7.5K miles each way to Hawaii: Turkish Miles & Smiles sweet spot

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Our #40Kfaraway challenge has led me to more closely study the award charts of all of the Citi Transfer Partners. I recently stumbled on a gem that I shared over the weekend at FM to Go Minneapolis: you can fly from the mainland US to/from Hawaii for 7.5K each way in economy class. If you can find it, business class is 12.5K each way. That’s a pretty amazing sweet spot — and yes, I’ve booked it to verify that it can be done.

Sweet spot spotlight:

  • The short story: Turkish charges only 7,500 miles and $5.60 in economy class (or 12,500 miles and $5.60 in business class) for travel within the United states, including to and from Hawaii.
  • Miles required: 7,500 Turkish Miles & Smiles miles (a Citi transfer partner)
  • Award availability: As good as United allows, which is pretty good in economy class from most US cities (but not all / not much around peak times)
  • How to find awards: Search united.com
  • How to book awards: Book with Turkish via phone or email. Please see: How to book United flights with Turkish Miles & Smiles.

The sweet spot that is no more

Kangaroo Lazing in the Afternoon

When we began the #40Kfaraway challenge, I started digging in to the Citi Transfer partners with which I was least familiar. I previously knew very little about Turkish Miles & Smiles. When I looked at blog posts like this one and this one, the key sweet spot highlighted was the fact that Turkish classified Hawaii in the “Oceania” region. Due to in-region pricing, that meant that a flight from Hawaii to the other places more classically considered to be Oceania could be booked for 15K each way in economy class or 25K in business class.

Unfortunately, I think that may no longer be true. I tried to price out a couple of routes from Hawaii to Oceania and was quoted rates that were much higher than expected. I saw at least one similar report at Flyertalk. Based on my experience and what you’ll read below, I think that this sweet spot (Hawaii to Oceania for 15K each way in econ / 25K biz) no longer exists as Hawaii is no longer listed in the “Oceania” region definition like it was in screen shots in those old posts.

However, that realization led me to find that tickets from the mainland to Hawaii are quite a bargain.

Turkish Award Charts

Turkish Miles & Smiles has a pretty interesting award chart. You can find the chart here (scroll down to “Award ticket table” and click the tiny red arrows to the right of those words to expand the chart).

I made a North America-centric version here (note there is some consolidation — since North America to Europe 1, Europe 2, or Turkey are the same price, I consolidated those to “Europe” here):

The prices above are for round trip travel. Turkish allows one-way awards for half the price of a round trip.

You’ll also notice that North America to North America costs 20K / 30K / 50K round trip in economy / business / first class. That is for flights within the North America region, which for example would apply to flights between the US and Canada or Mexico.

However, the asterisk following those numbers is because Turkish actually has a different chart for awards flown within a region on Turkish as well as domestic Star Alliance awards (which do not need to be operated by Turkish).

Here are the relevant notes from below that chart about domestic flights::

***Applicable Mile amount for direct flights with Star Alliance member airlines in the same country.

As you can see, domestic Star Alliance awards should price at 15K round trip in Economy Class / 25K in business class / 40K in first class. Since a one-way is half the cost of a round trip, here is a simpler breakdown:

Domestic Star Alliance awards with Turkish Miles & Smiles

    • 7.5K each way in economy class
    • 12.5K each way in business class
    • 20K each way in first class

Those are some amazing prices when you consider that they apply to domestic flights across the United States. LifeMiles gets attention for the fact that flights can be booked for 7500 miles each way within a single US region. Turkish charges 7.5K each way within the United States.

However, I was slightly unsure about what this would mean for connecting itineraries since the note below the chart mentions it is the applicable amount for direct flights.

My first test

My first test was to see if that pricing would actually hold up on an award within North America. I wondered a few things: Would this really apply to any domestic flight? Would it apply on a transcon flight? Would it apply to direct flights only, or are connections OK?

