Travel News

Turkish Airlines Offers a Generous Change Policy For All International Flights

Turkish Airlines
Written by Charlie

Turkish Airlines is offering a generous change policy for all international tickets due to coronavirus. This covers older tickets as well so check it out!

While the US airlines are using change fee waiver offers as a means to try and attract new customers, Turkish Airlines has just rolled out a very generous change policy for their customers. This change policy applies to new tickets and tickets already purchased!

Turkish Airlines Generous Change Policy

Update on March 15 – The Best Way to Reach Turkish Airlines to Change Your Flight

I have tried this myself and heard from others as well – if you want to reach Turkish Airlines to change your flight and do not want to wait on hold, call a number such as the sales office in Istanbul. If you are calling from the US (adjust for calling from your own country), call 011 – 90-850 333 0849. I tried this myself and was able to get through in just 2 minutes.

If an agent tells you that you this policy only applies to countries on their coronavirus list, remind them that they have two policies – one for those flights and one for flights booked before March 12. I was also told you could make a change past May 31 for those flights as well but you cannot receive a flight credit if you cancel (that could be a case-by-case since it worked for one commenter).

Original Post

They actually changed the policy a bit over the weekend. At first, it was similar to other policies in only covering new flights booked. Now, they are extending that change policy to previously booked tickets as well.

Here is the Turkish Airlines change policy:

For tickets* to be purchased between March 6 and March 24 (*excluding tickets for domestic flights within Turkey and to/from Ercan Airport), we remove the change fee. If you’d like to change your ticketed flight, your first change request will be applied free of charge.

Moreover, For tickets* purchased before March 5, 2020, for flights taking place up to December 31, 2020 (*excluding tickets for domestic flights within Turkey and to/from Ercan Airport) your first change request will be applied free of charge, provided that the change is completed by March 16, 2020.

Application conditions:

  • For tickets purchased on and before 5th of March 2020, valid only if the change request is done before 16th of March 2020
  • Valid for tickets to be reserved and purchased between March 6 and March 24, 2020.
  • Valid on flights operated by Turkish Airlines until the end of 2020.
  • Passengers can make a change request up to 5 days prior to their flight.
  • Domestic flights in Turkey and to/from Ercan Airport are not included.
  • Fare differences that may be incurred due to the change request will be collected from our passengers.
  • Change requests can be made through the Turkish Airlines Sales Offices and agencies from which the ticket was purchased.

Unless you hold a domestic Turkish Airlines ticket, you can make a change to it. If you booked before March 5, 2020, you need to make that one-time free change before March 16. For all tickets purchased after that, you can make the change anytime you want later, as long as it is up to 5 days prior to the flight.

To find out about countries that Turkish Airlines flies to that are currently being affected by Coronavirus, check this link.

Bottom Line

In contrast to the US airlines, I think this Turkish Airlines change policy is quite friendly to the millions of customers who had booked before Coronavirus became the international thing it is today.

While you would have to pay a difference in fare, Turkish Airlines actually has some very good prices all the time so just check various dates using Google Flights to find the best prices around whatever new dates you want to book.

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

75 Comments

  • I have a Turkish Airlines flight to India I have been trying to delay due to Coronavirus so I am delighted that they have waived change fees. For myself and my daughter, they are waiving $300 in fees so that is significant.

    However, I purchased the ticket through FlightHub, and they are still charging $200 per ticket for a change and they have to change my flight. Turkish Air cannot do it directly.

    Do you think it’s worth waiting a few days to see if FlightHub, Kayak, etc. will start offering to waive change fees as well? I have until March 16 to make the change.

    • When is your flight? If it is not for a little while yet, definitely wait! There is no reason to do it just yet as you have until March 16 (for flights booked before March) and the OTAs may adjust. I have already seen that Orbitz and Expedia are waiving the change fees so they may still do it. Try again in a couple of times and check with Turkish again to see if they can connect with the OTA with you on the phone.

    • India has now suspended entry by tourists so we can’t go there in late March.

