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Turkish Airlines Connecting Flights


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This is a Turkish Airlines connecting flights guide.

In this guide, you’ll learn more about Turkish Airlines connecting flights, baggage rules, air passenger rights and compensation rules. Turkish Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Turkey. It is one of the most popular airlines in the world. Serving more than 300 destinations in 126 countries, Turkish Airlines is the largest carrier in the world by number of countries served.

Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.

Turkish Airlines Plane
Turkish Airlines airplane


Is It Protected?

Yes, it’s a protected connection.

Traditional airlines sell airline-protected connecting flights. It’s more convenient and more safe than self-transfer flights. You don’t need a visa for connecting flights like this.

Unless you book flights separately.

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Baggage Rules

Airline takes care of your baggage.

Mostly, you will check in baggage only once — you won’t have to recheck baggage for every flight. This is how it works with full-service airlines and airline-protected connecting flights.

Baggage allowance depends on the ticket, destination and occasionally some other factors. 


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1. Turkish Airlines Connecting Flights

Turkish Airlines is a full-service traditional airline.

Normally, full-service traditional airlines offer airline-protected connecting flights. Free baggage allowance, free meals, wide flight network and protected airline connections are the reasons why so many choose to fly with traditional airlines.

Airline-protected connecting flights are better than self transfers.

Airline-protected connecting flights are:

  • More safe. Your airline takes care of flight problems.
  • More convenient. Baggage transfer is automatic.
  • Easier to book. You book several flights as a single journey.

Turkish Airlines sells airline-protected connecting flights.

1.1 Connecting Flights, One Airline

You have booked a connecting flight with Turkish Airlines.

In some situations you will fly with Turkish Airlines only. You will have two or more flights and all of them will be operated by Turkish Airlines. These will be Turkish Airlines airplanes and Turkish Airlines staff. But keep in mind that it’s not the case with all Turkish Airlines connecting flights.

Some Turkish Airlines connecting flights could be operated by other airlines.

1.2 Turkish Airlines Codeshare Partners

Sometimes airlines share their flights.

You have booked a connecting flight with Turkish Airlines. But a part of it (or even all of it) is operated by another airline. Is it OK? Yes. In fact, it’s quite common for airlines to partner with other airlines and share their flights. It is done in order to widen their flight network. Connecting flights with different airlines is nothing unusual. These kind of flights are called codeshare flights, and airlines collaborating — codeshare partners.

What you should know is that:

  • If you miss a connecting flight through no fault of your own, it’s Turkish Airlines’s responsibility. You should contact the airline to ask them to find you an alternative flight. As long as it’s a Turkish Airlines connection booked from Turkish Airlines, they are called marketing airline, and they are also responsible for finding solutions.
  • If your flight is heavily delayed, cancelled or overbooked, compensation is paid by airline operating this particular flight. If it’s operated by some other airline, not Turkish Airlines, then they are called operating airline — they have to pay compensation when it’s due.

See a list of Turkish Airlines codeshare partners here.

Turkish Airlines plane landing in Turkey
Turkish Airlines plane landing

2. What If Turkish Airlines Cancels a Flight?

Why Turkish Airlines is cancelling their flights.

There are a number of reasons why an airline cancels their flights. Some of the most popular are: bad weather, staff shortage, technical problems, airport congestion, security issues.

2.1 One of Your Flights Is Cancelled

Turkish Airlines is an airline registered in Turkey.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

This applies to all their flights departing from Europe.

And if as a result you’re going to miss your connecting flight, it’s the airline’s responsibility to offer you a new flight to your final destination. You may also choose a full refund. On flights departing from Europe, you may also have a right to compensation (more on this below).

Did you miss a connecting flight? File a compensation claim online.

2.2 All Your Flights Are Cancelled

Overall, for you as a passenger, the options are the same.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, Turkish Airlines must:

  • Offer you a choice between a new flight and full refund.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport if it’s a last-minute cancellation and you are already at the airport (you have a right to care).

This applies to their flights departing from Europe.

Refund must be paid within seven days.

You may have a right to EU flight cancellation compensation.

2.3 Turkish Airlines Refund for Cancellation

Yes, you have a right to ask for a refund.

Your flight was cancelled. But you don’t want to take the alternative flight offered to you because it doesn’t fit your travel plans. You can ask for a full refund. You don’t have to accept any coupons from the airline. The refund must be paid by bank transfer to the same bank card you made the booking from.

