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UA and TK Tickets...TK changing flight times....ugh

UA and TK Tickets...TK changing flight times....ugh

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Old Feb 19, 19, 8:15 pm
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UA and TK Tickets...TK changing flight times....ugh

Not sure if this is the best place to ask for advice - and as a 1k, I am planning on emailing UA - but, here is my story:
Myself and 2 colleagues (I am 1k, my colleagues are silver - I think) recently booked RT Business class seats to Antalya Turkey from the US (dont recall the class - but not cheap).
Basically US-IST on UA016 tickets and then we needed to buy separately (there was no way to combine) IST-Antalya round trip on TK stock (also business)
....flights around end of march

Outbound everything is Ok
but - we just got emails from TK that the return morning trip from Antalya to IST has just been reschedule to leave 50 minutes later - and now our connection is IST is less than an hour.
... and there are no earlier flights in the day..... I have done this trip several times over the years and has always worked out....
... and even though the flights back from IST (via FRA) are on UA - I think they are on LH metal
... and anyone who has been to IST knows that going from domestic to international in less than an hour is impossible

probably need to reschedule the return legs - but not sure what the options are... and if there are fees, why should we be responsible when we didnt change the flights?

-advice?

thanks

-michael
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Old Feb 19, 19, 8:40 pm
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Originally Posted by mfirst View Post
... and if there are fees, why should we be responsible when we didnt change the flights? ,,,
Separate tickets, the schedule risk falls 100% on you.

If you can not change the TK flight to an earlier flight or come in the night before, than you will need to change your UA/LH flights. You will need to see what the options are (just do a dummy booking to check) and call to change -- you will be subject to a change fee (varies based on ticket rules -- figure at least $300-$400 and fare change for the new ticket -- could be nothing, could be substantial.

Note if you change now before outbound, you will be potential hit with fare changes in the outbound leg also. If you wait until you have flown the outbound, then only the return refares but changing close in may have even higher fare change. A lot depends on the ticket rules and available fare class. Impossible to give a definitive answer in the abstract. A good agent could help provide information,
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 19, 19 at 8:58 pm Reason: cleaned-up phrasing
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Old Feb 19, 19, 8:49 pm
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I think you have to take it up with TK since they changed the schedule. Good luck with that.

I'm surprised you haven't run into issues before, especially flying around March. Somehow TK seems to be late in recognising DST time changes every year and rejiggers their schedules near the change to fit it in.

As far as the rest of the contingency thinking, WineCountryUA hit most of it. Perhaps your best angle is requesting a day earlier from Anatalya to Istanbul, and spend a day in Istanbul. If that doesn't work, you're on the hook for UA's change fee, although if you plead your case strategically it might be waived.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 9:28 pm
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Would need more specifics on your original and new departure times as well as your LH connection in IST. UA's change fees are often quite high depending on the ticket you have, but they could easily be $300 a person plus any fare difference if you have a discounted fare that's no longer available. Let's assume the best at $300 a person, still it's very likely much cheaper just to throw away the TK AYT-IST ticket and buy a new one for another airline earlier in the morning or a TK or other airline ticket the night before. This is assuming you can't get TK to reschedule you for free the night before based on your original ticket.

TK, 8Q (Onur), and KK (Atlas Global) all operate this route. I know KK operated a business cabin if you want to sit up front, I don't believe 8Q does. I've flown KK domestic before and they are just as good as TK.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 9:52 pm
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March. Istanbul. Multiple tickets.

I suspect you have no idea how bad an idea that will turn out to be...

The "long awaited" move to the new Istanbul airport is currently schedule to occur - you guess it - in March. Probably at the start of March but I'd expect there still be to flow-on issues well into the month. As a result, I'd suggest allowing a LOT of buffer between tickets to avoid any issues. If there's a way to avoid IST entirely that'd probably be a good idea too, especially if you can't get things on a single ticket.

