Turkish Airlines celebrated its brand new Seattle-Istanbul route with a June 15, 2022, ribbon cutting ceremony. This follows the June 2, 2022 decision of the United Nations to accept the request to change the name of the country from Turkey to Türkiye.
Direct Istanbul flights from Seattle and Vancouver
After launching its new Istanbul flights from Vancouver, Canada in May 2021, Turkish Airlines opened a new Pacific Northwest route from Seattle to Türkiye’s biggest city.
The new Seattle-Istanbul flight is four times weekly (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) aboard the 300-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The flight takes about twelve hours.
The addition of the Seattle route means Turkish Airlines now has 17 North American gateways including Newark, Washington D.C., Chicago, Dallas Forth Worth, Houston, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, as well as Canadian and Mexican cities. Later in 2022, Detroit and Denver gateways will launch.
Turkish Airlines, a member of Star Alliance, currently flies to five continents and 129 countries, more than any other airline. You can get to 340 destinations aboard Turkish Airlines, 287 of them international and 53 within Türkiye.
New Istanbul airport and Turkish Airlines’ free stopover hotel
Istanbul’s new airport opened in 2019. Once construction is completed, it’s projected to be the world’s largest — already it’s the world’s largest built-from-scratch airport. Upon completion, the expected capacity is 200 million passengers annually.
If you’re just flying through Istanbul to another destination, take advantage of Turkish Airlines’ Istanbul Stopover Service, reinstated after being on hold due to the Covid pandemic. This travel hack will get you a free 4- or 5-star hotel — book your travels so you have at least a 20-hour layover in Istanbul and Turkish Airlines will provide you with a hotel voucher. If you travel economy class, it will be for a one-night stay in a four-star hotel. Business class passengers get two nights in a five-star hotel. There’s an additional program to extend stays at prices beginning at $49 US per night.
In Istanbul, the world’s only city on two continents, be sure to see Topkapi Palace, the magnificent interiors of Hagia Sofia, browse the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, and see if you can get all six minarets in a photo of the Blue Mosque.
Other top sites in Türkiye include Cappadocia, in the center of the country, which is famous for its underground cities, cave hotels and “fairy chimneys” all created out of volcanic tufa rock. You’ll also want to see the tiered white mineral pools of Pamukkale and the ancient spa town of Hierapolis, the ancient city of Ephesus which was one of the original Seven Wonders of the World, plus take a “blue cruise” along Türkiye’s Riviera.
Regardless of how long your stay is, be sure to visit a hammam so you can experience the traditional Turkish scrub and massage.