About a week ago, we saw Etihad Airways launch some incredible Business Class fare deals between Singapore and Europe, with round-trip itineraries starting from S$1,391. Those are no longer available, but Turkish Airlines has belatedly decided to match them.
One key advantage these Turkish fares have over Etihad is they’re valid for travel up till September 2022 (versus March 2022 for Etihad). This gives travellers a little more breathing room, and improves the chances of doing the entire trip quarantine-free.
Turkish Airlines Business Class fare deals
The following Business Class fares can now be booked till 22 October 2021, with availability all the way till the end of Turkish Airlines’ published schedule in September 2022.
|Destination||Round-trip Business Class|
Fares may fluctuate slightly (generally not more than S$50) depending on the specific dates you’re looking at.
An easy way to browse your options is to use the Google Flight Explorer feature. Select “Business Class”, reduce the price filter to no more than S$2,000, and choose your intended travel dates (or if you’re flexible, leave the “1-week trip in the next 6 months” option untouched).
You’ll then see a visual summary of all the places you can fly to which meet those criteria.
It’s highly advisable that you book directly with Turkish Airlines instead of using an OTA. This will make changes and reissuances a lot more straightforward, should it come to that.
What’s the quarantine situation on both ends?
Since the vast majority of these fares are to Italy, I’m going to use Italy as my point of reference.
Italy has lifted the self-isolation requirement for fully-vaccinated travellers from Singapore who present a negative pre-departure test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
Do note that Sinovac has not been authorised by the EMA, so those inoculated with Sinovac will be treated as unvaccinated. This means they will have to self-isolate for five days upon arrival and take a further test at the end of this period.
Italy is currently considered a Category III country, which requires travellers to serve a 14-day SHN on return to Singapore either at home or in a hotel.
|🛂Singapore Border Restrictions by Category|
(from 23 Sep 2021)
|Cat. I||Cat. II||Cat. III||Cat. IV||VTL|
|Application required||ATP||Details on ICA website||VTP|
|Pre-departure PCR test||✖||✔|
|On-arrival PCR test||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|ART during SHN||N/A||✖||✔|
Day 3, 7, 11
Day 3, 7, 11
|Post-SHN PCR test||N/A||✔|
|No SHN. PCR test on Day 3, 7|
|Cat I: Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China, Taiwan|
Cat II: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, South Korea, Saudi Arabia
Cat III: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
Cat IV: All other countries/regions
VTL: Germany, Brunei
|💉 SHN Measures by Category and Vaccination Status|
|VTL||No SHN||Not allowed|
|Category I||No SHN|
|Category II||7-day SHN |
|Category III||14-day SHN |
|14-day SHN |
|Category IV||14-day SHN |
However, since Turkish Airlines flights transit in Istanbul, you’ll need to consider the restrictions for Turkey as well (it doesn’t matter that you don’t clear immigration; what counts is that you were physically present in the country). Turkey falls under Category IV, which means a 14-day SHN in a hotel at a cost of S$2,000 plus testing.
This is all subject to change of course, and exactly why the ability to book up till September 2022 is so valuable. With any luck, we’ll see Turkey upgraded to a higher category, reducing or even eliminating the SHN requirement.
What’s the accruals and flexibility policy?
These Turkish Airlines tickets book into the J fare bucket, which earns the following mileage credits depending on program:
Fares are non-refundable, but can be changed for free anytime up to departure (fare differences may apply; and a US$260 penalty is charged for no shows) as part of Turkish’s COVID-19 flexibility policy. This applies to all tickets bought by 31 December 2021, with travel till 31 March 2022.
Here’s the T&Cs of the flexibility policy:
What card should I use to book?
Turkish Airlines airfares out of Singapore will code as online transactions in USD, so you can use the following cards to maximize your miles. I’ve left out the UOB Visa Signature because of the uncertainty as to whether they might be processing payments in Singapore, albeit in USD. I think it’s unlikely, but there’s always that risk with UOB cards.
|4.0 mpd||Max S$1K per c. month|
|DBS Woman’s World Card|
|4.0 mpd||Max S$2K per c. month|
|UOB Lady’s Card|
|4.0 mpd||Max S$1K per c. month. Must choose travel as 10X category.|
|UOB Lady’s Solitaire|
|4.0 mpd||Max S$3K per c. month. Must choose travel as 10X category.|
|3.0 mpd||Max S$5K per c. month|
My preferred option would be to pair one of the above Mastercards with the Amaze Card, in order to earn 4 mpd while minimising foreign currency transaction fees.
Business Class fares are hitting never-seen-before lows, and you’ll have just over a month to mull over this latest Turkish Airlines promotion.
I didn’t pull the trigger on the Eithad fare deals, incredible as they were, because of the requirement to travel by March 2022. But now we have a runway of 12 months, which tempts me a lot more.