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

Turkish Airlines is advertising $1 companion tickets. Is this for real? We investigate.

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)

By Caroline Costello

Caroline Costello's travel accomplishments include surviving a 2 a.m. whitewater rafting excursion in the Canadian wilderness, successfully biking from Dusseldorf to Cologne without a map, and gaining access to a covert pizza speakeasy in New Orleans.

Caroline is an active member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). Her work has appeared on USA Today, the Boston Globe,,, ABC News, TODAY Travel, and, among other publications.

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