Travel

Anyone flown Turkish/Ethiopian?

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  • Oct 24th, 2018 11:48 am
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[OP]
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Jun 15, 2015
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Mississauga, ON

Anyone flown Turkish/Ethiopian?

My sister is moving to Dubai and trying to plan a trip there right after Christmas/over NYE with family.

Basically the options I'm finding at the best rates (business class) are both Star Alliance partners:
- Turkish Airlines
- Ethiopian Airlines

I haven't been to Turkey in a few years (last time was on a cruise) I have family members who have hesitations about flying via Istanbul. Haven't flown Turkish Airlines but see they are using the 777.

Ethiopian reviews seem okay- looks like a Dreamliner and a minimal connection via ADD. A few of us have been to Africa so no hesitations there but again some mixed reviews.

One member of our group found crazy cheap flights with Saudia Airlines (as in $2600 in business class flying via Jeddah). I know they don't serve alcohol which isn't a huge deal to us- the reviews though are horrible and given my relationship with Star Alliance I rather stay with them.

If anyone has direct experience with one or more of these airlines/this route please let me know. I have to coordinate this with 10 family members who are driving me crazy with different opinions.
16 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 3, 2009
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I've flown Turkish from KUL to IST in business class. It was a nice flight. Fully flat bed, good food, and a good lounge in Istanbul. Generally speaking Turkish keeps a warmer cabin temperature. Some like this and others don't.

Istanbul airport is easy to navigate and I would not be hesitant about connecting in the airport.
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Oct 2, 2006
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I have flown with Turkish Airlines but on economy and not on this particular route. My experience with them were only domestic (Istanbul - Izmir and Kayseri - Istanbul), but my impression of them was that it was a good airline. No different to Air Canada, except that it was really cheap. Looking at my confirmation emails from back in 2014, both fares were under CAD$25 (booked only a day or two before the flight) and it included free baggage allowance of 15kg. Not bad for domestic economy, although not sure if it's still the same today.

I've never flown with Ethiopian Airlines, so I can't comment on that.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 15, 2006
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Flown TK in both economy and business. Nice airline. Very nice business class lounge in IST, considered the best by most people.

Would not hesitate to fly TK again. Also if redeeming aeropeso for reward flights, TK is good in they don't have scamcharges.
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Feb 19, 2010
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I will reiterate the positive feedback for Turkish. Flew Business from YUL-IST. The lounge in IST is spectacular. Didn't find the Business Class seats to have as much pitch and width as some of the other *Alliance airlines but the price was definitely right without all the 'carrier surcharges' that come with AC.
[OP]
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Jun 15, 2015
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Thanks all! I appreciate the personal feedback.

My parents / aunts / uncles are all older so it's mostly about having a comfortable flight and being able to sleep (not too concerned about service / food quality). So it looks like Turkish would work.
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Jul 7, 2017
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BrunetteGirl wrote: My parents / aunts / uncles are all older so it's mostly about having a comfortable flight and being able to sleep (not too concerned about service / food quality). So it looks like Turkish would work.
The longest flight to the 1st destination and time of departure from origin are considerations.

e.g. I'd prefer an initial flight from eastern Canada to the eastern edge of Europe (e.g.., IST) over western Europe (e.g., LHR/LON) as it gives more time to sleep. Likewise, I prefer a flight from origin that leaves mid evening so that I can sleep at normal (for me) bed time. There are a few flights from the west coast that used to leave as early as 2p wich means getting to Europe to start the day at midnight time of departure.
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Feb 14, 2009
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With Turkish -- TLV-IST-DUB -- absolutely normal flights in economy.
Good food. clean planes, IST airport -- transition zone -- big modern convenient terminal.
[OP]
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Jun 15, 2015
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Interesting- so if I price YYZ-IST-DXB as one ticket it's approx $1600 more then YYZ-IST and then IST-DXB in economy. IST-DXB is a quick hop anyways.

I know upon arrival at YYZ I can most likely get the gate agent to check the bags right through. If I book the intinerary this way should I get a visa just incase the bags aren't checked right through? I know you can get a visa upon landing but wondering if it saves time (if any) to already have a visa in hand. Haven't flown to Turkey only been on a cruise before.
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Feb 25, 2007
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Turkish on long-haul business class is very good in the air, and they have an outstanding lounge in IST. The fares are good.
Turkish on short-haul, without their premium long-haul business class, is OK but not memorable. So make sure to check what planes operate on the routes you are planning to take.

