Calgary to Istanbul, Turkey - $819 roundtrip including taxes
KLM just dropped the price of some of their Calgary to Istanbul, Turkey (IST) flights down to $819 roundtrip after taxes. It was the result of asking Facebook fans 'which destination do you think will be the trendy destination for 2015?'.
Istanbul came in third, after Bali, Indonesia (#1) and Cape Town, South Africa.
KLMclaims that all 3 were put on sale for the promotion, but out of those three destinations, I would say Istanbul is probably the best deal, although Cape Town is priced pretty well too.
Istanbul, Turkey - $819
Cape Town, South Africa - $1147 (quite a good price. About as cheap as it ever gets from Western Canada)
Bali, Indonesia - $1712 ($1000-$1100 or so to Bali is not uncommon from other airlines. KLM usually isn't that competitive on this route.)
What dates have dropped?
Departures between January and May 6, 2015.
When should I go?
Focus on April/May dates if you can. Temperatures start to climb back up from mild in March & April, to being warm in May.
How long should I go for?
I would say 10-12 nights is about right if you want to explore the highlights of Turkey. Just my opinion based on my trip from 2012.
How to find and book
Normally I would say to start with a 3 day flexible date search on Kayak. Here's an example search...
But I seem to be having better luck finding flights that are 1 stop each way (the most ideal way to get to Istanbul and back) by using the KLM website directly.
Here's an example...
1. Go to the KLM website
2. Search for Calgary to Istanbul, departing April 5 and returning April 16. Hit 'View Offers'
3. The price should come up as $819. If it's higher, it's likely changed due to this blog post, which can affect demand, which affects the price. Try searching around for other dates.
The KLM website is actually pretty decent for exploring alternative dates, far better than most airline websites.
It seems to be really tough to find flights coming home with 1 stop, that still work out to $800 something roundtrip. Those appear to be the key. If you find any, please help out your fellow traveler and comment below.
An example verified price screen from KLM:
With KLM, you can also always get a free stopover in Amsterdam. It might be easier to call them to make the booking in this case. But first, you might want to note which dates are the cheapest to fly between Calgary and Istanbul, from your searches.
How long do I have to decide?
For this promotion, KLM will be putting their fares back up on Mon, Dec 22nd. But airfare prices always react to demand, so higher demand dates could jump up in price if KLM sells a certain number of seats.
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