I priced out the following two-segment itinerary from Washington, DC to to Las Vegas via Los Angeles:

United Airlines Flight 632 from Washington Dulles (IAD) – Los Angeles (LAX) 12:30-14:56

United Airlines Flight 2365 from Los Angeles (LAX) – Las Vegas (LAS) 16:31-17:45

Sure enough, the Turkish Airlines representative told me it would cost 7,500 miles and $5.60. That was very promising since it proved that:

  1. The domestic Star Alliance pricing applies to United flights within the United States (even spanning the distance from coast to coast)
  2. The domestic Star Alliance pricing applies to itineraries with connections (it is not priced per segment)
  3. Backtracking is allowed (flying past the destination — Las Vegas in this case — and coming back to it)

I’ve often said that half my brain is always on a beach in Hawaii. After discovering the above, that half suddenly became louder.

Does this really apply to United flights to and from Hawaii?

It absolutely does.

You sure did, Turkish Miles & Smiles.

Part of what led me to this discovery is that I had originally gone to Turkish Miles and Smiles to price out the Island Hopper, a famed United Airlines flight from Honolulu to Guam that stops on 5 Pacific islands along the way. Turkish told me that I couldn’t book the hopper but rather only the direct flight from Honolulu to Guam (United also flies direct, with no stops) and it would cost 52.5K miles each way in economy class. That didn’t make sense to me since, based on the old blog posts mentioned above, I expected Hawaii and Guam to both be located in Oceania (and therefore expected a price of 15K each way).

However, I then realized that 52.5K would be the economy class price from North America to Oceania in economy class. I double-checked the Turkish region table definitions and sure enough found Honolulu has made its way back to North America:

While that is undoubtedly a bummer for anyone who had been able to make use of the Hawaii-to-Oceania sweet spot, there was a silver lining in seeing Hawaii included in the North America region: I knew flights to and from Hawaii should at least price out at the North America-to-North America rates of 20K economy / 30K business / 50K first.

However, I realized that it might get even better. Flights to Hawaii are obviously domestic US flights. Wanting to stay consistent with above, I found a date on United.com with an available 1-stop itinerary from Washington, DC to Honolulu. Unfortunately, the agent told me that the first leg was not available, but she confirmed that the cost would be 7,500 miles and $5.60 one way in economy class. I’m not sure why she didn’t see the first leg available, but in my handful of experiments with Turkish thus far, that seems to have been an anomaly. Other flights I’ve found available via United / Aeroplan are available to Turkish provided they follow the Turkish rules (only one Star Alliance carrier, max of 4 segments each way, etc).

I thus went back with a new request for a different date from Washington, DC to Chicago to Honolulu. Sure enough, it priced at 7,500 miles and $5.60 one-way. Still only half believing it to be true, I went ahead and booked it and am happy to report that I have ticketed a 1-stop itinerary from mainland North America to Hawaii for 7,500 miles and $5.60 one way with Turkish Miles & Smiles.

Take that Citi ThankYou points haters.

If I could have found flat-bed business class availability, it would have only been 12,500 miles each way — though note that this is not so easy to find these days. Still, it’s worth the hunt if you’re flexible.

Note that transfers to Miles & Smiles are not instant. That’s the biggest bummer — it takes 1-2 days for transfers to post to your Turkish Miles & Smiles account. Ticketing is a further hurdle since it can not be done online and requires a convoluted process with more paperwork than is customary with other airline programs. In short, this is not a quick and easy process. However, it can be done.

Bottom line

Turkish Miles & Smiles has an award chart with some nice sweet spots, but without a doubt the sweetest of them all (and possibly the sweetest award chart sweet spot I’ve seen in years) is that flights on United to and from Hawaii price as domestic US awards at 7,500 miles each way in economy class / 12,500 miles each way in business class. Keep in mind that those prices are not only valid on direct flights from the West Coast but theoretically from any airport in the 50 US states from which you can find United availability.

I don’t know for sure if I’ll get as far away as Greg and Stephen in the 40K to Far Away challenge, but it will be hard to feel like a loser when I find a spot in the sand on Waikiki Beach for only 7,500 miles one way. With 40K miles, I could fly a route like Newark to Honolulu 5 times. Without any effort at building connecting itineraries to maximize mileage flown, I could travel nearly 25,000 miles and still have 2500 miles and $372 left. Game on.

