Turkish hosed me

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Old Jun 13, 19, 1:44 am
  #1  
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Turkish hosed me

I booked a one way for my wife and myself from MLE to CMB using Avianca points. After Avianca confirmed the booking. I called Turkish to make sure they received the booking and so we could assign seats. Turkishís call center gave us our confirm number and assigned us seats.
When we got to Male today a Turkish rep greeted us and said that they would not honor the tickets because they donít fly passengers on that route. The agent basically told me that I was SOL and that I had to buy a walk up fare on another airlines. She didnít care that her own call center issued us a confirm number and seat assignments with no mention of not flying passengers on that route.
Many advice from the forum on recourse?
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Old Jun 13, 19, 2:31 am
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Was an e-ticket actually issued? Not the 6 alpha PNR code, but a 13 digit e-ticket?

I note that TK flies almost daily MLE-CMB on TK730, including today (13 Jun). https://www.flightradar24.com/data/flights/tk730/

Given you are ‘stranded in paradise’, you may need to use your travel insurance if you cannot resolve this with TK and are stuck.

Good luck...
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Old Jun 13, 19, 2:42 am
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This looks to be Avianca's fault, not TK. When you book the flight in the GDS there is a clear message underneath the flight:
"SEE RTSVC - TRAFFIC RESTRICTION EXISTS"

When you then check the flight info you get a clarification:
"INTL ONLINE CONNECTING OR STOPOVR TRAFFIC ONLY"

So it was likely the AV agent not noticing these restrictions. You can check yourself that this flight indeed isn't bookable as a standalone flight online. So to say that TK "hosed" you seems misleading.
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Old Jun 13, 19, 3:04 am
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Suspect both airlines are going to point the finger at each other here. Avianca should never have issued the ticket, but Turkish should have found a way to block redemption on the route without an international connection
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Old Jun 13, 19, 3:29 am
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Originally Posted by ajeleonard View Post
Suspect both airlines are going to point the finger at each other here. Avianca should never have issued the ticket, but Turkish should have found a way to block redemption on the route without an international connection
Quite clearly the company that issued the ticket is in the wrong. You may not may not recall that Lifemiles got into big trouble for issuing cabotage award tickets between the US and Guam via Taiwan and South Korea on non-US carriers.

Turkish were quite correct in denying boarding on the day - they could have been fined or worse. Avianca needs to sort out the mess, and claiming that TK should have known better might be true, but ultimately is irrelevant at this stage.
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Old Jun 13, 19, 6:02 am
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This is a failure by the ticketing carrier, e.g. AV. Even then, OP has not advised as to whether an e-ticket, rather than a reservation, was ever issued.

This is not a customer service, but a legal prohibition. Thus, TK was prohibited from carrying OP on the route and thus it rightfully did not transport him. OP's anger is misdirected.

Hopefully a mod will move this to AV/
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Old Jun 13, 19, 6:46 am
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Thanks for the input and insights. We got on a Korean flight to CMB and just landed. I will most likely sort all of this out when I return to the states. I will say that we were issued 13 digit e ticket numbers along with a Turkish confirmation number and seat assignments from Turkish Airlines. I spoke to a Turkish agent for 15 minutes after the redemption booking and they had plenty of opportunity to let me know I was holding an invalid ticket.
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Old Jun 13, 19, 7:33 am
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Nonetheless, this is the ticketing carrier's issue as it: 1. Has your money (miles) and 2. Issued the ticket in violation of fare rules which implement the route restrictions.
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Old Jun 13, 19, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by Los_Pepes View Post
I spoke to a Turkish agent for 15 minutes after the redemption booking and they had plenty of opportunity to let me know I was holding an invalid ticket.
There is little reason for somebody in a call centre to have the depth of knowledge and experience to know every single rule. Especially when there are so many valid 5th freedom flights operated every day.

Quite a few frequent flyers participating in this thread are only aware thanks to @Gnopps pulling up the fare rules...
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Old Jun 13, 19, 7:51 am
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TK does not have the rights to carry passengers from MLE to CMB ( vice-versa ) so it's the problem of who issued the ticket.
I guess we need to wait for the OP's answer to Thai-Kiwi's question.
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Old Jun 13, 19, 7:55 am
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To clarify some misconceptions in this thread:
  • The fare does not prohibit @Los_Pepes from travelling. The fare was an award fare constructed for this ticket based on AV's award pricing. It was not a TK-fare per se. What prohibited travelling was the rules of the flight itself.
  • The restriction for travelling, as @Often1 points out, was likely lack of legal rights for TK to transport the passenger.
  • Whether or not a ticket was issued is irrelevant as far as transporting the passenger goes, due to the point above. (though there may be a possibility no ticket was issued and that is why TK denied transport, although that seems unlikely).
  • If I remember correctly from when I worked in the industry, a saved flight doesn't show that warning (though I may be wrong). So I don't think TK had to point out that you were travelling incorrectly, as that would require them to check the flight details thoroughly and if you're only calling to request a seat or meal for example then there would be no reason for them to look closer at the pnr. That said, an experienced agent might have recognised the error based on personal knowledge of the flight rules.
  • As @ajeleonard mentions, TK could simply block award-space on this flight. But what then about the people who actually travel within the rules (i.e. travel on a stopover with TK)?

My personal opinion of this is that TK could have discovered the error, but the fault still lies with AV. @Los_Pepes can not be blamed for not knowing about this flight's restrictions but AV should have the proper checks in place.
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Old Jun 13, 19, 10:31 am
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Originally Posted by Los_Pepes View Post
Thanks for the input and insights. We got on a Korean flight to CMB and just landed. I will most likely sort all of this out when I return to the states. I will say that we were issued 13 digit e ticket numbers along with a Turkish confirmation number and seat assignments from Turkish Airlines. I spoke to a Turkish agent for 15 minutes after the redemption booking and they had plenty of opportunity to let me know I was holding an invalid ticket.
Hopefully you have either (1) travel insurance to cover or (2) a recent large purchase with Avianca or Turkish so that you can get your credit card company involved with a charge dispute. (Some may call this a chargeback). If you spend a lot of $$$ with say Amex, they may go to bat in a serious way. Some may insist and argue over which airline is to blame, and insist that you only go after them. IMO, shoot them all, let AMEX sort out who pays the bill. If avianca is facing a chargeback of $1000, 2000, it may motivate them to go after Turkish.

GL
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Old Jun 13, 19, 2:16 pm
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TK does not have 5th freedom with Sri Lanka and hence cannot take any passengers from MLE to CMB or visa versa. They would obviously be fined by Sri Lanka if they had carried any passengers from MLE to CMB.
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Old Jun 18, 19, 5:42 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Nonetheless, this is the ticketing carrier's issue as it: 1. Has your money (miles) and 2. Issued the ticket in violation of fare rules which implement the route restrictions.
TK showed ample negligence and incompetence in this. It's not the passenger's job to sort their traffic restrictions post-purchase.

No idea where the OP is based but my experience in dragging airlines to the small claims courts/mediation (thank you EC261) is that the operating carrier makes for the much better target than an abstract loyalty program.

TK was the one that caused the late hiccup and did not endorse the OP. If based in Europe, send them two warning letters, then it's off to the SCC. The experience is truly worth it.

I do it for petty amounts these days.
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Old Jun 18, 19, 5:54 am
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When suing, it's always a good idea to sue the actual responsible party, not whoever you believe should be responsible...

By your logic, you should sue Apple when you buy a counterfeit or stolen/locked Iphone on Ebay...
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