Turkish Airlines quietly added a new flight between San Francisco and Istanbul, which launches April 13, 2015.
The amount of growth we’ve seen from Turkish Airlines in the past few years is nothing short of astounding. They serve more destinations in the world than any other airline, just to put into perspective how much they’ve grown.
They also serve a lot of destinations in the US, and are quickly getting “up there” in terms of serving the most US destinations for a non-US airline.
Anyway, Turkish’s new flight from San Francisco to Istanbul will operate with the following schedule:
TK79 departing Istanbul 1:05PM arriving San Francisco 4:25PM
TK80 departing San Francisco 6:10PM arriving Istanbul 5:05PM (+1 day)
What makes this flight especially awesome is that Turkish has loaded a ton of business class award availability on the new route virtually every day – in many cases enough for an entire family to fly business class. Lately they’ve been rather stingy with award availability, so this is a welcome change.
The one thing to keep in mind is that since the new route has just been loaded, it doesn’t yet appear on the ANA or United websites. The Aeroplan and LifeMiles websites should show space, though, and it should be bookable by calling the other airlines.
Turkish flight on Aeroplan – no fuel surcharges!
Availability shows on the LifeMiles site as well
In terms of booking Turkish Airlines flights using miles, you have several options:
|Airline Program||Mileage Requirement||Transfer Partners|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||52,500 one-way to Istanbul, or 45,000 if connecting to Europe Zone 1||American Express Membership Rewards|
Starwood Preferred Guest
|Avianca LifeMiles||52,500 miles one-way||None|
|Singapore KrisFlyer||57,500 miles one-way||American Express Membership Rewards|
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Citi ThankYou Points
Starwood Preferred Guest
|United MileagePlus||70,000 miles one-way||Chase Ultimate Rewards|
|US Airways Dividend Miles||100,000 miles roundtrip, but must book by July 31, 2014||Starwood Preferred Guest|
Given that Turkish doesn’t have fuel surcharges, you really can’t go wrong with any of these options.
However, I’d say this is an ideal use of US Airways miles for travel to Europe. Now that they’re in oneworld, there are a limited number of transatlantic business class options without fuel surcharges. Add on the fact that space can be extremely difficult to come by from the west coast, and this is an especially exciting new route.
Turkish has quite a good transatlantic business class product, with fully flat beds and an onboard chef. Their catering is done by DO&CO, meaning that food is plated at your seat – it’s among the best airline food out there, in my opinion.
I don’t expect this to last, so if this route interests you I’d suggest booking ASAP.
Has anyone booked this already? What miles did you use?
(Tip of the hat to Jeremy)