      On hold for 30 minutes with Turkish airlines, they say they can’t make any changes to our tickets to India regardless of the reason and I need to call Flighthub.

      After an hour on the phone with Flighthub trying to change tickets to Nov 5-17, Flighthub was willing to reduce their change fee to $75 per ticket (from $200) but they were unable to find flights to book us on despite cheap flights on our preferred dates being easy to find on the on Turkish Airlines web site.

      I tried to get Flighthub to connect to Turkish airlines and they wouldn’t do it. I thought that was a brilliant suggestion, but no luck.

      So at the end of the day I’ve made no progress. My next plan is to go into the Turkish Airlines office in Chicago. Does that ever work?

      I know this is an unprecedented situation, but I will never book with an OTA again!

      • Wow, so sorry! My flight had been booked through Chase Travel and it was more of a headache than if I had booked through Turkish directly!
        You can try going there. The biggest issue is that Turkish cannot do any kind of refund or anything with the ticket like that since it was paid for by a third party, even though you are traveling. Flight hub can do what they want on their end because they know they have people. Every day that goes by makes more pressure climb with waivers so if you can wait a little longer, that could help. Turkish may cancel the fight and then you would get a refund anyway.

  • I bought tickets prior to March 5, so I called TA to inquire about changing. They confirmed that I could change for flights that depart prior to Dec. 31, 2020 only, but the change can only be done IN PERSON at a TA sales office, which are only in major cities, like Atlanta, New York, etc. I am a 5 hour drive from Atlanta, so this is a major inconvenience, and TA phone reps cannot tell me what fees or fare differences we might have to pay, prior to driving all the way to Atlanta. Which now has to be done prior to March 16 for tickets purchased before March 5. Not happy, but better than nothing, guess I’ll have to make the drive.

  • Spoke too soon, called back again to verify before driving to ATL, now different rep said that tickets for ATL-IST for 15 April can’t be changed with current policy, which makes no sense according to the announcement. Guess I’ll try calling again tomorrow.

    • Similar situation happened to me, I called to see about their cancellation policy because of Coronavirus. The first representative told me that they were waiving change fees, I told him I would call back after we figured out what dates we were changing our flights to. I called back about 4 hours later and I was told that they were not waiving change fees. Very frustrating and I spent over an hour on the phone with the company and got nothing resolved. I am trying to call again this morning but i keep getting a busy tone.

      • Its been hell and back with Turkish airlines to resolve these type of issues i had ticket for May 1st then yesterday i got email to call them so after many hangups and finally isuing new ticket i was told ill get email with new info in an hour well after nothing happened i called today another agent said no new ticket was requested so he gives me same date and told me again that in minut or 2 i will get email with new info ..but sadly i never recieved that email.They are all talk and promise but no actual action.Is it possible to get corporate phone nummber?

  • We are Japanese Residents.
    We are planning to go to Istanbul via Frankfurt from Japan on Mar16 and leaving Istanbul for Dubrovnik on Mar21. Since Japanese residents via European city might be rejected on board at Frankfurt airport and further Croatia announced restriction on moving, so we are thinking to change/postpone our schedule. Our ticket is non-refundable ,we bought ticket through an agent in January. Can we reschedule our flight one year later on same date without any additional charge. Our agent is so busy to cope with Corona issue , that’s why we contacted directly. Thank you.

    • If the ticket was purchased directly through Turkish, you can definitely reschedule it with no change fee. There may be a fare difference (depending what the ticket cost was that you paid vs the new ticket cost) but no fee to change it. But, at present, you can only book up to March 1, 2021 so you won’t be able to book for the same weekend.

      • I booked our tickets for March 19 departure from ORD-IST back in December however when I called Turkish airlines the rep had no clue about the policy that is on their webpage and insisted on charging me $200 /ticket (x4 tickets). I called their Chicago sales office as well but no one is picking up the phone there! Really disappointed with this customer service experience. Will call again tonight to see if I get a different rep who has better info!

        • It’s not just them. I cannot even get through to Aegean over hours of trying and I spent 2 hours on hold with Chase’s travel department. Try a phone number of theirs in someplace like Singapore. Should be easier.

