Cheap Istanbul Flights: From $576 Total Roundtrip on Delta from JFK

by on November 1, 2011 · 22 comments

in Delta, Mileage Runs

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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 JFKHelp Plan My Long Weekend in IstanbulFlight Review: Alitalia JFK-Rome in CoachHotel Review: Westin Excelsior RomeHotel Review: Park Hyatt Istanbul Spa RoomIstanbul 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 -> 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).

Flexible weekend search calendar

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.

Bizarre to see an airline change in your favor

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  • Michael

    That’s awesome. Hope my son thinks of me like that one day. Any chance you can use miles or evips to upgrade Dad and yourself?

  • Ozaer N.

    Brian–where are you staying in IST? If you havnt decided, check out Hotel Spectra in Sultanahmet–its next to the Blue Mosque and walking distance to everything! We always stay there when we go to IST

  • Ryan P

    What’s the longest layover you can book with Delta and keep the same fare? I’m guessing 23 or you’d be spending more time in Rome.

  • deltaGOLDflyer

    Jet blue has some good sales DL is matching on many routes:

    Also down to .049 cents per MQM.

  • Jamison

    ill be in Istanbul from 03/29/12 – 04/01/12 .. cant wait! i always try to force <24 hr layovers in europe if i can as well… looks like you'll have fun!

  • Bohemiana

    I couldn’t find any Jetblue flights to outside the U.S. on that link. Are you sure?

  • deltaGOLDflyer

    These would be just inside U.S. Just an option if you want to stay domestic and hope for free upgrades.

  • Nelson Lopez

    I’m doing the same trip, but doing NYC to IST and then AMS layover on the way back.

    Is there any way to turn a 24hr or less layover into a several day stopover at minimal cost?

  • calbear77

    6’7″!?! Well that explains why you’re always having your picture taken with midgets!

    I’m *only* 6’4″ but it is still a huge problem for me, too, especially on International flights. Learning your points tips has been the best thing ever, because I’ll be able to use business class awards internationally from now on.

  • ErinPW

    Thanks for the tip, are those prices typical of IST? I’m showing about $110/night for the time I booked my flights for. Seems reasonable.

  • ozzy

    Just so people are aware, Turkish Airlines launched another AMAZING promotion today. Chicago to Istanbul in economy is only $498 roundtrip (including all fees). If you book on Turkish Airlines, it comes out to $505 – so make sure to book on Vayama to get the lowest price. The deal is valid until 11/15/11, but it’s first come-first served. Just snagged one, in addition to the one I purchased back in June for a trip scheduled two weeks from now. I love Turkish Airlines! Check and/or for detatils.

  • ozzy

    PS. Istanbul is truly one of the most fascinating cities I’ve EVER visited in the world. A calm, peaceful gateway into the Muslim World for anyone who’s ever been intrigued for a taste of mosques and Islamic architecture. Incredibly safe. Istanbul is the perfect blend of Middle East and Europe. Enjoy!!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the tip!

  • ozzy

    No problem! Can’t wait to offer you Turkey tips as your trip gets nearer!

  • Jamison

    hes staying at the Hyatt

  • Ahmet Can

    One of my favorite hotels in Istanbul is the Marmara Pera – walking distance to everywhere and reasonably priced rooms. Great rooftop restaurant. It’s across the street from the newly refurbished Pera palas Hotel (where Agatha Christie stayed), but for a quarter of the price. If you want to splurge, the Four Seasons Sultanahmet or Bosphorus are both nice. Just make sure to book a room with a Bosphorus or Golden Horn view whereever you choose to stay. Enjoy.

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