Outrageous: Turkish Airlines Downgraded To Skytrax 3-Star Airline

Filed Under: Turkish

This is totally crazy. Earlier I wrote about how Etihad was recently downgraded by Skytrax from a 5-star airline to a 4-star airline. I actually think that’s fair enough, and question how they became a 5-star airline to begin with.

But that’s not actually the most interesting news, in my opinion.

Last year Turkish Airlines pulled out of Skytrax

Just under a year ago I wrote about how Turkish Airlines pulled out of Skytrax. They said they’d no longer participate in the Skytrax World Airline Audit, but that they’d continue to take firm steps towards improving their product, but will determine the success of that based on direct customer feedback.

To me it sure seemed like this might have been a result of Lufthansa becoming the first European airline to get a Skytrax 5-star rating, which I took serious issue with.

In the past Turkish had actually won quite a few awards through Skytrax, including awards for being the best airline in Southern Europe, for having the best business class onboard catering, for having the world’s best business class lounge, and for having the best business class dining lounge.

Turkish Airlines 777 business class

Turkish Airlines has now been downgraded to a 3-star airline

My assumption was that Turkish pulling out of Skytrax would mean they wouldn’t get rated anymore, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Rather it looks like Skytrax has recently downgraded Turkish Airlines from a 4-star airline to a 3-star airline.

Other 3-star airlines include American, United, Air India, EasyJet, and Ryanair.

Turkish Airlines business class catering

This is outrageous

Skytrax doesn’t official reveal all the details of their audits, and it’s not often I’ll say “well, they’re just plain wrong.” This is one of those cases, though. I was recently going to write a post about the airlines I thought most highly of, and Turkish Airlines was going to be one of the top five airlines on the list.

They have so much going for them:

Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul

Just to give a direct example, let’s compare how Skytrax compares the business class products on long haul flights of 3-star Turkish and 5-star Lufthansa.

Here are their ratings for Turkish:

And here are their ratings for Lufthansa:

To say that Lufthansa’s long haul business class is better than Turkish Airlines’ long haul business class is, well… not okay.

Bottom line

I’ve long taken issues with Skytrax’s lack of disclosure regarding the connection between the airlines they consult for, and the ratings they give to airlines. As I’ve often said, it seems like there’s a conflict of interest if they’re getting money from airlines to help them improve their onboard product, when they’re also rating those airlines.

In the Etihad situation, it’s interesting that Etihad pulled out of Skytrax when they were a 4-star airline, but once again wanted to participate when they were rated a 5-star airline.

This situation is exactly the opposite, as we saw Turkish Airlines withdraw, and now they’ve been downgraded from a 4-star airline to a 3-star airline.

And all the while Lufthansa is a 5-star airline.


(Tip of the hat to Max)

  1. The craziest part is that LH got 5* when they announced a new J product 3 years out and now TK getting downgraded with their stellar looking new J product coming soon.

  2. Does anyone actually care or choose to fly an airline based solely on how Skytrax rates that particular airline?

  3. “Comfortable economy cabins”. With all due respect, have you ever flown in their economy class? They have extremely limited seat pitch on many of their planes, which, coupled with old-school thick profile seats, usually makes for an uncomfortable journey. Not the worst, but definitely not comfortable by any standards.
    That being said, their standards of onboard service are high enough bot to be rated 3 stars.

  4. @Aaron. Until I started reading travel blogs I put a lot of store by Skytrax ratings. I considered them an independent airline reviewer. I’m sure there are many like I used to be and at a similar price point will choose the one with the better Skytrax rating.

  5. Lucky says he doesn’t give Skytrax too much credibility yet he bothers to write about them. Hmm….

  6. @Vanya: I have flown their long-haul economy class and it was quite good, among the best I’ve had for trans-Atlantic. Granted, I was on their 777-300ER so perhaps it varies by aircraft type. It was definitely roomier than the Swiss 777-300ER I took the opposite direction, both in seat width and legroom.

  7. @cx882 I would say it varies, since they have so many aircraft configurations, even inside one aircraft type.
    What I would say for sure is some of their A321’s are one of the worst out there in terms of comfort, even though they look nice and have good IFE. The same goes for B737’s, but I’ve seen some variations there.
    I travel between Moscow and Istanbul quite a lot, and took Aeroflot, Turkish, Atlasglobal and Pegasus flights, and very surprisingly, Turkish planes were consistently the least comfortable in coach (Atlasglobal were the best, but no IFE).
    P.s. And yeah, Swiss 777’s are atrocious in economy.

  8. This is ridiculous. I’ve always had an – at-most – passing interest in the Skytrax ratings, mostly to see what they think is 3, 4 and 5 star. With LH being 5* and TK “downgraded” to 3* shows that it’s as wildly inaccurate as if it were written by Doug Parker or a 3 year old.

