Codeshare flights messed up by Air Canada changing a flight schedule

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Oct 8, 2018
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#1
On 3/30/2018 we bought 2 tickets for a multi-city trip via Turkish Airlines through Expedia (Expedia itinerary number 7xxxxxxxxxxxx, Turkish Air reservation code RMxxxx, Air Canada reservation code PVxxxx) to flight from Cleveland to Istanbul on 9/22, then to Baku on 9/28 and back home on 10/2).
Our problems started as soon as we arrived to Cleveland airport. Our Toronto flight was delayed for over 2 hours leaving us late for Istanbul flight. An Air Canada representative in the check-in counter spent 55 minutes trying to re-route us via Washington, DC (IAD). Finally she gave us the boarding passes to the United flight UA4600 from CLE to IAD and printed our full modified itinerary with the Turkish Air flight TK0008 IAD to IST. She advised us to go to the gates in IAD and get the boarding passes for TK0008 there.
When we went to the gates in IAD, we were told that we were not in the passengers list at all. A Turkish Air representative at the gate spent more than an hour contacting Air Canada in order to fix this situation and get us to the plane. When he was finally able to issue us the boarding passes, our flight boarding process was already close to the end.
When we got to Istanbul, I checked our Turkish Air reservation RM6VMA on-line and found our tickets from IST to GYD did not show up there anymore. I called Turkish Airlines to find out what was going on and was told that our itinerary was changed and it caused this problem. I was advised to call Air Canada to make them fixing the issue they caused when changing the tickets. I spent 2 days on the phone making multiple calls and talking to Air Canada, Expedia and Turkish Airlines trying to get the issue resolved. Finally, on 9/25 I got confirmation e-mails from Expedia and Air Canada that my issue was fixed and our tickets IST to GYD were restored.
On 9/28 we flew from IST to GYD on TK0332. However, right after arriving to Baku we received an e-mail from Expedia about Turkish Airlines cancelling all our returned tickets from Baku to Cleveland on 10/02 (all 3 flights GYD-IST, IST-YYZ, YYZ-CLE). I made multiple calls to both Expedia and Turkish Airlines to understand what was going on. I was told that our returned flights got canceled because of no show-up for Istanbul - Baku flight. I explained several times that we flew to Baku on TK0332 and that I was calling from Baku. I was advised by both Turkish Air and Expedia to go to the Turkish Airline service desk in Baku airport to show our boarding passes to prove we made the TK0332 flight. We took a taxi to go to Baku airport and talked there to a Turkish Air representative Farid (phone +994 12-497-2806). I showed him all our boarding passes including our changed printed itinerary that was given to us in Cleveland after changing our flights. He told us that when the air company processed the schedule change to our flights, it did not process it correctly which ended up with different ticket numbers for the same flight. He was not able to help us even though we presented all boarding passes for all flights and he found us in the system in the list of the flight passengers. He told we needed to fix this issue with Expedia, but Expedia told us we needed to fix it with the airlines. I was on the phone again for 2 days for several hours and still could not get the issue resolved neither with Expedia nor the airlines. Our returned tickets have not been restored by Turkish Airlines.
Finally, on 9/30 I was able to talk to a lady from Expedia Corporate Office and she told me that Expedia could not help me and our only option to fly home was to buy the new returned tickets. We did not have any other choice and had to buy on 9/30 the new one-way tickets from Baku to Cleveland (Turkish Air reservation SCxxxx, Air Canada SKxxxx, Expedia itinerary number 738xxxxxxxxxx) to make sure we can fly back home using the same flights on 10/2/2018 that Turkish Air canceled in our original itinerary.
I at least want to get back the money $1969.08 ($977.51+$977.51+$14.06) we spent buying the return tickets again. I complained to Expedia, Turkish Airlines and Air Canada, but still not sure if I can get this resolved! Never in my wildest nightmares I could imagine this scenario that ruined our vacation for our 30-years anniversary!

