A month ago I wrote that the new Turkish Airlines San Francisco – Istanbul route was wide open with award space.

West Coast – Europe can be tough to get with miles, especially in premium cabins. But this new flight, operated 5 days a week, had business class award availability every day, in fact enough seats to take the whole family every day the flight operated.

A month later, here’s where you will find enough business class space nearly every day to take the whole family to Europe.

Matthew points out that the space is still out there!

Here’s a search for (4) business class seats. You can redeem those literally every day that the flight operates, from the day it begins in mid-April.

And the flight goes daily in mid-May where there are still award seats in business class for this flight every single day.

Indeed, many days there are actually at least (9) seats available.

The flight schedule is:

    Istanbul – San Francisco, 1:05pm – 4:25pm
    San Francisco – Istanbul, 6:10pm – 7:05pm+1

There are plenty of late flights beyond Istanbul to connect to. Istanbul can be an effective gateway to the Middle East, Asia, India, and parts of Africa. They are the largest airline after El Al operating in and out of Tel Aviv. They have frequent service to Athens. They even fly direct to Kilimanjaro.

Remember as well that Turkish offers a complimentary hotel night to passengers with a forced overnight enroute including for economy class passengers.

Turkish also has one of the most impressive (60,000 square feet!) business class lounges in the world.

  • Chase transfer partner United charges 70,000 miles each way for partner travel between the US and Europe (including Istanbul).

  • American Express transfer partner Aeroplan charges 52,500 miles each way between the US and “Europe 2″. If you use this flight as a connection and backtrack to Western Europe you may only be charged the 45,000 mile ‘Europe 1′ rate. And no fuel surcharges.

  1. Amit said,


    Do you see any availability using AA miles to get to Europe in October besides on BA? I have been looking for 3 biz tickets to anywhere in Europe but can’t find anything. Thanks

  2. Gary Leff said,

    @Amit most of the seats with AA miles are on BA which means big fuel surcharges. Search specific for Iberia, from Chicago and Miami especially, and for Air Berlin…

  3. LarryInNYC said,

    Can you use this flight from the East Coast (that is, NYC -> SFO – IST -> Possible additional connection)? If you use a mileage program that allows stopovers (like Aeroplan, I think) could you stop off in SFO?

  4. Gary Leff said,

    @LarryInNYC pretty much depends on the mileage program and their routing rules, such as maximum permitted mileage. In that case take the MPM for New York to the final destination, see what the MPM is, and how many miles your proposed routing is. Aeroplan allows exceeding MPM by 5%.

  5. Ralph said,

    Gary: Is the complimentary night offered to passengers traveling on Turkish Airlines with United award tickets?
    If so can you arrange for the hotel room before you start your trip and how do you go about it?

  6. echino said,

    @LarryInNYC: for East coast you can use YUL-IST which is wide open as well.

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