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.
So while some routes have very little space, Turkish is making a lot of business class award space available out of Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, etc. As luck would have it, Los Angeles to Istanbul is ordinarily one of the single toughest routes for snagging awards on Turkish.
To be clear, we’re not just talking about a couple of seats per flight, but in many cases Turkish is making at least eight business class award seats available per flight.
For example, more than half the dates for next May and June have at least eight business class award seats per flight on the nonstop Los Angeles to Istanbul flight:
Meanwhile throughout the summer, a similar number of business class award seats are available from Houston to Istanbul:
The flight from Chicago to Istanbul has even more award space, with almost every date having at least eight business class award seats:
There’s also decent availability to Turkish’s other US gateways, though not as consistently. Still, most gateways have eight business class award seats available on at least some dates.
This isn’t just limited to the eastbound flights — availability from Istanbul to the US is equally good.
Keep in mind that Turkish flies to more countries in the world than any other airline, so you can easily book a connecting flight on Turkish to destinations beyond Istanbul.
How much will a one-way business class award ticket on Turkish between the US and Istanbul cost you?
- Air Canada Aeroplan: 52,500 miles
- Avianca LifeMiles: 63,000 miles
- Singapore KrisFlyer: 65,000 miles
- United Mileage Plus: 70,000 miles
My first pick would be to redeem Aeroplan miles (which can be transferred from Amex Membership Rewards), given the low redemption rates and that Turkish is also one of the airlines on which they don’t impose fuel surcharges.
Turkish does have a fully flat business class product, though on their 777s it’s in a 2-3-2 configuration, so there is one middle seat in each row. Given the seven-abreast cabin, the business class seats are a bit on the narrow side.
While service on Turkish can be hit or miss, the food is excellent, as it’s catered by DO&CO.
Perhaps the highlight of flying with Turkish is their lounge in Istanbul, which is one of the best business class lounges in the world.
It’s extremely rare to see this quantity of business class award availability on a single flight, especially over peak travel dates. Star Alliance business class award seats nonstop from the US to Europe are usually extremely tough to come by, so this is a great opportunity.
I doubt this availability will last, so if you’re interested I’d recommend booking sooner rather than later.
Anyone going to take advantage of this Turkish award availability?