Good Delta & Swiss Fares: Istanbul from $529 and London To US Cities for Under $600
It looks like there’s a fun little mileage run possibility going on courtesy of Delta, KLM and Swiss to Istanbul this winter, as well as another Delta fare sale from London to certain US cities that just came up today.
Noted on this Flyertalk thread, there are some low fares from Chicago to Istanbul for travel between January 21 and February 28, 2013 if you book before October 26.
The thread noted fares as low as $523, but the lowest I could find was for about $528. Let’s say you wanted to get away for a long weekend at the end of January, I found a fare from Wednesday, January 30 to Monday, February 4 for $529 roundtrip total on Delta flying via Amsterdam both ways on flights operated by KLM. Your total mileage would be 10,992, so your CPM would be about 4.8 cents.
However, you could add on another leg through Atlanta for a total of $542, bringing your mileage to 12,764 and your total price to $542 for a CPM of 4.2 cents (though it involves some long layovers and taking the transatlantic flight on Delta).
I found an itinerary on Swiss on the same days flying via Zurich for $539 as well. The mileage on this itinerary is 11,080, so the CPM would be 4.86 cents.
Is this an amazing deal on miles? Not jaw-dropping, but if you’re going to get some Medallion mileage bonuses on the Delta itineraries and you were thinking of hitting Istanbul up in low season, this could be a fun reason to start 2013 off with a mileage run.
The other fare sale going on today is a 1 GBP fare sale from London to Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago on tickets in November. The catch is, that fare doesn't include taxes, which come out to about $550-600 on most routes, and the sale only seems to work on roundtrip tickets that originate in London and head to the US, so this could be great if you are based over there or can get over there cheaply as well.
I just checked out some sample itineraries and found this one from LHR to SFO via Minneapolis:
The total priced out at 379 GBP or about $610 USD.
This other fare from London to Chicago via Detroit came to 353 GBP total ($567).
Are these amazing mileage-runs? No, they'll put you in the 5-7 cent per mile range, but these are cheaper than fares to/from London have been in a while, so if you have any plans to hop the Pond, this might be a good opportunity. Sadly, these fares are not upgradeable, so expect to be sitting in the back of the bus unless the flight is oversold and you get an operational upgrade (rare, but not impossible).
To search for flights on either route, go to Delta.com -> Planning Tools -> Book a Flight -> and then Select Flexible dates.
To search low fares on all carriers, I recommend using ITA Software, which will scan many carriers and show the lowest fares, though you can't actually book the fares through ITA- you still need to go to the airline website or an online travel agency.