Frustrated, stranded and scared: Thousands of airline passengers at Istanbul airports


Turkish Airlines, a 5-star airline, just this week rewarded many honors, and a member of the Star Alliance, it seems to be an airline unable to handle emergencies. After ordered by no other than the head of State, at 6:00 am Istanbul time, the airline tweeted:

“Turkish Airlines announced by order of Turkish President Erdogan on their operations at Istanbul Airport:

“Upon the call of our President and Commander-In-Chief, HE Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, our operations at Istanbul Atatürk Airport have gone back to normal, and our flights [are] resuming safely. We kindly ask our passengers to check our website for new information.


When eTN checked the Turkish Airlines booking portal, there is no prominent information on the situation in Istanbul and on Turkish Airlines flights. There is information on the recent terror attack at Istanbul Ataturk airport, however.

The airline came to a stand-still overnight, phone calls are going unanswered, media relation phone numbers don’t answer either, and emails are going into cyberspace.

According to information received by eTN readers stranded at Istanbul airports, ten of thousands of stranded airline passengers, business travelers, tourists, and VIPs are walking long hallways, and are tired, frustrated, and scared. This has been the scene and is the picture currently at Istanbul Ataturk International Airport.

One of the passengers tweeted: “Turkish Airlines, you are not telling the truth. Nothing is normal here. There is no responsible person, no guide, no personnel in IST airport.”

Another response: “There’s no Turkish Airlines flight in and out? The announcement Turkish Airlines is resuming operation is total bluff?”

Another frustrated Star Alliance Gold passenger wrote: “Over a thousand people stranded at IST. No information at all. No staff at departures.”

More tweets repeat: “No one has given us any information. So no, it’s not back to normal.”

Dr. Abdalla M Ahmed said: “Turkish Airlines this is highly unprofessional by the way. Leaving us stranded for hours with no one to explain and inform us.

“It’ll take a lot of Skytrax awards to erase the PR disaster Turkish Airlines is having with this situation.”

Passengers trying to find out if they are leaving anywhere keep asking: “Turkish Airlines, at least inform your staff to man their desks so people can ask questions and not panic for many hours on end.”