Wide Open Turkish Airlines Business Class Award Space

Find Flights For Me flags great award availability between the U.S. and Istanbul on Turkish Airways that can be booked using United miles, and with miles in other Star Alliance frequent flyer programs. You can use this to get to much of the world, since Turkish flies to more countries than any other airline.

This availability is best from East Coast and Central U.S. gateways (more so than West Coast) and is focused on winter – from January and running into the beginning of April.

The United Airlines MileagePlus award calendar shows that every day in January has at least two business class awards between New York and Istanbul, and in some cases more seats than that. The current calendar includes dates where connecting flights are availability, not just non-stop (taxes reveal that all but two days below do have non-stop space):

You will see availability also out of Atlanta; Boston; Denver; Dallas; Detroit; Washington Dulles; Houston; Miami; Chicago; and even some more limited space out of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seatle and Canadian airports.

Booking options:

  • Turkish Airlines itself charges 65,000 miles and is a Citi and Capital One transfer partner.
  • Avianca LifeMiles charges 63,000 miles each way, and is a Capital One, Citi and Amex transfer partner – but doesn’t seem to be showing as much space.
  • United costs 88,000 miles each way and points transfer from Chase and Bilt.
  • Air Canada Aeroplan charges 70,000 miles or more (depending on total distance flown) and points transfer from Amrican Express, Capital One, Chase and Bilt but may not have as much space as United.

Since United doesn’t charge change and cancel fees on awards, those of you with MileagePlus miles have a great opportunity to lock in a trip option somewhere in the world now for early next year.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’m surprised that you didn’t mention that Bilt is also a Turkish transfer partner.. I just returned from Istanbul using Bilt miles for my business class round trip and, BTW, Turkish biz class is still terrific

  2. Maybe it’s just my bad luck, but I’ve found that Turkish frequently cancels flights for no apparent reason, months in advance. If you book through United they will protect you onto their own metal. If you book through Turkish you might be SOL…

  3. I looked and only ever see 1 available seat from SFO to IST. Unfortunately that doesn’t work for me, and probably most folks.

  4. Dec-feb is too cold and wet for visiting IST. That is why the availability. Dont see much in summer. Just 3 dates from 4 cities in NA.

  5. Just went onto the Turkish site to price award miles for another trip. Have never redeemed an award through them. When I tried to select two passengers it popped up a message that it can process award travel for me, but if I would like a loved one to accompany me I would have to contact a local Turkish ticket office. Is this normal?

  6. United still hasn’t fixed the issue where you are allocated zero checked bags when ticketing on TK metal. This will be contrary to what is shown on your confirmation, but TK doesn’t care and will charge you anyway at the airport (hundreds of dollars extra). Caveat emptor!

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