Map courtesy of GCMap.com
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Johnny

Thank you for the detailed write up. I did have a couple of question regarding fights with connections. I would be flying out of a smaller airport so it will require at least one connection. I am only looking at “Saver Awards” on United.com, but I have read in other post that if the layover is greater than 4 hours the system looks at it as two separate flights, is this per layover or the total for the fight. For example, if one leg has a 3hr delay and other has a 2hr delay would you still qualify for the 7500-point one-way fight or would this be 15000 points since the total delay time is 5 hrs?

Secondly, I have read that the flights must be operated by United only. I see a Saver Awards flight that show 3 legs for a one-way flight to Hawaii. The first is by Skywest Dda United Express (Economy X), the second by United (Economy X) and the third by Hawaiian Airlines (Economy T). Again on United.com (not signed into an account) this flight is shown to qualify for Saver Awards but are there Saver Awards that don’t qualify for the Turkish Airlines discount. Would this flight still qualify for 7500 points or since other airlines are involved does this deal become invalid? 

Johnny

Nick, thank you for the response that makes since and I figured the Hawaiian Airlines section would not apply.

Most of the United flights leaving my hometown airport say “Include Travel Operated By Skywest Dda United Express” these fly to Denver. The saver awards still shows this as a United Economy (X) flight. Are you aware if these flights still qualify for the 7500 points deal? Or do they fall under the United partnership like Hawaiian Airlines?

Victoria

I booked on Turkish to go to Hawaii but how do I get it to show up on my united account?

Joe S

An easy way is to write to United on Twitter, give them your record locator, name and your United FF accounts, and they can switch it from the Turkish one to United. I just did it this week.

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[…] I uncovered the Turkish Miles & Smiles domestic flight sweet spot just over a year ago (See: Hawaii for 7.5K miles each way: The sweetest spot we’ve been missing.), I was pumped. I always say that my blood is tropical; approximately three quarters of my summer […]

[…] the standout values across the board that ANA’s does, nor does it offer headline sweet spots like Turkish Miles & Smiles. One thing for which EVA is known is releasing more award space to its own members, which could be […]

[…] east coast to Hawaii for under $300 is a great price, especially if you don’t have any/enough ThankYou points to transfer to Turkish, or can’t find availability on United. As you might expect given the price, this […]

[…] when news first broke over at Frequent Miler back in July 2019 that the Turkish Airlines award chart had one-way flights within the United States for only 7,500 […]

sapo

Has anyone had a schedule change and be able to get new flights? I been contacting all US offices via e-mail and so far no response.

[…] Travel hacking this particular ticket was not easy. I won’t explain how it works as this travel hacking blog explains it better than I did. Mr. Savemycents did a great job hacking this particular leg! It […]

[…] Be able to show an email proving a ticket to Hawaii with Turkish for 7,500 miles before Nick’s original post on the deal on 7/5/19 (see: 7.5K each way to Hawaii: The sweetest spot we’ve been missing). […]

[…] Be able to show an email proving a ticket to Hawaii with Turkish for 7,500 miles before Nick’s original post on the deal on 7/5/19 (see: 7.5K each way to Hawaii: The sweetest spot we’ve been missing). […]

Nahoku

I was hoping to get onboard with this. However, when I look at the Award Chart on the Turkish Airlines website, these numbers have changed. Am I missing something?

Terri Clark

Kudos, Nick! Great work!

[…] that sounds, it could be hundreds more. I initially called this the second-best deal of the year (behind Turkish Miles & Smiles awards), but on further consideration this deal represents such easy money in almost anyone’s pocket […]

[…] Nick, given Citi TY Points, found and used the deal of the year with 7,500 Turkish Miles to Hawaii. […]

[…] Nick traveled to the most remote location, joined a yacht club, and uncovered the most valuable new information (how to book flights to Hawaii for only 7,500 points!). […]

Kim

When I look up return United tickets from HNL to LAX the only saver awards have a stop in Kona which is serviced by Hawaiian Airlines. Will that cause any problems when booking?