          • Alright guys I finally got this resolved. After getting busy signal from US call center for past three days, I called their main office in Turkey and got a rep fairly quickly who was very courteous and helped me reachedule our flights. Hope it helps.

      • I am in the same difficult situation due to the banning of a meeting in Turkey, were I was invited by the Turkish counterpart, as a result of corona-virus. Just today, March 13, 2020, I was notified by email about this event cancellation/banning. I wrote to Turkish Airlines directly (since I booked directly from their official website my round trip flights; 2 legs of flights). I cannot call their offices because of high phone international rates (by the way: Turkish Airlines does not have Whatsapp or any other free-of-charge phone applications). If I don’t know when or if the event will be rescheduled, how can I make a free-of-fee re-booking??? This condition of Turkish Airlines is a weird and, moreover, why they chose the last date for making re-scheduling free-of-fee March 16th 2020? Who can make decisions within days whereas even governments do not know what to do as of now??? Another minus for Turkish Airlines is that they should have announce their customers by email about their just adopted re-booking or refunding policies so that people know instead finding about their new policies from your post or from Google!! Today, when I went on #TurkishAirlines (#Turkish Airlines) website to write them, I did not see any of these new policies presented! Any advises if they refuse to refund (re-booking is not favorite because I have no information about the re-doing of the event…). Thanks, Charlie, for sharing this important information!

        • By the way, I paid almost 242 Euros on the flights with Turkish Airlines. This is not a small amount of money at all.

  • Just read this article and tried to call Turkish to adjust my ticket fro April 12th to Athens/Cairo and was told I must go IN PERSON by Monday to an office (4 hours from me) – that is just not right, how many people have free time to drive hours to wait in a office to reschedule their flights in such a short time period? For that reason alone I don’t find it a flexible offering, I think they did that knowing so many people wouldn’t be able to make the changes they would like to in person in such a small window!

      • Curious how you were able to cancel a ticket with no penalties? Would love to know if i’m missing something! I only see an option to “change” when I login to my record locator – when I try I’m being charged a change free online?

        • My original flight had been cancelled due to the situation in Israel so they have to offer cancellation for that. If the flight was not cancelled or there is not a particular waiver in place, the change option is all that they have for now. Depending on when your flight is, you can always give it some more time until the cutoff date to see if waivers end up applying or the flight is cancelled.

      • I tried to change online and it was charging $200/ticket + fare difference. Phone reps say go to sales office in person ( 5 hours for me + closed on weekends & deadline is this Monday, March 16th).

        • Completely ridiculous. State Department says to avoid all travel and Turkish says there is no specific ban on my 2 countries, so I’m about to be out over $5k 🙁

  • I bought our tickets from Turkish airlines website directly. I will give them a call again tonight to try my luck!

    • Its completely hopeless. They are asking me to drive to Chicago (8 hours away) to get this flight changed even though I bought it direct from their website. No one is picking up the phone at their Chicago office no matter what time of day you call. Never thought they would be this bad! Never had this problem with Emirates!

  • Charlie
    I bought our (2)tickets on Feb 25, 2020, from the ASAP Tickets website directly for Turkish Airlines, fly out 4/17/2020 and back 4/25/202. I have to cancel or reschedule the flight
    I give them ASAP a call and they directed me to the ASAP Tickets customer service,
    I call ASAP customer service no response.
    should I call Turkish Airline C.Service?
    Regards Vasile

    • Yes, give them a call but if your destination/origination is not under a waiver, you will only be able to reschedule without a fee (but will need to pay any difference in fare).

  • Charlie,
    This thread was a good place to start my day. My wife (Indian citizen) is travelling with two kids (age less than 4 and US citizen) on 24 March. India has cancelled all the visas and only Indian citizens can travel. Will the airline allow my kids to board with their mom?. What are my options. I have booked my flight tickets on Vayama for turkish airlines.
    Thanks

    • I wouldn’t take chances with this. Indian Government announced Visa holders, and PIO card holders will be denied boarding at departure which could be Istanbul or US, depending on how Turkish staff are handling this case.

