Turkish Airlines

I'm considering flying Turkish AL for J&E next year. I have tickets on Delta/AF but there is a segment that no longer exist s. :o I could cancel those and get a full refund then switch to Turkish now, but would like to wait as long as possible to see if Tauck cancels. I would rather not deal with the hassle of cancelling the Turkish flights too. I would like to be able to monitor business class seat availability.

Unfortunately, from everything I've read, you can't check Turkish seat availability or select a seat until you have booked. Seat selection opportunity and fees depend on seat class- for business class seat selection starts 355 days prior so is open to us now and it is free.

Has anyone flown on Turkish who can verify this or suggest a way to monitor seat availability?


  • edited July 2020

    I flew on Turkish Airlines Business Class to Turkey in 2014 and it was excellent.

    Did have to go to their website for specific seat assignments.

  • I've checked out the airline and aircraft- Turkish has administrative and website issues but offers great flights. What I need to know is if anyone has figured out how to view seat availability before buying a ticket.

  • I didn't do that, Alan. I booked the seats at the time I booked the ticket -- both times using Amex Platinum Travel. I'm getting more skeptical about my March trip happening, so I'll probably find out how difficult it is to cancel. I know that many people on this forum aren't fans of travel agents, but maybe a travel agent could find out what seats are available from time to time. By the way, I usually investigate lots of flight options myself -- that's entertainment for me (sad, I know!) -- and tell the travel agent what flights I would prefer, unless, of course, they or Tauck could get good flights cheaper.

  • Alan - Even pre-Covid, you have a 24 hour cancellation window, so if you can't see seat selection pre-booking, you can always book and then cancel if it doesn't meet your requirements.

  • We generally book with Amex Platinum travel And chose our seats. But when we book for our next tour, Israel and Jordan in April we will book through Tauck., just reduces a lot of hassle when we are likely going to hsve that toir canceled. But we do research on our own first for either way of booking. Amex is excellent at coming up with airlines that we never thought of, like LATAM and Qatar, both great to travel on.

  • edited July 2020

    We generally book with Amex Platinum travel And chose our seats.

    Thank you, British!! :)

    Just out of curiosity, I went to the AMEX website travel section. Guess what? They show Turkish seat maps with availability! I engaged in a chat with an AMEX agent to learn more. She couldn't say if the seat map is up-to-the-minute current or whether I would need to verify or reconfirm my seats with Turkish, but, at least now I can monitor seat availability and hold off switching awhile longer to see if Delta gets our booked flights squared away or Tauck cancels the trip.

    If Tauck cancels after we have switched to Turkish and Turkish doesn't cancel, then we'll be stuck with a voucher. We can use it to re-book for 2022- that is a long way off!! :'(

    The AMEX fare is about $15 more than booking directly with Turkish (less that budget dust.) I don't know if it puts more AMEX between us and Turkish than if we just used our AMEX card to pay and booked directly with Turkish, but it can't hurt. During my chat I learned that your AMEX Platinum has different travel benefits than my Delta branded AMEX Platinum card, however.

  • Alan, just for future information. I checked on the Platinum IAP site and I don’t see Turkish as a participating airline. For participating airlines I generally get a 5-15% discount. AMEX does charge a $39 per ticket fee if you speak to a live agent. Over the last few years I have saved much more in airfare than the ridiculous fee for the AMEX platinum card and their service has been excellent.

  • edited July 2020

    We have had the same good experiences with Amex as Taxare. Up until just a couple of years ago, you could book a business class airfare and get a free companion air fare, but they stopped that and give good discounts instead. They were very helpful when our return flight was suddenly cancelled without us knowing about three days before the end of our Tauck river cruise last year.

  • taxare - Could you post a list a AMEX participating airlines in this 5-15% discount (or provide a link to the information). This could be a reason that I switch my travel credit card. Thanks.

  • taxare - I think I found the AMEX information. Do you agree?

  • edited July 2020

    Turkish Airlines is a member of the United Star Alliance.

    AMEX appears to have a combination of airlines from all three US airline alliances. British Airlines is part of the American OneWorld Alliance, as is Iberia, Qantas, Japan Airlines, LATAM, and Cathay Pacific. Lufthansa is part of the United Star Alliance.

  • I found the following that people might find useful on Airline Alliances.

  • Smiling Sam and Taxare, yes, that is the Amex Platinum site and you get all those benefits. Sam, I think we have talked about this before, please check it out, I think you would benefit once we start traveling again.

  • British - As United and American aren't on that list, can you simply book a codeshare using one of the listed airlines instead?

  • When we booked Qatar air with Amex we got American air miles if that is what you mean.

  • Since we have the Delta/AMEX card, I can book non-Delta flights on the AMEX website, but don't get the 15% discount or other special deals. Once a year, Delta gives us a free companion air fare but only for main cabin flights in the US.

    I saw on the news tonight that United, the #2 US airline, has started major layoffs and I believe further flight reductions?

  • Smiling Sam, there is a thread at Flyer Talk, AMEX credit card, IAP program which gives you some good examples of the savings members have experienced
    BKMD, I know this complicates things, but AMEX has a separate program for American Airlines. It’s usually considered “insider fares”. The savings are available for international and domestic flights. For domestic AA flights the savings are only around 5% but more importantly in a non Covid world you could change your flight date and times without a change fee. I didn’t mean to hijack Alan’s thread (sorry Alan), and I’m not trying to be an advocate for AMEX,they charge a lot of money and are far from perfect.

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