Onur Air Flight OHY 619
Onur Air Back from Fethiye now after a beautiful two weeks.We had a nightmare with the flight back though.
We flew on Onur Airlines, flight OHY 619, 04:40hrs flight from Dalaman to Birmingham.

We’d been in the air for about 40-50 minutes when the drama started. Some passengers recalled not feeling that things were right from the word go and we remember a strange and unfamiliar whirring noise before take off. It may be unrelated to actual problems but can’t help but think that we commented on it at the time. Our aircraft lost pressure in the cabin 3 times, forcing the plane to drop vertically. The oxygen masks came down on the third time, sending everyone into an instant panic. There were some teenage girls a couple of rows behind us that started screaming. We were informed by the pilot that we were making an emergency landing due to technical problems. While he was speaking, you could hear the sound ground control in the background. It seemed it was all go in the cock pit. We could smell burning. I swear to God, I thought I was going to die. We all did. My girlfriend was holding the man's hand next to her or so I assumed. Turns out he had grabbed hers in the panic. It took 45 minutes to get into Istanbul, the longest, most terrifying 45 minutes of my life. Ever. My girlfriend and I were lucky enough to have secured seats with extra leg room which meant we were next to an emergency exit. We did not have a window seat which we are now quite grateful for. Other passengers with window seats later reported that we were over water when the oxygen masks were deployed. Upon descending into Istanbul, we could hear the plastic interior of aircraft creaking with every touch of turbulence. The engine roared and revved in a fashion unlike I’d ever experienced. There were clearly problems with the electrics as the pinging “seat belt warning” sound kept ringing in succession. 4 times. Then 6 times. There was a woman seated about 5 rows ahead of us that had a fit / panic attack. This was met by an airline steward giving her an oxygen tank and shouting out, “Is there a doctor on board?!”. He later had to strap himself into a seat next to the emergency exit as we were landing in the next 5 minutes. Passengers were panicking and accusing him of not doing enough to help the woman. When we landed, everyone cheered and there were tears of relief throughout the aircraft. We were met at Ataturk airport by many fire engines and ambulances. They followed us until the aircraft came to a halt. As none of us actually knew what was wrong with the aircraft, we were all worrying how the landing would go. I later found out that the man next to my girlfriend was a trainee pilot in the RAF. Said he'd been through similar drills but had never been so frightened in his life either. The airline gave no spokes person, no explanation, no apology. We sat in a waiting lounge at Ataturk airport for 4.5hrs, exhausted and frightened of getting on another plane. It took around 2 hours before anyone acknowledged that we might require food and drink, not that many still had an appetite. The terminal we were kept in made a nice profit from people having to buy water and coffee when we landed. Oxygen dries your mouth out something terrible. When they called our flight number and told us that a new aircraft had been allocated, there was some debate about whether we would board or not. Originally, everyone said they'd stick together and demand to fly via a British airline but after waiting for an Embassy rep to arrive, found out that we'd have to pay from our own pockets. In the end, we all hesitantly boarded the Air Bus back to Birmingham, everyone on edge. Grown men were crying at the prospect of getting back on a plane. Every touch of turbulence made us tighten our grips on the seats. The flight back was about 3hrs and 45 mins. Needless to say, there was a mass round of applause when we landed safely in Birmingham.We couldn’t believe that one of the stewardesses actually thanked us for flying with Onur Air and “hoped that we travelled with them again”. Nervous laughter erupted, followed by relaxing incidental music piped through the airline speakers.

Kaytee and I are both deeply traumatised by the event, as I'm sure all 250 people (appx) aboard that first flight are. It still feels like some surreal dream, perhaps not quite sunk in yet. It might be some time before we can brave flying again. It's frightening to think how vulnerable we really are. We put too much trust in our surroundings.

