Turkey’s woman volleyball team reacts against 13-hour economy flight, double standards

Turkey’s famous national women's volleyball team players reacted against flying to the U.S. in economy class for 13 hours and double standards imposed upon the team despite consecutive successes.

Several players from the team share their discomfort with the travel on their social media accounts.

Duvar English

Turkey’s National Women's Volleyball Team players on May 26 reacted on their social media accounts against flying in economy class on a 13-hour journey to the USA.

Ebrar Karakurt, Zehra Güneş, Hande Baladın, Eda Erdem, Simge Aköz, and Aslı Kalaç shared the photos they took from inside the aircraft as a story on Instagram and voiced their criticism. 

Famous player Karakurt reacted to the double standard applied to the team by writing, "Continue to allocate private planes for other teams, economy when it comes to us.”

Social media users shared photographs of the private jet used by the national men’s football team that has not achieved any significant success in recent years while the women's volleyball team has been receiving consecutive wins.

Güneş also showed his reaction to Turkish Airlines with an Instagram story saying, "At least you allocated a corridor seat.” 

"Find our teammates in the photo," team captain Erdem wrote in her post sharing the crowded aircraft seats.

After the players’ posts went viral on social media, Turkish Airlines Press Counsellor Yahya Üstün made a statement.

"Taking into account our annual flight capacity, specific flight planning is made at the beginning of the year for all the federations we sponsor, as our brand is one of the strongest sectoral supporters of sports and athletes both nationally and globally. The responsibility for all the details of the ticketing processes carried out within this scope belongs to the respective federations and is provided by their officials,” Üstün noted.

The Turkish Volleyball Federation, on the other hand, stated that the airlines’ statement did not reflect the truth.

"Our federation is not permitted to purchase Business Class tickets due to the regulations it adheres to. Before the mentioned trip to the USA, on May 17, 2024, the travel list of our delegation was shared with Turkish Airlines both in writing and verbally, and support was specifically requested for cabin upgrades," the federation said.

The federation noted that airlines had informed them that they had the right to upgrade the cabin for 20 people within one year, based on the aircraft availability.

"No cabin upgrade was made on the flight in question, and contrary to the statements made by Turkish Airlines officials, our flight list was shared with Turkish Airlines officials on May 17, as confirmed by e-mails. It is not possible to accept the statements made contrary to the truth,” the volleyball federation underscored. 

This was not the first time the champion volleyball players have been subjected to such treatment. 

Turkey’s national women's volleyball team, who achieved one of the country’s greatest sports successes by becoming European Champions, on Sep. 7, 2023 traveled to Japan for the 2023 Paris Olympics qualifiers by with connecting flight in the economy class.