The Definitive Guide to Turkish Airlines’ Direct Routes From the U.S. [Plane Types and Seat Options]

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Turkish Airlines is, as you may have predicted, the flag carrier of Turkey. What you may not have known is that Turkish Airlines flies to the most countries of any airline in the entire world.

In total, they operate scheduled flights to 315 destinations on 6 continents. Founded in 1933, this airline flies to a whopping 126 countries, which is still way more than the second-place holder: Air France (93 countries).

This massive airline is part of the Star Alliance and has a fleet size of 347 planes. As you can probably imagine, the route network to the U.S. is quite deep. Let’s take a look at the routes!

Seat Options by Aircraft Type

Turkish Airlines operates 3 main types of aircraft out of its Istanbul (IST) hub. Turkish Airlines enjoys an amazing geographic advantage being central to all the major continents. On flights to the U.S., Turkish Airlines operates 3 long-haul aircraft:

  • A330-300
  • 777-300ER
  • 787-9

Let’s take a look at the route summary chart for Turkish Airlines nonstop flights to the U.S.:

Turkish Airlines RouteFlight NumberAircraftCabin ClassesFrequency
Atlanta (ATL) – Istanbul (IST)TK 32787-9Business, Economy5x Weekly
Boston (BOS) – Istanbul (IST)TK 82A330-300Business, EconomyDaily
Chicago (ORD) – Istanbul (IST)TK 6777-300ERBusiness, EconomyDaily
Houston (IAH) – Istanbul (IST)TK 34777-300ERBusiness, Economy6x Weekly
Los Angeles (LAX) – Istanbul (IST)TK 10777-300ERBusiness, EconomyDaily
Miami (MIA) – Istanbul (IST)TK 78777-300ERBusiness, EconomyDaily
New York City (JFK) – Istanbul (IST)TK 4/12TK 4: A330-300

TK 12: 777-300ER and A330-300 sometimes, rarely 787-9

Business, Economy2x Daily
Newark (EWR) – Istanbul (IST) {from May 25, 2020}TK 30A330-300Business, EconomyDaily
San Francisco (SFO) – Istanbul (IST)TK 80777-300ERBusiness, EconomyDaily
Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Istanbul (IST)TK 8787-9Business, EconomyDaily

Best Points to Earn to Fly Turkish Airlines

Because Turkish Airlines is a Star Alliance partner, you can use any type of miles from Star Alliance airlines to book flights on Turkish Airlines.

The challenge is to find the most cost-effective way to fly Turkish Airlines using points. There are so many different options to book Turkish Airlines, and you can spend virtually any type of transferable points for Turkish Airlines flights:

  • American Express Membership RewardsAir Canada Aeroplan, ANA Mileage Club, Avianca LifeMiles, and Singapore KrisFlyer
  • Capital One RewardsAir Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards: Singapore KrisFlyer or United MileagePlus
  • Citi ThankYou Rewards: Avianca LifeMiles, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Singapore KrisFlyer, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, or Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles,
  • Marriott Bonvoy: Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus, Air Canada Aeroplan, All Nippon Airways Mileage Club, Asiana Club, Avianca LifeMiles, Copa Airlines ConnectMiles, Singapore KrisFlyer, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles, and United MileagePlus

Turkish Airlines shares a ton of airline partners, which is why the possibilities are so lengthy. Additionally, there are $220 in fuel surcharges one-way when flying business class and $173 in economy.

Here are some example redemptions you can use to fly one-way to Turkey from the U.S. on Turkish Airlines:

Mileage TypeMiles Cost for a One-Way Economy Class Flight Between the U.S. and TurkeyMiles Cost for a One-Way Business Class Flight Between the U.S. and Turkey
Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus35,00055,000
Air Canada Aeroplan37,50057,500
ANA Mileage Club55,000 (round-trip only)88,000 (round-trip only)
Asiana Club25,00040,000
Avianca LifeMiles30,00063,000
Copa Airlines ConnectMiles30,00070,000
EVA Air Infinity MileageLands34,00065,000
Lufthansa Miles & More30,00056,000
Singapore KrisFlyer45,00076,500
Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus55,00082,500
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles30,00045,000
United MileagePlus30,00070,000

Hot Tip: If you find yourself flying Turkish Airlines a lot and earning their miles, be sure to find the best ways to redeem Turkish Airlines miles for maximum value!