Mike

Hey Nick for the last two months the call center has been unable to look up or book star alliance tickets. I booked a Hawaii trip in Aug thst went smooth but didn’t expect it hot a snag so quick. Any eta on tk getting this fixed no

[…] year Nick from Frequent Miler uncovered an absolutely killer deal for flights to Hawaii using Turkish Airlines miles. Turkish […]

Mark

I can’t find anything definitive, but it looks like Curaçao is part of Nethererlands Antilles, (strictly speaking Leeward Antilles). If that is so, then flying from NY to Curaçao world be 7,500 each way, right?

Dan

Nick thanks for the info. Unfortunately my experience w Turkish and United so far has been a mess. I went through all the steps and calls w/Turkish and they confirmed my flight and issued tickets. Unfortunately United doesn’t see the tickets on their system. I’m caught in between the 2 at this point to the point where I had United Csr yelling at Turkish csr yesterday.

Point of the post make sure you confirm that united actually has your reservation. I fly them regularly so am on the app a few times a week and saw something was off.

I’m in limbo now out 60k points and have no tickets await reply from Turkish now it’s a 2-7 business day turnaround. Hopefully it gets resolved.

Clint

Dan, have you been able to get your tickets resolved? I know the frustration, i have had tickets on United through Singapore that got cancelled/flight change on Uniteds part. Once changed, there were no longer any award flight space left and I was left without tickets. United wasn’t willing to help, and Singapore couldn’t as there wasn’t any award space left.

Dan

Still in limbo further discussion with United confirmed I was outside their 24 hour window. Still awaiting response from Turkish. Tried to cancel and rebook was told system is being upgraded so no luck there.

Mark

I’m trying to figure out if the in-region pricing that results in the 7,500 one way travel within the U. S. also applies to other regions, such as travel within Europe 2. Is there the equivalent extra discount? Flying within Europe 2 is 20K RT, so at 10K, seems pretty good even if there isn’t this extra discount.

Also, what would be really helpful would be a map showing each region in single colors, so that it would be easier to see, for example, that Europe 2 both the Faroe Islands as well as Malta. There could be times when it would be more efficient to fly to the edge of a region, rent a car, and drive over the border to the country that is your actual destination, even if it is in a different region.

[…] written quite a bit about taking advantage of the big Turkish Miles & Smiles sweet spot for award travel within the US, recently consolidating information and publishing a post on How to […]

[…] fact, this contest has already led to some awesome discoveries such as the ability to book flights to Hawaii for only 7,500 Citi ThankYou points, the ability to book super-cheap fares with Chase points, and tricks for finding 5K United […]

[…] redemptions, and one of Citi’s unique transfer partners (Turkish) offers incredible awards (7.5K to Hawaii!), I realized that it was high time to revisit this guide.  ThankYou Rewards may now be the most […]

[…] on Monday. Some may argue that Citi has already done that thanks to Turkish Miles & Smiles (you’re welcome, Citi). But is Citi about to rock our world with 1:1 points transfers from the Double Cash card? […]

KellyM

I’m new to reward booking but trying to find a way to save on BOS>HNL first class and came across this post. Currently it’s 144k points R/T through the Chase portal and 90k points each way through United (have to find saver award space).

I know the post references Citi card, but could I transfer my Chase points to United, and then to Turkish?

Kelly

Wow, thanks for the exceptionally thorough response! 60k points to 25k points seems less ideal than going forward with a Citi card, I’ll have to think on that because as you mentioned it’s crazy not to consider booking United with the low Turkish rates and almost every combination I can think of shows availability for the Economy saver fares. It’s just a really long way to fly economy =D Maybe I’ll try playing with a mix of one ways to use United for some parts and at least premium economy on others.

I do have a questions about booking Delta on Virgin – I followed your linked post and when I search Virgin for BOS/DTW/ATL>HNL, Virgin returns no flights at all. I’ve searched by miles and paying with card so it’s not a rewards restriction, I don’t think and I have searched entire months, but nothing (parts of March, all of April and May). Any idea what I could be doing wrong in the search? I followed the troubleshooting guide as well and did have to select the locations from the dropdown versus typing them, but no luck. Actually, it looks like Delta terminated DTW>HNL in August. I’ll spend more time playing around with departure cities.

Ann

Does Turkish charge a closed in fee like United? If I travel next week United will charge $85 for fee but if I wait 21 days the fee will be $5.60. I wondering how much fee will be on Turkish airline if I travel with in 21 days of departure date. I can’t seem to fine the answer anywhere on internet.