  9. Isn’t this pay to play?
    TK didn’t pay, so they don’t get to play.

    Meanwhile Air Canada, at best a 3* airline, is still 4* by paying their dues

  10. 100% agree. This is a joke. I’ve travelled quite a few times on TK and their product is waaaaaay above other 3 star – and many 4 star – airlines, both in C and Y. We all know how amazing their C product is (as highlighted on this site and confirmed on all my trips in TK C, both short haul and long haul), but their economy class is amazing as well. You get an awesome IFE, printed menus, AMENITY KITS, premium soap in the bathrooms, and so forth. I would – without any doubt what so ever – rate their intra-euro Y better than e.g. LH C. I do travel quite frequently on both LH and TK and TK is soooooo much better in every single way. Skytrax has lost all credibility.

  11. I generally couldn’t give a flying fart about skytrax ratings… I will however say I flew tk J last week and it was a delight – fabulous service, good food, ample entertainment and a great sleep. The definition of all I require in business class. I think the new lounge is pretty good too and like the new airport.

  12. What a joke, Turkish is now in the same star rating tier as Ryanair? You have got to be kidding me.

  13. To be fair, you have only flown them in business class and the rating is based on the airline as a whole, not just a class of service.

  14. @Mohammad Okay but what airline DO have direct aisle access across the entire fleet while ALSO having consistent service and a large route network? It’s all well and good if Oman Air has an amazing Business Class product with direct aisle access but frankly I don’t see myself flying to Oman anytime soon. Are you suggesting we all fly American and ignore the fact that everything else about them is horrible?

  15. Where does Lufthansa even provide bedding? On the flight to Vancouver and Seattle none is provided

  16. I have to say that in my experience TK staff are extremely inconsistent. I have had lounge agents give us incorrect information for our flight with absolute certainty and then treat us like it is our fault we are now running late despite the fact that the lounge had very few flight information boards. On another flight I saw flight attendants pick a cup off the floor and not wash their hands before serving food. And on another flight I was served food with broken China on it. I once had a flight attendant try to break into the bathroom as well. I will also say that I am not a big fan of their angle seats, or the blanket they provide on medium haul flights. That said I have had quite a few good experiences with Turkish. Their catering is probably unmatched, and they do have many good flight attendants.

  17. Although Skytrax doesn’t have credibility given LH and HU can get 5*, TK is overly praised and IMO is high 3* to low 4* anyway. The ground service is garbage, few agent can be rude. In flight product is just bit better than mediocre, the food is good but the wine list is awful. The new business seat isn’t industry leading anyway, SQ uses the same type of seat on regional routes.

  18. Lucky, it’s of course ridiculous but why the outrage? Like you have said many times Skytrax lost credibility a long time ago. Clearly Etihad and Turkish must have forgotten to pay their membership fees.
    To answer my own question actually.. your outrage may be warranted as typical consumers (as opposed to avgeeks) do not know better and the problem is if their choice of airlines is influenced by such ratings.

  19. Skytrax ratings have always been a ridiculous garbage nonesense – are Hainan Airways still 5 Star? Haven’t flown with them since a horrendous flight from Paris CDG – some issue with the water so that there was only 1 functioning bathroom for the entire economy cabin, only Chinese food options available and no alcohol apart from Harbin beer despite the menu offering beef lasagne, Grey Goose, Johnnie Walker Black Label and many other tempting, but unavailable, delights.

  20. Actually I do agree that Lufthansa should be rated above Turkish Airlines…despite the difference should not be two stars.

    Agree or not, there could be a specific rating for business class but if a rating is general, then a higher weighting should automatically be put on Economy Class since this is the product which most passengers are enjoying.

    I have flown both airlines and I am 100% sure that Lufthansa’s Economy is not only a bit BETTER than that of Turkish.

    I do agree for the case of business class it is the opposite but in general ratings it could still be reasonable that Lufthansa (despite 100% sure not a 5*) to be rated above Turkish (though it must be better than AA)

  21. I am puzzled by the number of people who are saying they don’t care about Skytrax ratings… of course those of us lucky enough to travel very frequently know they are a pay-to-play scam, but before I started travelling so frequently I used to value these too much as well.

    I think a lot of causal travelers put a lot of weight in these ratings, so it’s a real problem that they are so comically corrupt. Unfortunately, there are very few recourses here – the fact that the ratings are so patently false and corrupted needs to be published more in the mainstream media, and I just can’t see a lot of worries about this hitting BBC or CNN.

  22. I’m sure non blog readers care about skytrax. When I tell my wife about these crazy trips I book on foreign carriers she looks at me confused about the airline but I’ve shown her skytrax and she goes oh ok. Last time was China southern – at the time they were 4 star and no US carrier was higher than 3. So my wife was like ok. Turns out we had a very nice experience to boot.