  • Hi,
    I have a return ticket for the 26th of March, departure Dulles, arrival Istanbul for transit . Then departure Istanbul arrival Douala. I will like to know if this flight schedule is maintained or not.
    Thanks,

    • Yes, it is still on. However, if you are unable to go to the US right then (due to the ban) – not sure what your travel situation is as to if you are in the Schengen area/US passpor holder/ resident/green card holder/ etc – you will need to change it as they will not let you in.

      • Hey am cameroonian I have to travel for a transit to Turkey on the 26 of March. And today I call the agent I pay my flight to that he should reachudle my flight on the 18, and he said Turkish air line suspended flights from Cameroon douala airport today so is it true

  • We’re booked for Australia April 2nd. with T A , can the flights be changed to a new destination or only a new date?

      • Hey mr Charlie I booked my flight to transit through Turkish on the 26 of March. Am in Cameroon and to use douala airport. I call the agent today that he should put my flight on the 18 because of this Corona issue and he said Turkish airline has suspended flights in Cameroon please is this information true plss get back to me.

  • In January I booked a roundtrip flight from New York to Lviv, Ukraine that departs the 26th of March and returns 29 April. All calls to Turkish Airlines are unsuccessful in achieving a change as offered on their website. On the rare instance that the line is not busy, reaching a representative has been frustrating. They claim that they are powerless to help me, even after identifying me in their computer by flight number. Then they transfer me to another representative for a further go around to no avail. Having booked directly with Turkish Airlines online and being a member of their ‘Miles & Smiles” flyer program seems to not help at all. It appears an intentional and scripted denial of publicized policy regarding corona virus allowances.

    • Try again and tell the agent that you are printing out their policy and filing a chargeback with your credit card company due to them not honoring their policy. That should get you a supervisor. If not, call your credit card company and tell them the situation that Turkish is no honoring their part of the contract.

      • Sincere appreciation for your wise words, Monsieur Charles! And now Ukraine has closed its borders to foreign air traffic for 2 weeks, allowing only citizens to return. I cannot even step foot in Ukraine on my scheduled arrival! Might I finally be able to legitimately cancel and even hope for a refund?

        • Thanks! Yes, if you cannot fly, you can definitely change the date. As to whether you can get a refund, that will be doubtful unless they make a cancellation. Just wait a couple of days, if you can, since they may cancel your flight.

  • Is anyone here successful in changing their tickets for free if there is no travel advisory for their destination? For ex, there is no travel advisory from CDC for flights between US – IST – IND. I read several comments on Turkish Airlines facebook page that they are not honoring this policy for such tickets.

    • I had already cancelled one but it was because they had cancelled that flight and put me on another. It worked out ok but I have to call tomorrow to work on another change. I will update with my experience then.

  • I have my ticks to berlin from2april to 8 june .if i want to change date TA.said they are offering free date change but we have to pay tax but why should we pay tax when it is free .we should get full refund pls give our refund .next time we can buy fresh ticks

  • I have a bit of a problem I had my boyfriend book me a ticket today Wednesday coming but he booked it for the following wedi would like to know how to change the dates.

  • Good news. They removed the clause that the change has to be done by Mar 16. You can change the ticket any time before May 31. You can also cancel the ticket for now and keep the money for a future purchase (before Dec 31 2020) which is great for the current uncertainty. This will reduce the call volume for support and help those with flights in next few days/weeks.

  • They told me that they can’t help me over the phone and I need to drive to my nearest sales office which is 8 hr drive in person to avoid change fee.

    • That’s ridiculous. They clearly say it can be done over the phone or even online. If your flight is not for a week or more, just wait. Sans just noted that they changed the change-by date until May 31, which is great!

      • Hi, Charlie! You are so correct! Everyone: take a look at KLM’s statements “Our website offers a self-service option for re-booking. It’s the fastest and easiest way to adjust your travel plans.” (https://wecare.klm.com/nl_en/) and also they make it easier, free-of-fee, changes, re-books etc. in contrast with Turkish Airlines which is more greedy under this dire worldwide situation (money by any means??!! individuals are to lose and they do not care because individuals do not have a “voice”??). I wished to not have to deal with Turkish Airlines as of now. I must reconsider my opinion about this particular airline.