I don't think that the airline gave the plane proper checks before letting us depart. When we arrived at the terminal at Dalaman airport Friday morning, there was no plane in site. Within a matter of 30 minutes, the plane had arrived and we started boarding. Some of the oxygen masks didn't work at all. And one fell apart completely. The man whose mask fell apart kept a piece of it for evidence. They clearly hadn't been checked in some time. Upon arriving home, we've researched Onur Air on the internet, only to discover that they are banned from landing in 4 EU countries due to alleged safety breaches. This story comes from the BBC and can be read here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4552435.stm

I could have made a comment to the effect of, “don’t compromise on safety for the sake of saving a few pounds” but I would not consider this a cheap flight at £180 return each. Regardless, whether this flight cost £1 or £1000 the same safety standards should be met equally.
I am shocked and appalled. I want them banned in England. I want to know why they are not already. And I want a full report of exact events on flight OHY 619.

We have been checking the internet and local papers for any stories relating to this incident. There is a small piece in Hurriyet (Turkish newspaper) and in a Midlands paper, The Sunday Mercury. The journalist contacted Onur Air and a spokesman said, “There were pressure problems on the plane so it came back to Istanbul. The passengers then got on another flight back to Birmingham. People stayed calm because there was nothing wrong with the plane. There was no emergency landing.”Kerim Ruzjar, Operations Manager from Gold Trail Holidays who charter flights for Onur Air has been quoted, “Like any airline, I’m sure they reassured their passengers and a replacement was sent to take them back to Birmingham.”

We cannot believe that this is the reaction and official line on what happened. It goes some way to explain why we were not met with any form of explanation or apology in Istanbul as it would set them up for blame. Their comments, however, are ludicrous. Why would a plane be diverted to Istanbul and met by emergency services upon landing if it had not been an “emergency landing”. The pilot even worded as such upon our descent. There was a plane full of witnesses to vouch for this. It would have cost Onur Air a great sum to charter an Air Bus specifically for us. They also would have had to get ground control at Istanbul airport to delay flights in order to clear skies and runway for us to land. Would they have done all of this if it hadn’t been an emergency?! Unbelievable.

On a personal level, I would never wish for anyone to experience what we did on Friday morning. A million and one thoughts race through your mind in such a situation… Will we survive? How will we die? Will it hurt? I’d never been so happy to see Birmingham.
 
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
Hi Steve

I can understand exactly how you feel - a very similar thing happened to me in Mexico 8 years ago. I was in a very small plane, just me, my friend, a Mexican guy and the piolot who spoke no English. We were over the jungle and one of the engines was overheating - we found out after we landed that the fuel pipe was in the area that was getting hot. We landed at a military air base in the middle of the jungle, were met by armed soldiers and escorted to a portacabin where we were left with an armed guard. After 1 hour they put us back on the plane - no alternative as there was no other way to leave! I was very glad to land about an hour later.

I would never fly with Onur in a million years; their safety record is well known and widely published. I use BA or Turkish Airlines and book well in advance so I usually pay less than for a Charter. In my opinion the service is better, there are far fewer delays and you can change your ticket if you need to. The down side is departures from London airports.

I refused to let my experience stop me from flying, in fact I got on another small plane in Mexico 6 days after the above event. I figured that when my time was up it was up - I had another very close call in Turkey in May this year when I actually snuffed it bit was rescusitated. However I am much more careful about who I fly with, and my list does not include Onur!
 

parrot

Member
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
Steve,not a good experience to say the least,glad it all ended ok.We fly out on tuesday,yes 9/11,should have thought about it.Travelled with Onur many times and the worst was an 8 hour delay recently.There was a thread about cheap flights recently with Onur,some as cheap as £70 return,with the obvious stampede and gloating about getting them,will they be so happy now after reading your story,by the way we are flying the flag.
 

alison09400

Moderator
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
Steve, what a horrific experience and from what you've written, you have every right to be angry.
I have never flown with OHY but my mum has and she said the aircraft creaked and groaned for most of the journey.
I dont think they're cheap either. A return flight from Belfast to Bodrum tomorrow is 400 pounds.
My sister and her hubby were on the BA flight which had to be diverted to Munich last month because the outer layer of the cockpit window cracked, and she said that BA couldn't have done any more for them, they were fantastic.
Onur should have at least had a representative at Istanbul to tell the passengers what the situation was.
For the past 5 years I've had a phobia of flying and you post now confirms why I'm scared :eek:

Alison
 

ceemac

Shake It Baby...
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
That must have been seriously frightening Steve and I'm glad you're all okay - physically anyway!!

