Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Never book cheap flights!

I almost always travel to and from the UK with Turkish Airlines.  They are reliable and the service is good, but they are a bit more expensive.  The other disadvantage is that all flights go via Istanbul, so there's always a wait at Ataturk airport before the connecting flight.

When I was in the UK in April/May I had to cancel my original flight which was to return to Izmir, and re-book a flight to Bodrum as Mr Ayak had moved house whilst I was away.  It was more economical to book a return flight, so the return journey is the one I will make on Sunday.  I planned to stay for two weeks so needed a return flight for around the 8th November.  In July a friend told me about a cheap one way from Gatwick to Bodrum with Thomas Cook so I booked and paid for it.

Last Friday I received an email from them telling me the flight was cancelled and if I wanted a refund would I telephone them.  I emailed back to say that I had no intention of incurring costs by phoning England, so as they had cancelled they should phone me.  This seemed to prove difficult for them to comprehend, as they just continued to send me emails asking me to ring them.

To cut a long story short...I started to get angry and several emails later, I eventually received a phone call from them, gave them my card details for them to credit my account with the refund.  The girl on the other end of the line then informs me that...ooops she had debited the amount...not credited it.  But she reassured me that she had put through another transaction for twice the amount. bank account now shows the debit but not the credit.  More emails later, including one confirming MY cancellation of the flight, and several auto-replies telling me that my query would be dealt with in order of departure date (errr...what departure date?)...I finally received an email 10 minutes ago at last apologising and reassuring me that a credit transaction had now been made.  Oh...and they will give me 30 pounds compensation if I would like to telephone them to implement it!  So I have just replied I will not be telephoning...please just send me a cheque.

I've managed to re-book a flight with good old Turkish Airlines...and I'll stick with them in future.

Do you think I might be done for libel if I say I wouldn't advise anyone to book anything with Thomas Cook?  Oh well never mind...I'll take a chance on it.


  1. Ouch what a hassle! Well Turkish Airlines is now classified as a world class airline Ayak. I have only heard positive things about them. So Thomas Cook can stick it in the future.

    I suppose Heathrow is closer to your final destination.

  2. Amag: Yes Heathrow is easiest for me..well for my brother really as he always does my airport runs.

    Maggie: Well I'm just being honest!

  3. I bet the air was turning bluer and bluer with each successive email. Thank goodness they came to their senses in the end. Boo to Thomas Cook.

    Have you got broadband?

  4. Recipes...hmmm maybe?!

    FF: Yes the air was pretty blue.

    Have I got broadband? Well I don't know..I never really understand all the internet jargon. I just know I have a wireless connection. Sorry I'm just a pc numpty.

  5. It's always better to stick to what you know and trust.

  6. Turkish Airlines has always been reliable and safe. They always hired ex military pilots to fly their planes. Also, tho it's been almost 20 years since I was told this, At that time Turkish Airlines had a very high percentage of female pilots who had made the transition from military to commercial pilot.

    When we flew TA a lot back in the early 90's I remember it as more of a "no frills" airline, with a healthy box lunch that always included a piece of fresh fruit!

    Glad for your excellent "heads up" on the "special deals" flights! I think a blog is an excellent way to share experiences and certainly you give the positives as well as the negatives!

  7. Gael: Yes a lesson learned.

    truestarr: They've come a long way since the box lunches...which I also remember. The menus now are excellent.


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