A total of 42 Uzbek citizens missed charter flights operated by Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to Tashkent, on July 16 and 30 this year. The luggage of some of them is waiting for its owner in Tashkent.
Today, Kun.uz has received an unusual appeal, sent from Istanbul, Turkey. Allegedly, several dozen Uzbek citizens had missed the charter flight after buying tickets for it.
It was reported by phone that the charter flight was scheduled and compatriots were informed of buying tickets. They paid about $500 and got a ticket. After they were checked in at the airport, some of the passengers missed the flight.
Wondering if that could ever happen, we decided to study the appeal in detail.
First, about the content of the appeal.
According to the audio recordings, photos and videos presented to Kun.uz, on July 30, a charter flight was operated by Turkish Airlines en route “Istanbul-Tashkent-Istanbul”. A total of 31 Uzbek citizens missed the plane with their tickets in their hands.
As it turned out, the flight was scheduled for 15:30 and the plane took off on time.
However, among them, there are passengers whose luggage is waiting for their owners in Tashkent. Some have even been stamped on their tickets and passports at the border control. How can it be understood that some of them missed the flight with the tickets in their hands?
When Kun.uz contacted the citizens of Uzbekistan, who missed the charter flight, they reported that the luggage of some passengers had already arrived in Uzbekistan. They were stranded in the airport with a passport in their hands. However, some of them purchased tickets for $516 after a consular call and arrived at the airport on time.
According to audio recordings presented by various passengers, while they were waiting in a queue to pay the fine for violating the Turkish migration laws, a representative of the airline arrived and announced that the plane had taken off. According to them, passengers, who were not on the consular list, also came and bought a ticket for $480 and managed to leave for Uzbekistan. (The editorial office received a report from a relative of one of the passengers, who departed from Turkey in such a way). The petitioners also allege that excess tickets were sold compared to the actual seats on the plane.
Kun.uz contacted a representative of Turkish Airlines in Tashkent for comment on the incident at the Istanbul airport and asked a few questions. His answers were as follows.
• The airline has nothing to do with the list of charter flights for the repatriation of Uzbeks in Turkey. The Consulate General of Uzbekistan in Istanbul is responsible for making calls to passengers on the list and controlling ticket purchases.
• As noted by the applicants, tickets for charter flights are sold only on the list provided by the Consulate, tickets are not sold to unregistered citizens. The representative of the airline said a consular representative could allow other citizens to buy tickets if the registrants did not arrive.
• Charter flights organized for evacuation purposes are carried out on time, there is no possibility to delay them. Custom charter flights can only be operated at any time by the customer.
• The registration of tickets, the stamping of passports, and other relevant cases should be investigated separately.
At the same time, all 11 passengers, who remained on July 16, were taken to hospital by security personnel a few days later, and then – to a detention center for foreigners. The women were reportedly sent to Uzbekistan, but six Uzbek men were still being detained at 1,000 kilometers from Istanbul.
According to the petitioners, the Consulate General of Uzbekistan in Istanbul was responsible for overseeing these charter flights, but no consular staff was present when the charter flights of July 16 and 30 were being operated.
Kun.uz correspondent turned to the Telegram page of the Consulate General of Uzbekistan in Istanbul to clarify the situation. But so far there is no answer.
At the same time, given that the next “Istanbul-Tashkent-Istanbul” flight, operated by Turkish Airlines, will be launched on August 14, the question of who will provide assistance to citizens of Uzbekistan who are stranded at the airport remains open.