The saga of Turkish Airlines 

We’re home! 28 hours later than originally booked but we’re home. It’s been a long and not very easy journey with Turkish Airlines… Let me explain. 

We booked our flights months in advance. There is a stop over in Istanbul both on the way there and the way back but it’s not a long one compared to other companies so we book it and all is well. Until the emails begin. First our flight to Istanbul is changed then it’s the return leg that’s changed then it’s the first flight again… And again… And again up until the week before we’re due to leave. 

I understand that flights sometimes have to change but when your getting weekly emails to change times it gets a bit excessive. The day before we fly to Japan we don’t know what time our flight leaves as it says one thing on our e-ticket, two different times on the schedule and if you search for the flight itself it doesn’t exist. 


After a couple of hours getting nowhere on the computer and multiple phone calls all with different answers we finally get checked in. But only to the first leg of our journey, the Istanbul > Narita flight, we need to do that in person. Maybe in Istanbul maybe in Edinburgh, in fact not at all as we don’t need a boarding pass apparently… no one can really tell us and the information were getting just doesn’t add up. 

We get there though, luckily the lady in Edinburgh who checks us in is super helpful and gets it all sorted. As it turns out none of the information we were given over the phone was right. Hardly a shock. 

Now for the return leg. Our original flight gave us a 3 hour stop over, after multiple changes we then end up with a 28 hour stop over with the choice of leaving Japan a day early (already paid for the hotel and travel for the day by this point) or refund the ticket leaving us stranded in Istanbul. Neither are idea but we take the hit and stick with the 28 hour stop over. We’ll take it as a free day in Istanbul and we’ll make the most of it that way… We’re trying to be positive about it after all. 

Well that was the plan until we check in at Narita. Once again we can only check in for the first flight, not the second. Not only that but we have to collect or bags and check in again 2 hours before our flight. We haven’t planned for this, this is the first we’ve heard of this (again shock horror the call centre didn’t give us correct information again) and with the best will in the world there is no way we can carry all our luggage round for the day so we’ll be buying a visa for Turkey at £40 between us purely to sit in the airport with our bags. 


Queue another very helpful lady in Narita who changes our flight to the next day (so we don’t have to pick up our bags and everything can be checked in for at once) and puts us in a hotel. We get another day in Tokyo but it’s in the airport. Compared to Istanbul airport though I know which one I would rather spend the day in. We’ve got the currency already, we know where we can get vegan food, the wifi actually works… It makes sense to stay put. We both wish this had been an option when we first questioned things as we could of made a lot better use of the day but that would of been helpful and… Well… The call centre seem to have gone out of their way to be zero help and giving us wrong information every step of the way. 

Anyway. We get on our first flight home, the big 12 hour one and guess what? Dispite confirming it on check in at Narita that we booked the vegan meal… No meal. We’re not the only ones either, the guy in front of us is missing his vegetarian meal, people behind us are also missing their meals. 


We make it in the end though and we’re glad to be home so we don’t have to deal with them again. I totally get that they have been voted best European airline for a reason as they clearly are doing something right but the experience we’ve had is like crap bingo… If they had lost our bags we would of got a full house. 

What’s your experience with airlines? Who do you recommend and who do you avoid? 

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. I try to always always fly British Airways or KLM, extra legroom and free snacks, yo. I’d NEVER fly Monarch again. I unfortunately can’t comment on the ability to get vegan (or even vegetarian) food though, as I was gladly eating allll the animals last time I flew.

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    1. That’s good to know, yea now you mention it monarch brings back bad memories too.

      If an airline doesn’t offer vegan food it’s not the end of the world as I can take my own. I took food on the way there just in case but stupidly trusted it on the way back so didn’t have anything. Lesson learned always pack snacks.

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      1. Unfortunately it’s better to pack something than to take the chance, I guess. Budget airlines like monarch or Ryanair are always a bit crap, they’re the ones that are like cattle cars with no space and they make you pay extra for everything. I did a 10 hour flight home from India with BA and it was alright, we got fed regularly and had movies to watch and a reasonable amount of space.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Battles says:

    I’m not vegan or vegegtarian or allergic to anything, I’m just really fussy which is probably worst of all.
    I always take a packed lunch for any travel more than an hour, even in a car or on a bike.
    I don’t travel for work anymore but when I did I would accept almost any inconvenient timings or dates to go Lufthansa. They were amazing.
    They wake you up with tea and toast at the equivalent of brekko time in your destination to get you onto local time as soon as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ugh, this is a less than fun end to your Japanese adventure! I always fly with BA, Finnair, or Virgin Atlantic and I’ve never experienced problems with long delays, multiple changes to flight times, or anyone forgetting my meal.

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    1. Last time we flew with Virgin and they were great, only problem was that it was from London not Edinburgh. Given the saga with this I’ll be happy to go to London next time

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