Free Layovers, in Istanbul and More
Each Friday, we’re featuring a reader-submitted tip as our Travel Tip of the Day. This week’s tip builds on the popular Icelandair stopover (don’t forget to enter our Icelandair contest) and it comes from Ed K. (of HomeExchange.com):
“Turkish Airlines is one of our favorites for service. They have been voted the ‘Best Airline In Europe.’ They offer Paris-LAX (at least they did for our trip this week) to compete with Air France but since they don’t fly direct you have to go through Istanbul, a backtrack of 1,400 miles, and then take a longer flight (but non-stop) IST-LAX (about 2.5 hours longer than Paris-LAX) the next day. But they matched the Air France fare and gave us a free night in a hotel in Istanbul including shuttle and breakfast.
The Paris flight leaves at 11:15 am and arrives in Istanbul at 4:00 pm, so depending on whether you need to collect baggage and the hotel they select, this layover gives you a full evening in Istanbul—enough time for a quick trip to the Grand Bazaar and/or a walk around Sultanahmet and the Blue Mosque/Aya Sofia/Old Town. The shops and restaurants stay open very late, so with this option, you can get in 7-8 hours in Istanbul.
The non-stop to LAX departs the next day at 12:45 pm and arrives LAX at 4:30 pm. Turkish doesn’t advertise it, but we found it on Flyertalk.com.
Here are some other layover deals:
Comprehensive—and a great tip for all those looking to sneak more travel into a trip. Thanks, Ed!
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