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On Monday, 17/07/2017 I was flying from Tbilisi (TBS) to London (LHR) via Istanbul (IST). The transfer in Istanbul was 1:30 - more than enough in my experience, as I've flown this particular combination of flights a number of times.

The flight from Tbilisi left about 15 minutes late - I didn't think much of it - however it arrived about 1:20 late into Istanbul. Then it didn't taxi to the gate but instead we were transferred to the terminal by coach. With security, etc. there was no way I would be able to make the connection to the UK flight in under 10 minutes - so I missed the flight. Unfortunately, that was the last flight of the day and I was stuck in Istanbul overnight. I eventually arrived to London almost 12 hours later than my scheduled flight.

Turkish Airlines did provide hotel accommodation in Istanbul and a transfer to/from the hotel, but that was it. They did not pay for any meals (the argument was that all places that accept their vouchers are closed and won't reopen until after the morning flight leaves) and I had to pay £20 for the visa to exit the airport. I was given the compensation brochure that states the standard EU rules for compensation (i.e. €400 compensation plus hotel, meals, etc.) The brochure also provided info on how to claim such compensation - via their website.

Overall, I spent GBP 20 on the visa, another TRY 25 on some food in Istanbul plus I had to pay GBP 25 in London for late pickup of a car from the parking. I also lost half a day at work - essentially loosing money on that, too.

I submitted the compensation per their instruction, with all details and attaching all receipts. This was on Tuesday, 18/07/2017. I have not heard back. I contacted them again via that same web site on Friday. Again, I still haven't heard back from them.

I read somewhere that the compensation should be paid within 7 days of the claim (I wish I remembered where exactly I saw this), yet 5 days after my claim, I haven't even received an acknowledgement of it. How long normally should this take (ideally from experience with Turkish). Do I need to keep reminding them every few days?

  • In my experience it takes up to months until your claim gets processed. Where have you found that info about 7 days? Also it is not fully clear to me what the question is? Next steps is quite broad and open thing to ask. – mts Jul 22 '17 at 19:54
  • @mts I wish I remembered where I read it. While stuck in Istanbul, I was reading through quite a bit of various documents/web pages/etc. I think one of them had this somewhere. I updated the question relating to "next steps". – Aleks G Jul 22 '17 at 19:59
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    The "7 days" deadline only counts for flights covered under EU rules, which yours is not - flight into EU, by non-EU airline, isn't covered by EU rules. europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/… You are claiming compensation under Turkish rules or Georgian rules. – Moo Jul 22 '17 at 21:10
  • @Moo ah, that may be it. That said, Turkish airlines' compensation information states that "under EU rules... You may be entities to the compensation". Anyway, I'll keep persevering. – Aleks G Jul 22 '17 at 21:36
  • @AleksG operative word there being "may". In this case you aren't entitled to anything under EU rules 😔 – Moo Jul 22 '17 at 21:44
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To close this loop, I am answering my own question.

It's been 6 weeks after submitting the original claim. In this time, I had to chase it once via their website "feedback" section, then via their facebook page, then I had to submit the claim again, because they stated that they never received it (note that I had all submission reference numbers that I always provided to them).

Now, about 3 weeks after the second time I submitted it, I finally got an email confirming partial refund. As expected, they don't refund £400, because the flight is on a non-EU airline and is not originating from the EU. They also do not refund/reimburse for any expenses incurred after reaching the final destination, regardless of whether they were directly incurred as a result of the delay.

Overall, I received airline voucher compensation for the visa and food expenses and the letter states that I can exchange this voucher for cash at any of their sales offices, which I will be doing promptly. The compensation is in Turkish Liras, even though some of my original expenses were in GBP.

So far this leaves me about £25 out of pocket and half a day of (paid) holiday leave at work. I could probably pursue them in small claims court for the remaining costs, however the time I would spend on it would be worth more than the amount I could recover, so I'll leave it it at that.

EDIT: To answer the question that was asked later, yes, I did exchange the vouchers for cash at Heathrow ticket office, as I was planning to.

  • How was Istanbul? Maybe the remaining 25 can be considered as the cost of an unscheduled trip to a new city? Even though it's absolutely yours to claim – Hanky Panky Aug 30 '17 at 15:33
  • @HankyPanky I haven't seen much of it - it was a bus trip through the night city from the airport to a hotel (about 40 minutes), then the same back. All during night. – Aleks G Aug 30 '17 at 15:37
  • Did you manage to cash the check with their sales office? – Thy flight Oct 22 '18 at 18:55
  • How much was the total compensation you've received? – JonathanReez Dec 13 '18 at 8:12
  • @JonathanReez Not much in real terms. It was exactly per receipts for the Turkish visa plus food at the hotel. Something around £30 or so. – Aleks G Dec 13 '18 at 9:13

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