  23. People need to calm down. I think generally skytrax does show some direction certainly cant fault sq, oz, NH, jl being 5 star and frankly Turkish with it’s awful ground experience nd outdated bi class shouldn’t be much higher than 3. No doubt there are a few outliers LH being the worst but all in all…

  24. I find the TK downgrade surprising. Having flown business class on both TK and LH on international long haul flights in the past month, there’s no question in my mind that TK is the superior of the two and has become a premium product in its own right. LH was always my long haul of choice but the last couple of years has seen a quality significant decline.

    I don’t personally care about Skytrax ratings, but does anyone know if the airlines use it to help determine fares, e.g. does a higher rating encourage an airline to use that as one of their fare determinations factors (other than the usual dart-board method of coming up with fares).

  25. It’s a shame for Turkish as they are probably the only Star member in Europe that actually invests in their business class product and provide you with a good business experience. they even have a decent business cabin on their 737s and A320s.
    The airline that needs a wake up call is Lufthansa, they are removing their First class which was one of the best in Europe from a big part of their long-haul fleet and their Business class across the fleet is well below mediocre. How can their management agree to take delivery of brand new A350s with such an outdated cabin?

  26. TK had been overrated for a very long time.
    Now they were back to the ground and fanboys started to cry.
    What drama queens!

  27. @Dom…if your deducting stars for warm cabins then LH should be a 2 Star at best. Freaking sauna in the sky!

  28. While LH 5* is a joke, TK deserves 3* for garbage ground, phone and IRROPS experience. After a couple of complete meltdown situations in IST, I simply can not trust TK getting me to my destination. Add to this outdated J seats and questionable safety culture with KTM crash landing and recent near crashes in AER and NCE. I do not see 4* here.

  29. I’ve flown Turkish before and the hard product was not bad. However, I can’t say the same for the service.
    My customer service experience with them was appalling. They were rude, dismissive, out right lied to my face and conned me out of compensation I deserved as was promised and written in their CS page. I would never fly Turkish again unless I absolutely have to.

  30. Putting the Ryanair and Turkish Airlines in the same place is terrible, horrible. You even can not compare both of them. There is a “huge” difference. “Lufthansa is 5 star airlines and Turkish is 3 star airlines”, when I hear that, the only thing that I can do is just laughing. If you pay your money, you can be 5-star airline. What a nice system!
    Dear SkyTrash, your slogan should be “pay your money regularly, be 5-star airline easily!”

  31. I would like to make a comment about turkish airline I flew with them 4 times with my wife on business class on long trip of nine hours each way and have this to say there service on business class was not excellent I would rate them also a 3 star most of the time they give you blankets what they give in economy and food was average staff some are nice and some times they are rude the way they serve you.I flew with Lufthansa airways and air canada on business and I find there service 10times better then turkish.

  32. SkyTrax is a joke. I also used to put a lot of faith and trust in them. I have flown business and economy classes on Hainan Airlines and I cannot understand why they are a five star airline. Very mediocre food and service. Very normal seats. Just like I cannot believe Eva Air is also a five star airline. I should trust my own insight and give some credit and trust to a bit more independent reviewers such as Lucky and Tiffany. OMAAT is more reliable than SkyTrax.

  33. As someone who has flown LH and TK on longhaul fights both in economy, I can say LH is by far better than TK.

  34. Turkish’s product is in fact average; their planes are cramped in economy; the service lacks style and their lounge (to be fair I can comment of that at the old IST airport only for the moment) was thoroughly mediocre.

    Even if the rating is dubious, it is fitting.

  35. honestly the only people who cares about skytrax ratings are “avgeeks” & maybe some airlines. I never fly an airline based on this rating lol

  36. Who cares about these articles from teenagers …..

    One day, after you have travelled really a lot you will realize that a plane is nothing more than a bus. One airliner might be a bit better than the other but in the end it’s the same shit. It will just get you from A to B. After a while the selection criteria are getting simpler: I want to get to my destination as fast as possible, in the safest way, without losing my luggage. Comfort yes that would be a plus… if you travel and work hard you don’t care so much about an entertainment system or food…. You will just sleep or work a bit.

    And btw … I totally agree with the 3 star rating. I fly both LH and TK economy on flights below 4 hours and oh yeah ….TK sucks ( let alone talking about safety, TK has been involved in quite some incidents).

    Anyway if you fly a lot…who cares …just try an airliner and find out. You can pick another airliner/bus next week ….

  37. Me when I travel I don’t go with what skytrax how they rate the airlines I rate the airline the service they give in business class because for 10 years I fly only on business and not in economy like I said before about turkish airline that they deserve 3 star for food and service it a show with there chef on the plane that serves you other airlines don’t have a chef and service is better.