It must be paid within seven days.

The refund part applies to flights departing from Europe.

On other flights, it depends from their policies.

Hong Kong airport layover
Hong Kong airport

3. Turkish Airlines Missed Connecting Flight

Why do people miss connecting flights?

You may miss a connecting flight because your previous flight was delayed or cancelled. You may miss a flight because of airport congestions and long queues. And, sometimes, you may simply wait at the wrong gate or fall asleep while waiting for flight — happens.

3.1 What Happens If You Miss Turkish Airlines Connection?

If it’s your fault that it happened — it’s your responsibility.

If it’s not your fault, then your airline has to take care of that. If you booked a flight from Turkish Airlines, it doesn’t even matter if the flight is operated by Turkish Airlines or not, you should contact Turkish Airlines. It’s their responsibility to find a solution. You missed a connecting flight through no fault of your own, Turkish Airlines must offer you a solution.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, they must:

  • Take you to your final destination as soon as possible.
  • Offer you assistance at the airport (you have a right to care).

On flights from Europe all of this applies.

On other routes, they have to at least offer you a new flight.

Read more: Missed Connecting Flight Due to Delay 

3.2 Right to Compensation from Turkish Airlines

Sometimes you have a right to compensation.

If your Turkish Airlines flight:

  • Departs from the EU, EEA or UK
  • Is 3+ hours late at destination, and
  • Is delayed or cancelled due to the fault of the airline

Then you may be entitled to compensation from the airline. As you can see, these rules apply only to flights departing from the EU, EEA or UK.

Flight cancelled less than 2 weeks before the trip?

You might be entitled to flight cancellation compensation.


File a Claim Online

3.3 Right to Care from Turkish Airlines

On Turkish Airlines flights departing from Europe you have a right to care.

According to the EU Regulation 261/2004 airline should provide:

  • Free food and drinks in a reasonable relation to the waiting time.
  • Free hotel accommodation if a stay of one or more nights is necessary.
  • Free airport transfer to hotel and back.
  • Plus, two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails. So you can contact your loved ones and notify about the delay.

In case of Turkish Airlines, the regulation applies only to flights departing from European airports. With European airlines it applies to all flights.

When it comes to air passenger rights, unless otherwise stated, we talk about air passenger rights in the EU, EEA and UK. When we say Europe or European, we mean EU, EEA or UK. This is done for the simplicity, since the according laws in these countries are about the same.

Istanbul Airport
Istanbul Airport

4. How to Book Connecting Flights with Turkish Airlines?

You can do it directly from Turkish Airlines or via a third-party.

Either you visit Turkish Airlines website and book your ticket there, or visit any third party ticket seller ( or and use it to book your ticket. These are two most popular options. When possible, we would recommend you to book directly from the airline. It’s safer.

How to Book?

Airline website (directly).

This is the easiest way to book a connecting flight. It’s also the safest way to book a connection. You make a single booking, have a single reservation code and the booking includes several flights. Sometimes they are all with one airline, other times – two or more. Anyway, in this case, you can be 100% sure that you have a proper connecting flight.

Other Option

Flight booking websites.

Few examples:,,

Pay attention to the details. Because some of these sites are only search engines, and sellers are other websites. Apart from that, they often sell both airline-protected connecting flights and self-transfer flights. If it’s a self-transfer, know that it comes with its own risks, and there are things you should take into account. Self-transfer is not the same thing as airline-protected transfer. 

For extra protection, buy also a travel insurance covering flight disruptions, or book with sites like, who offer extra protection.

With you are more protected than normally.

Read more: How to Book Connecting Flights?

Two backpacks

5. Turkish Airlines Connecting Flights: Baggage

Since Turkish Airlines is a traditional airline, everything’s very easy.

Baggage rules on connecting flights with Turkish Airlines are simple.

In short, Turkish Airlines takes care of your baggage. Check in your luggage before your first flight. And in most cases, it will be delivered to your final destination. You won’t have to collect and recheck baggage between the flights.

Unless you have a self-transfer connection — two or more separately booked flights, or you’re traveling through a country that requires everyone to collect and recheck their baggage (US, for example).

If you have doubts, ask the staff at the check-in counter.

5.1 Baggage Transfer: Different Airlines

What happens if there are several airlines?

What if one of your flights is operated by different airline, not Turkish Airlines? As we already talked, you may experience this, because Turkish Airlines does share some of its flights with its codeshare partners. In this situation the rules are the same — your baggage is being taken care of by an airline. In most situations you won’t have to worry about it.

