights in Istanbul, ask them first about their free Istanbul tours. I'm not sure what the tour status is since the move to the gorgeous New Istanbul Airport two months ago, but for many years Turkish has provided them to their connecting customers, free of charge. There is/was a long and short version geared toward most connection schedules, but timing coordination with your particular flights is key. What's in it for them? They realize that many folks fall in love with the city and will return to visit. The new airport is much further away from city center though, so I'm not sure how viable this is--but do ask before you book. It's worth it.

Plus: Great food, entertainment systems. Star Alliance benefits and miles.
Negative: Coach seating pitch seems as cramped as USA carriers. Biz and 1st are good.

msk
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by msk » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:00 am

My experience (and my family's): No issues with Economy. You pay cattle class, you get cattle class and pocket your $ balance. Business Class is not on par with top airlines e.g. Gulf Arab airlines or the better far east airlines (but then no other airlines are up at those levels anyway) but you get what you pay for. I.e. Turkish Business is often significantly cheaper. Allow plenty of time at Istanbul for connections. The new airport is huge and frequently my arrivals seemed to be more than a few minutes late, but maybe I was just unlucky. I would certainly not book a connection with less than 90 minutes layover.

bpt
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by bpt » Tue Jun 18, 2019 5:04 am

I have travelled on Turkish Airlines many times (approximately 10x in the last couple of years).
Having travelled on many different airlines over the last 30 years I can safely say the following:

On time: never missed my connections
Safety: never had any issues or any worrying comments from fellow travelers.
Aircrafts: Standard A330-300 direct from my city (southeast). My connections 777
Crew: need to improve professionalism but still very capable
Food: feed you well and decent menu
Good connections: within 2hr window period
Checkin:no issues
Baggage: no issues. Only time my grandfather’s wheelchair didn’t get to the final destination, I was given a replacement till the original arrived and was delivered to my house.
Layover: if more than 4 hrs easy to get a visa at the airport or within 15 mins over the phone for approx 20 dollars)
Last layover 5 hrs: went to an old Turkish bath in the city and got a massage. Nice way to get over the transatlantic flight jet lag.
Istanbul: great city to visit even for a few hours. Easy to get in and out from the airport
Onboard entertainment: good
Seating: take the seats at the back and you can get 2 or 3 empty. Slept peacefully on the 3 seats for the duration of my transatlantic flight a couple of times.


Overall: 7-8/10
If you are getting a good deal and reward points then don’t delay and get the deal.
You can PM me if you need further info. ( I am a frequent flyer)

alfaspider
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by alfaspider » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:04 am

I flew Turkish in business class from North America to Istanbul late last year. They seem to be a well run airline. The food is excellent (best airline food I've ever had). Service was very good as well. The business class seat is a step below the top products available (no direct aisle access, and there is a center middle seat given the 2-3-2 configuration). You should also be aware that flights from Istanbul to the U.S. are automatically "SSSS" screening protocols, which can add an hour to the boarding process. Also, don't be a dummy like I was and leave your boarding pass on the plane. I had to sit through an extra 1/2 hour customs line because I couldn't stand in the business class line without a boarding pass proving I arrived in business class.

There may be a few snafus given the new Istanbul airport, but the old airport was a bit of a dump, and the new airport should be a nice upgrade. Istanbul itself is a very nice city, and I wouldn't be worried about the security situation there any more than another major European city. My only gripe is the fairly aggressive salespeople trying to lure you into a shop on commission if you wander into any tourist zones and take any photos.

TBillT
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by TBillT » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:06 am

The loss of Malaysian MH370 in 2014 was probably in part due to lack of security by the airline.
For example, USA airlines have 2 in cockpit rule to help prevent pilot sabotage, whereas international airlines have balked at that. After the Germanwings crash/suicide 2015, some EU airiines finally added 2 in cockpit rule, but many found it cumbersome and later dropped it. So you want to try to understand, which airlines are considered safe/secure, which I am not sure the list. But if you were a US Embassy staff for example you probably have pecking order of safe/secure airlines. Sometimes there is no choice and they have to take national airline.

lhl12
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by lhl12 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:23 am

I flew them to/from Istanbul a couple of years ago. Excellent experience all around - good service, good food, friendly staff, modern and clean planes, on time, nice terminal at the Istanbul end. I would put them in the top tier of flag carriers, though not quite at the same level as the Gulf carriers (Emirates, Qatar and Etihad), with whom they are trying to compete.