  38. To be homest I am surprised they even got 3 stars, in my openion they don’t deserve more than two stars. Travelled twice by Turkish airline and did not like this airline at all. Their economy class sucks so does their customer service. At IST, even though it’s an international airport, hardly anyone speaks English.I promised myself never to fly with them again never did

  39. Ridiculous! For people who travel internationally more then 3 times a year, everyone know that Lufthansa is nothing more than a barely 4 stars. Skytrax, in my opinion, has never been really credible. For exemple, comparing Ethiad 4 stars with an Air Canada 4 stars doesn’t make sens to be, nor than American Airline with Turkish…

  40. Skytrax lacks objectivity – no question – but its judgement certainly does not only rely on business class food options and softness of the bedding. Ground Service, safety, connectivity, inflight WiFi, consistency of service in all classes – just to name a few – are also taken into account. And TK is certainly not over the top in all these areas. Lufthansa surely has its downs, but anyone who has inside knowledge of the industry not only from a flatbed aisle-access but also professional perspective will admit that Lufthansa does a damn good job – considering their massive fleet and number of daily flights and smooth operations year in and out.

  41. And let’s not forget the real plants in the lavatory onboard….LH doesn’t even have that!!

  42. I wonder if this has something to do with the fact that 40,000 jihadis used TA to get to Syria without any checks or control with tickets paid by Qatar.

  43. Here’s major hotel hospitality news that has gone unreported, but is pretty much along the same line as the topic of this thread: “Hilton Overtakes Marriott as World’s Most Valuable Brand.”

    Just cut and paste the title in your favorite search engine to get to one of the places that reported the story.

    Cheers from my **Presidential Suite** upgrade at Embassy Suites Montreal!

  44. I completely agree that Skytrax is a waste of time, completely conflicted endeavour, that should not be taken seriously.

    However, how can an airline with 2-2-2 and 2-3-2 business class cabins claim to be 4 stars? Regardless of how good their food is, at this day and age, it’s not good enough. (Which makes the Lufthansa rating all the more ridiculous).

    Maybe after they roll out their new business class to most of their fleet they can make that claim, but until then…

  45. Best Business Class Catering in the world? Not. Check again.
    Best 2x3x2 Business Class seating in the world? Not. Check again.

  46. I’ve never heard of Skytrax until I read this article and would think most people like me probably never heard of them either. It’s for maybe the super frequent flyers…I check reviews online or even on YouTube these days before I go with an airline I never been on. As for Turkish, I thought they were really good (economy) on a recent flight to Istanbul. The seats were comfortable, food was actually pretty good and flight attendants very professional. No complaints and I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable the flight was.

  47. I very much agree, Turkish Economy seats on the 777 are supremely comfortable despite their rather tight legroom. And Economy catering is very good as well. Aside from the inconsistent cabin crew,
    my experience is 5 stars.

  48. Well Lucky
    How much did TK pay you for this outrage? You seem to be their payed defender.
    On the other hand you continuously keep bashing LH and wonder why. What is so bad with them?

  49. The quicker other airlines quit this whole SkyTrax scam the better. Most of us know better than to rely exclusively on their airline ‘rating’ system to make a purchase decision (although I still retain a bit more faith in their airport ranking). It’s those less well travelled customers who fall for SkyTrax airline ratings that makes me mad at Skytrax!

  50. Full disclosure, I am a Turkish citizen living in USA for the last 25 years. I flew overseas over 100 times within last 25 years with Turkish airlines and Lufthansa. Lufthansa cannot come close to the service and amenities Turkish airlines provide on those overseas flights. There is no way Lufthansa will have five stars andTurkish airlines will have three stars.

  51. Turkish deserves the 3 star in my opinion. Ive written extensively about the extremely bad to hostile service in J class. The way the service order is rolled out is counter intutive and their food isnt that great. The chef would not be a chef if he wasnt dressed up as one (total marketing ploy and found it odd) and the seats are ok but nothing special.

  52. Turkish desserve this 3 stars, cabin crew awful and lazy in long haul.
    More interested to arrange the plane 1h30 min before landing than give food to J passengers.
    Intra europe flight are also with Nek business class (as LH), boarding all classes together outstations. Staff lying saying plane arriving soon (Domestic mess) when no plane on the way because weather issues. Lounge without food at 1am. That’s clear 3*

  53. Skytrax seems like a racket.

    Is their ratings system transparent? The general thrust of this piece seems to be that Turkish deserve better because their business class is so good, but if the ratings are all about the economy passengers then it is a different story.

    If it factors in value for money/price then it is a different story again.

    It is easy to show a picture of a long-haul business class meal and ask how you can compare that to Ryanair, but they are very different products and somebody is obviously trying to compare them.

  54. Who is Skytrax, and why do their ratings matter? Also, who is JD Power and Associates? They used to give out some award that airlines would trumpet, but I haven’t heard about them much lately.

    It’s Hi-Larious that TK gets lumped in with EasyJet and RyanAir. The later two belong in the same category (whatever that may be) but to lump in TK with that group is funnier than George Carlin’s 7 words you can’t say on TV.