I seem to remember a thread here before about Onur - one member had raised concerns about them and mentioned their safety record.

They certainly don't impress me and I've used them about 10 times. I think four of those flights could be described as average but the other times the cabin crews were downright unfriendly to the point of rudeness - so untypical of Turkish people.

But apart from a bit of turbulence and a couple of uncomfortable landings, there was nothing on the scale of what you experienced. Not re-assuring in the slightest....

C
 
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
I recently had a similar experience with Turkish Airlines but only flying from Ankara to Izmir. The plane was creaking and groaning and was a full flight. The plane took off but could not gain altitude and after about 15 minutes managed to land back in Ankara. NO-one wanted to board another plane including myself who was holding a small ten year olds hand as he was on a school trip and was crying. He then started to pray. I have never been so scared but this shows it is not just Onur Air that has problems and flying is still the safest form of transport so they say.
 

laz

Member
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
oh god that is dreadful. we had a bad experience with onur earlier this year but nothing like you experienced. i hope you and your girlfriend recover from this horrid experience and that it doesn't put you off flying totally.
 

susi

susi
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
oh my god, we are flying from birmingham on sat 15th on onur and I am now scared to death, wish we could get a refund, do they really have a bad safety record, is anyone else on the same flight as us, I shant sleep all week now, was so looking forward to our holiday as well but this has put me right off, susi
 

kaplumba

Member
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
Don't panic susi, we have flown with them lots of times. Our major gripe with them is we had a 27 hour delay in July and it was handled very badly and that has put me off booking with them again.
Today I have been trying to book for a short hol in February. Onur wasn't my first choice and have booked with Thomas Cook. However I did investigate Onur with Aegean flights who were trying to tell me they were fully booked for the whole of February from Birmingham. I tried the same flight with A1 travel and this was nonsense, plenty of seats left - however they wanted £250 each. That's more than I paid for a month away in July. No longer budget prices I think. This is booking 5 months before for low season.
 

Gail1966

Gail1966
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
We had a terrible flight with them a couple of weeks ago. The plane was 4 hour delayed and not any explanation or apology as to why. It was a jumbo with only one toilet working and the floor of that was swimming in urine! We paid £230 each for our flight so not cheap!

I am going to write to Goldtrail and Aegean, two of the agents who use them and complain about onur airs standards. I will point out to them that they are getting very bad publicity on major forums for Turkey, I will let you know their reply.
 

RIK

Member
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
Susi. Whilst Steve had a very bad experience,don't think that all Onur Flights are the same.We have flown with them on numerous occasions from Antalya to Istanbul and they are fine.I flew for over 30 years ( Passenger )when I worked and I won't repeat the horrors that I had,

Ian
 

Bim

Member
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
Hi Steve glad your back in one piece - what a very frightening expeience... I was thinking of flying with them - think Ill give them a miss... hope this has not put you of flying or visting Turkey... Take care & best wishes...
 

spitfire

Frustrated Bolton Fan
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
That must have been very scary for you and the rest of the passengers.
The good news is I think they have found the soloution ......
Just sacrifice a couple of goats or a camel and all the technical
problems will go away :crazy: read this So glad you landed safely
 
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
Hi Steve, your experiences with Onur on this occasion were frightening & should not have happened; we had siimilar experiences with My Travel (Airtours) a few years ago, on three attempted landings at Manchester. We were thankful for the experience & training our pilots had that we successfully landed & we were ok. Air travel is supposed to be (& is) the most safe way of travelling (Statistically) & if you check out feedback & reports on Onur, they are not the best (or worst) of the airlines flying out of Uk, though they do need to improve some aspects of their service & maintainence.

