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 Priyanka says no to Turkish airlines

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Posted on 01-22-14 6:22 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Midnight Rants by Priyanka Neupane


Dealing with jet lags can seriously be a pain. Especially when you travel back and forth from one side of the world to another in less than a month. Having said that, unfortunately this rant is not about some sort of petty issue like jet lag. This time my rant is about something bigger; something that left me with a mixed feeling of disappointment, anger, patheticity, helplessness, and the list goes on. So here goes my rant about a really bad experience that I had to go through when I traveled home and back flying through Turkish Airlines. 
Going back home in three and half years, you can only imagine how high the excitement level can be. Even the sulky flight attendants, the sucky aircraft with no TV screen, terrible food, unannounced delay at the airport, having to buy water at ridiculously expensive price, to name a few problems were all overlooked. Thanks to that overwhelmingly longing desire to be back home and be in the arms of loved ones. Everything was tolerable or tolerated somehow you can say!
The problem however was coming back to the United States from Nepal. The flight gets delayed everyday by about 4 hours at least at the airport in Nepal. Due to this reason, all these people travelling from Nepal are bound to get stuck at some International Airport in Turkey for about 23 hrs plus/minus, depending on how lucky or unlucky you get. It has been happening for over a month and the worst part is Turkish Airlines is doing nothing to fix this. 
If they know for sure that all the passengers in that flight are going to miss the connecting flight from Istanbul due to only an hour long transit, why don't they change the flight time in the first place? Its not the story of a day or two that you can simply blame the weather on and overlook. It has been happening for more than a freaking month. What the hell are these airlines people thinking?
The real problem starts at the TAV Istanbul Airport (I looked it up, just too irresistible to not mention the name!). Apparently, its an International Airport with the arrivals of flights from different corners of the world being announced in every two minutes or so. The irony however is that nobody understands English. I honestly found just one person in that whole airport who could fluently communicate with me in English. Not trying to offend anyone, but if its an International Airport, you would expect the workers to at least be able to communicate in a universal language spoken!
We were a bunch of Nepalese people trying to figure out where to go since people working at the airport were just sending us from one desk to another. All we could figure out was that since we had Nepalese passport, we wouldn't be issued even a one-day long visa to go stay at the hotel outside. The in-airport hotel was "already full". If you bear Nepalese passport, their attitude towards you just changes.
The thing that bothered me was even if something sour had happened in the past due to some foolish Nepalese people, how can you punish the 30-40 group of people who get stuck at the airport on a daily basis just because they share the same nationality? Is there some sort of beef going on between Turkey and Nepal? Even if there is how could those people working at the airport be so biased and inhuman?
Everybody else either got the outside-airport or in-airpoirt hotels besides Nepalese passengers. Even without a good place to stay for another 23 hours, we had no idea where were we supposed to go. Some of us were told to go to Passport check point, some were told to go to security, some were told to go to food court. We were so tired making rounds and rounds at the same place with no success of finding a reliable information. If you ask where the food court is, nobody understands you. They just walk away like you just don't exist for them.
Finally after arguing for long, we figured out the way to food court. Even getting food vouchers from the airlines help desk was like fighting some serious war. Even with boarding passes from their airlines, they would say you didn't fly with them and expect you to just smile and say thank you and pay for the god damn overpriced and sucky tasting food. Thanks to the gesture of kindness and unity that runs in our Nepalese blood, we all got together and gave them a good fight. If nothing we at least managed to get food vouchers from them. 
At the food court, it sucks for you if you're a vegetarian like me. They'll ask you to pick between two options, both non-vegetarian. If you eat meat you are good, if you don't; well sucks for you! They don't give a flying frack and expect you to still pick one of the two. I'm glad I am not one of those people who gives up easy, so I fought for my vegetarian meal. Then finding a place to sleep was another trouble. Even with empty couches in the rest area, they still send you back asking you to look for a bench to sleep on. After a good argument, we managed to convince them that at 2 am in the morning, no one is going to complain that the couches meant for watching TV are occupied by some tired passengers trying to get few hours of rest.
Looking back, I am surprised how we all managed to survive all that and come back all intact. One lesson is learnt though, if you are some introvert, who can't fight for yourself, better pack lunch, dinner, sleeping bags and whatsoever possible, if you are flying with Turkish Airlines. Even the introverts had reached their breaking point and had started speaking up! The service was that bad! People at the airport were honestly so rude that they were acting as if it was our own fault that we missed the flight and they were doing us a freaking huge favor by answering our questions. Most of them wouldn't answer anyway!
This trip made me realize how inhuman and emotionless some people can be. You're supposed to help these innocent group of people stuck at your airport. These people that your country has asked not to be issued visa because of which they are stuck inside an airport for over 23 hours. All they are asking is for you to be co operative a bit and help them out as much as you can. Instead, how can you just show your "behind" to them and just walk away? How does your inner self allow you to be that stone-hearted?
I wish I could publish this in some Turkish National newspaper; translated in their language of course! Not because I want to intimidate them or to be famous, but to let them know how badly their people are treating everyone else at the airport. Even those non-Nepalese people who managed to get hotels were still complaining about the service, so it was not only Nepalese people. The most saddening part though is how some people are treated so low just because they come from a certain country. Even if there is some beef going on between Turkey and Nepal, why would they punish these innocent travelers by treating them like a piece of shite? I've heard the same story from everyone flying with Turkish Airlines on a daily basis. 
So this is not just a rant but a request to all Nepalese people to completely avoid Turkish Airlines. Please think about how your fellow citizens are being mistreated there; it could also be you someday! Its not even that cheap tickets I tell you. If you save about $300-$400 more, you could fly with so much respect and dignity, so why would you pick Turkish Airlines? I'd never felt so much worthless in my life before. I know you only understand the depth of emotions once you go though them yourself but please take these words and do not bother putting yourself in that situation. Its not worth it at all trust me. So please people, spread the word and say no to Trukish Airlines! Lets bring this disrespect based on nationality to an end!