  55. Just checked the website and easyJet has been upgraded to a 4 star airline….. there should be a boycott of scamtrax

  56. Just off a triple-continental trip with Lufthansa (Latin America – Europe – Asia), and it was mediocre. 2-2-2 config, then basically economy for European connection then 2-3-2 config to Asia. Old planes, no luxury factor, efficient. It felt economy / socialist. Not my cup of tea.

  57. Lufthansa as 5* is a bad joke. Turkish as 3* is also bad joke, just opposite around. This is not the real rating, folks. It is just a matter of money, otherwise there is no other logical background possible.
    I fly both TK and LH frequently, the comparison is just unequivocally for TK. And even in no direct comparison I can hardly believe that independent, the REALLY independent auditor, can ever rate 5* to LH. Considering LH food offer in lounges, considering absence of short haul C and the miserable long-haul both hard and soft product in C, it is just ridiculous to rate LH with 5*. Skytrax lost in my eyes the last piece of credibility by doing so.

  58. I wrote what I think are the issues with Skytrax under the Ethiad downgrade article so I won’t repeat it all but they are not current and don’t fairly reflect all cabin classes in my view.

    However. Turkish. There’s a serious complaint about them being downgraded. They are a terrible airline. I wouldn’t even countenance flying with them again. Terrible customer service, worst hub on the planet and the fairly average on board product isn’t enough to lift them out of 3 Star in my view.

  59. The Skytrax airline rating is mostly about economy class (which kind of makes sense because this is what most people fly). Once you realize this, their ratings resonate much better.

  60. Lufthansa European business class is an absolute joke, especially considering the price they charge for it. The food is below average and cabin crew not always friendly, not well-groomed and mostly oldish. Turkish Airlines offers one of the best short-haul business class seat & product globally – referring to the narrow body fleet only here. Food is great (not processed & fresh ingredients), cabin crew well-groomed (wait for the new uniforms – they look great) and friendly. I had cases of very young FAs who looked kinda inexperienced but not unfriendly. TK current business class seat on 777s & 330s may not be state-of-the-art but the amount of space for legs is unbeatable. And still, way more privacy than Lufthansa business seats on long-haul. Wait for the new TK business class seats on 789s & 350s – that will raise the airline’s bar dramatically. Last but not least, TK has great fares in business class, which Lufthansa can only dream about.

    Have not tried Turkish new lounge at the new Istanbul airport yet but did try the average Senator Lufthansa lounges both at Munich, Frankfurt & Dubai – nothing special other than clean & quiet. Food below average and mostly processed. They do serve Valdobbiadene prosecco though, which is highly appreciated.

  61. Airlines spend a lot of money on flagging people who do reviews for Skytrax.

    Once you know a reviewer ia around, airlines put their top people on board. They will kick out pax with infants and plant their own pax around to ensure the flight is AMAZING.

    Airlines should stop paying these mafia organisations.

    Skytrax is a scam.

  62. LH Five Star. Turkish 3 ???
    What a joke.
    Skytrax lost the last remaining credibility.
    For good

  63. Not to just base it on business class but Lufthansa does cater to more people by offering four classes of service, has a consistent product in all cabins and has a fist class terminal. In addition, these ratings are also probably based on timing of flights, ease of booking/ website navigation, connection timings etc- not just the onboard product

  64. Skytrax finally lost my credibility as well. It has been fishy lately but they have finally dug their own grave.

    I’ve flown TK’s business and economy numerous times and both have been very good to excellent. In economy they provided the best set of amenity kit with quality brand lip balm and moisture cream (something only provided in business class in other carriers), the meals were excellent (what other airlines provides extra-virgin olive oil for dressing and home-made lemonade in economy?), and free unlimited wi-fi as being an Elite member in their FFP. As Lucky’s mentioned, still maintained 3-3-3 configuration in economy which was quite pleasant as well.

    LH on the other hand – while I’ve only flown once on a long-haul flight in business class, but their seat is far less comfortable than TK’s as foot-space is quite restricted, and the meal (both appetizer and main) was so salty that it was one of the worst food I’ve had on a plane. Service efficient, but there was nothing so spectacular about them – may be apart from the Bose headphone.

  65. p.s. Just to be fair, I did love LH’s FCT at FRA! In their F, the seat was very comfortable and service good, but apart from their caviar the food wasn’t impressive either.

  66. Mr Erme from the United states I don’t agree what you are talking about Lufthansa I fly them most of the time on business from montreal quebec to athens Greece and service wise turkish does not come close to them turkish is only a show the chef with the big hat serving the people on business .And staff on plane have a hard time to speak English most of the time.I Flew Turkish from montreal to athens 8 times on business class with my wife and I did not see any changes with the service. I thought they going to change over the years I flew with them but still the same they deserve a 3 star.I flew Lufthansa air canada and swiss air and klm airlines and service is better then Turkish on business .

