Turkish

Priority Pass Gets One Of Their Best U.S. Lounges Yet

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As I wrote about earlier, Priority Pass is the world’s largest independent network of airport lounges, with over 1,000 lounges around the world.

The quality of the lounges can vary significantly. On one end of the spectrum you have bare bones lounges like the Changsha Airport Lounge.

On the other end of the spectrum you have some really solid lounges, like the Almost@Home Lounge Helsinki Airport.

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Turkish Airlines’ Brilliant Super Bowl Ad, Starring Morgan Freeman

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As far as I’m concerned, the only redeeming quality of the Super Bowl is the commercials (and sometimes the halftime show). I didn’t even get to see it yesterday, though, as I was flying. Super Bowl ads aren’t cheap (last I heard a 30 second clip costs five million dollars), and historically we haven’t seen many airlines pay to advertise during the most watched U.S. TV event.

Well, this year there was one exception. Turkish Airlines had a 45 second ad during yesterday’s Super Bowl, as noted by Live and Let’s Fly.

As most of you probably know, Turkish Airlines is in a horrible financial situation. The past year has been very rough on Turkish Airlines, largely through no fault of their own. In late June several explosions went off at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, and then a couple of weeks later there was an attempted military coup.

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Get Your Kids Star Gold Status For $150 Each

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SAS is running a really awesome promotion this spring where kids can fly for almost free from the US to Europe.

You just need to book by January 23 and travel between February 7 and April 9. The best part is that you can take up to 8 kids with each paying adult. You’ll literally end up paying less than $50 for each round-trip child (under 11) ticket.

Scandinavia is a wonderful place and totally worth a trip or two, even in winter. My family just got back from Oslo, was in Helsinki last fall, and did Stockholm and Bergen a couple years ago. Yes, we really like it over there, and it’s an incredibly kid-friendly part of the world.

But let’s forget about the destination and focus on the miles for a bit. Is it possible to mileage run on this deal?

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UNBELIEVABLE: This Is Not How You Deice An Aircraft!

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As you may have seen on the news, Istanbul is being hit by a massive blizzard this week.

Typically when a hub city is hit by a major weather event it causes major problems for the local airline, which has certainly been the case here. Turkish Airlines has had to delay or outright cancel hundreds of flights, and by all accounts operations at Istanbul airports are just a mess.

More concerning than the delays, however, is this clip which was shared on Twitter this morning:

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Great Deal: Turkish Airlines Offering 40% Off Flights For Black Friday

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Turkish Airlines has one of the more aggressive Black Friday sales we’re seeing from any airline, which makes sense, I suppose, given the situation they’re in. Turkish Airlines is offering 40% off flights booked today, Friday, November 25, 2016. The promotion is valid for travel in both economy and business class from the US to almost anywhere Turkish flies. Given that Turkish flies to more countries than any other airline in the world, this presents a lot of great opportunities.

The basic terms of the promotion are as follows:

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Turkish Airlines’ New Safety Video Is Magical

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Over the past few years safety videos have become a marketing tool of sorts for airlines, as we’ve seen airlines come up with cool, fresh concepts that keep passengers engaged. Air New Zealand is perhaps best known for their creative safety videos, as they generally have a new video every quarter. Millions of people who have never flown with Air New Zealand have seen their safety videos, which is pretty incredible.

Well, Turkish Airlines has just come out with a cool new safety video, starring Zach King, who is a well known magician on platforms like YouTube, Vine, etc.

Here’s the new safety video video, which will have you watching very closely the whole way through:

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Uh Oh: Turkish Airlines CEO Resigns… Good Luck To His Replacement!

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Turkish Airlines has had a very rough year, largely through no fault of their own. In late June several explosions went off at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, and then a couple of weeks later there was an attempted military coup.

Tourism in Turkey was already way down due to general safety concerns before these two things happened, and the recent situation has only made things worse. Add in the fact that Turkey’s currency is quite weak, and I don’t envy the jobs of those in charge of the airline.

Turkish Airlines lost ~$617 million in the first half of 2016 year. The airlines’ value proposition is that they fly to more countries than any other airline in the world, so they do need an extensive route network. At the same time it seems like the only way they can control their losses is to reduce capacity. The airline has announced some mild capacity cuts, though they haven’t announced plans to reduce their growing fleet of ~300 planes.

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Turkish Airlines Announces Big Capacity Cuts

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Turkish Airlines has been growing at an incredible speed for the past decade or so. They fly to more countries in the world than any other airline, and have managed to operate a similar business model to the big Gulf carriers, by using Istanbul as a gateway to the world (though they’ve managed to stay out of the Gulf carrier controversy, at least).

Turkey has had a really rough few years, and in particular a rough couple of months. In late June several explosions went off at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, and then a couple of weeks later there was an attempted military coup. Tourism in Turkey was already way down before these two things happened due to general safety concerns, and the recent situation has made things even worse than before.

While most Turkish Airlines passengers are only connecting in Istanbul, the impact of the recent events on the airline has been huge. After all, there was an explosion at the airport, and Turkish’s right to fly to the US was temporarily revoked following the coup.

