I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to tell you about a recent terrible experience with Turkish airline.
this is regarding:
passenger name: shafqat Zawar (my mother)
Confirmation number: R8QG8B
initial ticket number: [protected]
Initial flight: actual flight was from LAHORE TO CLEVELAND
flight details: LAHORE TO ISTANBUL (Turkish airline 715 on nov 8th at 6:05 am). then from ISTANBUL TO CANADA (Turkish airline 17 leaving at 3:30 pm). then from CANADA TO CLEVELAND (Turkish airline 8656 nov 8th, 8:45 pm)
Of note, I booked this flight through expedia
regarding the above flight, around 1.5 to 2 weeks before flight departure, I called Turkish airline customer service for any specific requirements for transits in turkey and Canada. I was told a visa would not be required for transits in turkey or Canada as the patient has a US visa and the final destination is in the US
So my mother took her flight on November 8th from Lahore to Istanbul. However, despite issuing her a boarding pass in Istanbul, they did not let her board the flight to Canada because she did not have a Canada visa. so she got stuck in Istanbul.
she ended up missing her initial flight from Istanbul because she wasn't allowed to board. but then she was claimed to be a NO SHOW by Turkish airline. I called expedia to get another flight. I was charged penalty fee of 130$ for a now show and a 65 $ for flight change in addition to insane cost of a new flight I had to get for her directly coming to the US. this ended up being 372$ and the flight she got wasn't even coming to Cleveland. it was ending in new York. all the Cleveland flights had insanely long transit times for instance a 30 hour stay over in Houston.
I want to point out that I called expedia at 7 am and stayed on several phone calls with them till 2 am (for around 20 hours) with phone calls ranging from 1 hour to 3 hours. After several hours on phone with expedia customer service yesterday morning at 9 am, payment was deducted from my account account and a new ticket was made. Expedia confirmed with Turkish airline, I was told was a confirmed flight (which was supposed to leave at 12:15 am US eastern time and 8:15 am Istanbul time)
However, when my mother went to the front desk at Turkish airport to get her ticket and check in, she wasn't able to do so because they kept telling her its a reservation, not a ticket. whereas expedia and Turkish airline kept telling me this new ticket is confirmed.
between 7 am on November 8th US time and 2 am on November 9th US time, I constantly remained on 2 phones with many customer service personnel. I talked to multiple agents, supervisors and helpline. I had to miss an entire day of work because of this.
around 7 pm (10 hoursssssss after the 2nd ticket was purchased), I was told the ticket cannot be issued until the initial flight that my mother was supposed to take actually lands in Cleveland which also happened at 9:22 pm. So my question is why did the supervisor who issued the new ticket at 9 am not tell me that the new ticket will not be issued until initial flight had landed in Cleveland.
after the flight landed in cleveland, she had less than 3 hours to get the ticket issued. I again remained on the phone trying to get the ticket issued. however, it did not happen. 1 hour before the flight, I was told by customer service to switch to another flight. the first flight out was at 3 pm Turkish time (7 am on nov 9th US eastern time). so we purchased that ticket. and finally it was issued at 2 am.
so it took your customer service and altogether a total of 20 hours to issue a new ticket for a flight change despite me having made a payment that many hours ahead of time. it cost me an entire day of work, so much stress on my part and my mothers part. it is insane and ridiculous. and for most of those 18-20 hours, we did not know what was happening and what was wrong. it was a constant stress and torture.
My mom was stranded on an airport where half the people do not understand English. her phone wasn't on roaming so she did not have a telephone connection. the airport internet connection wasn't working for most of the time. and despite paying for the ticket, it took them 18 hours from the purchase to actual issue a ticket.
she was eventually able to take the 3 pm flight from turkey to new York city. it took her 48 hours from her initial to reach US at a destination which isn't even her final destination (which is Cleveland). and we still have to get her another ticket to Cleveland.
eventual ticket she took was E-ticket #, [protected] with the same confirmation number as mentioned above.
I need to point out multiple issues and places where Turkish airline & expedia were at fault
1. Turkish airline customer services told us of no visa requirements for transit in Istanbul or Canada assuming it would not be needed since she had a US visa. this was misinformation. Turkish airiline policies and rules also did not have any mention of that.
2. Turkish airline staff checked her US visa on her passport before they let her depart from the Lahore airport but no-one checked her Canada visa. technically if a patient flying out doesn't have a visa that they may require to complete their journey, they are generally not issued a boarding pass. so she should not have been allowed to leave Lahore airport in the first place. if that would have been the case, we would have switched her flight right then and there. it could have prevented so much stress, trauma and anxiety and such a prolonged torturous experience.
3. It was wrong on your part to have done that. because when she got stuck in Istanbul she faced many challenges. there was a language barrier, she did not have a functional phone, internet at Istanbul airport wasn't working
EXPEDIA's biggest FAULT.
4. we were issued and charged for a new ticket at 9 am yesterday but the reservation could not be ticketed because of a policy that we were not informed about . we put us in a constant state of uncertainty for 18-20 hours hours. she couldn't rest, she couldn't eat, she couldn't sleep because despite paying for a new ticket, no one was issuing us a ticket and despite many phone calls, we were unable to figure out what the issue and hold up was until much later. she kept going to the ticket counter every hour an hour to check what was going on and neither expedia nor turkish airline could tell me what was wrong. she did not have her medications that she needs to take because her medications after the initial 24 hours were in her booked baggage that the airline authorities did not let her access.
5. we were put through the anxiety of almost missing another flight.
6. her initial flight duration was 25 hours to Cleveland and it ended up becoming 48 hours to new York city (she isn't even reaching her final destination right now).
7. she had not taken her medications and now she is on her way to new York city in a dire health state as well.
All of this could have prevented if Turkish airline customer service had given me proper information a few wks ago when I called to ask. or at least if your staff had stopped her before letting her take the flight from Lahore. because it was home, she had a phone, she could have gone home and rested until we had gotten her a new ticket.
It was a very tragic, traumatic and horrible experience. needless to say, I will never book a flight through expedia again.
the most traumatic part of the experience was the uncertainty of what was wrong and why could a new ticket not be issued. she couldn't relax during her time at the airport for even a minute because of misinformation and lack of knowledge at the part of your customer service.
I was told by an expedia agent for a potential refund of 100$. I told him that was a completely unfair amount compared to the extra money I had to spend for this ticket not to mention all the trauma we were put through.
I am emailing to inquire for appropriate compensation (and by this I mean a refund, I don't want expedia dollars because I don't plan to use expedia ever again in my life). keeping in mind that we ended up spending around an extra 600 $ (including her flight to Cleveland) to figure out something that was the fault of your staff and more importantly keeping in mind the extra time and trauma that we were caused because of this experience.
I am waiting to hear from you
If you want further information, I can be reached at [protected]
my account information is: ifrah.[protected]@gmail.com
number associated with account is: [protected]