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Right to Care (from Turkish Airlines)

If you are stranded at the airport, you have a right to care.

In most cases, this means free food and free hotel accommodation.

If your Turkish Airlines flight is unexpectedly cancelled, overbooked or delayed, you qualify for specific complimentary services. Should the delay span 3 hours or longer, free meals and drinks should be provided. For delays that require an overnight stay, Turkish Airlines is required to arrange free hotel accommodation for you. Note that these EU rules apply only to Turkish Airlines flights departing from the EU and the UK.

Right to Care From Turkish Airlines

Certain Turkish Airlines flights are subject to the right to care.

European legislation protects the rights of passengers, requiring that Turkish Airlines provide essential care on certain journeys. The majority of flights into and out of the European Union fall under this legislation for European carriers.

For Turkish Airlines, the legislation applies only to flights departing from Europe.

This is indicated under Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

Short Delays (3+ Hours)

Your entitlement includes: food and drink.

For delays that exceed three hours but still occur during the day, and are relatively brief, Turkish Airlines is obligated to provide you with complimentary meals and beverages. You are also entitled to two free phone calls, emails or fax messages. These are given as vouchers.

Long Delays (Overnight)

You’re entitled to: meals, beverages, hotel accommodation, and airport transfer.

If your flight is delayed to the extent that it necessitates an overnight stay, Turkish Airlines will provide you with free accommodation, airport transfers, meals, and drinks. If you have not been informed about these arrangements, please contact Turkish Airlines as soon as possible.

As Turkish Airlines is a non-European airline, these EU regulations apply only to Turkish Airlines flights departing from the EU and the UK.

How to Get Free Food and Free Hotel Accommodation?

In the event of an extended delay at the airport, Turkish Airlines is expected to provide amenities such as complimentary meals, accommodation, and airport transfers. It is not necessary for you to request these; they should be provided to you during the delay.

If these amenities are not provided, it’s essential to contact the Turkish Airlines customer service desk and inquire about them. According to European law, the airline is obligated to provide these services free of charge for qualifying delays.

If the airline does not arrange these services for you, you may be required to arrange them yourself. Retain all receipts and proof of purchase regarding meals, drinks, transfers, and hotel stays. Once you have these, you can seek reimbursement from Turkish Airlines, detailing your expenses during the delay. Ensure you submit all required information to facilitate the reimbursement process.

As Turkish Airlines is a non-European airline, these EU regulations apply only to Turkish Airlines flights departing from the EU and the UK.

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Extraordinary Circumstances

First, let’s understand the terminology.

What Are Extraordinary Circumstances?

Extraordinary circumstances are unpredictable events outside an airline’s control that result in flight modifications, delays, or cancellations. These can range from extreme weather disturbances, non-airline strikes, security risks, political instability, or undiscovered manufacturing flaws that threaten flight safety. Under such conditions, despite the inconvenience caused, the airline is not obliged to offer compensation as per Regulation (EC) No 261/2004.

However, the right to care, as indicated above, does remain intact.

Are Technical Problems Considered Extraordinary Circumstances?

Ordinarily, technical issues don’t fall under the umbrella of extraordinary circumstances as per Regulation (EC) No 261/2004. The regulation states that routine operational technical problems aren’t considered extraordinary instances since they are within the airline’s control.

These might involve routine maintenance or minor repairs. These situations are part of the airline’s standard duties and consequently, cannot form the basis for avoiding compensation or care provision to passengers.

Nonetheless, if the issue is a concealed manufacturing defect that impacts flight safety, it may be deemed extraordinary. This is because such circumstances are infrequent, pose an immediate threat to the aircraft’s safe operation, and fall outside the scope of the airline’s usual technical procedures.

Right to Care in Extraordinary Circumstances

Passengers retain the right to care even in extraordinary circumstances.

While Turkish Airlines may not be liable to provide compensation for delays or cancellations instigated by uncontrollable factors, they are still required to maintain your well-being during the waiting period. This responsibility extends to supplying meals, drinks, and accommodation in the event of substantial delays and last-minute cancellations.

The same principle applies to the provision of alternate transportation if the flight gets cancelled – you are entitled to that.

As Turkish Airlines is a non-European airline, these EU regulations apply only to Turkish Airlines flights departing from the EU and the UK.

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Right to Care: FAQ

In this section, we aim to clarify common questions regarding your right to care during flight delays and cancellations when flying with Turkish Airlines.

As Turkish Airlines is a non-European airline, these EU regulations apply only to Turkish Airlines flights departing from the EU and the UK.

What Does “Right to Care” Refer to?

The term “Right to Care” refers to a series of obligations that airlines, including Turkish Airlines, owe to their passengers during instances of flight delays, overbooking or cancellations. According to European law, airlines are required to ensure passenger comfort during such incidents, which may involve providing free meals, refreshments and accommodation in cases of significant delays.

Do I Have a Right to Care if My Flight Is Delayed?

Should you encounter a delay exceeding 3 hours with Turkish Airlines, the airline should automatically offer you services such as complimentary meals, drinks, and necessary accommodation if the delay spans overnight.

In the event that these services are not provided, you should approach the Turkish Airlines customer service desk at the airport. Alternatively, you can pay for the expenses on your own and later file a claim for reimbursement. Early submission of your claim is always advised.

This is applicable only to Turkish Airlines flights departing from Europe.

Am I Entitled to Care If My Flight Is Canceled?

Yes, if your Turkish Airlines flight is cancelled, your right to care is applicable.

This means that Turkish Airlines is obliged to provide meals, refreshments, and accommodation (if necessary), alongside an alternative route to your destination or a complete refund. If the cancellation is due to circumstances within the airline’s control, you may also be entitled to compensation for the cancellation.

Read more: Last-Minute Flight Cancellation: Your Rights

As Turkish Airlines is a non-European airline, these EU regulations apply only to Turkish Airlines flights departing from the EU and the UK.

Does the Right to Care Apply in Exceptional Circumstances for Turkish Airlines?

Yes, your right to care remains valid even in extraordinary circumstances.

If your flight experiences a delay or cancellation due to severe weather conditions, security issues, or strikes (not related to the airline), you are still entitled to complimentary meals, refreshments, and accommodation if necessary.

How Do I Get Reimbursed If I Had to Manage My Own Meals and Accommodation?

In situations where Turkish Airlines did not offer meals, accommodation, or airport transfers and you were compelled to manage them yourself, remember to keep all your receipts and proofs of purchase. These documents, along with a comprehensive report of your expenses during the delay, can be submitted to Turkish Airlines for reimbursement. Be aware, however, that only essential expenses are covered by this policy.

Note that only flights from Europe are covered, as Turkish Airlines is not an EU airline.

Is the Right to Care Valid for All Turkish Airlines Flights?

This right applies to Turkish Airlines flights departing from Europe.

The European law does not extend to Turkish Airlines flights arriving in Europe from other regions. Flights operating in third countries aren’t covered as well.

Is This Right Limited to European Nationals?

No, the right to care is applicable to all passengers, irrespective of their nationality.

The legislation granting passengers the right to care is Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 and Regulation UK261, created by the European Union and the UK government. These regulations mandate any airline operating within Europe to provide care and compensation to affected passengers when required. Thus, the right to care applies to all Turkish Airlines passengers, regardless of nationality.

However, bear in mind that since Turkish Airlines is a non-EU airline, this regulation applies only to flights departing from Europe and not those arriving in Europe from elsewhere in the world.

By Europe and EU here on this page (and on this website in general) we mean all EU Member States, the United Kingdom (UK), Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.