  67. God only knows how that airline ever got the 5* rating, tho it was consistent with their push a few years ago to increase their profile, reach and routes. Outside of the business class product, 3* seems spot on, and I’ve always scratched my head at how dramatically different the different classes are. Even if the business class product is good, I have had some of the comically worst food and service on Turkish in economy. That really does say something about the airline as a whole. At least most are consistent (China Southern’s business class experience is a perfect example, as is Emirates’ economy).

  68. Who actually pays attention to Skytrax ratings?! A bunch industry executives who want something to brag about and make them seem better than they are

  69. It’s probably easier if you post your own rankings instead.

    Skytrax has no credit-ability since god knows how long ago…

  70. @Lucky
    I thought it was common knowledge (at least from those I have talk to inside the airline industry) that Skytrax rating comes partially from the amount of spend an airline had with Skytrax. When airline pull back on spending or pull out all together, their rating will drop. This is nothing new, everyone knows that within the industry. So that’s why people mostly ignore Skytrax rating, but airline still participate because the media coverage are essentially forcing their hands.

  71. Honestly this is entirely rediculous. My experience with Lufthansa warrants a 3star rating. My experience with turkish warrants a 4 star.

  72. Again a political rubbish just to downgrade an excellent airline such a TK. I have been using it since years on short and long flights, on business and economy, and it is always THE BEST. On the contrary, Lufthansa offers dirty sets and destroyed reading magazines in economy, and cheap wrapped snacks…Definitely, on short European flights, Lufthansa seems like a low cost airline. Conclusion: Skytrax assessment is another bullshit.

  73. I never looked at Skytrax ratings. I can certainly say I was disappointed with Lufthansa and its my least favorite F product with a very cold staff. The FCT was good, but the flight itself was well beneath my expectations.

  74. Some are missing the point. Skytrax is a scam that some airlines can use as a marketing tool.

    TK stopped paying and got downgraded because they…. DID NOT PAY.

    LH with its new J class coming in 3 years (at the time) paid for the 5 star rating on the basis of something coming in 3 years.

    If people are too dumb to see it, then this is the times we live in.

  75. Turkish airlines customer service is just a joke. Lufthansa will pay if they fuck up, Turkish will just point you to some online form that will get you nowhere. Asked and was granted a bassinet for my baby on our return intercontinental flight on booking, but on the way back was stuffed somewhere in the middle because they apparently found they could charge a couple of $ more for the service. Of course without contact, apologies or anything for 11 hours of horror. Assholes.

  76. Regarding Lufthansa, I’ll stay out of the issue as to whether or not it is worthy of a 5-star rating, but it is clearly the best out of the EU3. So it’s either LH gets 5 stars and the other two get 4 stars, or LH gets 4 stars and the other two get 3 stars. Either way BA is clearly at the bottom of the pile, relatively speaking. Personally, I would give BA 3.2, AF 3.5, and LH 4.0.

  77. My wife and I flew Turkish R/T from Munich to Manila for Xmas when we found a great business class fare. The whole experience was some of the best flights in business class we’ve ever had. We both slept really well. The flight attendants couldn’t have been nicer and the food was even better. Even the short haul leg between Munich and Istanbul was amazing as for as intra-Europe business class is concerned. We’d never hesitate to fly Turkish again.

  78. You guys are trying to justify the ratings based on actual facts. I hate (no, I do not) to be cynical but remember that money makes the world turn.

  79. I just flew Turkish Airlines yesterday. IAD-IST on an a330-300 in economy. It was the most uncomfortable flight I’ve had in a very long time. The pitch was ridiculously tight and I was in pain the entire nearly 10 hours. Food was pretty good, however. Flight attendants left
    Much to be desired. The entire flight they were barking orders at passengers like marine sergeants. Possibly the coldest treatment I’ve ever witnessed from attendants. I guess they change their tune in business class.

  80. I actually agree Turkish Airlines is a three star airlines from my past flying experience. Couple years ago I flew Business Class from Dubai to Frankfurt with a stop in IST. The service was awful! Flight leaving Dubai was 2 AM so most business class passengers were skipping meals and wanted to sleep. I was sleeping in the first row of business class and I heard 3 flight attendants laughing (to a point their noises actually woke me up). I looked up and saw them eating business class passengers food (egg omelette) with the business class tray in sight. You would think they at least pull the curtain so no one can see. From IST to Frankfurt, the business class is almost empty (only 4 passengers) and no smiles from any flight attendants and the only interaction from the flight attendant “Here is your menu.”

  81. They don’t call it “SkyTrash” for nothing. The ratings have long been meaningless, the passenger reviews petty, spiteful and entitled (“My 6’4 husband was not offered an upgrade, despite his broken ankle”; “The service in economy class lacked any personalisation and there was very little leg-room”)

    There’s no reason to visit that site at all.