If you want to avoid/minimize fuel surcharges, consider paying with:

  1. Air Canada Aeroplan miles
  2. Avianca LifeMiles
  3. United MileagePlus miles

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • San Francisco (SFO) – Istanbul (IST) one-way in Turkish Airlines economy for 30,000 United miles + $5.60 in taxes and fees
  • Atlanta (ATL) – Istanbul (IST) one-way in Turkish Airlines business class for 40,000 Asiana miles + ~$260 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Istanbul (IST) one-way in Turkish Airlines business class for 57,500 Aeroplan miles + ~$11 in taxes and fees
  • Miami (MIA) – Istanbul (IST) one-way in Turkish Airlines economy class for 30,000 Avianca LifeMiles + $31 in taxes and fees

Turkish Airlines First Class Options

Unfortunately, Turkish Airlines doesn’t currently offer any long-haul first class products to/from the U.S.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Options

Turkish Airlines is very highly regarded in the aviation world. Traditionally, the biggest selling point of Turkish Airlines business class has been the quality of the food and beverage program. Turkish Airlines has some amazing soft product offerings, though the big negative is the hard product.

With the continued roll-out of Turkish Airlines’ 787-9 business class, this will undoubtedly cease to be a problem in the future. In many ways, the 777-300ER business class, which is regarded to be inferior and noncompetitive, can be advantageous for a specific type of passenger (we’ll discuss that later).

Turkish Airlines operates 3 distinct aircraft, each with business class offerings. Our rankings for the best business class in order from absolute best to worst is as follows:

  1. Turkish Airlines 787-9 business class
  2. Turkish Airlines 777-300ER business class
  3. Turkish Airlines A330-300 business class

Turkish Airlines 787-9 Business Class

Turkish Airlines 787-9 business class
Turkish Airlines 787-9 business class. Image Credit: Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines has worked in conjunction with STELIA Aerospace to design the next generation of space-efficient and luxurious business class seats. And they did not disappoint.

With Turkish Airlines ordering and receiving new Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A350 aircraft, there’s a lot to look forward to once you step onto the plane. The particular business class seat model is known as the Aurora seat, which looks a bit like modified forward-facing staggered business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.

These seats resemble Singapore Airlines’ brand-new A380 business class seats. So yes, it’s that good. When you pair the existing excellence of Turkish Airlines’ soft product with the introduction of their new hard product, you’ll get a definite winner in the books.

There are a total of 30 business class seats about the 787-9 as shown here:

Turkish Airlines 787-9 business class seat map
Turkish Airlines 787-9 business class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

Each of the seats is very spacious. Specifically, the seats measure around 21 inches wide, 43-44 inches in pitch, and 76 inches long in bed length. These seats aren’t necessarily as spacious as some other products, but they sure are sleek. If you’re over 6 feet 4 inches (the length of the bed), we’d recommend that you look at the other options later in this guide.

The configuration is a 1-2-1 arrangement and the even rows have true window seats with added privacy. For solo travelers, the best seats are 2A/K, 4A/K, and 6A/K. You’ll generally want to avoid 8A/K due to the presence of the galley at the rear of the cabin. Couples traveling together will definitely want to reserve 1E/F for 2 reasons:

  1. Bulkhead seats mean lots of extra legroom in the footwell
  2. Seats are close together

Just remember that the lavatory, galleys, and a closet are located towards the front of the plane.

Now, you’re probably wondering what routes currently offer this product. Here are the current flights and routes on which you can try Turkish Airlines’ 787-9 business class:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Istanbul (IST)
  • New York City (JFK) – Istanbul (IST) rarely on TK 12
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Istanbul (IST)

Bottom Line: Turkish Airlines has an impressive business class product on the 787-9 Dreamliners. Although the deployment is currently limited on select routes, there’s no doubt we’ll see the number of routes increase over time. The seats are incredibly comfortable, sleek, and space-efficient. However, if you’re a very tall person, you might want to venture with one of their older products (which are actually longer!). 

Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Business Class

Turkish Airlines 777-300ER business class
Turkish Airlines 777-300ER business class. Image Credit: Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines’ legacy business class is most notably on the 777-300ER. This particular hard product lags behind the competition in terms of privacy and exclusivity, but it’s still a great choice if you:

  • Want to get to Turkey nonstop
  • Want to experience Turkish Airlines’ amazing soft product, which includes some of the best food you can find on a plane

Let’s talk about the second-place product: Turkish Airlines’ 777-300ER business class.

The entire business class cabin looks streamlined and straightforward. There are 49 seats spread out across 7 rows in a 2-3-2 configuration. The seats fully lie-flat, and 4 out of 7 seats per row have direct aisle access.

While that might not sound appealing, you’ll notice that the seats are uniform in width throughout, which means that your ottoman is also 22 inches wide. You won’t have to cram your feet into narrow footwells. Also, the length of the bed is the length of the seat plus the length of the ottoman. These forward-facing seats are actually the most spacious and are incredibly easy to sleep in. 

As for the seat dimensions, they are (believe it or not) more spacious than the 787-9. Each of the business class seats on the 777-300ER is 22 inches wide and 78 inches pitch (6 feet 6 inches).

Here’s how the seat map looks:

Turkish Airlines 777-300ER business class seat map
Turkish Airlines 777-300ER business class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

As you can see, the cabin is split up into a mini-cabin of 4 rows and a smaller mini-cabin of 3 rows. There are 2 lavatories on the left-hand side in the front and middle of the business class section, along with galleys on the right-hand side and middle.

The bulkhead seats don’t add any additional legroom or space to the overall bed, so it’s not necessary to reserve one of these to your advantage.

As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to avoid foot traffic when possible. As such, row 7 seems to be the best bet, as you’ll be far away from any business class foot traffic. Just remember that the privacy curtain and a bit of walkway is the only thing separating you from the front of the economy cabin.

As far as best seats go, couples traveling together will want to opt for a pair of seats on the right side of the aircraft (opposite the lavatory traffic). Therefore, the best seats for couples traveling together will probably be 7J/K.

You’ll find the Turkish Airlines 777-300ER operated in the following nonstop routes to/from the U.S.:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Istanbul (IST)
  • Houston (IAH) – Istanbul (IST)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Istanbul (IST)
  • Miami (MIA) – Istanbul (IST)
  • New York City (JFK) – Istanbul (IST) sometimes on TK 12
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Istanbul (IST)

Bottom Line: Despite an unfavorable 2-3-2 configuration leading a crowded cabin, the Turkish Airlines 777-300ER business class product is the most spacious, with 22 inches in width and 78 inches in bed length. There’s no footwell you have to fit into, and you’ll instead be able to rest your feet on an open-air ottoman that directly connected to the bottom of your seat when in lie-flat mode! However, you’ll give up privacy compared to the 787-9, so do keep that in mind. 

Turkish Airlines A330-300 Business Class

Turkish Airlines A330-300 business class
Turkish Airlines A330-300 business class. Image Credit: Turkish Airlines

Our last place winner is Turkish Airlines business class on the smaller A330-300. These planes are operated on the lowest-demand or shorter routes to/from the U.S. and they have the lowest capacity.

As for the hard product, the A330-300 business class is most similar to Turkish Airlines’ 777-300ER. The 2 main differences are the seat configuration and dimensions. There are a total of 28 seats in business class, each of which is 21 inches wide, 61 inches in pitch, and 78 inches in bed mode. Each of the seats is arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration as follows:

Turkish Airlines A330-300 business class seat map
Turkish Airlines A330-300 business class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

As you can see, all of the seats are in a single business class section, with 2 lavatories at the back and 1 lavatory at the front port side of the plane. Additionally, there’s a galley at both the front and back of business class. Remember that A and K seats do not have direct aisle access.

