Ignored by Service Rep Viewing Cell Phone

September 4, 2015

in Airport Stories

On August 7th, 2015, I traveled with Turkish Airlines on Flight TK 1764 from Helsinki to Istanbul for my onward journey to Lahore on Flight TK 0714. I had a stopover of 22 hours at Istanbul. How I got this long layover, I could not exactly figure out. I initially intended to take another flight and thought that I had booked it. When I made the payment and got the e-ticket, I saw that I got the flight mentioned above. I still considered that I must have made a mistake while booking, and so I accepted the ticket with a long layover with two considerations:

  1. I had a similar long layover with some friends at Istanbul Airport a couple of years back and it was a good experience,
  2. I thought about going out to the city and visit some places.

I boarded the flight from Helsinki-Vantaa and the cabin crew was excellent with happy and charming smiles and good quality service. Their hospitality toward passengers was quite above the mark. The flight was on schedule and we landed in Istanbul safely and smoothly. When I disembarked from the plane, there was a guy from Turkish Airlines standing and guiding people after checking their onward boarding passes.

The story started to turn for the worse when I entered the international terminal. It was not a new place for me as I have been there a couple of times before. I start looking for an information point. I spotted a counter with a Turkish Airlines logo and in big letters the words “CARE POINT.” I immediately walked to the counter and spotted a lady and a gentleman sitting at the counter.

At exactly 22:35 on 07-08-2015, I was standing in front of the gentleman at the counter. He had his head down and was looking at a mobile phone that was placed on the desk and connected to a charger. I waited for a moment and then said, “Excuse me sir…” and received no response. The gentleman stayed in the same position and kept looking at the cell phone.

After a while I again said, “Excuse me sir…” for a second time and still NO RESPONSE. The gentleman kept looking at his mobile phone and ignored my “Excuse me.” Anyway, I became persistent and for a third time uttered, “Excuse me sir” and “Lord sir,” but he paid no attention to me and kept watching his cell phone screen which was not showing anything interesting.

Now I got irritated and again said, “Excuse me sir” in a slightly more audible voice. Listening to my plea for the fourth time, he might have assessed that I am kind of persistent and would not leave the counter. He turned his head up in a way that a king would look to a subject or an arrogant person would look at some street beggar. Without speaking a single word he raised his eye brows in a gesture as if to ask, “Why am I repeatedly calling him?” I said to him, “Officer, I have a long layover and would like to know if Turkish Airlines offered any facilities to passengers.”

He snapped back, “What facility! What facility! What facility!” three times, each time with more anger. I said a facility like a hotel, etc.

He again said, “What facility! What facility!” and started to pretend that he didn’t understand the word “facility.” I spelled the word “F A C I L I T Y.” His answer was to go out and find a hotel to the left or to the right. He said it in such a way to show that I should get lost or otherwise he might attack me. The lady sitting next to him was looking at him in a somewhat amazed way; don’t know it was due to his behavior or she was not expecting such persistent behavior from a passenger. I told him that I was not impressed with his service; he replied, “Hummmmmm.” I then left the counter.

Later I spotted a police guy, stopped him and asked if there was any place at the terminal where I could complain about the behavior of a Turkish Airlines staff member. He pointed toward the same “Care Point” counter; I said that’s the guy I wanted to complain about. The policeman then just shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

I took a seat in the food court and started analyzing the incident. I finally concluded that the employee of Turkish Airlines must be a very dissatisfied one. Over the last twenty years of traveling around the world I have never come across such a person. I thought he must be deliberately doing this on purpose to damage the reputation of the company; otherwise even an average employee could not think of displaying such an attitude while dealing with a customer.

I thank Allah that I have not purchased the return ticket. Now at least I have an opportunity to try to get another airline ticket on my way back to Finland. I regret the time when I voted for Turkish Airlines, but still have prayers and good luck wishes for them.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Traveler1 December 31, 2015 at 10:56 am

I had such an awful time at Istanbul Airport, but a very nice flight on Turkish Airlines. I wanted the help of an employee who was similarly ignoring me. Absolutely disgusting service there so I'm inclined to believe this story. Don't even bother with the authorities, they're ghastly.


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