Sandy Valdiviseo and her husband Triet Vo were intending to fly from Los Angeles to Dakar in Senegal with Turkish Airlines last December. However, instead of Dakar, they found themselves on an entirely different continent – in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, after the airport codes were mixed up.
According to the news of Los Angeles Times, after arriving in Istanbul, the couple had boarded a connecting flight. The couple realized that they are on wrong flight after seeing the route map of the flight’s progress, which showed the plane over the Middle East.
The airport code for Dakar, the capital of Senegal, is DKR, while the code for the airport in Dhaka, which is the capital of Bangladesh, is DAC.
About 12 hours later, Turkish Airlines flew the pair back to Istanbul, where they caught a plane — the right one this time — for the six-hour trip to Dakar. There was no extra charge for the flight from Bangladesh.
The couple's bags didn't arrive in Senegal for two more days, but that seems almost trivial compared with the rest of the journey.
Fatma Yuceler, general manager of Turkish Airlines' West Coast operations, acknowledged that the carrier screwed up in issuing tickets with the wrong airport code, then compounded the problem with insufficiently responsive customer service.
"We are very, very sorry that this happened," she said.
Yuceler said Turkish Airlines will make amends by offering Valdivieso and Vo two free economy-class tickets to anywhere the carrier flies. She also said the airline will share this incident with its employees to help improve service.
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