  • Hi,
    Thanks a lot for the useful info.
    I have a round ticket from Istanbul to Toronto ( Departure Friday, March 20 – Return Saturday, April 4) with Turkish Airline.
    Currently I am in Iran and there is no flight from Iran to Turkey, so I cannot reach my flight.
    How Can I inform Turkish Airline and ask to refund my ticket?

    I sent an email but didn’t get any response.

    Thank you.

  • I’ve now been told via e-mail by Flighthub that I can cancel my Turkish Airlines tickets to India
    but I still have to pay a $150 change fee (down from $200 per ticket, or $400). I would rather change them and save the $150 fee but they continue to say that “no Turkish Airline flights are available” in November.

    Do you think I should I take them up on their offer or wait and see if they change their policy?

    • I bought 3 tickets with my chase points and have been trying to contact Turkish airlines and Chase for 3 days now and can not get thru. I stay on hold for a few hours and the phone gets disconnected. I was finally able to contact someone at chase and they said I must put in a claim with Turkish airlines first. However no one picks up my call at the airlines. My mom is elderly and can’t travel now due to the Corona virus. Can someone please help as the march 16th deadline is approaching soon. Who should I contact any other suggestions is greatly appreciated.

  • Thank you for this thread! I hope someone can help me too.

    I am travelling from Ottawa to Lahore, Pakistan on Tuesday March 17th at 7pm. We would like to change our flights to another date or cancel due to the virus. The turkish airlines number is engaged, it keeps beeping! We booked through expedia and they are also not picking up. I’ve been trying to call for 3 days now and I am worried I will not be able to change my flights or get money back. Someone please guide me, I’m so desperate right now.

  • Useless customer service. They just cancelled flights to 9 countries… No email. No tweet. No Facebook message – nothing.
    Call centre can’t get through to. Completely useless. They should have a communications plan in place for this, instead they just maintain radio silence.

  • I called the agent in regards to zero change fee, they said it’s only for corona-affected countries. I thought it’s for all international flight?
    Do I misunderstand it?

    Called airline mutiple times, no one can give me straight answer.
    *Sigh*

  • Hi Charlie,
    I booked a Turkish flight with my chase reward points through the chase website before March 5th, what’s the best way to reschedule this flight? Through chase or Turkish airline?

  • I tried to adjust the number and it is invalid. I’m not calling from the US but not sure how to adjust it.

  • What are your options if the travel agent is not reachable by phone or email?

    BTW, you can also connect with Turkish Airline on twitter handle @TK_HelpDesk.
    Alternate contact number is +90 212 444 0 849

  • Now that they’ve suspended most flights, do I get a refund automatically? Or do I have to contact them? If they refuse, do you think I can dispute with my credit card company?

    • Refund may be difficult since they are offering open changes. They are not under the EU261 rule so that won’t apply. You could try the chargeback with your credit card. But, if you plan on flying Turkish again, especially to the same region you were going to travel, you would be better off with what they are offering. You can fly to any Turkish Airlines destination in the region of your original trip without paying any increase in fare. For example, from some places, it is like $400 roundtrip to NYC but $850 to LA. If you had a ticket to JFK, you could now move it to Chicago, Miami, Washington, DC, SFO, LAX, etc.

  • I bought three tickets of March 18 from sastatickets agency Pakistan of Turkish airlines date was March 25 but all flight cancelled due to all airports close in Pakistan now I don’t want a go US because carona. I want a full refund i need money pls help me. Thanks

  • Refund from Turkish Air? Good luck. And even that won’t help! Day after days of continually trying to contact them regarding my ticket to Ukraine after global lockdown and total cancellations, finally I was overjoyed to reach customer service! They promised me a full refund and even emailed me confirmation. Am still waiting for over 10 days now! No money yet returned. Evidently this is how they do business. By the way, this here site is a Godsend for travelers. I nominate CHARLIE for PRESIDENT of the entire WORLD. Please!!!

