Tens of thousands of people will be traveling to Europe (and beyond) this summer, many because of the increased strength of the US Dollar. Finding travel in such a crowded time of year may be a little difficult but not necessarily because of high prices – it also is because there are so many great options and even great prices (even in business class).
Whether you are traveling in coach or business, paid or award, Turkish Airlines deserves your consideration as a great airline to choose for your upcoming travels and these are the reasons why.
6 Reasons To Pick Turkish Airlines For Summer Travel
1) Low Taxes/Fees (on awards)
If you are traveling on an award, you will find that taxes/fees for Turkish Airline flights are going to be the cheapest of European airlines. In some cases/airlines, you can save as much as $70-100 per person roundtrip on award ticket taxes/fees. That is a significant savings and one that is a good reason to choose Turkish.
2) Istanbul Is A Great Layover Airport (Free Tours and Hotels!)
Turkish Airlines provides international passengers with layovers of over 6 hours with a free tour of Istanbul. That includes free transportation and access to the museums and locations you visit. In addition to the tour option, you can instead take advantage of their free hotel offering.
The hotel offering is available for passengers who are on a forced layover (meaning you do not have an earlier connection option). For the hotel option, if you are traveling economy, you must have at least a 10 hour layover and be connecting from one Turkish flight to another (one of those being an international flight). Business class customers only need a 7 hour layover to take advantage of the free hotel option.
For both the tour and hotel options, you will need to check on whether you need a visa or not. For US citizens, you will need to apply online and pay a $20 fee per person (but it is good for 180 days with multiple entry)
3) Free Internet (In The Air)
Some of Turkish Airlines’ planes (Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330-300 aircrafts) actually have internet on board. And it is free! Warning – it very likely will be quite slow! If you want to do some very basic things like e-mails/messaging, you should be fine. Just remember that it is free internet on a place with hundreds of others accessing it as well. Let that help temper your expectations of what speeds you may expect. Still, it is free internet!
4) 2 Free Bags (Great for your cruise or extended vacation)
Airlines going to Europe will give you 1 bag at 50lbs. If you have elite status or are traveling premium economy, you can get 2 bags. But, with Turkish Airlines, everyone can take 2 bags at 50lbs each (on routes from the USA and others). While I mostly travel with just a carry-on, I know that many of you who will be traveling to Europe during the summer will need more than just the one bag. If you are taking a cruise or a couple of week vacation, chances are the 2 bags per person will come in handy!
5) Good Seat And Service (In economy, and of course in business)
Of course, people’s experiences will vary, but our travel on Turkish Airlines – even in economy – has been excellent. The food has been better than decent, the service has been good, and they have been very good with our kids. The seats have been comfortable as well. While there is not a lot that makes one economy seat and experience much better than another airline, Turkish Airlines is certainly not a terrible airline to fly on for the seat and service.
6) Good For One Way Travel (To match with your one way awards)
While many of us prefer to use miles for international travel, if you are traveling with a family, you may not have enough miles for round trip award travel. In that situation, Turkish Airlines can be ideal for either your paid return ticket or the ticket to Europe since they do not charges the extremely high one way prices that the other airlines will throw at you.
In some situations, your one way ticket may be just about 50% of the roundtrip ticket! That is not common for European travel at all so it makes Turkish Airlines a very compelling carrier for your travel.
If you are a Star Alliance elite member, Turkish Airlines is also a great choice as you will have access to what I think is the best business class lounge around. It is a great place to kill a longer layover and you can even get a studio to sleep in depending on class of travel/length of layover.
Another bonus reason is the size of Turkish Airlines network. If you want to travel beyond Europe, Turkey is well-situated to give you access to Asia and Africa, as well as anywhere throughout the Middle East.
Finally, if you are traveling in Comfort Class or Business Class, flying Turkish Airlines is a great way to ensure you get the max amount of sleep enroute to your European vacation. Since the flights to Istanbul are going to be longer than to Frankfurt, London, Paris, etc, it will give you enough time for rest. Many people may not care about this, but if the flight overnight is only going to be a few hours long at night, it may not give you the time of rest you might like. I know I like the length of the flight – when I am flying in business, that is! 🙂
What are your opinions of Turkish Airlines? Is there anything else you like or dislike about the airline?