Edited by a moderator to remove confirmation numbers.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#2
I'm hoping some of my colleagues have some advice for you ... this is way too complicated for little ol' me. All I can offer is advice for the future, and to other readers: Book complex travel with a real travel agent, one who has experience booking what you are looking for. Doing it yourself these days, especially with an online booking service, is a recipe for disaster.
 
Likes: jsmithw

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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#3
This is why you shouldn’t use an OTA- they fingerpoint at each other.

It sounds like you had separate tickets, not one ticket for all the flights. Is that correct? We need to know that to comment.

Since Expedia booked you, you should have called Expedia to have them rebook you.
 
Oct 8, 2018
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#4
This is why you shouldn’t use an OTA- they fingerpoint at each other.

It sounds like you had separate tickets, not one ticket for all the flights. Is that correct? We need to know that to comment.

Since Expedia booked you, you should have called Expedia to have them rebook you.
I called Expedia, Turkish Airlines, and Air Canada. I even called United because the first flight I got re-routed to was with United. All these 3 air companies are members of Star Alliance and have code share flights. Yet, it looks like they still do not have one reliable network for updating the tickets and contact each other the same way we as customers contact them - simply calling customer service. No company could help me even though I talked to them multiple times. It used to be one ticket for all flights. But as soon as they started to make changes to our itinerary it looked like they issued separate tickets without synchronizing them up between the code shared airlines. Still I expect customer service should have been able to fix the issues once they looked at the situation. Expedia at least was trying to help. Air Canada has the worst customer service I've ever seen anywhere. It's almost non-existent, they put you on hold from the bet for minimum 40 minutes and after that always try to push the blame anywhere else. One of their representative purposely talked very fast not giving me even ability to say a word and did not stop when I tried to tell something. Then she simply hang up after telling that in Air Canada everything looks ok. Turkish Airlines simply told me to resolve it with my travel agency - they did not want to do anything. Even when we came to the Turkish Air counter in Baku and showed a representative all our boarding passes and the original and changed itinerary, he verified we were on the flight they consider no-show, but he still did not want to do anything. After returning home I wrote e-mail complains and sent it to Expedia, Turkish Airlines, and Air Canada. So now I at least have some 'paper-trail'. During our trip there were only multiple calls. Only Expedia so far replied by calling me back and promising to investigate.
Our daughter and her boyfriend who spent with us time in Istanbul and Baku extended their trip by going to Tbilisi (Georgia) after Baku and then coming back to North Carolina. So when their flight to Istanbul was late and they missed their flight to US, Turkish Air were trying to harass them and require to pay 800 euros to get them to the flight on the next day. Now I see that it's not just a simple mistake with the code shared flights but probably the airlines attitude to make customers to pay twice for the airlines delays and errors. For me it's a lesson to avoid flying with Turkish Airlines
 
Oct 8, 2018
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#5
I'm hoping some of my colleagues have some advice for you ... this is way too complicated for little ol' me. All I can offer is advice for the future, and to other readers: Book complex travel with a real travel agent, one who has experience booking what you are looking for. Doing it yourself these days, especially with an online booking service, is a recipe for disaster.
Thanks for your advice, but we live in 21st century and should be able to use internet. I do not have time to search for a good travel agent - no-one from my friends use them and could recommend anyone. I do not believe either that talking to a travel agent would have helped me in this scenario. At least I could call Expedia customer service at any time when I was in 7-8 hours different time zone. I would not be able to do so with a travel agent who does this during working hours!
 
Likes: KWF
Oct 13, 2015
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#6
Thanks for your advice, but we live in 21st century and should be able to use internet. I do not have time to search for a good travel agent - no-one from my friends use them and could recommend anyone. I do not believe either that talking to a travel agent would have helped me in this scenario. At least I could call Expedia customer service at any time when I was in 7-8 hours different time zone. I would not be able to do so with a travel agent who does this during working hours!
This is just a vote for using a travel agent and just to be clear my family has no connection to the travel industry.