Here are the routes on which the Turkish Airlines A330-300 can be found:

  • Boston (BOS) – Istanbul (IST)
  • New York City (JFK) – Istanbul (IST) on TK 4 and sometimes on TK 12
  • Newark (EWR) – Istanbul (IST) from May 25, 2020

Hot Tip: Want to always select the best seat on your flight? Learn how with our SeatGuru guide!

Turkish Airlines Premium Economy Class Options

Turkish Airlines doesn’t currently offer a premium economy product. All of their planes feature a 2-cabin layout: business and economy class.

Turkish Airlines Economy Class Options

Turkish Airlines 777-300ER economy
Turkish Airlines 777-300ER economy. Image Credit: Turkish Airlines

If you’re more of a no-frills traveler looking to get to your destination nonstop without having to unload lots of points, you’ll be pleased to find that Turkish Airlines is a great choice. As a reminder, the criteria for the best economy seats on an aircraft is going to be simple: legroom.

In the rest of this guide, we’ll be spending time analyzing the seat maps on each plane and then pinpointing which seats are the best to snag.

Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Economy Class

Turkish Airlines operates the 777-300ER on the majority of its routes. There are a total of 300 seats in the entire economy cabin aboard the 777-300ER. This may feel like a lot, but you’ll also have to remember that the 777-300ER is a huge plane and Turkish Airlines only has 2 cabins.

In any case, let’s talk seats. The seats are arranged in a 3-3-3 configuration per row. Each of the seats is 18 inches wide and around 31-32 inches in pitch. While each seat is reasonably wide, let’s take a look at the seat map to see how we can get even further ahead.

Turkish Airlines 777-300ER economy class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

The seats that may immediately catch your eye are rows 23, 24, 40, and 42. If you look at row 23, there’s extra legroom due to the exit row. The same is the case for 24A/B/C and 24H/J/K. Just remember to avoid 24A and 24K due to the emergency exit door protrusion.

Seats 42D/E/G, which are situated just behind a galley, also have extra legroom due to the protrusion of the bulkhead. Row 40 would be the last choice for preferential seats, due to the presence of the galley and lavatories directly in front of row 40.

40B/C and 40H/J are definitely better than normal seats due to the exit row, but just avoid picking 40A and 40K, as the exit door will encroach into your legroom.

You can find the Turkish Airlines 777-300ER economy cabin on the following nonstop routes to/from the U.S.:

  • Chicago (ORD) – Istanbul (IST)
  • Houston (IAH) – Istanbul (IST)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Istanbul (IST)
  • Miami (MIA) – Istanbul (IST)
  • New York City (JFK) – Istanbul (IST) sometimes on TK 12
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Istanbul (IST)

Turkish Airlines A330-300 Economy Class

Our second choice is the Turkish Airlines A330-300 economy class. There are 261 seats aboard the A330-300 in a mostly 2-4-2 configuration, tapering down to 2-3-2 towards the back of the airplane. Also, each seat is around 17-18 inches wide and 31-33 inches in pitch. Here’s how the seat map looks:

Turkish Airlines A330-300 economy class seat map
Turkish Airlines A330-300 economy class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

On the A330-300, the preferential seats are located in rows 6 and 24. Couples traveling together will want to choose a pair of seats together (A/B or J/K) if possible. There are 2 lavatories and 1 galley in front of row 6, while there are 3 lavatories in front of row 24. Therefore, row 6 is likely to be the best bet.

If you have to pick seats in row 24, try to opt for 24A/B as they are not as close to the lavatories as the other row 24 seats.

You can find the A330-300 operated by Turkish Airlines on these nonstop routes to/from the U.S.:

  • Boston (BOS) – Istanbul (IST)
  • New York City (JFK) – Istanbul (IST) on TK 4 and sometimes on TK 12
  • Newark (EWR) – Istanbul (IST) from May 25, 2020

Turkish Airlines 787-9 Economy Class

Our last pick for Turkish Airlines economy is the 787-9 Dreamliner. The seats are significantly smaller than the other choices: 17 inches wide and 30 inches in pitch. Overall, there are 270 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.

