Turkish Airlines refuses returns, changes to Italy-bound tickets

Turkish Airlines passengers with tickets to Italy are being refused returns or changes to their itineraries on the grounds that there haven't been any official commands to halt travels to the European nation.

Duvar English

Amid the coronavirus outbreak that has killed 11 and placed 50,000 people under quarantine in Italy, Turkish Airlines refuses returns and exchanges on tickets to the European nation.

While the airline refuses to make changes to tickets as long as flights remain operational, Italy has closed off public spaces including churches and museums and has cancelled numerous events including the Venice Carnival that attracts throngs of tourists.

Turkish Airlines should accept returns or allow a change of destination or date, the chair of the Consumers Union Federation, Mehmet Bülent Deniz, said.

"As a man of the law, I'd say coronavirus is a legitimate reason, especially for those who bought bundles," Deniz said.

One passenger, Vildan Erşen, has a flight scheduled from Istanbul to the northern Italian town of Verona, near the quarantine area. Turkish Airlines refused to make any changes to Erşen's ticket or help her with the situation.

"We were only told about Iran and China, we can't do anything outside of that," Turkish Airlines representatives told Erşen, adding that her ticket would go to waste if she didn't board onto the flight.

'How am I supposed to travel with a baby to a quarantine zone?'

Passenger Sinem Ergül has a ticket to travel to Rome with her 9-month-old baby and husband on Feb. 29, but is concerned about their safety.

"I'm not a lone traveler anymore, I have a baby. How am I supposed to travel with a baby to a quarantine zone?"

On the user review website sikayetvar.com, a user named Selin said she wanted to cancel her Italy vacation bundle and asked for a return.

"We're expected to travel to death knowingly," Selin said.

Another user named Erkan said that his travel agency told him they were unable to cancel the vacation package until the World Health Organization bans entries to the country.