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This is an installment in my Istanbul: End of Year Mileage Run with Dad series. Posts include; Cheap Istanbul Flights: From $576 Total Roundtrip on Delta from JFK, Help Plan My Long Weekend in Istanbul, Flight Review: Alitalia JFK-Rome in Coach, Hotel Review: Westin Excelsior Rome, Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Istanbul Spa Room, Istanbul Eats and Excursions.
Delta just loaded a bunch of relatively cheap fares from NYC to Istanbul including $576 total for non-stop JFK-IST. Coincidentally my Dad emailed me that he needed to do a mileage run to retain his Delta Gold status (it runs in the family) so I just booked us a 5 day trip that includes a 23 hour layover in Rome on the outbound and 23 hour layover in Amsterdam on the return that cost us $594 total.
While I’ve sworn off coach international travel more than once before in my life (I’m not being a snob, it’s just not enjoyable as a 6’7″ man), I’ve never been to Istanbul and my Dad has never been to Rome or Amsterdam and this will be a great chance to spend some quality time with him. I’ve been so busy and on the road a lot, I’ll take any time with my family – even if it means travel in steerage! Even though it’s not a pure mileage run because we are making a mini-vacation out of it, I think it’s still a great deal – especially since it’ll mean I 100% lock-in my Diamond status until February 2013.
To search for fares, just go to Delta.com -> Planning Tools -> Book a flight -> JFK-IST and then check the “Flexible Dates” box and select Flexible weekends or +/- 3 day search (these fares are only good if you have a Saturday night stay).
As mentioned, I ended up choosing routing through Rome/Amsterdam and it showed $613, but when I clicked through to check-out it dropped to $594. Not the best deal ever for 10,000 elite miles, but I personally can’t put a mileage value on being able to travel and spend time with the guy I look up to most in life.