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Posted on 01-22-14 4:00 PM     [Snapshot: 762]     Reply [Subscribe]
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हावा नलागिकन पात हल्लिदैन I There seems something bad about Turkish Airlines though I do not have personal experience. However, this is not time to criticize Turkish Airlines. Japanese do not have to go through such bad experiences because they have direct flight from US to Japan. I hope you guys understood what I meant to say.
Posted on 01-22-14 6:07 PM     [Snapshot: 936]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Turkey to Europe is what Bihar is to India.

And you can't just expect them to welcome you and treat you like a VIP just because you're going home after years.
At the end you get what you pay for. Cheap ticket cheap experience...

Posted on 01-22-14 7:56 PM     [Snapshot: 1049]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I don't doubt any word that the blogger states, but I think about another aspect of this story.

10 years back when I used to fly, I didn't notice much of a difference in how people in the airport treated Nepali and others. There weren't many Nepalese flying around to begin with. Now, almost every hub that connects Nepal to other destinations (Turkey, Abu Dhabi etc) has at least a dozen or more Nepalese roaming around as travellers and sometimes workers. With the increase in foreign employment the increase in Nepali travellers was inevitable. But what could have been controlled is how we are viewed internationally.

Am I saying Nepali foreign employment workers are to blame? No! Absolutely not!! If a person is discriminating based upon your looks and clothes, then the blame goes to that person. But at times I have seen my fellow Nepalese not act very civilized in the airports. When a gate is announced, we run like the airplane will leave without us, sometimes we even push others to get ahead.

I still don't think they are to blame however. Most of them come from villages where the definition of civilization is different for better or for worse. We are not trained in the manners that foreign civilization is used to. Most of them don't mean bad but it appears a little uncivilized. Our government makes tonnes of money from these workers, it's one of our biggest source of foreign income. Why don't we invest some money on training them not just about skills but also on what to expect and how to act/behave while in foreign soil. This will not only help improve our image but will help the foreign workers immensely as well.

Ofcourse, there still will be people who will continue judging us condascendingly. Those hubs should be avoided.
Posted on 01-22-14 8:05 PM     [Snapshot: 1051]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Thanks for sharing your experience
Posted on 01-22-14 9:30 PM     [Snapshot: 1236]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Ok. Cancelled my reservation. :)
Posted on 01-23-14 1:40 PM     [Snapshot: 1587]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Can anyone share their experience with Jet airways?

From newark, nj > brussells > mumbai > ktm.

I found a ticket for $950 and my other option is which i have used i past with no problem is etihad or gulf air which is going to cost me about $1400 on the date i chose.

I will be saving about $400 if i choose jet airways. In past people have told me to avoid traveling via india but it seems to me people exaggerate a bit in many cases and sometimes stuff are just hear say.