Having said all this, we have flown Onur many times, & of all the budget airlines this is our choice of airline! Why? low prices, no frills, no hard sell from airplane staff--& yes I have also found them very friendly & helpful--but you do have to ask. The obligitory health & safety routines are to the point & in two languages-Turkish 1st (they are a Turkish airline after all) & English 2nd with video & demonstration. These are to the point & assumes that you are reasonably intelligent & have flown before. They also ask that you take out the safety check sheet that is in the seat pocket in front of you. The lack of in flight entertainment, selling of lottery tickets, customer care enquiries (that Thomas cook sell your details on) are a bonus. The extra legroom on all onur aircraft is something else (compared to Thomas Cook!)

Steve, I'm glad that you survived your experiences; air travel is not without risks; ask an experienced commercial air pilot about loss of cabin pressure or having to abort 3 landings & he (maybe she) will say it's routine, just part of the job, & whilst we pray for our survival, they are doing what they are paid & trained for---to get the aircraft & it's passengers back on the ground safely (as happened on your flight & My Airtour flight)

My favourite airline to Turkey is Onur, & I will keep on flying with them, as I consider from my experiences this is a safe, reliable & friendly budget airline. OK, the odd delay, but no different from other charter flights. I book through H4U (& Aegean) plus Goldtrail, with very few problems.

In our experience (& other web feedbacks) Thomas Cook is the worst overall--seat spacing is so cramped, hard sell all the way, food a joke (if you choose this option)
& delays just like all the others.

The bottom line is that all budget carriers work their planes as hard as they can, whilst just about complying with health & safety requirements, if you check the press reports, even Ryanair had some safety problems recently. The only way to be sure that your plane does not crash, is to not to fly at all.

Onur air flew 1.5 million passengers last year (more than Thomas Cook, 1st Choice put together--internet sources) so they are doing someting right!

Steve, I'm sorry to write this in the light of your (& fellow passengers) experiences, but Onur are pioneers in opening up the Bodrum & Dalaman airports during the winter months, which is sadly needed as Easyjet & Ryanair do not seem interested in these luctrative routes. Onur may have their shortcomings, but so do other airlines; your round of applause says it all---we got you home safely---isn't that what it's all about?

Gaz
 
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ceemac

Shake It Baby...
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
"Thanks Gaz. How long have you been working for Onur?"

A pretty fair comment Steve after your experience - you probably just need some time to recover from it and you will.

C
 
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
Hi Suzi, Onur airlines are as good (or bad) as all other UK airlines; You will have as good a ' budget' flight with the cheapest duty free of any Turkish flight. Please post feedback on your flight when you return- enjoy your holiday in Turkey
Cheers,
Gaz
 
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
Hi Steve, thanks for reply; I work for me! I use other companies to supply the services I need! In 18 years of travelling to Turkey, twice a year, I have some experience of airlines, & to date Onur are OK by me so far. I believe in truth in my experiences of life in general---if Onur cause me grief I'll be the 1st to shout about it. So far, they have delivered their promise! Question: Have you ever flown by Onur? If so, please let us know your experience.
Cheers
Gaz
 
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sanmurd

New Member
Onur Air Flight OHY 619
Hi Steve - What a nightmare. Flew with Onur Air for the first time 2 weeks ago and although the flight was ok there was no safety demonstration before take off. Have always been a bit reluctant to book with them due to poor safety record in the past. To my knowledge there have been 7 recorded incidents since July 2006 including engine failure at Manchester and a pilot refusing to fly the plane - so must admit makes you a little bit wary and after reading your post think my next trip to Turkey will be with a british carrier.
 

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