Here’s a terrific opportunity for folks who want to get away to Europe this winter or spring!
Flights connect through Istanbul, but most major European cities (as well as a few in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia) are on sale for well under $600 round-trip!
What’s the Deal?
Link: Thrifty Traveler
You can fly to dozens of European cities on Turkish Airlines starting at ~$487 round-trip in coach from the following US cities:
- Los Angeles
- New York (JFK)
- San Francisco
- Washington, DC (Dulles)
To see the European cities on sale, go to the Turkish Airlines sale page, select your departure city in the upper right hand corner, then scroll through the results. You can list them by price or alphabetically.
I see fares to cities like Tallinn, Oslo, Helsinki, and Istanbul for under $500 round-trip. And Barcelona, Berlin, Dublin, Madrid, Paris, Rome, and many more for under $550!
There are also flights to places like Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Hong Kong, and Tel Aviv for under $600.
Tickets must be purchased at least 1 day in advance. Book by January 31, 2016, for travel until April 30, 2016. A maximum stay of 3 months is allowed.
If you book your ticket with an online travel agency like Orbitz or Expedia, you may be eligible for a refund within a short time of booking your ticket. Check out my post on cancellation policies for airlines and online travel agencies for more details!
Note: Turkish Airlines’ cancellation policy doesn’t mention a refund if you cancel your ticket within 24 hours. So proceed with caution (or book through an online travel agency which allows cancellation in 24 hours) if your plans aren’t firm!
Remember, if you don’t collect Turkish Airlines miles (most folks don’t), you can credit the miles flown to another Star Alliance airline, like United Airlines. But the number of miles you’ll earn depends on the fare class and which airline you decide to credit to.
What If You’re Not in an Included City?
You can cheaply get to 1 of the cities included in the sale by using points (like British Airways Avios points) to get there.
British Airways Avios points are great for short-haul flights. Because it only costs 4,500 British Airways Avios points 1-way in coach for flights fewer than 650 miles (until February 3, 2016), and 7,500 British Airways Avios points for flights up to 1,149 miles.
Folks with the Southwest Companion Pass could fly to these cities very cheaply. That’s because with the Companion Pass, your companion flies with you for almost free on both paid and award tickets.
Or you could try to find a cheap paid ticket from your home airport to 1 of the sale cities. But do the math to see if it makes sense!
Which Card to Use?
Remember to pay with a card that will earn you bonus points for your ticket:
- Premier Rewards Gold Card From American Express – 3X American Express Membership Rewards points when booking directly with airlines
- The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN – 3X American Express Membership Rewards points for booking directly with airlines when you choose this as your 3X category (otherwise 2X points)
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard – 2.1% back
when you redeem for $100+ travel purchases
- Chase Sapphire Preferred – 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel
- Citi Prestige – 3X Citi ThankYou points on airfare
- Citi ThankYou Premier Card – 3X Citi ThankYou points on travel
Note: None of these cards add foreign transaction fees, so they’re safe to use if you book through Turkish Airlines, in case they bill your card in a foreign currency.
Get Free Hotel Nights With These Cards
If you book a cheap flight, remember there are lots of ways to get cheap or free hotel rooms with points from credit card bonuses and spending!
If you’re booking a paid stay, check out discount sites like Orbitz, Expedia, or TravelPony for deals. But remember you won’t get stay credits or points (and might not have your elite status recognized).
There’s an excellent sale on Turkish Airlines for flights from 7 US cities to dozens of cities in Europe. Plus good fares to certain cities in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia too!
Flights start at $487 round-trip in coach and connect through Istanbul.
Book by January 31, 2016, for travel through April 30, 2016. You must purchase your ticket at least 1 day in advance. Don’t forget to credit the miles flown to your favorite Star Alliance airline!
Let me know if you get a good deal!