Read more:

5.2 Turkish Airlines Free Baggage Allowance

Baggage allowance varies — it’s not the same on all flights.

Free baggage allowance depends on the airline, travel class and destination. 

To see your baggage allowance, check your booking confirmation. If you are booking a flight with Turkish Airlines, you can see baggage allowance when you are choosing your flight.

5.3 Economy Light

This is the cheapest option for long-haul flights.

Economy Light comes without free baggage allowance.

We see this all across the industry. Full-service traditional airlines are offering also tickets without free checked baggage allowance. The wording is also often the same — Economy Light. So, if you see this, most likely it’s without checked baggage (carry on baggage only).

For now, Turkish Airlines doesn’t offer Economy Light tickets. Tickets in all travel classes come with free checked in luggage allowance. However, their baggage policy can change. So, make sure you check what is included in the fare, at the time when you are making a booking.

Maldives sunset
Photo by Asad Photo Maldives

6. Connecting Flight Examples

Here are two connecting flight examples with Turkish Airlines.

6.1 Protected Connecting Flights with Turkish Airlines (Most Common)

For this example I’ll be using the website of Turkish Airlines.

Let’s assume that I want to fly from Berlin to Male (Maldives).

I search for flights for August 30, and these are my options:

Berlin - Maldives Connecting Flight with Turkish Airlines
Berlin – Maldives Connecting Flight with Turkish Airlines

On their website Turkish Airlines sells only protected connecting flights. However, as you might already know, some connecting flights could be operated by codeshare partners. But despite this fact, they still are going to be protected by the marketing airline (in this case, Turkish Airlines).

If this matters to you, if you want to be traveling with Turkish Airlines, you must pay attention to details like this. Don’t forget that flight duration, number of stops and price also vary. In this case, all of the connecting flights are fully operated by Turkish Airlines — on their airplanes and with their staff.

If I was to choose one option, it would be No 3. It’s the cheapest one. It’s longer than the more expensive options, but it’s still shorter than option No 4.

6.2 Self-Transfer Flights with Turkish Airlines

Now, let’s assume, that your itinerary is slightly more complex.

Male is not your final destination. You want to fly from Berlin to Male, and from Male onwards to Colombo (Sri Lanka), from where you will explore Sri Lanka. But before that you want to spend a few days at an all-inclusive resort in Maldives.

  1. You book a connecting flight to Male, like in the example above. For example, you’re taking one of the cheapest options, the third one, which arrives in Male at 4:20 pm. 
  2. And then you go to, or some other flight booking website, and book a flight from Male to Colombo. Leaving yourself, let’s say, 5 days in Maldives. You can also book this flight directly from an airline. This is one of the ways you can make self transfer more safe.

Until Male you have an airline-protected connecting flight. If your first flight is delayed or cancelled, Turkish Airlines will take care of that. Most likely they will put you on another flight for free. However, the last flight, Male – Colombo, which you have booked separately, is a self-transfer layover (a stopover, in fact). 

Take this into account, and don’t book short stopovers or layovers. 45-minute layovers are safe only with protected connecting flights. In this case, however, you have several days until your next flight departs — nothing to worry about.

Most likely you will need a visa for this! You will need a visa for a connecting flight like this. Otherwise, you won’t be allowed to leave the airport in Maldives (or even to board a plane to Maldives). Take this into account! Find out if you need a visa for Maldives and Sri Lanka before you travel. 

What is your experience with Turkish Airlines? Have you ever missed a connecting flight with Turkish Airlines? How did the airline solve this? Did you receive compensation from Turkish Airlines?

Featured photo by Kürşat Kuz

About the author:

Co-founder and Editor at Connecting Flights Guide

Una is an organized globetrotter and foodie who’s been living a digital nomad lifestyle since 2013. She always starts her day early with a good book before diving into work. Apart from traveling and aviation, her other passions include gym, hiking and cycling. Una is also a strong proponent of AI technology. She firmly believes in its potential to simplify life and has often advocated for its wider adoption in our day-to-day activities. Her favorite airlines are Qatar Airways, Emirates, and KLM.


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Connecting Flights Guide

Your go-to guide to air travel rules and regulations. Connecting flights, self transfer, onward tickets and more – we want you to understand air travel better

This article may contain compensated links. Learn more in our disclaimer.

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