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These $1 Europe Fares Are Real (But There’s a Catch)

I received an email from Turkish Airlines advertising a “$1*” companion ticket (note the asterisk) with purchase of a ticket to select European destinations this winter. You won’t find this offer on the Turkish website. This is a limited-time deal available over the phone or via ticket sales points like airport offices. Resisting the urge to immediately drop everything and book a trip for two to Amsterdam, I took a closer look.

As expected, the asterisk next to the dollar amount in the email references fine print that says, “Companion ticket subject to government imposed taxes/fees and airline-imposed fuel/security surcharges and fees.” Those fees comprise the bulk of Turkish fares, and therein lies the rub. A roundtrip flight from Boston to Paris in February, for example, costs $632. Here’s the fare breakdown for that trip: The base ticket price comes to $129, and additional the taxes, fees, and carrier charges amount to $503. Accordingly, a $1 companion flight plus taxes and fees for the same route would cost $504.

So the fare isn’t exactly a buck. It’s not even close to a buck. But that doesn’t mean you should pass over this offer. A $632 roundtrip flight to Europe is a deal. A $504 roundtrip flight across the pond is even better. If you’re entertaining the idea of a last-minute international trip this winter, get on it. These are hot prices.

Call Turkish at 1-800-874-8875 to book your buck (sort of) companion flight. The deal is valid for travel between February 1 and 28, from six U.S. hubs—New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Houston, and Boston—to the following European cities:

  • Paris
  • Venice
  • Vienna
  • Rome
  • Barcelona
  • Madrid
  • Amsterdam
  • Berlin
  • London

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(Photo: Jos Dielis via flickr/CC Attribution)

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