Kimbra

No close in booking fees. I booked my flights 6 days prior and only paid the taxes and miles to Turkish for my United flight.

Dave H

So I’ve looked at what probably is 100+ different flights on their site (Star Award Ticket), after confirming that saver awards are available on United.com, and I get nothing to show up every single time. I then tried calling just to be told that there is no availability on a DEN-BIS route for about 15 different days (United.com again showing wide open saver availability).

What am I missing here? I’ve tried to search for routes that others seems to have got (SFO-HNL, BOS-OGG, etc) with absolutely no luck. I can’t find one single award from BIS-DEN, or any other route.

Can someone post a random flight that is showing up for them? I’d like to actually see something available for my sanity sake!

Dave H

Also, I tried transferring 1000 points to my account, thinking my balance needed to be >0 for something to show up. It doesn’t seem to have worked.

Dave H

Thank you very much.. this is quite helpful! I wish there was some secret codeword that one could tell the agent to find the availability! It does seem quite strange that some can see it while others cannot. I’ll try calling again and post how that goes.

As far as LifeMiles, I did try that option. I’ve actually been able to use them before for ORD-BIS, but DEN-BIS is Zone 3 to Zone 2 which prices out at 12.5k. On that note, I’ve actually found that LifeMiles awards for DEN and MSP (both airports I use frequently) sometimes price out above their published award chart levels (i.e. MIA-MSP), which is something I haven’t seen noted yet by any blogger or post.

Dave H

For example: MIA-MSP on Dec 10, 2019.. there are a number of options but all are priced at 12.5k. Now it should be an intra-zone 2 so the award chart says 7.5k. All options are economy.

Dave H

Also, DEN-SFO on Oct 6, 2019. Should be 7.5k as it’s within Zone 3, but it prices out at 10k with both segments in economy.

Dave H

I tried calling back today and viola!, they were able to find the flights and I booked it at the 7500 price. Thank you for your help!

[…] discovering the Turkish Miles & Smiles sweet spot to Hawaii, I canceled the Delta flights booked through Virgin and re-booked on United in economy class using […]

Daniel Chen

Dear Nick, I just wanna share some of my experience and also thank you! On August 16th, i booked a round-trip flight, ewr-hnl. In the Morning I called they told me only connecting flights for both ways are available even though I can see non-stop flight from UA. Then In the afternoon around 2:15pm I called again, the agent told me he saw the non-stop for both ways. Right now I am planning to book tickets for 4 people together, I called last night and they can’t see availability. I planned to call back later.

Brian

I got the citi premier card to try and use it to send my parents to hawaii with singapore airlines. Then right before it arrived, I found this article and not only did I get to send them to hawaii but now, a friend and I are officially booked as of yesterday to go too. I can’t thank you enough, definitely the best value I ever got for one card. I’m switching to frequentmiler as my go to travel blogger now. Thanks Nick!

Daniel Chen

Dear Nick, I just wanna share some of my experience and also thank you! On August 16th, i booked a round-trip flight, ewr-hnl. In the Morning I called they told me only connecting flights for both ways are available even though I can see non-stop flight from UA. Then In the afternoon around 2:15pm I called again, the agent told me he saw the non-stop for both ways. Right now I am planning to book tickets for 4 people together, I called last night and they can’t see availability. I planned to call back later.

[…] a good deal?  With Turkish, in particular, it could be.  Consider that it’s possible to book one-way United awards to Hawaii for only 7.5K Turkish miles.  25K Turkish miles would be more than enough to fly 3 people one-way to Hawaii!  That said, you […]

Clint

Wow, this is amazing

Tyler

Not sure if something’s changed. I’ve tried HUCA and spoke to 3 different agents. They all can’t seem to see any availability even though United shows plenty of flights with Saver awards. Then, then the one availability they do see on a different date is a connecting flight, HNL-SFO-HNL, but none of the direct flights (saver available via uNited as well). The first agent even said right up front, “We don’t get access to everything showing on United” before I even mentioned United. Anyone run into this problem?

