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Turkey Enters This Century, Moves Entire Visa Process Online

Where: Turkey
February 6, 2014 at 11:20 AM | by | ()

You've booked a ticket, bought a guidebook and Netflixed a documentary; it's official that you're excited to travel to a new destination. That is, you were excited until you read that the country requires a visa. We're not talking about the plastic credit card, but a little piece of paper or sticker that means you've filed paperwork and paid for the privilege to cross a border.

Obtaining a visa can either go the hard way (like Brazil) or the easy way (like Australia), and we're thrilled to announce that one visa-requiring country has made the decision to take their process completely online. Beginning April 11, 2014, Turkey will require visitors to file an e-Visa.

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The Most Visited City in the World is NOT New York

June 11, 2013 at 3:08 PM | by | ()

If you prefer to travel the 'beaten path' and visit cities that see more than their fair share of tourists, you may want to rethink your itinerary since there has been a shift in where the planet's travelers are heading. It's actually Bangkok, and not New York, that reigns as tourist capital of the world.

The figures are based on a recent survey put forth by Mastercard. The Global Destinations Cities Index lists the Thai capital as tops for foreigners coming to see the sights, eclipsing London, Paris and New York.

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The Cure for a Long Layover: Transit Tours at Six International Airports

June 11, 2013 at 10:50 AM | by | ()

Hanging out in Amsterdam

A 6+ hour layover sure sounds like guaranteed misery, right? Wrong, if you're between flights at one of the several international airports that offer city tours for passengers in transit.

Some airports provide these tours absolutely free as a way to promote tourism, but all require that you clear immigration and customs in order to take them.

So before you settle down for a 10-hour boredfest on a bench near an airport Sbarro, try out one of the transit tours at these six airports:

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Surprisingly Yummy Airline Meals: The Halal Chicken on Turkish Airlines

Where: Turkey
March 7, 2013 at 4:09 PM | by | ()

We have all had a terrible meal on a flight before. In fact, we have shown you some of the sadder trays slid in front of us. With this new series of amazing airline meals, we can revel in the airline culinary delights and give kudos to the airlines that got it right.

While it's extremely rare to find an airline with as large a variety of vegetarian meal options as Turkish Airlines, we already opined on this at length last month. Now let's get to the meat of the matter, literally.

All meat served on Turkish Airlines is halal, so clicking the box to request the "Moslem Meal" is redundant. As we recently discovered, even flights as short as our 4-hour trip from Madrid to Istanbul (on a brand new 737-800 with Boeing Sky Interior!) see passengers presented with printed menus and entree choices (even in Economy, where we were).

Our choice on TK 1858: Grilled Chicken Medallions with mustard curry butter, ratatouille, tomato rice, french green beans in olive oil, and plum cake. (The other option was "Tas Kebab," or traditional beef stew in tomato sauce).

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One Airline Offers Seven Different Vegetarian In-Flight Meals

Where: Turkey
February 25, 2013 at 8:48 AM | by | ()

18. Eighteen. That's how many specialty meal types an international airline offers, on average.

21. Twenty-one. That's how many you'll find in the drop-down meal options when you book on Turkish Airlines. That's quite a feat, considering how complicated it already is for catering to stock an airplane with meals for several classes of service, then to throw special dietary requests into the mix.

We actually ordered a Moslem meal for our recent flight to Istanbul, but come to find out that all standard meals served on Turkish Airlines fall into this category, as the meat is halal and all ingredients are "in accord with Islamic religious beliefs." Next time we're definitely going for a vegetarian meal, because that's where things get crazy. Turkish Airlines has no fewer than seven different vegetarian meals! Check 'em out:

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Leave the Valentine's Day Box of Chocolates to Turkish Airlines

Where: Turkey
January 30, 2013 at 3:11 PM | by | ()

If you’re still not sure what you’re doing with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day—don’t worry—there’s still time to think of something good. Sure there are the usual standbys like flowers, chocolates, and a nice dinner; however, you know we just have to suggest something travel related. That’s why we say cut out of work for the weekend—or week—and head over to Istanbul thanks to Turkish Airlines.

The airline is offering up some special deals on their nonstop options between New York-JFK and Istanbul in and around Valentine’s Day, so you’re free to plan your own romantic getaway between February 8 and February 17. Round-trip flights can be yours for as little as $451 per person. That’s a little more money than a bouquet of roses from Whole Foods, but we say your loved one is more than worth it.

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Inside the Turkish Airlines Flagship Lounge at Istanbul's Atatürk Airport

March 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM | by | ()

International DJ, frequent flyer extraordinaire and Jaunted contributor Max Graham drops his thoughts on hanging out in Turkish Airlines' flagship lounge at Istanbul-Atatürk International Airport recently:

Flying from Hong Kong to London this past month, I stayed loyal to Star Alliance and chose to fly Turkish Airlines, which meant a stop in Istanbul and a visit to their large flagship lounge. Right away I was very impressed with the entry system. It goes like this: you scan your boarding pass and, if you're allowed in, turnstile-like doors automatically open. This eliminates the need to wait in line while someone manually checks your boarding pass and keys in your frequent flyer number. It's the future!