We travel a lot and book our own travel most of the time, but still use a travel agent for more complicated trips. They really do add value. We go to Australia regularly and our agent's work lets us "layover" in Hawaii for days on the way to Oz, and adding an extra city in Oz only adds around $7 per plane ticket, things we can't do on our own. And she uses a 24-hour service so we can talk to a live person anytime during trips. One advantage of living in the 21st century is that you don't need to live in the same city. Our travel agent is local but I've only met with her twice in 14 years to drop off payment info.

One thing we've learned over the years is if you DIY, go totally DIY and book directly with the airlines/hotels/etc. You did use a travel agent, just not one that was helpful when problems cropped up. You unfortunately ended up with the worst of both worlds and that sucks and it's a bummer your flights were a mess.
 
Sep 27, 2017
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#7
Thanks for your advice, but we live in 21st century and should be able to use internet. I do not have time to search for a good travel agent - no-one from my friends use them and could recommend anyone. I do not believe either that talking to a travel agent would have helped me in this scenario. At least I could call Expedia customer service at any time when I was in 7-8 hours different time zone. I would not be able to do so with a travel agent who does this during working hours!
You might want to dial this comment back a bit.

FIRST, online agencies are hardly agencies at all, just money changers. You are learning how hard they actually advocate for you when errors occur. These comment threads are full of issues like yours where people have been burned and vacations ruined by them.

SECOND, the people that are on this thread trying to help you -- many of them are VOLUNTEERS who's day job is ::drum roll:: travel agent. They are real brick-and-mortar agents with years, if not decades, of experience, who spend their spare time helping out folks like you and me that get stuck in ruts.
 
Likes: AMA and jsn55

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,875
13,291
113
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www.promalvacations.com
#8
This is just a vote for using a travel agent and just to be clear my family has no connection to the travel industry.

We travel a lot and book our own travel most of the time, but still use a travel agent for more complicated trips. They really do add value. We go to Australia regularly and our agent's work lets us "layover" in Hawaii for days on the way to Oz, and adding an extra city in Oz only adds around $7 per plane ticket, things we can't do on our own. And she uses a 24-hour service so we can talk to a live person anytime during trips. One advantage of living in the 21st century is that you don't need to live in the same city. Our travel agent is local but I've only met with her twice in 14 years to drop off payment info.

One thing we've learned over the years is if you DIY, go totally DIY and book directly with the airlines/hotels/etc. You did use a travel agent, just not one that was helpful when problems cropped up. You unfortunately ended up with the worst of both worlds and that sucks and it's a bummer your flights were a mess.
He did NOT use a travel agency. He used an OTA and got no guidance from a Travel agent. An OTA merely gives you options based on what you input online. You get no advice on whether there are other options that are better. You get back what you input and nothing more. That’s not how a travel advisor works.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,875
13,291
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
Thanks for your advice, but we live in 21st century and should be able to use internet. I do not have time to search for a good travel agent - no-one from my friends use them and could recommend anyone. I do not believe either that talking to a travel agent would have helped me in this scenario. At least I could call Expedia customer service at any time when I was in 7-8 hours different time zone. I would not be able to do so with a travel agent who does this during working hours!
You certainly can use the internet and do it yourself and that’s why you are in the predicament you are in.

A travel agent could have booked everything in one reservation with enough time in between connections that you wouldn’t have had the issues you had.
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#10
Now that the real travel agent discussion has been had, once again, you need to use the company contacts and start writing, one at a time, waiting a week in between each for a response, before continuing up the chain. Since you booked with Expedia, that is who you have to write to.

You have to shorten up your story and use bullet points. I did not get through your first post, it was hard to read, and there were not enough paragraphs. Your letter should read more like the following:
* booked Rt tix on x date from a to b, with layover in c
* flight from a to c delayed, causing us to potentially miss flight c to b.
* called Expedia to get on different route

Also, remember to be polite and know that the person who is reading/ may be helping you is not the one who caused your problem, you want them to want to help you.

In the future, book direct or use a real travel agent. The OTA’s are good for research, not when problems arise.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#11
Thanks for your advice, but we live in 21st century and should be able to use internet. I do not have time to search for a good travel agent - no-one from my friends use them and could recommend anyone. I do not believe either that talking to a travel agent would have helped me in this scenario. At least I could call Expedia customer service at any time when I was in 7-8 hours different time zone. I would not be able to do so with a travel agent who does this during working hours!
A travel agent knows that the members of Star Alliance have different computer systems— Air Canada uses Amadeus, United uses Shares...