[…] and a half or so since we first posted the Turkish Miles & Smiles sweet spot to Hawaii (See: 7.5K each way to Hawaii: The sweetest spot we’ve been missing and then Forget email, book Turkish awards over the phone), we’ve heard from many, many […]

Damian

, I am seeing saver (x) availability on United but when I call Turkish, they don’t have availability. They agent told me to call United and make the reservation with them, then call back Turkish to make the payment. Have you heard of this or know of anyone doing this successfully? Would I just place a hold with united and use that ticket number to pay on Turkish? I need me a Hawaiian vacation! Thanks

Damian

Thanks Nick! Update on my end – united saver (x) seats have been available for my dates on the united website for the last week. I kept calling Turkish everyday to check if they could book it and finally today they were able to see the seats on their system. It pays to keep at it!

[…] from which to hunt for sweet spots since it is now possible to position to Hawaii so cheaply. At 7.5K miles from the mainland US in economy class or 12.5K miles if you find business class space (keep in mind that there must be United saver availability to book with partner miles), one could […]

[…] proclaimed: 7.5K each way to Hawaii: The sweetest spot we’ve been missing. It’s a rather incredible find given that United charges a minimum of 22.5K each way for […]

Bob

1. Based on the new chart, it seems that you should be able to fly all the way from Hawaii to Bermuda. Do you agree?
2. How does Turkish Air handle stopovers using this system?

[…] be booked online for just 7,500 miles each way (including to places like Hawaii and Alaska). While we broke the story on that sweet spot last month, we initially thought that booking had to be done via email. We later posted that […]

Nathan

Over the past 3 weeks, we have now booked 5 groups of 4 people RT to Hawaii from BOS or TPA using TK miles at 15K RT per person.

Thank you for this post making me aware of this opportunity!

The Man

What was the route from BOS?

Nathan

BOS-SFO-KOA
LIH-DEN-EWR-BOS
BOS-SFO-HNL
HNL-ORD-BOS
BOS-IAH-HNL
HNL-LAX-DEN-BOS
BOS-DEN-OGG
HNL-IAD-BOS

The Man

Was it easy to find availability out of BOS from TK agent? I see plenty availability in Saver. Did you book to HNL?

Nathan

I have ticketed to/from HNL, KOA, OGG, and LIH so far.

As posted elsewhere, my experience booking 20 people to and from Hawaii so far using this deal:

1) All bookings were initiated and completed over the phone. Usually ticketed in the first call but was offered a free hold if we wanted one. As most of these were coming back from a different island than going to, they needed to be booked as two one-ways. Tried a couple times to book an Open jaw in a single record without success then just fed the agents one-ways.
2) Always followed the 4 hour rule after getting a quote earlier on for twice the miles when the connection was a little over 4 house. Most booking were two flights, some 3 flights.
3) Was always quoted 7500 miles one-way per person; never 11250 or any other amount.
4) Shortest connection booked is under 40 minutes; longest nearly 4 hours. Bookings included a variety of mainline aircraft including wide bodies and premium trans-con aircraft for some of them; all narrow body on others. Did not attempt to include regional flights yet.
5) A few times had to hang up and call again because the agent did not speak English sufficiently or categorically did not seem to know how to find UA miles space.
6) Did successfully route through EWR even though that airport doesn’t exist online.
7) Found the best way was to always give the phone rep one flight at a time; after they find the first one give the next flight. Giving origin and destination would often result in the agent not seeing anything available or seeing an itinerary with a longer than 4 hour connection that would then price higher if selected or suggesting options like routing via IST or Canada between the US mainland and Hawaii.
8) So many times was told flights were not available in their system that should have theoretically been available. These were all UA mainline flights and were available individually, so not a married segment or operated by issue. Could not find a pattern; have been trying. Due to this problem, my solution was to find 3 completely different acceptable routings before each call and move on to the next routing option when I got to a flight an agent didn’t see as available. That worked for most of them but on the last booking, all three did not work. The first or second or third segment was a problem with all three. Found more options and option 5 did work. I wish I could say there was something different about option 5 from the rest but no…Did try waiting a day to see if that would make options 1 or 2 available and but no.

Only the first booking included the TK account holder as a passenger.

Each booking took between 40 minutes and 1:30 on the phone to complete; soooo inefficient but worth it in this case.

