Nov062015 when you want to go Turkish

Last July I was in Boston for the Outside the Box music festival. One afternoon, when it was like 99 degrees at 4pm on a blistering hot Sunday afternoon clear sky day, a man was walking around the festival concert grounds handing out free Turkish Airlines blankets. As soon as he walked away, I regretted not accepting a blanket. I had picked up a Turkish Airlines beautiful cloth bag earlier that same day when I went to their booth exhibit.

Turkish Airlines

The Turkish Airlines bag I have shows the same colorful birds in a world map layout.

Hipmunk show Turkish Airlines flights. Google Flights does not.

Over the past couple months there were several occurrences where I saw low fares for Turkish Airlines from San Francisco to Europe on other fare websites like and The Flight Deal.

Google Flights does not automatically pull Turkish Airlines fares.

Google Flights Turkish Airlines no fares

In an email I received from a $755 round trip Turkish Airlines fare for San Francisco to Paris caught my eye.

Hipmunk Turkish SFO-CDG Paris flights $755 search result shows San Francisco SFO – Paris CDG $754.93 round trip Turkish Airlines Dec 3-10.

Google Flights does not load Turkish Airlines fares. On the same December 3-10 dates, Google Flights gives low fare option of Aeromexico via Mexico City for $988 round trip .

Google Flights SFO-CDG Dec3-10 and Google Flights for low fare searches

It pays to shop around for ticket prices on different sites. This is a big omission in Google Flights when Turkish Airlines offers a ticket from San Francisco to Paris for $200 to $400 less than the ticket prices retrieved on

The main advantage of Google Flights is its ticket price map for airports. has a 90-day fare calendar, however, it did not pull up the Turkish Airlines $755 ticket when SFO-CDG was entered. calendar fare calendar for SFO-CDG shows low fares over $1,100 round trip, similar to the $1,136 and $1,163 fares from United, Delta and Air France seen in the Google Flights search. shows Turkish Airlines itinerary and provides several links to online travel agencies to complete the purchase.

Hipmunk Turkish meta-booking choices

In my experience, a ticket pricing on Priceline at the meta-search rate is a valid ticket price.

Turkish Airlines 

San Francisco SFO – Istanbul IST – Paris CDG – IST – SFO

$758.20  December 3 – December 10, 2015

SFO-CDG $758 Turkish Dec 3-10

Once the fare has been verified, then a search of Turkish Airlines shows many more date options for this $758 fare for San Francisco to Paris. Flying to Istanbul adds about another 5,000 miles to the 11,000 miles direct flight distance flying round trip between SFO and CDG Paris.

You can sit on the money saved flying Turkish Airlines to cushion your butt for the 16,000 mile journey to Paris via Istanbul.

Bottom Line: Hipmunk searches Turkish Airlines fares. Google Flights does not load Turkish Airlines fares in ticket price searches. Here is an instance where searching Hipmunk for San Francisco to Paris tickets turned up a low fare $200 to $400 less than Google Flights showed for the same travel dates.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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  1. @bluecat – the main idea is you won’t see Turkish Airlines ticket prices on Google Maps and you will find Turkish prices on

    But the real problem is neither or include Turkish Airlines in their fare calendar. So outside of randomly trying dates on, you can’t get a quick view of Turkish Airlines low-fare dates.

    You might as well search Turkish Airlines.

    $758 is the best deal around for San Francisco – Paris round trip in December. You will find that fare on Hipmunk. You will not find that fare on Google Flights.

    Neither site will show you quickly if Turkish has the lowest SFO-CDG fares for January and February on a fare calendar. I happen to know through other searches that Turkish has lowest fares to a couple of other cities in Europe, but no way to quickly find those cities on Google Flights maps and does not show Turkish Airlines ticket prices in its 90-day calendar.

    Like Southwest Airlines, Turkish Airlines is one to keep in mind and search separately on its own website for potential low fares to Europe from Turkish gateway cities in the USA.

  2. Your last sentence made perfect sense. So….if I ever want to know the cheapest fare, I should search Google Flights/ita *and* (SWA and Turkish and *are there others?*) to get an accurate picture, because Google doesnt include some of the outliers.

    I think it’s confusing to throw in the Hipmunk variable in your explanation. (Maybe in another post you can explain to readers if Hipmunk should be a website to use in addition to Google or not. I never use it myself.)

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