Starfish
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by Starfish » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:42 am

TBillT wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:06 am
The loss of Malaysian MH370 in 2014 was probably in part due to lack of security by the airline.
For example, USA airlines have 2 in cockpit rule to help prevent pilot sabotage, whereas international airlines have balked at that. After the Germanwings crash/suicide 2015, some EU airiines finally added 2 in cockpit rule, but many found it cumbersome and later dropped it. So you want to try to understand, which airlines are considered safe/secure, which I am not sure the list. But if you were a US Embassy staff for example you probably have pecking order of safe/secure airlines. Sometimes there is no choice and they have to take national airline.
I bet you that the risk to die with TA is much lower than the risk to die on your way to the airport.

BeneIRA
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by BeneIRA » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:48 am

I have flown Turkish Airlines, including directly after the coup attempt, and it is a very good airlines. I agree it is better than all U.S. Airlines in terms of food and general experience. Note that they are very strict on the carry ons. In Boston, they weighed everyone's carry-on to make sure it met the 10 kilogram requirement. If not, it was checked for free. The food is excellent in comparison to usual airline food. If you are just connecting through, you won't need an E-Visa, but if you have a layover and want to go to Istanbul, get the E-Visa ahead of time online. Unfortunately, costs I have looked at are usually more than other airlines, but if it was the cheapest option or even if it was close, I would pick them. Since it's cheaper, I highly recommend it.

The travel advisory is for Eastern Turkey since it borders Syria. Istanbul is fine. The issues with review sites for airlines is that everyone has horror stories and most people aren't travelers and so don't put it in perspective. If you travel long enough, you will experience delays, cancellations and other things you may not like. A lot of the reviews seem like they are from people who are once a year or less travelers and something bad happens and they want all kinds of compensation. Notably, U.S. carriers tend to be way worse in that regard than their European counterparts. Partly due to legal differences and partly due to increase competition in Europe.

transient_academic
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by transient_academic » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:16 pm

I only flew it once but it was a good air travel experience, especially for the price.

My guess is as a national carrier they get subsidized heavily by the government with a goal to increase tourism. The very attractively priced tickets all tend to have long layovers in Istanbul, which I think is meant to give you the nudge to get out and explore a little. Istanbul is a great city so I don't even mind the little shell game.

As others have said, the safety issues in Turkey are well away from Istanbul and you'll be very safe there.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by SrGrumpy » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:24 pm

Turkish is great. I highly recommend. And their newish lounge in Istanbul is extraordinary. If it's a super cheap flight, though, you may not get any credit if you are in another Star Alliance program.

rjbraun
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by rjbraun » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:02 pm

Seems as if OP has already received quality information and positive feedback. We flew coach on Turkish Airlines several years ago: into Istanbul, within Turkey (I think Goreme, Ephesus, Antalya) and then outbound to Milan, Italy. No issues with the service, we were definitely favorably impressed. As others have said, the carrier would not be my main concern today if traveling to Turkey.

Mickey7
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by Mickey7 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:06 pm

Granted that my experience with TA was about 5 years ago, I found the airline to be equal or above other carriers regarding pricing, seating, food and staffing.

GCD
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by GCD » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:41 pm

I flew on Turkish Airlines on official travel for the US govt. They were an approved carrier. Some airlines are not. I don't know if that amounts to gold star vetting, but it's something. I was pretty pleased. They have nicer planes and better on board service than US airlines, IMO.

retired recently
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by retired recently » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:48 am

We flew Turkish Airlines several times and they are much better than US based airlines. The planes were very nice and service was great. I would pay a bit more to fly them vs Delta/United etc

criticalmass
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by criticalmass » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:52 am

criticalmass wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:54 pm
blackcat allie wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:22 pm
Wondering if anyone has experience/thoughts about Turkish Airlines? Pardon this rather specific question
I'm considering trip to Central Europe, and it's pricing is better than most other options on my rewards program.

More generally, is there good site for objective rankings/reviews of international air carriers?
(Quick google is leading me to commercial sources)
Thanks in advance
Turkish Airlines is a full service airline and has decent service (above most USA carriers). If you do use them for connecting flights in Istanbul, ask them first about their free Istanbul tours. I'm not sure what the tour status is since the move to the gorgeous New Istanbul Airport two months ago, but for many years Turkish has provided them to their connecting customers, free of charge. There is/was a long and short version geared toward most connection schedules, but timing coordination with your particular flights is key. What's in it for them? They realize that many folks fall in love with the city and will return to visit. The new airport is much further away from city center though, so I'm not sure how viable this is--but do ask before you book. It's worth it.