Nathan

Thanks.

It helped I had transferred a strong balance of TYP to TK during the last transfer bonus so had the miles already to go when this value came along.

Hopefully my experience can help others make this work for them too.

Based on my data points so far, I don’t think the problem is agent error. When I first started running into the discrepancies, I thought it had to be just poorly trained TK phone reps. However calling several more times resulted in the same lack of availability every time except once.

[…] and even if you live in one of their other hubs, or you can position to FLL for 7.5K miles (hint: any of us can), Andy just may convince you why you should be more carefully considering […]

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[…] main points here, so if you are interested in the details, you’ll definitely want to check this blog post by Nick at Frequent Miler that pretty much alerted most of us to what’s been sitting there waiting to be noticed. And […]

[…] and Greg over at the Frequent Miler have been doing some excellent work covering the new sweet spot within the Turkish Miles & […]

Akuma

Does anyone know if you can book flights for others this way (i.e. family members not traveling with Turkish Air/Citi TY account holder)? I already have a booked fare for myself but would like to book additional fares for friends/family on a later flight.

Nathan

Yes.

Most of our bookings were family or friends where the TK miles holder isn’t travelling.

Kimbra

Best article of 2019!!! Just booked LAX-OGG for 12,500 each in lie flat 1st class. Return OGG-LAX red eye econ for 7,500 each. Found availability on United. Transferred Citi TY to TK, took 48 hours. Called TK to book 800-874-8875. Extra 1st opened up this morning quickly bought 10k TK for $300 to put the teens in 1st with us. Do not think TK will keep this going for more than another month maybe 2…..tbd but BIG THANK YOU from me!!

paul5795

Are you sure they are lie flat seats? I believe the planes United flies from the west coast to Hawaii are configured as recliners in first class, not lie-flat. Still a heck of a deal, regardless

Kimbra

757-200, hopefully there isn’t a plane swap.

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[…] Reyes from The Frequent Miler discovered this beauty of a redemption recently: 7.5k Turkish Miles each way in economy to Hawaii. […]

[…] scrambling to earn Turkish Airlines miles after Frequent Miler found that you can reach Honolulu for as little as 15,000 miles round-trip. If you elect to earn […]

[…] scrambling to earn Turkish Airlines miles after Frequent Miler found that you can reach Honolulu for as little as 15,000 miles round-trip. If you elect to earn […]

[…] scrambling to earn Turkish Airlines miles after Frequent Miler found that you can reach Honolulu for as little as 15,000 miles round-trip. If you elect to earn […]

SteveH

Is it possible to overcome United married segment logic since Turkish reps seem to have to look up each flight individually for award space? For example, there is no saver award space on the flight I want if I just look up IAD to SFO. But when I look for the IAD – SFO – LIH route that I want, then the saver space on that IAD to SFO flight is available. Is there any way to overcome this with the Turkish reps?

SteveH

I’m trying to book to LIH but since IAD to SFO isn’t available as a saver award on its own, Turkish agent wasn’t able to book it since he seemed to have to search for award space segment by segment. He couldn’t seem to search complete itineraries with connections so I can’t figure out if there is anyway to do this since it is the final leg that seems to actually open up the award space on the previous leg.

SteveH

This was via phone. I ended up just finding a different itinerary to HNL and will make my way to LIH separately since the call quality was not the best and communication was difficult… and I didn’t really know how to feed him a solution anyway.

All in all though, I can’t complain too much. For 30,000 Citi points, we have two tickets from our regional airport to HNL and return from Maui! Last year we paid 80,000 miles between a combination of Singapore miles and United miles for those same flights.

Thanks for making us aware of this!

SteveH

Has anyone verified that other Hawaiian airports work besides just Honolulu?

Andrew R.

KOA didn’t work for me but YMMV.

PRP

I’ve emailed three different Turkish Airlines locations’ ticket sales offices and have yet to receive a reply. I copied and edited exactly the email example in this post. Any way to get them to respond? I’ve even followed up once to date.

map

^^ Same here. Three offices no response.

