“ Free Bird Airlines (Turkish: Hürkuş Havayolu Taşımacılık ve Ticaret A.Ş.) is an airline based in Istanbul, Turkey. It operates holiday charter flights in Europe to and from Turkish holiday resorts. Its main base is Atatürk International Airport, Istanbul, with hubs at Antalya Airport and Dalaman Airport. „
We flew with freebird airlines this summer from London Gatwick to Dalaman, and it was a nightmare from start to finish.
To begin, the check in at Gatwick was terrible. They had two members of staff for at least two hundred customers. We arrived two hours prior to the flight and got in one of the very long queues. By the time we got checked in, it was only thirty minutes before departure time, so we had no time to look at duty free etc, as the departure gate was about a twenty minute walk from where we were.
It was during this walk that I noticed that staff had not given my two year old a seat (and we had paid for one!). At the gate, the lady was very apologetic and said that the check in staff must have thought she was a baby and could travel on our lap. The lady gave us a seat, but this was ultimately the route to our crisis.
As my daughter had not been officially booked on at check in, after two weeks when we arrived at the Dalaman check in, staff informed us that they had sold her seat back to the UK as she had never flown out! Clearly, there she was sat on the desk, although they were having none of it! We argued with them about the fact that we had paid for a seat and so deserved to fly home, but they refused to let her board. After speaking to the Freebird manager, she said that the seat had been sold, and that I would have to choose one of my family to stay behind as there was no room on the flight for her anymore. It was the most stressful experience ever! I had to select my mum, who even when we left, I still had no idea how she was going to get home.
In the end, they got her on a flight to Manchester. I phoned freebird as soon as I got to London, who were useless. They said that she should go to the freebird desk in Manchester when she arrives and they would give her £50 to get a coach to London. She was crying when she phoned me at Manchester as she was so tired and upset from the stress. The man at the desk said she needed to get a coach and they would reimburse her at a later date. She was devastated. After much arguing, they eventually agreed that she could have £100 for a train ticket as it was faster.
To this day we have had no apology from the airline. Whenever we phone to complain they just say that she got home eventually so that was okay!
Cheap airline, dirty planes, bored staff...and they might sell your baby's seat!
First of all, Turkish airlines, are alot worse than our usual budget airlines. Freebird rarely flys to the United Kingdom but one summer (2007) Freebird made sevel routes from Glasgow Intl to Dalaman. I happened to be on one of theese routes.
Check In -
Wasn't too bad. However, there were some complecations due to the fact two days prior to our departure some idiots ran a flaming jeep into our terminal building. I won't go into into much detail as I don't want a full debate about terrorist attacks on my comments. Flight was maybe half an hour later, nothing serious, I have had much worse! Plane arrived, smallest thing id ever seen!
Unfortunatly, the seats were very rubber and cheap looking. But they were fine once you got used to them! Cabin crew were very friendly, except for one, who had smiling problems. Im guessing she was the cabin manager, as she was the one always moaning at the children. Safety demonstration was informative, they speak so fast that you cant udnerstand a word they say! But at least I caught "have a nice flight" at the end. Well seeing they took there time when giving the Turkish Demonstration!
We headed off quickly, but could I add, I dont think the pilot was ment to go THAT fast at take off. Id say he went well over 100 knots. Anyways, take off was fine, so was the first 15 minutes of the flight. Pilot informed us of everything, and I had never heard a Tukish person speak so good English. No entertainment on the flight, but at least the magizines were in ENGLISH! Meals came, the rice was lovely but the chiken tasted of rubber. Dessert was good, and Freebird provide free soft drinks on there flights. Rest off the flight went okay, Cabin Crew had many arguments, but Id imagine they made up in the end. Landing was fine, but if your ever flying to Dalaman, please note, your ladning over a beach, so it WILL look like your pilots trying to make a suicide attempt in the sea.
Returning flight home, we struggled to find check in, one flight was going to Glasgow, but was passing London Gatwick aswell. It would have helped if they gave us the right Flight number! Is it really too much to ask? My party was lucky we got on a flight that day! About 20 passengers were left stranded, for god knows how long! After all the trouble, we were still in check-in during final call.
We had to run to passport control then straight to our plane. Thankgod Dalaman had orginised there airport out, we would never had found our was out. Already worried we would miss our flight we got stopped at security for taking make-up on board. As we explain the flight was seconds from leaving, they allowed us to go staright through. We were very hungry on the flight but by the time the trolly came up to us, all there was left was a packet of weathers origonal. We were even at the back of the aircraft! Cabin crew wern't so friendly coming back.
Not a very good flight experience, but its better than most Ive had.
The airline was established in June 2000 and started operations in 2001 using 3 McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft. Domestic services were launched in 2004.