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Turkish Airlines--any recent experience?

New York City, New...
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Turkish Airlines--any recent experience?

Hi everyone,

The question about the day room before a late night flight has prompted me to ask if anyone here has experience with that awfully-timed Turkish Air flight into and out of JRO. Currently, the price for Turkish is about half of the KLM fare for late December, to and from NY. For a family of five, that means about a $10,000 difference! We are out of frequent flyer miles, so have to deal with paying for this one, on top of the safari during the peak holiday season. So, can anyone share how it was coming into JRO at 2:45 am, and leaving at 3:45 (with a brief stop in Mombasa on the way back)?

Thanks!

Bencia Africa
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New Hampshire
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1. Re: Turkish Airlines--any recent experience?

It's really not that bad. I took that flight in July, and our driver was waiting at JRO when we got in. Our flight out of JRO was scheduled for 1:10 am, but we actually didn't leave until about 4:30 am. We slept in the airport for a couple of hours. We were told that this was normal because flights were not going into Mombasa at night and we had to wait for daylight. Had we known in advance, we would not have gone to the airport at 11 pm. It was still worth the price over KLM. And with five of you ... it's a no-brainer.

2. Re: Turkish Airlines--any recent experience?

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midwest
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3. Re: Turkish Airlines--any recent experience?

We chose Turkish too as it was a big savings for our upcoming July/August safari to the southern parks. When we looked at times, it was really a toss up. Turkish also has the benefit for us of short layovers of 2 hours or so. If we flew Qatar, Ethiopian or other flights, we would have had to leave from home in the middle of the night. With Turkish, we leave in the late afternoon to go to the airport and arrive DAR at 2:30 am. So it was either leave in the middle of the night or arrive in the middle of the night. For the savings of about $2000 for the two of us, it made the decision easier for us.

Hopefully, all will work out.

Littleton, Colorado
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4. Re: Turkish Airlines--any recent experience?

Get a room at KIA Lodge for the night (morning) you arrive and just do it. With 5 of you and that price difference, I agree with jriessle that it's a no-brainer. I was scheduled on an EA flight that was scheduled to get in at 2:45 a.m. and I was prepared to arrive that early in the morning.

Austin, Texas
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5. Re: Turkish Airlines--any recent experience?

Emma,

I'm not sure what you wish to know when you ask -

"So, can anyone share how it was coming into JRO at 2:45 am, and leaving at 3:45 (with a brief stop in Mombasa on the way back)?"

My experience of flying Turkish in Oct 2013 is not very recent. But FWIW, I arranged pick-up and drop-off at JRO with my lodgings independent of the other inclusive airport pickup/drop-off by the TO. After getting picked up from JRO and resting for a few hours, I went for a 5+ hour hike at around 9:30A on the first day and after finishing my safari on the last evening, eating my dinner and sleeping for a few hours, I caught my return flight from JRO without a hitch. So the arrival and departure in the middle of the night at JRO did not limit me in any way.

I was a solo traveller and the next best fare I could get was about $700 more (in non-popular safari season). Turkish had the best timings for my routing (shortest total flight time with layovers) that allowed me to squeeze max usage out of my limited vacation time in TZ instead of wasting it at intervening airports. TK also allows 2 free check-in bags, if you need that. Food was quite nice, service way better than anything I've experienced in recent years and no baggage was lost, delayed or damaged en route. All flights departed and arrived at the (modified) schedule times that I knew of in advance.

Mercer Island...
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6. Re: Turkish Airlines--any recent experience?

jriessle did you encounter any mosquitoes at the airport while waiting that long?

We are also taking Turkish ( used miles so didn't have that much choice)

My husband is on a flight that gets in at 2am and we don't arrive until 7am ( long story, airline messed up my husband's ticket and we had to take whatever was open for him) We asked our TO if it is safe to wait at JRO until we arrived and they said be prepared for lots of mosquitoes. They have asked KIA Lodge and my husband is going to take the $5 shuttle to KIA and wait for us at the KIA lobby and come back to the airport and meet us and then our TO will pick all of us up together and take us to Arusha.

Santa Claus, Indiana
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7. Re: Turkish Airlines--any recent experience?