Plus: Great food, entertainment systems. Star Alliance benefits and miles.
Negative: Coach seating pitch seems as cramped as USA carriers. Biz and 1st are good.
Update: The Turkish Airlines free Istanbul tours for connecting passengers are still on after the move to the New Istanbul Airport. Six hour layover time is needed; there are no tours for shorter connections. If you are interested, check the tour schedule before booking your flight times. Highly recommend and you get an excellent sample of an amazing city.

https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-us/f ... uristanbul

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Nestegg_User
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by Nestegg_User » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:44 am

criticalmass wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:39 pm
ShoogyBee wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:57 pm
I'm assuming you will be transferring flights through Istanbul, correct? If so, you've probably heard that they recently opened a huge and brand new airport there. I've heard that a lot of the airport staff do not speak English and also aren't customer-service oriented, although some European airports are similar with the latter. I haven't heard anyone say anything bad against the airline itself, but they didn't particularly care for Istanbul's airport.
You've heard, or have experienced? I've only been through the New Istanbul Airport once, but folks were as friendly as any major international airport in USA, (actually much friendlier than most). Not sure what you mean about "a lot of the airport staff do not speak English." It's hard to find many Turkish citizens that don't speak some conversational level English, let alone the travel industry where it is nearly universal.

What did you hear that was bad about the New Istanbul Airport since it opened a whole 2 months ago? It will have teething problems, but so far not nearly as bad as when Denver (DEN) ....DOA, errr... DIA ! opened up in the 1990s. It is one of the most beautiful airports in the world in the terminal, but it is also the largest or one of the largest depending on who's counting. Far better than LAX, JFK, MIA, LGA, although I realize this isn't saying too much. Worst thing about the IST airport is there is no rail access to it from the city for the time being.
(fixed that for you)

ETA: criticalmass thanks for update. Istanbul is quite busy and crowded, so I can understand needing sufficient time to get around and be able to return (we didn't fly in when there, was there by ship)

mesaverde
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by mesaverde » Wed Jun 19, 2019 9:06 am

I've flown with Turkish Airlines several times and the service has been better than any U.S. airline.
Not only that, but their fares tend to be lower than U.S. airlines.
It's a no brainer.
"Learn from the past, live in the present, plan for the future"

Topic Author
blackcat allie
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by blackcat allie » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:35 am

This is just a quick thank you for all the illuminating thoughts & experiences in responses.
Happy, safe travels to us all :beer
“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.” - Daniel Kahneman

crre
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by crre » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:29 am

i flew with them for the first time a couple of months ago at the recommendation of my son-in-law, who refuses to fly any other airline. they were fantastic.

dustinst22
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by dustinst22 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:37 am

I also had a good experience with them traveling to Istanbul and Italy. We got a very good deal as long as we flew through Istanbul, which for me was a plus (though I am not a fan of the airport and getting through customs). I've had worse experiences with other airlines domestically.

02nz
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by 02nz » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:57 am

Turkish has exceptional catering - even the food in economy is very decent. They are also one of the few carriers still flying 777s with nine-across seating in coach, which is much more comfortable than the ten-across on most carriers (including United and American, but not Delta).

ilisira
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by ilisira » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:01 am

blackcat allie wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:22 pm
Wondering if anyone has experience/thoughts about Turkish Airlines? Pardon this rather specific question
I'm considering trip to Central Europe, and it's pricing is better than most other options on my rewards program.

More generally, is there good site for objective rankings/reviews of international air carriers?
(Quick google is leading me to commercial sources)
Thanks in advance
Lots of misinformation in this thread. I believe some of them are answered, getting a visa on arrival is possible, but line might be longer. New airport is operational in April, and due to a funeral, I had to fly in the first day of operation, and even that day, they had no issues (had to go through the new airport 7 times since then, no issues whatsoever except for it being large: walking between gates takes time if you have a tight connection). There are many "ask me" people around which are there to answer questions mainly in English, so you'll have no problem with language. Heck, they kept talking to me in English even though I was responding in Turkish.

Coming back to the airline itself, I am a frequent flyer, and try to fly with another alliance, so whenever I go to Turkey with family, I try to arrange other airlines, but TK is always the cheapest (and usually the only option to go to my hometown), and we keep flying with them. Their service is much better than US based airlines, and in par with gulf based airlines. Transatlantic flight will not give you too much comfort on the existing Airbus A330's, as the legroom is not awesome, but not worse than any other airline that crosses the ocean. Food will be great, as well as drinks. They will have snacks/drinks during the flight as well.