While demand for travel through Istanbul and on Turkish has decreased, up until now we haven’t seen any capacity adjustments. Well, that’s finally changing.

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Turkish Just Renamed Their Istanbul Lounge WHAT?!?

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Turkey sure has had a rough several weeks. In late June several explosions went off at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, and then a couple of weeks later there was an attempted military coup. Tourism in Turkey was already way down before these two things happened due to general safety concerns, and I imagine it’s down even further now.

It must be especially rough for Turkish Airlines, given that they’re a pretty solid airline with fantastic business class catering and a very nice lounge in Istanbul, possibly one of the nicest business class lounges out there. The airline relies largely on connecting traffic to fill planes, and personally I’d feel completely safe flying with them right now. However, I know others feel differently.

Well, in light of the events of a couple of weeks ago, Turkish Airlines has decided to change the name of their Istanbul Lounge to the “July 15 Heroes of Democracy Lounge.”

Per the “welcome aboard letter” in Skylife, Turkish Airlines’ inflight magazine:

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FAQ: Changing Turkish Airlines Tickets In Light Of Flight Ban

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***Update 2:40PM Eastern: Since the time of this writing, the FAA has now removed the ban on flights from Turkey, and flights will resume operating as scheduled in the coming days. The below information is still applicable, though travel waivers will likely not be extended beyond the current date range.***

On Friday, an attempted military coup closed the main airports in Istanbul. In response to the uncertain security situation, the FAA has banned all direct flights between Turkey and the United States. This primarily impacts Turkish Airlines, which has flights to nine different cities in the U.S., carrying thousands of passengers each day.

I know many people have travel scheduled on Turkish Airlines in the coming weeks (they have a great business class product, and terrific award availability), and there are myriad schedule concerns. I’ve been answering questions in comments on both posts, on Ask Lucky, on Twitter, and in email, so I figured it made sense to consolidate the questions and answers into an FAQ.

Why is the United States FAA blocking flights from Turkey when other countries are allowing them?

The FAA has reason to believe planes and passengers from Turkey are not being properly screened and secured. They will make future determinations based on their own research and analysis, regardless of what other countries decide to do.

For reference, here is the full FAA NOTAM. You can search this on the FAA website, but it’s a little clunky, and can’t be directly linked to.

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FAA Bans Flights Between The US & Istanbul Indefinitely

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Yesterday Tiffany wrote about the military coup in Turkey, and the impact it’s having on flights to and from Istanbul. As you’d expect, the airport has largely been shut down, given that there was no security at the airport, and people were roaming around freely.

So if you are connecting in Istanbul over the coming days you’ll certainly want to reroute yourself, as chances are that most flights will be canceled.

However, it looks like the impact this will have on air travel will go way beyond just the next few days. Per the US Embassy in Turkey, the US FAA has blacklisted all flights between the US and Istanbul until further notice:

“U.S. Embassy Ankara informs U.S. citizens that routes to Istanbul’s Ataturk airport are open; however, we are still hearing reports of sporadic gunfire. Security at Ataturk airport is significantly diminished and U.S. government employees have been instructed not to attempt to travel to and from Ataturk airport.”

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Turkey Sinks An Airplane To Boost Tourism

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Turkey has seen a huge drop in tourism the past couple of years, due to fears of terrorism. How bad has the impact been on the economy? Via rt.com:

“Revenue from tourism fell 14.3 percent in the final quarter of last year. Bookings for this summer have plunged by 40 percent, while hotel occupancy rates have dropped by more than 50 percent since 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing industry figures. According to the media, hundreds of hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and boutique resorts have been put up for sale.”

The town of Kusadasi, in Southwestern Turkey, has a unique solution to try and lure tourists, though only time will tell if it works. Specifically, the town has gotten their hands on an old Airbus A300, which they’re sinking and using as an artificial diving reef:

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Suicide Bomber Who Was Blown Out Of Plane Meant To Fly Turkish

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Last week I posted a video of a Daallo Airlines flight between Mogadishu to Djibouti, which experienced an explosion shortly after takeoff. The explosion caused a roughly one meter hole in the side of the plane, and one person was even sucked out of the plane, as his remains were found in a nearby village.

There are two interesting updates to the story, one of which we’ll chalk up to karma, and the other of which we’ll chalk up to very good luck (or bad luck, depending on the airline).

First of all, the one guy who was blown out of the plane happened to be the guy with the explosive, according to reports. Via Airwise:

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Great Deal: Turkish Business Class Awards WIDE OPEN

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When it comes to award availability, I don’t think there has been a better time to book your whole family to Europe in business class.

For oneworld flyers, yesterday I posted about how American is making an insane amount of business class award space available to Europe for next summer, including in their new product. Usually it’s not a great value to redeem American miles for travel to Europe, given that their main partner is British Airways, which imposes huge surcharges on award tickets.

Well, now we have something good for Star Alliance flyers. As noted by leaf in the “Ask Lucky” forum, Turkish Airlines is releasing an unreal amount of business class award availability between the US and Europe for 2016.

Turkish is an airline which tends to be pretty extreme when it comes to releasing award availability. Either they make virtually nothing available, or they seem to open up the entire plane.

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