I flew Turkish Airlines from Chicago to JRO last month. It is a difficult trip, mostly because of the time enroute, but the arrival time is inconvenient to say the least. The airline is arguably the best in Europe and that helps some.

The return flight is even less timely but if I were flying into JRO again, I would use Turkish Airlines.

Honolulu, Hawaii
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8. Re: Turkish Airlines--any recent experience?

Is it possible to spend time in Istanbul or other European cities when flying with Turkish Air.

I was thinking spending a few days in Turkey one way and somewhere else coming back, possible?

Austin, Texas
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9. Re: Turkish Airlines--any recent experience?

Aloha,

Stopping over in IST one time is definitely possible on Turkish but stopping in a European city between the US and TZ while flying Turkish may not be practical, if at all such a routing could be called a stopover.

For example, suppose you wish to fly JFK-JRO-JFK and wish to stop over in London (Heathrow) on the outbound JFK-JRO leg. I don't believe it can be done on Turkish in a straight(ish) line path. That is, you can't do JFK-LHR, stop, then LHR-JRO because Turkish does not fly from JFK to LHR. The routing you may get is

JFK-IST/IST-LHR-(stopover)-LHR-IST/IST-JRO

IMO, that'a lot of wasted time, backtracking and unnecessary flying in a mathematically challenged way (i.e. disregarding "the shortest path between 2 points is a straight line between them" aspect in a ridiculously ignorant manner :)). I don't know if Turkish has a codeshare partner that would allow you to avoid such zig-zagging. We are forced to zigzag sometimes on domestic US flights because of the hub-and-spoke setup of most airlines here. I was once using miles on Delta Airlines and they brought me from Vegas to Austin via Minneapolis. Not the best airline choice for the LAS-AUS route. The same may apply if you try to get a "stopover" in Europe using Turkish. AFAIK, Turkish flies non-stop both ways between IST and US airports (i.e., no halts in Europe en route).

However, you may be able to accomplish the desired by booking your ticket on a travel website (Expedia, Orbitz,...) as opposed to an airline website (Turkish, KLM,...). I have done that many times to get me the best routing possible, sometimes at cheaper fares than what the involved airline(s) had to offer. The airlines websites do not show you options on other airlines (incl. partner airlines unless they are codeshare partners). Travel websites do not care who is bosom buddies with whom. If they can put together an itinerary from the database of flight segments available to them, they do it. For example, even though United and Turkish are each other's partner airlines and both are Star Alliance members, they are not codeshare partners. You cannot book an AUS-JRO-AUS itinerary on either United website or Turkish website though between them, they can cover the entire route nicely in several ways. But you can accomplish the same via the travel websites that may give you the itinerary using United and Turkish flight combo! Similarly, I have flown United in one direction and American Airlines in the other on a roundtrip tkt booked on a travel website even though American and United have nothing to do with each other. Got half the trip miles on one and half on the other. When you mix and match airlines, you will need to pay attention to the baggage rules etc. if they are different (whose rules would apply?), esp. for international flights. But it's not all that hard to do.

So, if you wish to do JFK-LHR-(stopover)-LHR-JRO/JRO-IST-(stopover)-IST-JFK, choose the Multi-City option on a travel website and enter each desired starting and stopping point with the desired departure dates for each flight, e.g.,

Flt 1: JFK-LHR

Flt 2: LHR-JRO

Flt 3: JRO-IST

Flt 4: IST-JFK

I doubt that you will get the full routing on any single airline but you may get several legs on Turkish.

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: Turkish Airlines--any recent experience?

Mine is not so recent, I flew solo, NY to Nairobi, with a stopover in Istanbul about 18 months ago. The service was good, in fact far superior to my previous flight to NY on United Airlines, and the times didn't bother me at all. I would certainly fly Turkish again. And by all means stop over in Istanbul if you can, I spent two wonderful days there on my way home, and had a marvellous time, The people are friendly and helpful, and there is so much to see, and it's very easy to get around. If you do go try to stay in the Old City, I was very happy with Noah's Ark Hotel, which is a small, place close to some of Istanbul's main attractions like the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome. I hope to go back to Istanbul this coming July, and to see more of Turkey.