If you remember, the 3-3-3 configuration is identical to the 777-300ER. Because the 787-9 is about 0.5 meters (1.64 feet) narrower than the 777-300ER, you’ll see a narrower seat reflected in this loss of cabin space. Here’s how economy class seat map looks on the Turkish Airlines 787-9:

Turkish Airlines 787-9 economy class seat map
Turkish Airlines 787-9 economy class seat map. Image Credit: SeatGuru

There are 2 lavatories and a galley at the front of the cabin, 3 lavatories and a galley in the middle of the cabin, and 2 lavatories and a galley at the rear of the cabin. The preferential seats lie in rows 9, 25, and seats 27D/E/G. Also, row 9 and 27D/E/G seats are bassinet-enabled.

Row 9 seats and 27D/E/G are bulkhead seats, while row 25 seats are in the exit row. For maximum legroom, seats 25A/B and 25J/K are great. Also, these seats are more isolated from the galley, resulting in less noise.

You’ll find Turkish Airlines operating the 787-9 on the following nonstop routes to/from the U.S.:

  • Atlanta (ATL) – Istanbul (IST)
  • New York City (JFK) – Istanbul (IST) rarely on TK 12
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Istanbul (IST)

Final Thoughts

Turkish Airlines operates a relatively straightforward fleet of planes to the U.S. There are a total of 3 aircraft to choose from: the 787-9 (newest), the 777-300ER (biggest), and the A330-300 (smallest).

The 787-9 business class product is the best and newest, except for taller passengers. If you’re on the taller side and maximum space is a necessity, you’ll want to opt for the 777-300ER, which has wider and longer seats. Be ready, however, to give up some privacy for this. Lastly, the A330-300 has the smallest seats, so only fly that if your route only offers it.

For economy, the best seats are on the 777-300ER. Though dense, the seats are the largest. Furthermore, choose the preferential seats outlined in the guide to drive your seat reservation choices. Economy flyers will want to avoid the 787-9, due to the significant reduction in seat size. The 787-9’s economy seats are 17 inches wide and 30 inches in pitch, compared to the 777-300ER’s economy seats that are 18 inches wide and 31-32 inches in pitch.

Hopefully, this route and seat guide will help you plan your next trip on Turkish Airlines.


Frequently asked questions

What's the best way to book Turkish Airlines first class?

Currently, there are no Turkish Airlines routes that feature a first class product. As a result, it’s not possible to book this first class using points and miles.

What's the best ways to book Turkish Airlines business class?

You can spend 40,000 Asiana miles, 45,000 Turkish Airlines miles, 57,500 Aeroplan miles, 63,000 Avianca LifeMiles, 65,000 EVA Air miles, 70,000 United miles, or even 76,500 Singapore KrisFlyer miles to book a one-way business class flight.

For a round-trip flight, you can pay 88,000 ANA miles.

What are the best ways to book Turkish Airlines premium economy class?

Currently, there aren’t any Turkish Airlines premium economy products. They only operate 2-class aircraft to/from the U.S.: business class and economy class. As such, you can’t book it with points.

What's the best ways to book Turkish Airlines economy class?

You can spend 25,000 Asiana Club miles, 30,000 Turkish Airlines miles, 30,000 United miles, 30,000 Avianca LifeMiles, 30,000 Lufthansa miles, 30,000 Copa Airlines miles, 34,000 EVA Air miles, 35,000 Aegean miles, 37,500 Aeroplan miles, 45,000 KrisFlyer miles, or 55,000 Thai Airways miles for a one-way flight in economy.

A round-trip flight using ANA is 55,000 miles. Just be sure to watch out for fuel surcharges and book via United MileagePlus, Avianca LifeMiles, or Air Canada Aeroplan to avoid those pesky taxes and fees.

Where does Turkish Airlines fly out of?

Turkish Airlines flies out of its hub at Istanbul (IST). Additionally, they have focus cities in Ankara (ESB) and Sabiha Istanbul (SAW).

Where does Turkish Airlines fly to in the U.S.?

Currently, Turkish Airlines flies to:

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Chicago (ORD)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Newark (EWR) {beginning May 25, 2020}
  • New York City (JFK)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD)
Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

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