What I do not like about Turkish Airlines is, during irregular operations, their agents can't decide to do anything by themselves, and they need to get OK from Istanbul. Until they get their OK, it's a whole mess, but once they get OK, they will do everything they can (they rerouted me through Dubai from Istanbul to get me to DC on time for a meeting, paying for a last minute ticket that exceeds my original ticket cost, and they paid me 600 Euros as I arrived late). I'd check flyertalk if you want more in detail reviews/help.

Also, if you have lounge access, their Istanbul lounge is great to visit.

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pointyhairedboss
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by pointyhairedboss » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:42 pm

I had a so-so experience with Turkish Airlines. We were using Turkish Airlines to go from the US to Italy with a layover in Turkey. We bought the tickets quite a bit in advance. We were happy to have a small layover window. Something like 3 hours. At some point, Turkish Airlines switched our returning flight and our layover went from 3 hours to like 21 hours. This forced to extend our PTO an extra day. Turkish Airlines did provide an overnight hotel at a really nice upscale hotel, but the shuttle from the airport to the hotel was over 45 minutes.

I figured the original flight that we were switched out of had been canceled. But I later found out at the airport that the flight had not been canceled. I am not sure why we were given the heave ho given that we bought the tickets fairly way in advance.

I will say the security in the Turkish airport was far higher than in a US airport. I don't see how anybody can sneak a bomb or weapon on board. We went through checkpoints galore.

DarkHelmetII
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by DarkHelmetII » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:13 am

jucor wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:27 pm
I have flown Turkish several times on transatlantic flights and have been very pleased with the service. They, along with many other "national" carriers have service levels that, IMHO, exceed the service on U.S. legacy carriers by a fair margin.
+1

ShoogyBee
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by ShoogyBee » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:40 pm

criticalmass wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:39 pm
ShoogyBee wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:57 pm
I'm assuming you will be transferring flights through Istanbul, correct? If so, you've probably heard that they recently opened a huge and brand new airport there. I've heard that a lot of the airport staff do not speak English and also aren't customer-service oriented, although some European airports are similar with the latter. I haven't heard anyone say anything bad against the airline itself, but they didn't particularly care for Istanbul's airport.
You've heard, or have experienced? I've only been through the New Istanbul Airport once, but folks were as friendly as any major international airport in USA, (actually much friendlier than most). Not sure what you mean about "a lot of the airport staff do not speak English." It's hard to find many Turkish citizens that don't speak some conversational level English, let alone the travel industry where it is nearly universal.

What did you hear that was bad about the New Istanbul Airport since it opened a whole 2 months ago? It will have teething problems, but so far not nearly as bad as when Denver (DEN) opened up in the 1990s. It is one of the most beautiful airports in the world in the terminal, but it is also the largest or one of the largest depending on who's counting. Far better than LAX, JFK, MIA, LGA, although I realize this isn't saying too much. Worst thing about the IST airport is there is no rail access to it from the city for the time being.
Sorry for the late reply, but my best friend's mother flew Turkish Airlines and had a flight change at Istanbul's new airport. She's elderly so they had reserved a wheelchair in advance. She had to wait two hours for them to show up with a wheelchair because they didn't have enough wheelchairs and/or staff to assist. Given that my mother may end up in a similar situation, I'll probably have her fly Qatar or Emirates instead.

...

criticalmass
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by criticalmass » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:16 am

ShoogyBee wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:40 pm
criticalmass wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:39 pm
ShoogyBee wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:57 pm
I'm assuming you will be transferring flights through Istanbul, correct? If so, you've probably heard that they recently opened a huge and brand new airport there. I've heard that a lot of the airport staff do not speak English and also aren't customer-service oriented, although some European airports are similar with the latter. I haven't heard anyone say anything bad against the airline itself, but they didn't particularly care for Istanbul's airport.
You've heard, or have experienced? I've only been through the New Istanbul Airport once, but folks were as friendly as any major international airport in USA, (actually much friendlier than most). Not sure what you mean about "a lot of the airport staff do not speak English." It's hard to find many Turkish citizens that don't speak some conversational level English, let alone the travel industry where it is nearly universal.