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Max Graham Gives the Lowdown on Turkish Airlines' International Business Class

March 13, 2012 at 1:31 PM | by | ()

International DJ, frequent flyer extraordinaire and Jaunted contributor Max Graham drops his thoughts on flying Turkish Airlines' Boeing 777 new-ish Business Class recently between Istanbul and Hong Kong:

Heading from London to Istanbul and on to spend only 24 hours in Hong Kong left me with plenty of options for airlines, but after reading about Turkish Airlines' new 777 product I just had to have a peek. The entire trip started with a late arrival by me to Heathrow and some amazing help by the Turkish ground staff to get me on my flight. Good omen of a trip to come? Unfortunately not really.

Musical chairs
There was a 15-year old in my assigned seat 4D. Staff moved me to 1A, where I nicely asked 1B if that was his book on the seat and he informed me the seat was already taken. Back down comes my bag from the overhead and I make my way back to the galley. “2G sir" is the second command. I go to 2G, there's nobody in the middle seat—yes, this configuration has a middle seat in business—and I take my shoes off, unpack my usuals, open the amenity kit and look up to see a nice French couple showing me their boarding pass. Sure enough these are their seats.

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Now is the Time to Spontaneously Book Some Trips

January 10, 2011 at 5:22 PM | by | ()

Something's going on. There have been far too many cheap cheap airfares lately from the USA to Europe for travel through May on Iberia and it's starting to make us think twice. Here's a perfect example: the $250 Milan flights and $290 Paris flights, which—yes, we booked—but still haven't really gone away. Is Iberia crazy or just awesome?

To be fair, we're flying American Airlines direct flights with their deals via the Iberia website, but you won't find the ridiculously low rates on American's site, nosireebob. Still, it is the low season in Europe and airfares are supposed to get cheap this time of the year, but then these popped up: $689 to South Africa and $478 to Istanbul. What does Iberia know that we don't?

We suppose we'll find out when we fly our $250 Europe roundtrip later this month. Until then, score yourself some equally impressive deals by searching Iberia.com directly, and keeping your dates flexible.

[Photo: Andres Rueda]

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Kobe Bryant Becomes the Face of Turkish Airlines, and Kim Kardashian Isn't Happy About It

December 15, 2010 at 9:00 AM | by | ()

Airlines in the United States usually don’t have too much extra cash hanging around to sign on famous celebrities and athletes, but that doesn’t appear to be the case for overseas carriers. This week, Turkish Airlines announced that in exchange for a whole bunch of lira, Kobe Bryant would serve as the airline’s global brand ambassador.

For the next two years, Kobe will make appearances and show up in advertisements across the globe to share the benefits of Turkish Airlines with the world. We don’t know if it’s going to make the carrier one of the world's most popular, but at least we now know about their new nonstop service from Los Angeles to Istanbul. There will be four flights per week beginning next March, and we bet Kobe will be on board one of them to shoot hoops at the Atatürk Airport, or in Europe and Asia at the same time.

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The Ultimate Travel Extra: Free City Tours During Layovers for Turkish Airlines Passengers

November 17, 2010 at 11:45 AM | by | ()

Here at Jaunted, we are seemingly always discussing the newest (and awesomest) in-flight amenities, airline meals and airport lounges that come part and parcel with the price of your ticket. Alas, there are even more extras to discover during international travel, like the fact that Turkish Airlines takes passengers with long layovers on FREE tours around Istanbul.

It works like this: if you're flying on Turkish and switching flights at Istanbul's Atatürk Airport and you've got a layover of six hours or more, then you can head to the airport's Hotel Information Desk to partake in a free tour with a private guide. Stops on the tours usually include time at the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar. The itineraries do vary, but you can check ahead of time here to see exactly where the tours go and when.

[Image: TurkishAirlines.com]

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$751 All-in on Turkish Airlines Direct to Istanbul. You In?

November 12, 2010 at 2:27 PM | by | ()

Every so often, we go through serious destination crushes, and we bet you do too. When it was summer in New York City, we were all about looking up airfares to Iceland, but now that it's cold and getting dreary, the exotic entrances. Which means that we've got our eye on Istanbul, and umm yea we're totally going to spend the weekend wasting hours on Wikipedia pages and Netflix documentaries about the city's history and landmarks. Or we could just book a flight and be done with it. That could also happen.

Luckily for travelers who also need a serious escape, Turkish Airlines just launched a sweet fare sale to coincide with the beginning of direct flights between Washington DC, Los Angeles and Istanbul. If you book before December 31 and travel before March 31, 2011, then flights on the DC route are $751 including taxes & fees and $999 on the LA route, same deal.

It's almost as good as that mindblowing Lufthansa sale that ended last week, but with the Turkish Airlines flights, you don't have to switch planes in Germany. These are direct, baby!

Here are all the details on the flights, and we'll (maybe) see you at the Blue Mosque.

[Photo: Bulent-LtBaSpotter]