  82. I would personally put Turkish at a high 3 or low 4, and for my preferences, I would put LH above TK any day. However I understand that other people feel differently and I imagine it also has to do with what kind of service you prefer. If you don’t need fake smiles and just want competent consistent service, LH has never failed me. Sometimes TK cabin crew seem more smiley and happy, but they are far less reliable and somebody smiling at me doesn’t enhance my experience. And while I agree that TK puts on a good show for business class meal service, I have never been disappointed by LH meals in business. And when it is in season, the usually serve the lovely asparagus that is so popular throughout Germany. I don’t really need it to be served to me by somebody wearing a big white hat. Not really sure why so many people think TK is better than LH. The only reason I ever choose TK is because they are often significantly cheaper.

  83. The only crazy thing is that anyone believes Skytrax.

    Anything that opaque and so often at odds with the traveling public smells rotten.

  84. I honestly don’t understand why people rave about the TK business class catering. Qatar, Oman Air, SQ and LX are light years better for example. TK planes are also not really clean and look old and worn. Their business product is very outdated compared to many other airlines. Even LH has a better product in my opinion. The business lounge in IST (yes, the new one as well) is a mess. I prefer smaller and slicker lounges (like the LX SEN lounge in Zurich for example). TK’s website, customer service and the is also not worth 4 stars.

  85. It’s not only about the Onboard experience. Check out the Airport services (nothing better than 3.5 stars). Many people who I know, say the wouldn’t fly turkish in the future, because of delays, dirty planes, worn seats…

    If I look at the 3 Star Airlines in europe, I would rate LOT and SAS higher than TK

  86. My first experience with TK is terrible. They cancel a flight and move me to a flight that won’t work for my schedule. They refused to put me on their codeshare or partner airlines. Compared to CX, without me asking, put me on the most convenient Thai Airways. I think this is the price I have to pay for picking a now 3* airline.

  87. I have flown TK several times and I’ve always been happy about their service. On May 5th this year, though, I had a horrible experience. The departing flight was late and I lost my connecting flight in Istanbul. I had to face incredibly rude and careless TK employees at their “care” desk. I got stuck at the airport for 11 hours and was also threatened with these exact words: “I will call the police and you will see what happens to you”. At the “care” desk, I was in very good company: hundreds of passengers stranded, people shouting, people crying. All around the new airport, streams of youngsters with an “ask me” t-shirt on, supposedly there to provide information but unable to speak English. My impression is that since the move to the new airport, for some reason, TH quality crashed to third-world Country standards.

  88. I just flew LJU-ISL (the new Istanbul airport), there were no toilet tissues at the start of the flight, the meal choice in cattle, ooops, economy, was chicken or chicken, no vegetarian options, the service was at half pace compared to Etihad/Emirates/Qatar/SQ/Qantas/Gulf (I can continue) the safety video was ludicrous and nit funny or clear and it was cut off, staff stated good old hand signs, it is almost impossible to get a second drink in a 2 hr flight! How did it get 3-4 stars to begin with?

  89. I’ll echo what Henry and Attilio are saying: I had a flight cancellation where they moved moved me to a flight that would cause me to miss my next leg. Agents at the call center caused more problems than they solved and were totally indifferent and unhelpful. Any attempted “fix” to my problem just created more issues, and they blame “system issues”. I absolutely do not recommend TK.

  90. Booked air travel from MN to Israel and when we got to Boston ( flying Jet blue first flight ) before we boarded to Turkish airline we were told that we are not allowed on the plain because we require visas. I am an American citizen and my passport does not expire for another 2 years but was told that I am required travelers visa and was not allowed on the plain. Had to spent the night at the airport and fly back home the next day. Turkish airline refuses to talk about this situation and we planned this trip for over a year and spent over $8,000 on hotel and tour guide and airline tickets . They refuse to refund the money or take fault for their actions. We had a group of 36 people and all the others did not take Turkish airline and made it to Israel and back just fine. I will never fly this airline again or tell others to buy tickets from them .

  91. I do believe that Lufthansa is not a five-star Airline. Based on customer reviews in skytrax, there are other 4-star Airlines that score higher than lufthansa, including Korean Airlines, Emirates, and even Thai Airways. Under the various skytrax categories of service, food, seat Comfort, in-flight entertainment system, and value-for-money, Korean Airlines is performing at the caliber of other five star Asian airlines whereas Lufthansa is only marginally better than its European competition. And Emirates, which already has an impressive Fleet of well over 100 Airbus a380s cannot get a five star rating, but Lufthansa can be handed a five star rating based on speculative reasons. That is just so ridiculous.

    With regards to Turkish Airlines, I believe they perform at a very similar level to Lufthansa and other European carriers such as British, KLM, Air France, and Finnair. I would not put Turkish in the same league as China Eastern, Air China, American, or United.

