Turkish Airlines says sorry for flights mix-up

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Turkish Airlines has apologised to an American couple after they were flown to the wrong city – on different continents – when it mixed up the airport codes.

Sandy Valdiviseo and her husband Triet Vo intended to fly from Los Angeles International airport to Dakar, the capital of Senegal, an African nation, but ended up in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, in Asia.

When they booked their flight via Istanbul, the $2700 tickets issued by the airline showed the itinerary as LAX-IST and then IST-DAC, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The baggage-claim receipts also showed their luggage was bound for DAC.

But DAC is the code for the airport in Dhaka, while the code for Dakar is DKR.

Ms Valdivieso said when the flight attendant said the plane was heading to Dhaka, she believed it was how Dakar was pronounced in a Turkish accent.

It was not until they noticed the flight route map that the error was discovered.

They alerted the airline when they arrived in Bangladesh but claim it was 12 hours before the mistake was acknowledged they were allowed to board a flight to Senegal.

The Americans claim it took four months for Turkish Airlines to compensate them.

"We are very, very sorry that this happened," a Turkish Airlines spokeswoman told Australian newspaper The Age.

“The couple have since been offered two free economy-class tickets to anywhere on the airline's flight network.”

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Posted by: Bilal

To be fair, it is not that difficult to mix Dakar and Dhaka up. Those travelling to the US for the first time may very likely get confused between Santa Ana and San Diego airports or Newark and New York JFK (the latter is a not too uncommon mixup among travellers, at least when booking tickets, if not when boarding)

Posted by: Ponzo

Since Turkish opted to fly the 2 passengers to Dakar and then further compensate them with 2 free economy tickets on their network suggests that the Airline itself was at fault for this fiasco. Were it not so, the airline would not issue a formal apology (as has been done in this case) and would instead tell the customer that they have delivered on their commitments as per the ticket routing purchased.

Posted by: Telcoguy

Yes, it looks like that. It may have perfectly being an honest mistake from a new agent or a temp who got confused when issuing the tickets

This has happened before many times, this time it simply went undetected until too late. Usually this happens with more complex tickets, with multiple stops, but a combination of an inexperienced operator on TA side, some "exotic" destinations that he or she may have entered for first time, and inexperienced travelers could explain this

Honestly anyone who has been flying for a living has seen or experience situations that may have been like this, funny how people who fly maybe once or twice per year think they know what they are talking

Posted by: Non-Muslim

I know of a case of 2 elderly German ladies who booked their flights to Panama City on their own from home using the internet. Luckily, the check-in agents at their origin airport realised that they had booked and got online e-tickets to Panama City, Panama - although the passengers' intended destination was Panamy City, Florida, USA.

Just watch what you are clicking "OK" when doing your online bookings from your living room couch.

Such mis-bookings by those pax-knows-it-all-much-better-than-the-travel-professionals is now everyday business for airlines worldwide. Some airlines realise it at time of check-in (in case you still have humans sitting there, and not the pax doing it online from the same couch they booked their e-tickets), and sometimes you simply end up at DAC instead of DKR.

These pax can deem themselves lucky of TK's reaction offering free tickets as a sign of saying sorry. Imagine this had happend on EK with their famous customer relations department...

Posted by: Hani

Turkish Airlines would not have compansated them if it was not the airline's mistake! Airlines don't just compansate for a claim before investagating the incident.

Posted by: Kazim Muneer

Well, don't you know that these were AMERICANS!! The most ignorant nation in the World!!! May God continue to bless America!

Posted by: Telcoguy

I guess you have never found at an airport checking your ticket to remember where you are flying, or woken up in the middle of a flight not remembering where you are flying to or if flying in or out of the project
I have, and so have lot of people I know. I guess we are not as smart as you are, maybe you can share your secret with us

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