Warning to all travellers!- Please be aware that Turkish Airlines appears to have closed its Customer Service Office and no longer appears to answer customer enquiries. Before considering a flight with Turkish Airlines, take note that any problems you face are likely to go unanswered.
This is the conclusion Alan Saffery came to when his luggage went missing on a flight at the beginning of July from Dubai to Tbilisi, via Istanbul, with the airline. Upon arrival in Tbilisi, he established that his luggage had not arrived and completed a Property Irregularity Report as is standard practice. The next morning, Alan stayed in his hotel room waiting for the luggage to be delivered. By midday, since he had heard nothing, he called the airport lost luggage office to discover that his luggage had arrived very early the same morning and was waiting for him to pick it up. He had not been called and the representative informed him that it was not going to be delivered to the hotel; unusual given that on every prior occasion his luggage had gone missing, he had been kept informed and the luggage had been delivered to where he had been staying.
Alan’s only option was to take a taxi from the hotel to the airport to pick up the luggage himself. The Turkish Airlines office at the airport was only open just prior to flights departing so he was unable to speak to their staff member at that point. So when it came time to take the return flight on 16th July, he went to the Turkish Airlines ticketing office at the airport and explained the situation to them. They, surprisingly, told him that they did have a luggage delivery service. There was no explanation why, in his case, the luggage was still sitting at the airport. He gave the representative a copy of his property irregularity report and also the original receipt showing the cost of the taxi that he took to retrieve his luggage. The representative took his email address (Alan wrote it himself so he knew that it was recorded correctly) and was promised that someone from the main ticketing office in Tbilisi would contact him concerning reimbursement.
No one contacted him.
Alan sent an email to the Turkish Airline Customer Service Office on 17th September and also copied the email to Dr Ali Genc, Senior Vice President of Media Relations (thinking he should be aware of the poor service in Tbilisi).
Then on 16th October, Alan sent the email again, adding Turkish Airlines Board Members to the message: Mr Hamdi Topçu (Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee), Prof Semal Şanli (Deputy Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee), Dr Temel Kotil (Turkish Airlines CEO), and Orhan Birdal, Mehmet Bűyűkekşi, Dr Turan Erol, İsmail Gerçek, Naci Ağbal, Dr Ateş Vuran, all board members of the airline.
Still no response.
Despite the claim for compensation only being $54, neither the Turkish Airlines office in Tbilisi, international customer service office, media relations senior vice president, CEO or eight members of the board are concerned about the reputation of the airline. Imagine what would have happened if the problem had.
Online customer service.
Turkish Airlines has started an ’Online Customer Service’ at www.turkishairlines.com where passengers can air their views and complaints by clicking on one of the icons for Compliment, Comment and Complaint under the ’SHARE WITH US’ menu on the airline website. Passengers can complete their transactions after filling in the information boxes in the window that comes up for Miles & Miles or Online Services Members. Non-members may fill in a brief form accessed via the new membership link and share their suggestions and complaints with authorized Turkish Airlines’ officials.