A lot has happened with Turkish Airlines over the last month (obviously a lot has happened everywhere!). They were adamant about restarting their operations at the end of May and even going so far as to having a full schedule for early June.
The Turkish Airlines Plan for Flights to the US
While this kept getting backed up a bit, it was still looking like they were planning on resuming most of their flights around the world. But, that changed a couple of weeks ago. Instead, it is a gradual comeback with flight frequencies far below what they were selling tickets for.
What Happened to The Full Schedule?
While I would hope that they had full expectation to return to the skies when they thought they would, their inability to get the basic flight certifications needed to begin international flights on June 14 when they had planned, showed that they weren’t ready like they said they would be.
Instead, it looked a lot more like they were taking cash for flights they never really planned on flying. Since they say they won’t refund cash on cancelled flights until 60 days after restarting operations, that meant they basically got interest-free loans for 2 months.
The Current Plan for Restarting Flights
Now, flights have resumed with Turkish Airlines so it looks like a good idea to see what their planned return of schedules to the US look like. You can see that it is going to be quite slim from what it was before Covid-19 so make sure you plan accordingly. I am see prices similar to what they normally are but finding business class awards may be more difficult than before.
- Washington, DC (IAD) – 3 flights per week starting July 1
- Houston, TX (IAH) – 3 flights per week starting July 26
- New York, NY (JFK) – 3 flights per week starting July 10
- Los Angeles, CA (LAX) – 4 flights per week starting July 1
- Miami, FL (MIA) – 3 flights per week starting July 1
- Chicago, IL (ORD) – 3 flights per week starting July 1
- San Francisco, CA (SFO) – 3 flights per week starting July 15
This is a huge hit to the US schedule for Turkish. Just look at JFK alone – during this time of year, they typically are flying 3 flights per day yet now will be doing just 3 flights per week.
You may notice that Boston is missing as is Atlanta. No word on when either city will get service again.
Booking Flights with Turkish Airlines – For Now
I had booked 6 different flights with Turkish last month and each one was cancelled again and again. I had booked each of those with miles (it was for the same trip, the legs just kept getting canceled so I had to rebook and move around). If I had booked with cash I would be out a lot of money that I would not have received until at least mid-August.
While Turkish has options if your flights are cancelled, it can take a while to receive things like the vouchers (which apparently you need to use at a Turkish office) and getting through to them as become more difficult lately.
For this reason, if you need to book with Turkish Airlines for July or August, I recommend using miles from a partner program instead of booking with cash. This way, should the flight get canceled, you will have your miles back and you can rebook a different option without it costing you anything.
I had been booking with Aeroplan and it was a seamless process with them. United should be good as well.