  92. Skytrax is just scam, let’s start with this first of all. I never flew long-haul with LH, however their European operations are just crap.
    Business seats, they use same configuration with Economy, really ? I’d take Easyjet to fly 1A
    Lounge in Frankfurt, almost nothing… even a horrible coffee is not available, difficult to check ?
    Rude flight attendants, the lady once passed me over (was sleeping) asked her to give me my food, she on purpose ignored, she finalized the service and came to me giving the in-flight food. You’d never get this shit treatment.
    Seats… They are just bad ! just get over with it… those seats are just nothing but below average.
    And Frankfurt Airport… I do not get this over-hyped airport, I missed my goddamn connecting flights due to security service (they blocked our way for nothing…) I had to stay at an hotel, CDG, London, Rome, IST, … nowhere I saw such stupidity, I stopped flying already the last 3 years with LH, and yes I fly 500.000 miles a year.
    You get nothing with LH, just nothing, unless you are a paid troll from them I will never see LH as 5-star, my rating is 3-x.
    So my rating goes like this:
    Air France 4-x
    British 4-x
    Turkish 4-x
    Singapore 5-x (yes they earn this !)
    Asiana 4-x -> 4++
    Korean 4-x -> 4++ (cant give them 5… but they are better than any other 4s)
    Aeroflot 4-x
    LOT 3-x (could be 4 also… had few experience with them)
    Easyjet 3-x
    WizzAir 2-x (for their constant scam at check-ins)
    Alitalia 4-x (not sure why Skytrax treats them as 3-x)
    Pegasus 3-x (Skytrax just… be honest, what did they do to you to earn 2-x? I flew easyjet, ryan, wizz… I know how they are)
    Fly enough to give ratings…

  93. Let me first start by saying I am sure others have probably had very good experiences with Turkish airline particularly the business class. However, my experience is nothing to write home about.

    I used this airline in traveling from Accra, through Istanbul, to JFK and then back. I almost missed my connecting flight from Istanbul to JFK on the first journey because of their delays but thankfully I made it. On my return journey our flight from JFK to Istanbul was delayed for about 3hrs, meanwhile the layover in Istanbul was 2hrs 45mins. Meaning we were most likely going to miss the connecting flight. The flight attendants told me they could provide free hotel in JFK for the night so that I could join the next flight scheduled for the next day to Istanbul. They then went ahead to tell me that if I decide to still board the delayed flight JFK to Istanbul that night and end up missing my connecting flight , they will take care of me in Istanbul until my next available flight to Accra, without paying a dime. So I decided to board the delayed flight.

    We got there and rushed to the terminal but we missed the flight at about 3pm. We were given new tickets for the next day and were directed to another desk for our hotels and feeding. The attendants kept redirecting us from one desk to another form 3pm till about 10pm. It was frustrating and exhausting. There was absolutely no communication between them, terrible customer service and non-existent emotional intelligence. Some of the attendants walked out on me at some point, others said Turkish airlines policies vary from country to country. One even said their colleagues elsewhere just say things to get customers off their backs.

    Well eventually we realized that we were supposed to pay for visas to access the hotels outside the airport because Turkish airline was not ready/willing to pay for the hotels in the airport. After series of arguments I decided to pay for the visa but was told I couldn’t pay in cash (I didn’t have a card on me by then). What was more disheartening was a Canadian woman with a toddler who was made to pay for the visa only to be turned down by the immigration, claiming she needed a schingen visa. Why then do you make her pay?! Why not consider the child?! Why such poor communication?! Such brazen ignorance and unprofessionalism.

    Upon seeing the woman and her baby’s ordeal I figured we were on our own by no fault of ours and had to find a place to sleep in the airport. By the time this debacle was over it was midnight.

    I will never use or recommend this airline to anyone. They are terrible especially to non-US and non-European citizens. Their attendants offer little to no help. They were never aware of what was going on. Schedules were changed at will without prior information. I received an empty response when I complained to their customer service.

    That said, there were a few that were amazing but I will still never recommend this airline to anyone.

  94. Ben Lucky, Have you heard a thing called customer service?
    I d travel as much as you do but I do travel quite frequently to overseas from my hometown Houston. I almost always travel by eith Emirates or Qatar. Emirates used to be best but recently in past few years I would say Qatar has surpassed them. Qatar airline has better customer service , more leg room and better entertainment.
    Now coming to Turkish airline to be honest with you, they have the worst customer service, horrible inflight entertainment system. Their wifi never work. I have traveled 3 time by Turkish airline, their crew has no manners, alwzys look tired and upset. My last traveling experience was worst. I had a stay in Istanbul for about a week. I made an enquiry that if if I fly early how much more would I have to pay, difference was too much, so I decided to stick to my original itinerary. But yhese moorons cancelled my original reservation. Made several phone calls to them no help. Long story short, they mafe me pay $1530 more for me and my wife to fly out of Istanbul. So not only are they rude but rooks. So Turkish airline is the SHITIEST airline, one should avoid travelingat all cost.

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