As I wrote about last week, Turkish Airlines had not given up on an Istanbul to Newark flight and today, they have announced that this route will begin in the first half of next year.
New Turkish Airlines Flight to Newark
Here is the schedule for the daily flight to Istanbul, beginning May 25, 2020:
- Istanbul – Newark | Departing 18:35 and Arriving 22:30 | Flight TK29
- Newark – Istanbul | Departing 00:25 and Arriving 17:10 the same day | TK30
These times are quite a bit off from the original report from last year. As a matter of fact, the Istanbul – Newark schedule closely mirrors the Emirates flight from Athens – Newark, the only other flight that is that far east in Europe and flying to Newark.
I have to say I am not a big fan of the arrival time in Newark as there are very few flights that depart that late from Newark to other US airports. So, that will almost definitely require many passengers to overnight.
As reported from last year, they will be using their A330 on this route so no new business class. Also, there is an end date of late October on this route so either they just put one for now to see how the demand is or it will truly just be a seasonal route. Even if they had to pull one of the 2 (sometimes 3, depending on time of year) flights from JFK, I think they should keep it at a year-round flight but we will have to see.
The departure time from the US is very similar to most of the Turkish flights from the East Coast – late in the evening. The exceptions are two of the three flights out of JFK, one leaving around 12:30PM and the other around 7:30PM with their last one being between 11:30 – 00:30.
One of the reasons I prefer Turkish Airlines (and I really enjoy flying them – I’ve even flown them from every US gateway city!) is because of these late evening flights. It gives a great opportunity to maximize time on the ground in the US and then leave at a more normal bedtime. With the flight being among the longest from the US to Europe, it also gives ample time to get enough of a rest that you can help get on track when you arrive.
Another great thing about this is that Turkish Airlines flies to more countries than any other airline in the world so it will be great to have Newark as a gateway airport to utilize this airline for such travel.
Why This is Great News
Feeder Flights on Award Tickets
I have flown on each of the 3 Turkish flights out of JFK and, for each one, I always have to fly JetBlue or Delta from Rochester or Buffalo to connect. That’s right – neither one of those is an alliance partner of Turkish which means I cannot book it as a single award ticket (and checking the bags through does not work!).
This is always a pain for award tickets because I either have to choose to have a long layover in NYC to give time to change airports between JFK and Newark (to catch a United flight to my next destination) or I need to book a separate ticket with another airline.
Now, passengers booking award tickets can make it be a single ticket all the way through by utilizing United’s massive presence at Newark. Since they are Star Alliance partners, this will make that process much easier.
Another reason I think this is great news is it will open up better lounge opportunities. With United’s presence in Newark, the lounges for Star Alliance business class or *Gold passengers are plentiful and have some nice features (like the insanely fast internet at the United Clubs!). If you fly Turkish out of JFK, you only have the choice of Lufthansa’s lounge. It is nice but I prefer to have some other choices and Newark should provide that.
Better TSA PreCheck Experience?
Finally, this is one that I hope will pan out, it should allow TSA Precheck passengers to actually get Precheck treatment. JFK’s Precheck operation at Terminal 1 is not really that great. It normally means you just get the special card and still need to go through the same line as everyone else. This will depend on which terminal Turkish lands at (hope its not the same as Emirates!), but I am hopeful the treatment will be the full Precheck experience.
So, I am excited about this latest word and look forward to having Newark as an option instead of just Chicago O’Hare and Dulles for my award tickets with Turkish!
Featured image of Turkish Airlines – Credit: Bocman1973 / Courtesy Shutterstock