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This Flyetalk mileage run thread found some cheap deals right now for those wanting to go to Istanbul (or just to rack up the miles you earn flying there) for cheap. These are for flights from October 2013- December 12, 2013, and then starting again January 7, 2014- March 2014.
We have seen cheap flights to Istanbul in the past such as when I flew for $576 total from JFK to Istanbul, building in stops in Rome and Amsterdam while banking over 10,000 valuable Medallion Qualifying Miles on Delta a couple years ago.
Some of the current deals are even cheaper with options starting at around $520 roundtrip including taxes and fees. As always, check this post out to maximize the miles and points you earn on the actual purchase of the airfare.
For Star Alliance flyers, you can fly from NYC to Istanbul for $521.70 with routing on Air Canada through Toronto. You would be looking at roughly 10,914 EQM’s for this option bringing your CPM (cost per mile) to just 4.8 cents and getting you about 40% of the way towards Premier Silver status.
Another option for Star Alliance flyers that I was able to find was from Chicago to Istanbul for $643.10 with routing on Air Canada through Toronto on the outbound, and on Swiss through Zurich on the return, so you could potentially book a stopover in either city. You would be looking at roughly 11,048 EQM’s for this option bringing your CPM to 5.8 cents.
It’s not just Star Alliance flyers who are in luck. For SkyTeam flyers, you could fly to Istanbul for $644.70 with routing on Delta through Paris on the outbound, and on Air France through Paris on the return – so why not build in a stopover in the City of Lights on your way to or from. You would be looking at roughly 10,050 MQM’s for this option bringing this down to 6.4 CPM.
The best way to search for these fares is to head to the ITA Booking Tool which will show you all the different airline options. You can also do a calendar search view and see the prices for each of the dates. Other airlines you can route to Istanbul on include KLM, Alitalia, Air France, Lufthansa, and Swiss, so my best advice is to play around and see which dates would work best for you.
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. Though there was recently unrest in the city for several weeks, things seem to have calmed down for now, so it looks like it’s okay again to visit, though if you do buy one of these fares, keep your eye on the political situation in the region and then also familiarize yourself with your airline’s policy on refunds when there is civil unrest.
Also check out out Destination of the Week: Istanbul for even more suggestions on where to stay and what to do.