Turkish can be shambles in terms of on the ground admin. Of 3 long-haul trips with them, the first generated consternation on the ground when I wanted to add my Aeroplan number, which was mysteriously absent. Four people flurrying around, not sure what to do. Miles did not post, required 2 followups with Aeroplan since the first time TK told Aeroplan I wasn't on the flight. Fine, not a biggie. 2nd trip, there was something wrong with the "travel coupon" on my (completely unremarkable) reservation leaving IST. In spite of it being their hub, TK was unable to deal with it in the lounge or international transit area, and I had to re-enter Turkey and deal with it landside, then re-enter the secure zone. Third time no problems, but a colleague of mine who used them for a trip had some trouble as well.

I've only been on Ethiopian once. Business class, but very old plane, not flat bed, mysterious delays, shambolic service, half-unfrozen food. It's possible that this was an exception or that they've improved, but it was sufficiently memorably bad that I've avoided them since. A different colleague has told me her trip with them more recently was uneventfully OK.
Newbie
Dec 31, 2017
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We used Ethiopian airlines to fly to South Africa from Toronto. We were happy with the service. It was a Dreamliner and 777. On our journey back they put us up in a hotel as the wait for connecting flight was about 16 hours.
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Nov 13, 2010
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Go with Emirates (direct flight to Dubai) or somewhere close.
Why fly to Africa and then back.....that's like 2 different continents.....I'd rather fly to the SAME continent if it involves a connection.
[OP]
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apnayloags wrote: Go with Emirates (direct flight to Dubai) or somewhere close.
Why fly to Africa and then back.....that's like 2 different continents.....I'd rather fly to the SAME continent if it involves a connection.
Trying to stick with Star Alliance as I get a better rate (AC has direct but not on my dates which has to be a Dec 26 departure). The best rate I was quoted for Emirates in business (and it's a net fare) $7100 pp incl taxes.

Given the Star Alliance thing & the closest connection city it was ADD (Ethiopian) or Instanbul.
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Apr 24, 2003
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I've flown Turkish Airlines from Toronto->Istanbul->Dubai and it was awesome.

Service was excellent and the food was good (relatively speaking). I'd consider them up there with Cathay Pacific.
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Direct non-stop flights almost always, especially in premium classes, incur a hefty premium solely for the time factor.

Look at flights to say, London or Frankfurt non-stop versus itineraries via other airports.
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[OP]
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Jun 15, 2015
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Mississauga, ON
thriftshopper wrote: Direct non-stop flights almost always, especially in premium classes, incur a hefty premium solely for the time factor.

Look at flights to say, London or Frankfurt non-stop versus itineraries via other airports.
Can't find anything decent with Star Alliance on those routes (that would justify the connection time in Europe).

Since there's 10 of us with all different plans for Christmas (can't leave until after Christmas) we are considering flying to Italy first and spend time with family and then flying to Dubai (it's just shy of 6 hours). Almost everyone with exclusion of my husband and I are flexible and have time to spare before or after. Such a headache but we'll see.
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Dec 3, 2006
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My experience with Turkish Airlines was no good. Flew in Sept 2018 from Vancouver to Istanbul with a stopover in San Francisco. Lost one of 2 pieces of our luggage going. Eventually found it and didn't get to us until 4 days into our trip. We had to buy toiletries, etc and they agreed to reimburse us just over $100USD. Over a month later and I'm still waiting to get reimbursed. Their customer service line is unhelpful and just keeps saying that they are working on it and that they will send another request to expedite the process. This is after I called them a couple times a week to get an update. To this day, I have still not been paid.

On the flight back to Vancouver, the plane had mechanical issues in Istanbul. Everyone had boarded and they later took us all off and we had to wait for another plane. Because of this delay we missed our connecting flight to Vancouver in LA. No agents in LA to rebook our flight so we had to do it ourselves. We landed at 9pm but there wasn't a flight back to Vancouver until 7am the next day. Ended up sleeping in LA airport because we couldn't get a hold of anyone to confirm we could book a hotel. We called the airline customer service and they just kept saying they will get back to us in an hour. By midnight we were fed up and just slept at the airport. I continued complaining and eventually they agreed to compensate us 600 euros per person. Again, I have yet to see that money materialize. I am still trying to get money from them but they don't respond and keep making excuses.

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