  • Hi Charlie,

    Thank you so much for this thread, its been so helpful throughout all this airline madness!

    My husband and I were booked to fly to Lahore, Pakistan on March 17 from Ottawa, Canada with a few day stop on the way back in Istanbul and return on April 18. The travel advisory in Canada was released a couple days before our flight and we decided not to travel. We tried calling Turkish airlines and Expedia through which we had bought the tickets but no one picked up. Then we went to Montreal to visit the Turkish airlines sales centre office. The lady there said that we would get a refund but that they would deduct $260 CDN from our total ticket cost. The lady said that we should call Expedia to get our money back. Then we called Expedia who said we will not get our money back and instead, would receive a credit to use before February 2021.

    We don’t want to accept this because we are not sure if we will feel safe travelling by February 2021 and if we will even be able to travel. We had a specific purpose of travel which was to support a family member through surgery. We no longer need to travel there in the near future.

    We asked our credit card company if we should dispute this through them and were told that Expedia may cancel our travel voucher if we do this.

    We are not sure what to do at this point. From your knowledge and based on the new Turkish airlines policy around travel, cancellation and open tickets, is there any guidance you can provide us. We would be so grateful.

    • Since Expedia is involved, it makes it much more tricky. Airlines have the power to handle the tickets but take the opportunity to pass it along to the travel agency when the ticket was booked through them. Expedia doesn’t want to give a refund since their margins on tickets is very, very small and they don’t want to have to give back cash.
      Since the return was cancelled but you had chosen not to travel (and I totally understand that) before the cancellations started, you are in a bit of a limbo about the full refund. Turkish was right with their amount they offered to refund since it would have a cancellation fee assessed to it since you chose to cancel before the departing flight took off and it wasn’t canceled.
      To be honest, I think Turkish’s open ticket policy is the best in the airline industry right now as to what they will allow. It doesn’t matter how much the ticket may cost when the time comes – you won’t pay any difference. So, skip the Expedia voucher and go with an open ticket solution from Turkish. If things keep continuing for a while longer, they may even push that out farther. It is just that February 2021 was the last date on their schedules when they first made the policy.
      Good luck and I hope for the best!

  • Turkish Airlines is required by law to offer a full cash refund if they cancel the flight (no matter the reason). They may offer you to change at no cost or they may offer you a voucher but ultimately you are entitled to a cash refund. If you insist, they’ll acknowledge that and tell you that a full cash refund has now been approved and is in progress. This is what has happened to me. And I got it in writing.

    Fast forward 6 weeks. The money hasn’t arrived. From others in the same situation – who got through to their call center – I can see they are allegedly telling customers that it may take up to 2 years to pay out the money. Presumably it is very difficult to do. Bah!

    I don’t know if Turkish Airlines is any worse than other airlines in this respect so I don’t want to hammer them if this is what all airlines are currently doing? I doubt it is legal, but it seems consumer protection laws are currently not being enforced.

    • Yes, they are all (currently) required by law to give cash refunds for canceled flights. The problem is that many are using “creative” terms under which to give the money. With Turkish, they are saying it will be 60 days after they restart service. That means, currently, it will not be sooner than July 27 that you would get your money.

  • I booked Business Class flights for my wife and I from Kuala Lumpur to London. As the Malaysian Government imposed a Movement Control Order preventing us from travelling, I read your article and called the Istanbul call centre on the number above and eventually spoke to their Mr Emre. This was on 19th March. We were promised a refund on our tickets within 30 days to my credit card. I was very impressed with the prompt service and said as much. 30 days came and went and I called the call centre again. I was given the run around and eventually spoke to a Ms. Bleona who said she could see my tickets were cancelled, had no record of a promised refund within 30 days in her system and basically fobbed me off, telling me to fill out a complaint on the turkishairlines.com website. I asked to speak to her manager…she refused. Totally dissatisfied with their service and the hours I wasted online talking to them. Be warned people!!

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