Mileage run Istanbul…via Houston and Paris.
Last night I couldn’t sleep and was checking out some of my favorite people I follow on Twitter. I came across this tweet:
#Airfare Deal: [AF] Houston – Istanbul, Turkey. $702 r/t. Details: http://t.co/xIvbUjegnh $travel PREMIUM ECONOMY FARE! via @FareDealAlert
— The Flight Deal (@TheFlightDeal) March 11, 2015
I was intrigued so I booked. Here is why:
First, it was a low fair price to Europe on Air France [AF], an airline I have used before that offers quality service but more importantly they are a partner of Alaska Airlines. Alaska is my one and only airline loyalty plan (well, the only one I actively use). Living in Seattle, over half of all flights leaving from SEA are Alaska Airlines [AS], so it makes things easy for me. I get 100% of miles flown on AF applied towards my Mileage Plan account with AS.
Furthermore, this deal was for Premium Economy class. One step down from Business and one step up from Economy. It offers more room and more amenities. Important for this long of a flight. You can check out what the Premium Economy cabin looks like on Google Maps (yes, I know that is weird).
I found the flight in August for $730 and booked it at 2:30am (never a good idea). I used my Hyatt Visa card as it gives you 2 Hyatt Gold Passport points for every dollar you spend on airlines. However, I woke up this morning excited about it. I talked to a friend, convincing her to join me (again, I don’t always travel solo…). In talking to her, I checked the flight again and it dropped to $630 all in round trip! So I canceled my first flight (I was within the 24 hour grace period) and rebooked.
As it turns out, this flight is a reduced rate in “A” class, so that means I do not get a class bonus (which is usually 125% of total miles flown). Still, I will get my 12,808 miles towards Elite Qualification on Alaska, plus my Elite Status bonus of an additional 6,404 miles for a total of 19,212… basically a free round trip flight on Alaska Airlines (or a value of $384 valuing AS miles at $.02)
Which comes in handy since I am in Seattle (SEA) and need to fly out of Houston (IAH). I could just apply those miles towards the cost of an awards ticket and call it good… however since I am going for Gold elite status with Alaska this year, I will probably pay for the SEA>IAH flight and save the miles for some more lavish flight in the future.
I will only be staying in Istanbul for 3 nights/4 days. I am planning on staying at the Grand Hyatt or Park Hyatt Istanbul, using points or my free nights though the Hyatt Visa. It will be a fun adventure, traveling in upgraded class to a country I have never been to, staying at a luxury hotel and getting closer to my goal of Alaska Gold.
Trip report of my mileage run Istanbul to come in August.