Thanks in advance.
Posted on 01-23-14 2:41 PM     [Snapshot: 1641]     Reply [Subscribe]
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The things mentioned in above blog is not exaggeration. That actually happened to me along with other several fellow nepalese on board.
Posted on 01-23-14 3:20 PM     [Snapshot: 1696]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Jet airways is good. Even indian airports are good. They will try to get you but if you are strong enough to raise your voice there is nothing to worry about.
Posted on 01-23-14 7:03 PM     [Snapshot: 1838]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Jet Airways serves you an Indian meal and has a wide selection of Bollywood music and movies. My experiences of flying with them were quite good.
Posted on 01-24-14 6:30 AM     [Snapshot: 2097]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I heard long back that traveling through India, requires you to collect luggage at Indian airport and check in back again for flight to KTM, not sure if that is still the case or specific to certain airline.
Posted on 01-24-14 8:00 AM     [Snapshot: 2111]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I had some bad experiences as well, a young lady sitting at the customer service did NOT look at me when I asked her twice about the Hotel Desk. She was playing with her IPhone, no rest area as other airports, small food court and BAD EXPERIENCE at Burger King which took me about 30-45 minutes to get a sandwich. Beside those experiences, I planned for the flight, avoided an hour connecting flight and got VISA for Hotel stay. We went outside, Istanbul city for dinner and rested well at the hotel before next flight. Everybody knows that it will be a long flight, so be prepared and planned well, not just buy a cheap ticket and take a flight. Ask the travel agent everything when you buy a ticket. Why people fight for $5-$8 meal ? which will give you EXTRA tension and increase your BP. As other Sajha member mentioned on the other Kurakani, he fought for the meal as well then he realized which wasn’t worth it. Isn’t about a money but how you could handle the situation. Everybody wants a better service and good experience but it’s not going to happen with the Turkish flight.
Posted on 01-24-14 8:36 AM     [Snapshot: 2163]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Tutepani, how'd you get a visa? From what I heard, Nepali citizens are ineligible to apply for one at the airport.

I made an inquiry about applying for it from Kathmandu and decided against applying for it. A one-day visa didn't seem worth the hassle of sending my passport and other docs over to India.
Posted on 01-24-14 10:53 AM     [Snapshot: 2246]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Someone paraphrase in bullets (only facts not her emotions) related to the real issue. I got lost in translation. Thanks in advance.
Posted on 01-24-14 11:41 AM     [Snapshot: 2274]     Reply [Subscribe]
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We took flight sometime in October last year and had different issue with Turkish Airlines flight. We also do not want to recommend taking Turkish Airlines flight not just to Nepal but anywhere in the world. Before the flight we looked online and searched customer complaints. It became true after we took the flight. We had following issues:
1. Flight got delayed at JFK for more than hour and half. Some of here may noticed that it was late nite (11:50 PM) flight. You had delayed hours to it and you imagine how would you feel when you have a child flying with you.
2. Food server was very bad. We had special meal for my son and It was not served even though we asked for it during the flight. During the return flight, my son was hungry and we asked for food for him instead provided nut mixed cake only and my son did not eat instead slept with hungry...
3. Not enough place to rest at Turkey Airport. I stand most of the time looking terminal for the flight.
4. Goods at transit is expensive. It is comparative to what we pay in store at USA.

Posted on 01-24-14 11:56 AM     [Snapshot: 2291]     Reply [Subscribe]
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5. And it was snowing in North Pole.

Posted on 01-24-14 12:59 PM     [Snapshot: 2332]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Thanks guys for ur input! :)
Posted on 01-24-14 3:23 PM     [Snapshot: 2434]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I got visa, $20 online being US citizen, my wife, a green card holder went to the Turkish Embassy, Washington DC which took a week to get it, $60 on her Nepalese passport.
One more option if you're in Kathmandu, go to the Turkish Consulate for Visa for Non US citizen.
US citizen can get visa at the port of entry.
Last edited: 24-Jan-14 03:26 PM

Posted on 01-24-14 3:28 PM     [Snapshot: 2439]     Reply [Subscribe]
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going through gulf air?? when did they resume service? they had shutdown kathmandu service in 2012.
Posted on 01-25-14 10:26 AM     [Snapshot: 2701]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Question to all those that've flown out from TIA on Turkish Airlines -

Was your return flight delayed? (Noticed that my return flight's scheduled to depart at 8 am)

RnNY, I don't see the logic in blaming Turkish Airlines for Istanbul Airport's inadequate facilities along with your delayed flight at JFK. However, I do agree that Istanbul Airport is a rip-off. I mean, 180 Euros for a bottle of BlueLabel whiskey? Give me a break!
Posted on 01-25-14 12:32 PM     [Snapshot: 2738]     Reply [Subscribe]
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@Pirka: I have traveled through many airlines and different routes and have found Jet Airways to be one of the best airlines I have had experience with! I haven't done the route you mentioned - just did some legs of the flight to Kathmandu - but next time I am going to Nepal, I am interested in taking that route, entirely with Jet Airways and back.

To begin with, their service is fabulous! Young energetic flight and land crew willing to help, courteous and professional. The food selection is wide and they serve good food. In Flight entertainment is great, with variety of selections to choose from depending on your preference. Also, the aircraft is new and clean. You get all the help from the land crew at airports if needed - most of all, they respond to your questions or concerns if any right away. Since this is a private airline, their emphasis has been on customer satisfaction. On the other hand, all of this is very limited or non-existent in Air India, their competition or also European/American carriers.

Also, if you're a member of American Airlines Advantage Program (and now United as well), the mileage used with Jet Airways is applied with American as well since they code share.

They have a large economy lounge at Brussels, their Europe hub with comfortable seats, ample space, food selection, and hourly-pay rest or shower areas. Go enjoy your trip!

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