What did you hear that was bad about the New Istanbul Airport since it opened a whole 2 months ago? It will have teething problems, but so far not nearly as bad as when Denver (DEN) opened up in the 1990s. It is one of the most beautiful airports in the world in the terminal, but it is also the largest or one of the largest depending on who's counting. Far better than LAX, JFK, MIA, LGA, although I realize this isn't saying too much. Worst thing about the IST airport is there is no rail access to it from the city for the time being.
Sorry for the late reply, but my best friend's mother flew Turkish Airlines and had a flight change at Istanbul's new airport. She's elderly so they had reserved a wheelchair in advance. She had to wait two hours for them to show up with a wheelchair because they didn't have enough wheelchairs and/or staff to assist. Given that my mother may end up in a similar situation, I'll probably have her fly Qatar or Emirates instead.
...
IST airport is HUGE and requires long walks in nearly every case. Even connections to the adjacent gate, domestic or international, seem to require you to walk to the central area of the airport via upstairs corridors before you can return to the departure gate area. It is a beautifully designed building though, and a big upgrade from Ataturk from an ambience perspective, but it's quite vast.

There are plenty of moving walkways, but no trains. They do have "buggies" to give people rides, and wheelchair service, but looks like they still need more work. The airport is still in a break-in phase, which may continue for a while. Dubai can have issues too though.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by SrGrumpy » Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:32 am

criticalmass wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 8:16 am
Dubai can have issues too though.
You're not kidding. I found it surprisingly run-down.

mjb
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by mjb » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:23 am

I haven't used them for a flight, but their lounges are nice and we'll staffed

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:29 am

The airline seems to be fine, but you have to connect in Istanbul, and that has the potential to pose problems (needing a Turkish visa in the event of flight delay/cancellation, political unrest, etc).

I would be reluctant to fly as far east as Istanbul if my destination were in Western Europe. Makes for a longer trip. For destinations like Romania and Bulgaria, not so much.

criticalmass
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by criticalmass » Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:33 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:29 am
The airline seems to be fine, but you have to connect in Istanbul, and that has the potential to pose problems (needing a Turkish visa in the event of flight delay/cancellation, political unrest, etc).

I would be reluctant to fly as far east as Istanbul if my destination were in Western Europe. Makes for a longer trip. For destinations like Romania and Bulgaria, not so much.
The visa had been brought up earlier in the thread. If you suddenly need an unexpected visa, you can buy one from the machines for about $20.

Turkish Airlines is still providing free tours of Istanbul for connecting passengers from the new airport.

I agree that connecting in Istanbul between USA and Paris would be a lengthy extra trip, but it's a fine place to connect to Ukraine, Georgia, central Asia, Persian Gulf region, India, Egypt, Israel, Kenya, etc.

California88
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by California88 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:59 pm

TripAdvisor Reviews aren't great ... they might use "older" planes!
I flew across Pacific on airline that was a nightmare ... found out later that they buy their planes USED from major carriers, i.e. major carriers sell their planes after a certain # of years.

Starfish
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by Starfish » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:13 am

California88 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:59 pm
TripAdvisor Reviews aren't great ... they might use "older" planes!
I flew across Pacific on airline that was a nightmare ... found out later that they buy their planes USED from major carriers, i.e. major carriers sell their planes after a certain # of years.
And how does it make it a nightmare? No screen? Irrelevant, bring an ipad and a book. What is so wrong about older airplanes?

mesmer
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by mesmer » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:21 am

I’ve flown Turkish Airlines in economy, economy plus, and business. I’ve had very positive experiences. It usually doesn’t cost much to upgrade to their economy plus which is more like business class on most other airlines (but not available on all planes). Their business class was more like first class with lay down beds. If you have a long layover in Istanbul the airline offers FREE tours of the city. At least they did this in 2014 and 2015 which is when I last flew with them.

WVbaron
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by WVbaron » Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:08 am

jb1 wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:24 pm
If you’re unsure... spend the extra money and go with a company you’re sure of.

Try Norwegian airlines
I live in Germany now and have flown Turkish Airlines several times. The airline is incredible and puts most other national carriers to shame. The economy seats on my plane all had tv screens, warm (and tasty!) meals were served, and the service was great.

Norwegian airlines is a discount airline and would not recommend them.

02nz
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Re: Turkish Airlines ?

Post by 02nz » Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:56 am

mesmer wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:21 am
I’ve flown Turkish Airlines in economy, economy plus, and business. I’ve had very positive experiences. It usually doesn’t cost much to upgrade to their economy plus which is more like business class on most other airlines (but not available on all planes). Their business class was more like first class with lay down beds. If you have a long layover in Istanbul the airline offers FREE tours of the city. At least they did this in 2014 and 2015 which is when I last flew with them.
Turkish got rid of their premium economy product.

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