Unfortunately IROPS is not an area that TK shines, even when the problem is caused themselves. Trying to get any level of flexibility from them around a multiple ticket situation just isn't their thing...
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Old Feb 19, 19, 9:57 pm
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Originally Posted by fumje View Post
Somehow TK seems to be late in recognising DST time changes every year and rejiggers their schedules near the change to fit it in.
At least some of this falls to the government. In 2016 they decided to not end daylight savings time and stay on summer time all year - with about 1 months notice from when daylight savings was due to end, which obviously caused all sorts of issues with scheduled.

Then in 2017 they announced they would revert back to non-summer time in 2018, only to reverse the decision a few months later. Then finally a few months ago they announced (again) they are going to stay on summer time for good. Which probably means we've got until next year until they'll change their minds again...
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Old Feb 19, 19, 11:08 pm
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I suspect an overnight in the best hotel in IST will still be cheaper than changing your UA ticket. You should be able to get TK to change your ticket for free due to the schedule change.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 7:47 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Separate tickets, the schedule risk falls 100% on you.
Exactly.

Even with the original flight schedules, it was going to be a risky trip on separate tickets. If the domestic flight arriving 50 minutes later gives the OP less than an hour between flights at IST, what was the original time between flights? 1:45? 1:30?

What if TK kept the original flight times for the Antalya-Istanbul flight, but moved it to the new Istanbul airport? Then the OP would be really screwed since he’d have to make it over to the old airport for the LH flight.

The choices made by the OP sound like a terrible idea from the start.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:09 am
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Risky, yes, but I think calling the OP's itinerary a "terrible idea" would be a gross exaggeration. Three reasons:

- It looks like o/w flights between AYT and IST are relatively inexpensive ($30-50!) if TK will not allow for a free change. Even business class is $103 but I think I'd be fine in Y for a 90 minute flight.

- OP said the AYT-IST flights could not be added onto the TATL segments. I've had a bunch of situations where adding on a domestic/short-haul leg onto an intercontinental itinerary would cost significantly more than buying the short-haul segment separately.

- I've generally found most non-US carriers to be slightly more accommodating when it comes to making changes so maybe the OP can get a free change

Originally Posted by GFrye View Post
The choices made by the OP sound like a terrible idea from the start.


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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:16 am
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Originally Posted by 764toHI View Post
- OP said the AYT-IST flights could not be added onto the TATL segments
Possibly because it would be below the MCT.
The OP hasn't told us the original time between flights at IST, but we know that it was less than 1:50 since the 50 minute rescheduling caused the time between flights to be "less than an hour."
The MCT from domestic to international is 1:30. If the original time between flights was less than 1:30, that explains why he couldn't add the IST-AYT segments to the TATL itinerary.
If the OP booked separate tickets in order to circumvent the MCT, I think we can all agree that it would be a terrible idea. Even if the time between flights was slightly above the MCT, few people would be willing to take that risk once they realize the potential cost of changing the TATL itinerary in case the domestic flight gets delayed, cancelled, or moved to a different airport.

- I've generally found most non-US carriers to be slightly more accommodating when it comes to making changes so maybe the OP can get a free change
It's a UA ticket, so he'd have to make the change through UA. Doesn't matter if it's a codeshare on LH since he would need to change the whole return trip and he hasn't started it yet. Until the OP starts his return trip, UA is handling the ticket.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 20, 19 at 10:13 am Reason: Discuss the issues, not the poster(s)
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:38 am
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- OP bought two tickets, the TATL on UA stock, and the domestic on TK. He/she should be changing the domestic TK flight. Changing the inbound TATL itinerary would be bad advice given the likelihood of exorbitant change fees as others have suggested.

Originally Posted by GFrye View Post
It's a UA ticket, so he'd have to make the change through UA. Doesn't matter if it's a codeshare on LH since he would need to change the whole return trip and he hasn't started it yet. Until the OP starts his return trip, UA is handling the ticket.
- I'm going to guess the OP was originally booked on a 3:30am-5:00am AYT-IST flight connecting to the IST-FRA flight departing at 7:55am. Around the last week of March, it looks like TK pushes departure to 5:40am, arriving IST at 7am. I've never connected in IST, and it sounds like a madhouse, but I would feel comfortable with a ~3hr layover on separate tickets in the morning.

