The Basics

My New Favorite Flight from Europe to the US (But Only in Business Class)

a seat in an airplane
Written by Charlie

Having flown about 80 times between Europe and the US, I now have a new favorite flight from Europe to the US!

I have flown between the US and Europe at least 80 times over the last decade or so. I have mostly used Star Alliance partners and have flown a ton of routes between the US and Europe. This fall, I flew a schedule that is now my new favorite between Europe and the US.

My New Favorite Flight Between Europe and the US

Most of my European – US trips over the last many years have been between New York and Greece. Before this last trip, my favorite flight had been going from Athens to Doha to JFK. The reason was because the Qatar Airways flight from Athens left at 9PM (so it gave me a full day in Greece) and I arrived via Doha into JFK the next morning at 9AM. So, I really didn’t miss any time in either country.

But, obviously that route took me quite a bit further east than I needed to go – even though doing it in Qatar’s QSuite made it totally worth it!

Probably 50% of my flights over the years have had me transiting through Turkey. That was how I had flown Turkish Airlines to every US gateway city and flew on every Turkish Airlines aircraft that they flew to the US. Many times, I would depart from Greece around 9PM and fly out of Istanbul at 6AM for JFK. That put me in JFK at 11AM but that still wasn’t quite early enough to take advantage of good flights from JFK to western NY.

Turkish Flight 111 – A Great Option for Travel to JFK

But, Turkish Airlines introduced a new flight this year that I couldn’t wait to try out. This flight doesn’t operate year round but when it does operate, definitely consider it as a nice new option (but, only if you are flying business class!).

It was flight TK 111 and it departed from Istanbul at 12:40AM and arrived in JFK at 4:30AMThis let me depart Greece at 9:30PM so, again, it gave me a full day in Greece. But, I was now able to arrive in the US at just 4:30AM! This allowed for an early morning connection so I was home in western NY by 9AM!

Not only does it work great for not chewing up the main part of a day but it also meant that you arrive at immigration before any other flights so, if you don’t have Global Entry, you are able to breeze right through passport control in no time! Security lines can tend to be a bit long, depending on the day of the week, as you will likely arrive to those between 5:00-6:00 (depending on the airline and terminal) but having TSA Precheck and/or CLEAR will help you zip through that.

Fortunately, we still had some time to spend in the Turkish Airlines lounge where I got to gorge snack on some nice Turkish food.

The Business Class

The only disappointing thing about this flight was that it was on the Airbus A330. I would have definitely preferred their 787 or their A350 for their new business class but the older Turkish business class is still very conducive for sleeping.

And this is why I say I would only do it in business class. More than any other Turkish flight from Europe to the US, this flight is made for sleeping. I would not want to have my overnight flight, which takes 10 hours and 50 minutes, in economy – especially if I have a full day upon arrival in the US.

TK112 – JFK to Istanbul, another Interesting Flight

By the way, the reverse of this flight is pretty interesting – TK112. The reason I find it interesting is that it does something that no other airline has done this deep into Europe. While there are a few flights from the East Coast to London that will depart and land on the same day, Istanbul is quite a bit further. TK 112 departs from JFK 6:55AM and arrives in Istanbul at 11:40PM the same day. The problem with this flight is that it will really only work if you live/are staying in NYC. It also won’t be that helpful if your final destination is some other European city than Istanbul – unless you want to stay a night or two in Istanbul (which Turkish Airlines does have nice layover deals for!).

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.