Instead of calling Expedia and Turkish, Air Canada, and even United, one call to the travel agent would have handled it.

And yes it is the 21st Century and yes you used the internet and how did that work out for you?

Now I rarely use a travel agency and book directly with the airline so I do not have one extra middle man. Turkish did not sell you tickets so they said deal wih the ones that did.

Expedia was your agent of record and should have fixed this— Expedia makes most of its money from hotel booking commissions not airlines — yes they were sympathetic but did nothing for you.
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
439
531
93
St. Louis
#12
The help desk referred the OP to the forums so our "experts" can provide some advice and suggestions on how to resolve her case and develop a paper trail. This is a complicated case, so here are some things to help you in providing any advice to the OP:

1. All the flights were purchased from Expedia on one ticket, which was Turkish Air ticket stock (235).

2. Air Canada reissued the outbound flights to IST on their stock (014) to accommodate new flights to that destination.

3. There is no documentation to suggest the further flight to GDY (for a week later) or the return was reissued.

With this information, please provide the OP the best course to attempt to resolve this and build a paper trail. dmargolina, if you are unable to resolve this after following their advice, please circle back to the help desk and I'll be happy to review to see if we can assist directly.

NOTE: The continuing debate about OTA vs Travel agents without providing direct assistance to the OP is off-topic and against the forums code of conduct. I've separated some of the responses to this thread.
 
Likes: M42
Sep 19, 2015
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#13
Why I think Expedia should be contacted — first they sold the ticket.

Expedia along with Air Canada sent an email (9/25) saying everything was fixed. after arriving in Baku Expedia sent an email saying all return flights canceled.

OP followed Expedia’s advice and went to airport.

Turkish rep says the people who sold this to you have to fix it (ie under the control of Expedia).

Expedia says sorry cannot do anything; well in my opinion they should have fought to have the ticket restored even if they had to pay for it. Since they assured the OP on 9/25 that all was good— but it clearly wasn’t.
 
Likes: jsn55
Oct 8, 2018
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#15
I did complained to Expedia as soon as we came back. I sent them all our passes 2 times. I also complained to Turkish Airlines and Air Canada, and filled an air flight complaint in U.S. Department of Transportation. So far, I do not have any updates
 
Oct 8, 2018
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#17
I am still not sure how Expedia could help me to get money back, since when I pay for tickets on Expedia the money goes to the airlines company. In this case the money both times were paid to Turkish Air. Besides, Turkish Air canceled our return tickets for a reason of no-show on IST -> GYD flight. So I feel Turkish Air should have helped us when we proved we flied from IST to GYD.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,875
13,291
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#19
I am still not sure how Expedia could help me to get money back, since when I pay for tickets on Expedia the money goes to the airlines company. In this case the money both times were paid to Turkish Air. Besides, Turkish Air canceled our return tickets for a reason of no-show on IST -> GYD flight. So I feel Turkish Air should have helped us when we proved we flied from IST to GYD.
When you book through a travel agency, they are the ones who book the tickets and are responsible for fixing these type of issues. Airlines generally won’t deal with you when you book through an agency- you are supposed to go to the agency for assistance.
You should have called Expedia to rebook you.

You needed to use our company contacts and appeal to Expedia as your booking agency. We have instructions on how to write- starting at Customer
Service and writing up the executive chain one at a time weekly. At this point I’m not sure it will do any good because you filed a DOT complaint

Once you file a complaint with the DOT- the airline won’t communicate with you. That should be a very last resort.

At this point, since you’ve filed a DOT complaint, we can’t help any further. You’ll need to wait until the DOT investigates, which will take a couple of months.

Please come back and update us when you hear from the DOT.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#20
Expedia sold you the ticket and should have helped, especially after telling you that everything was ok. That is why Turkish did not help you. Expedia should have fought for you on this, they were the booking agent of record.