Shame on Turkish Airlines

Imagine this- Your on your flight back home from across the world, The plane runs out of fuel so your stuck at an airport in a place you’ve never been for 24 hours with no food & water, no place to stay and your currency is foreign, it is not accepted where you are. This happened to my friend Leonce who is only 16 and was travelling by himself.

Leonce and Scott

My Friend Leonce just experienced a very traumatic experience on a flight with Turkish Airlines. Leonce is originally from Tanzania, Africa. At age 16 he moved to the U.S and has a great foster father, founder of GO-Campaign Scott Fifer.

The first time I met Leonce we took him to the Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA. We saw some great magic shows and ate some good food. Leonce was in shock at the magic performances, it was his first time seeing anything of the sort. Witnessing someone disappear in 3 seconds for the first time is pretty crazy! Visiting with Leonce I got to know him, he is one of the kindest, sweetest and funniest human beings I ever met! Leonce attends and received a scholarship to a High School in Hawai

Since it’s the summer he was back at his new home in LA. From Los Angeles, Leonce was taking a trip on his own back to his home country of Tanzania.

(Scott Fifer posts) “I put Leonce on a plane last night – his first trip back to Tanzania. Woke up this morning and Turkish Airlines couldn’t tell me where the flight was! Online it said it was still in the air, the phone rep for the airline said it was in Istanbul, but another online air tracker said Copenhagen! The last reported coordinates put it over the ocean at 300 feet! I remained calm but vigilant and we ultimately found out his flight was indeed rerouted to Copenhagen for fuel issues. Allegedly they have refuelled and he is now on his way to Istanbul, but he will miss his connection to Tanzania, so will stay in Istanbul for 21 hours before catching the next day’s flight. It’s his first time travelling alone internationally, he doesn’t have a phone, he will be so confused as to what’s happening..”

Since the Turkish Airlines flight for some odd reason ran out of fuel. Leonce was stuck at the airport by himself having no clue what he was supposed to do, He had no help from the airline and its attendants, in fact Turkish Airlines made Leonce sit in the Istanbul airport without any food or water for nearly 24 hours, bored out of his mind with nothing to do he was also forced to beg from strangers passing by. Luckily Leonce got in contact with Scott Via Skype. They (Turkish Airlines) wouldn’t give him a hotel without a visa and they did not give him any food AT ALL either. Leonce also only had Tanzania shillings, a completely different currency which the airport does not accept.

.When Scott filed a complaint with Turkish Airlines all they offered was to ‘review his expense receipts’ “Moreover, we would like you to know that we will evaluate the reimbursement for the expenses you might have had at the airport if you could kindly send us the receipts (food, beverage, communication expenses etc) using the online feedback form on our website” – Turkish Airlines. TURKISH AIRLINES RESPONSE

Leonce got home okay but how he was treated is absolutely unacceptable and inhumane. Turkish Airlines is not expressing any apology for making a Teen from Tanzania beg for food and water. No one should have to endure what this hardworking and kind teenager went through. Shame on Turkish Airlines.

Posted by Lily Larsen

I am a 17-year-old​ activist/arts advocate and have been participating in marches, protests and petitions since I was 5 years old. I serve on Mayor Garcetti's Youth Council for South LA. And have generated a petition to ban factory farming in California with over 55,000 signatures. I organize community events and get teens like me connected with social justice issues and activism all over LA.

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