Turkish Airlines says sorry for flights mix-up

Carrier flies American couple to Dhaka, Bangladesh when they intended to travel to Dakar, Senegal

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: 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!

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