I love Istanbul almost as much as I love a super cheap business class airfare, so I got pretty excited when I saw business class fares from JFK to Istanbul on Delta for only $1,288 total roundtrip for travel this spring/summer!
You need to stay for at least 10 days – so this fare isn’t for everyone and it’s probably not ideal for mileage-running purposes. These fares book into S class, which is discounted business, but you still accrue 150% award miles and 150% MQM’s. The Medallion program is changing so that you will eventually have to spend a certain amount of money on Delta in order to earn elite status, but that doesn’t happen until 2014.
To find these fares, you can go to Delta.com -> Book a trip -> More search options.
Then enter JFK to IST, click the Flexible Dates box and select 3 +/- days to search your dates, Business/First and you’ll get a calendar of days showing the cheapest in yellow.
As you can see, the business class fares on this route are usually closer to $4,500, so you’re getting about a 70% discount.
The one thing to note is that these flights are operated on Delta’s 767-300′s, so you won’t get their newest BusinessElite product, but rather the old-school recliner seats. However, I find them to be pretty comfortable and easy to sleep on.
Coach fares on the same flights around the same dates are going for between $714-$848, so in my opinion, it’s worth paying a few hundred dollars’ worth for the premium experience rather than the several thousand it would normally cost.
If April/May doesn’t work for you, I still found some business class fares as low as $1,711 in June, which is still a pretty good discount.
I personally love Istanbul and had a great trip there last year when I stayed at the Park Hyatt. It’s a fantastic city where there is plenty to see, do and eat – so if you want to plan an epic vacation, these could be great fares to get you to Turkey and from there you can explore the country or hop around to other adjacent countries like Greece.
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Hat tip: FlyerTalk “Good Deal Premium Fares” thread.