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The other day I happened to be booked on Turkish Airlines flight TK 1808 from LYS to Istanbul, with a connection to the far east.

It appears that TA cancelled the flight.

It's true there was some rain in Istanbul.

However, a number of people have asserted that TK rather often "economically cancels" flights. So, if there are only a few people on a flight and they have another shuttle later, they cancel one "because of weather" or for "technical reasons."

This could be a completely untrue rumour, but going back 20 years in the US, industry people would say this happened, i.e. with frequent shuttle routes and the like.

Note that the online history link above only shows a couple weeks so I can't really judge.

  1. is this evil rumour about TK true?

  2. in general (I'm thinking more here in Europe) is this sort of thing common? Or perhaps in other regions?

  3. is there any other good way to check if a flight you are thinking of using to link to a hub, "tends to get cancelled"?

  • 2
    If the airline's website says the flight isn't canceled and the check-in kiosk/desk doesn't say it's canceled and the airline's people on the phone don't know it's canceled, then who is claiming it's canceled and why are you believing them over the airline? – Henning Makholm Feb 23 '15 at 11:53
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    Hi Henning. Sorry, I have no idea what you are talking about? As I explained (someone felt the need to edit the post, talk to them) at first their www system for checkin incorrectly did not "realise" it was cancelled; ditto the two employees I spoke to that evening. In the early morning when I was screaming at them a supervisor explained that (a) their checkin system often does not "realise" a flight is cancelled and (b) ditto on the employees. It was indeed cancelled. – Fattie Feb 24 '15 at 3:55
  • You can check tk 1808 flight status realtime on this page. I think all airlines have delay and canceled flights each day. flightpedia.org/flight-status/tk1808.html – Bui Tonny Jul 12 '17 at 9:21
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I think those two cancellations are just isolated instances. I have found another website which logs the LYS-IST route and in a span of about a month, those are the only cancellations shown.

Airportia - TK1808/THY1808 - LYS to IST Flight History

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    @JoeBlow Funny enough, your question has made me think about the potential cost-benefit of such cancellations. I might try and do a little side project with this. Good luck with your own review! – Kamran Feb 24 '15 at 6:17
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    This page might be helpful, THY has a history of flight cancellations. – Nean Der Thal Feb 24 '15 at 9:04
  • MeNoTalk - that is fantastic information, thank you! – Fattie Feb 24 '15 at 15:21
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Flights get cancelled for a variety of reasons, but cancelling simply due to insufficent passengers is not a common one. Every plane has multiple uses during the day and cancelling flight A means the plane is not in position for flight B or flight C. It also means flight crews are no longer in the right place.

Weather cancellations can come from upline, it is not only the weather where you are leaving from or going to, it could be the weather where the plane was coming from before your flight.

Why their website didn't reflect the cancellation is anyone's guess, perhaps poor website functionality, perhaps a cached copy on your computer, perhaps a lazy webmaster ...

Rumor mongers love to champion their message, but other than shuttle flights were one plane goes back and forth all day long between a city pair, cancellations of single flights for economic reasons are rarely seen.

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    Actually, low-cost carriers tend to cancel because of low load (once happened to me, and the airline did actually bluntly stated economic reasons). However, they are allowed to do so if the cancellation happens a long enough period of time in advance (in my case, ~2 months before the flight), and typically offer an alternative flight at a different time at no additional charge. – DCTLib Feb 23 '15 at 12:54
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    DCTLib - did they cancel your specific day's flight or did they drop the flight from their schedule? Lots of airlines change their itineraries for economic reasons, but that is not the issue at hand. We are discussing a single flight on a single day being cancelled, not a general schedule change. – user13044 Feb 23 '15 at 13:56
  • @Tom: No, just that flight on that day. There were three non-stop flights for that route by the airline on that day, one in the morning, one at lunch time, and one in the afternoon. They only cancelled the lunchtime flight, allowing the confirmed passengers to pick one of the other flights (also any flight departing +- a couple of days, I think). – DCTLib Feb 23 '15 at 14:52
  • Australian carriers will drop underbooked flights on quite late notice as well, even up to the day before. In their case, however, almost all flights are along a number of very well-frequented routes so they will automatically just book you on to another flight on the same day - usually +/- three hours from your original departure. – dlanod Feb 23 '15 at 20:50
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    ? Kamran and MeNoTalk have provided fantastically useful information on the question "is TK a carrier that frequently cancels economically?". Thanks again Kamran and MeNoTalk! – Fattie Feb 24 '15 at 15:22

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