Turkish Airlines — corporate and customer service
I recently flew Turkish Airlines (to/from South Africa via Istanbul), and upon boarding my return flight TK33 IST - IAH and due to their gate security not recognizing my paperwork, I was denied entry onto my flight. Okay, so besides legalities as far as letting me on board even though USCIS confirmed my correct paperwork and Turkish Airlines refused to let me speak to a supervisor; i was treated horrifically, both by their ground staff and corporate office.
No one knew who the hell to speak to as far as how their own offices, gates, officers etc worked. I was told I would be taken to the Turkish Airlines Lounge where I would have a computer and phone I could use and gather my thoughts and help, no. I was taken from one gate to the next for several hours, then taken in by security and held there for the next several hours. I was then told I had to go to the denied office and I would be assisted there, to which no assistance was available. They literally said when I asked if they knew who I could contact, "there is a phone and computer, google your help." I arrived at 5am, and left the airport that evening at 10:45pm after NO HELP from a single person at Turkish Airlines, it was just easier for them to send me from one person to the next and eventually leave me as is.
I was treated like a damn convicted felon, not a valued customer. Unable to speak the language or them properly converse with me, they gave zero consideration for me and this predicament. When I asked instead of being held here in Turkey if they would fly me back to South Africa then, they said no. I was not allowed to leave. I tried to ask about booking a flight to Germany where my other citizenship is, and they told me they would not let me because my end destination was back in the United States. I am sorry but who the hell do these people think they are?? After finally being able to get money together to afford wifi, I then worked on trying to get accommodation close by, after being in the airport for a day and half, coffee shop for a day/night as I had no where to go and then finally find accommodation. I was left stranded for a week in Turkey, A WEEK with not knowing anyone there, not to mention thats a week of UNPAID "leave", where I was trying to work with the US Senate and them conversing with the Turkish Ambassador on getting me home. Finally when gathering my paperwork, Turkish airlines then refused to even honor the ticket they denied me entrance on, so I had to rush and find an extra $600, post $575 I had already paid to get an interview with the Embassy, and accommodation costs, as a part-time student, they simply emailed me with the audacity of speaking to me like an incompetent person.
I am VERY sorry Turkish Airlines but, even though the flight experience was decent, with edible food, drink and entertainment, the manner in which you treat your customers is beyond appalling. I will never again fly your airline and I promise I will make sure that every network I am a part of and contacts I have, will know to never step foot on one of your planes in the future.
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