Originally Posted by GFrye View Post
Possibly because it would be below the MCT.
The OP hasn't told us the original time between flights at IST, but we know that it was less than 1:50 since the 50 minute rescheduling caused the time between flights to be "less than an hour."
The MCT from domestic to international is 1:30. If the original time between flights was less than 1:30, that explains why he couldn't add the IST-AYT segments to the TATL itinerary.
If the OP booked separate tickets in order to circumvent the MCT, I think we can all agree that it would be a terrible idea. Even if the time between flights was slightly above the MCT, few people would be willing to take that risk once they realize the potential cost of changing the TATL itinerary in case the domestic flight gets delayed, cancelled, or moved to a different airport.
- Seems like the OP is not fully aware of the consequences of booking two separate tickets and the new IST airport which is expected to be fully operational by the end of Q1. But in this case, I can see what the OP's intentions were given how cheap AYT-IST flights are. OP will have to take his poison and lose $100 for the new flight and hotel room, but I'd hardly call that a catastrophe.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 20, 19 at 10:14 am Reason: removed quote of deleted material
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by 764toHI View Post
- I'm going to guess the OP was originally booked on a 3:30am-5:00am AYT-IST flight connecting to the IST-FRA flight departing at 7:55am. Around the last week of March, it looks like TK pushes departure to 5:40am, arriving IST at 7am. I've never connected in IST, and it sounds like a madhouse, but I would feel comfortable with a ~3hr layover on separate tickets in the morning.
Except that he never had ~3 hrs.
"the return morning trip from Antalya to IST has just been reschedule to leave 50 minutes later - and now our connection is IST is less than an hour."

He originally had less than 1:50 to self-connect at IST. It may very well have been below the MCT (1:30).

OP will have to take his poison and lose $100 for the new flight and hotel room, but I'd hardly call that a catastrophe.
True. But his complaint about UA or TK not being willing to rebook one or more itineraries for free is still questionable, at best.
From TK's standpoint, it's just a 50-minute schedule change, and that amount of time is unlikely to qualify for a free change. Also, they don't care one bit about their rescheduling impacting travel on separate tickets.
UA doesn't care one bit about TK's schedule change since it's a separate ticket and the OP chose a very short time to self-connect at IST.

Last edited by GFrye; Feb 20, 19 at 9:00 am
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:53 am
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Agreed that the likely inhibitor for OP's original routing was that what he sought falls below MCT at IST. A quick check shows plenty of US-AYT options on UA / LH / TK.

It is worth a call to UA to see whether it will waive the change fee and possible fare difference for the xIST tickets. That chance is substantially improved for OP alone as a 1K. The chances that UA will do this for the other two are less than low, but again, they are free to call.

If, as is likely, UA won't waive anything, then OP will need to re-arrange the inbound to IST. As tickets seem cheap, it may even be better to abandon and cancel what he has rather than trying to change it.

As others note, this is not a connection because it is on separate tickets, so neither UA, nor LH, nor TK are likely to help.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by GFrye View Post
From TK's standpoint, it's just a 50-minute schedule change, and that's unlikely to qualify for a free change.
It looks like TK's schedule change policy is that a one hour change qualifies for a free change (or, for a domestic flight like this, a refund). For 50 minutes, I'd call and ask. The worst that can happen is they'll say no. The odds are much better with TK than they are with UA.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by mfirst View Post
.... I have done this trip several times over the years and has always worked out....

-michael
I used to travel domestically in Turkey on a regular basis and not once was the flight on time. I always came back to IST to overnight before my international departure. Now in fairness it had been five years but TK has never been known for ontime arrivals and departures. The long distance buses however are very reliable.

If it were me planning this schedule I would be planning an overnight at IST (well hotel near IST).
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