Sebastian

Hi,
I also tried first to email Turkish locations in the US. The first email came back within seconds because the receivers inbox was full. To be fair, I sent the email on a Sunday. 2 days later I just sent the same email to all offices. I got 2 replies, one was useless but the other one was actually ok.
After all, I did not want to wait for days and I ended up calling Turkish. I was connected within 1-2 minutes. I was planning to book 4 tickets from MCO to HNL in January. I found saver awards on united, “confirmed” the availability with Air Canada but the Turkish representative told me it was cost 30,000 per person round trip. I did some research and indeed, my flights had a layover > 4 hours. I was lucky to find alternative dates with layovers < 4 hours, called the Turkish hotline and the price was now 15,000 per person round trip. The representative (who was very nice btw.) made a reservation which was valid for 72 hours. The next day after I confirmed the dates with my fellow travelers, I called them again and paid taxes/fees over the phone. The tickets were issued app. 5 minutes later.
All in all, 4 people from Orlando to Honolulu round trip for 60,000 points and app. $45 taxes and fees. The same flights booked with $ would be close to $3,000. That is a steal! And even better, almost 40,000 miles I had on Turkish would hav been expired by the end of the year.
Good luck to everyone!! I wonder for how long it will be possible to actually book these flights with Turkish miles for that "price"..

Koshin

Can you let me know which ticket office you called?

Sebastian

Called the regular Turkish Airlines customer service hotline for the US: 800 874 88 75

map

Called today and spoke to a lovely and helpful agent. Couldn’t get the exact flights I was hoping for, but we found some that would work. Now I just need my points to get over there.

Koshin

Can you let me know which ticket office you called?

map

Yup, it’s the number Sebastian just posted above.

Nathan

Yes, can confirm that booking via phone worked best for all 10 of our bookings.

[…] Nick Reyes from Frequent Flyer shared an amazing find: some time ago, the Turkish Miles and Smiles program had put Hawaii (at least Honolulu) in the […]

GregR

Great find, Nick!

Has anyone found business class saver award space to Hawaii since this story came out? I keep checking May & June of next year for many combinations of airports (and even tried a trial subscription to JuicyMiles). Nothing in business on United to HI.

[…] The short story: Turkish offers the same pricing on flights to Hawaii as for other domestic US awards, making them an unbelievable value for United Airlines flights to Hawaii. See: 7.5K each way to Hawaii. The sweetest spot we’ve been missing. […]

Andy Shuman

Fantastic find, Nick!

[…] Reyes reports that Hawaii has now been moved to the same region as the U.S. No more cheap Australia awards, but […]

Brands

Nick, this is post of the year quality here! You said the ticketing process can be difficult, can you elaborate? Do you have to go to a physical Turkish Airlines counter? This might be a problem if you live 500 miles away from the nearest one…

AlexL

Please check the post “Book Turkish Miles & Smiles awards via email. Here’s how” by Nick. There is a hyperlink in this article under the section “sweet spot spotlight.” Or you can search for it in the site.

Greg

I am missing something about the United Saver Awards. When I try to look up United saver awards, it brings me to this location: https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/mileageplus/awards/travel/saveraward.aspx but it doesn’t show Honolulu as an option for the few cities I can choose from. And it also only lets me look at the months of February thru July. Can someone please show me how to find flights that would qualify under this deal?

Greg

And to be clear, it has to be available as a United “saver award” in economy? And not just available as an economy ticket? You don’t make this clear in your blog. I’m only discovering this from reading the comments.

Greg

Thank you for both clarifications!

[…] of Newfoundland, Nick from Frequent Miler is doing research for the 40K to Far Away and he found the best award sweet spot no one seems to know about (until now). Hint – it has to do with palm trees, beaches and 7,500-mile award […]

Karan Bhatia

Hey Nick, I have found United Saver awards from EWR to HNL, and I sent Turkish email like you posted in your article. But the reply I have received for all dates that I asked them for is that “There is no availability”. I gave the exact dates, and flight details. Is this deal dead?

[…] 7.5K each way to Hawaii: The sweetest spot we’ve been missing […]

[…] 7.5K each way to Hawaii: The sweetest spot we’ve been missing […]

Kim

This is what I received back via email.
There is no direct flight from CLE –OGG Please send exact routings and we will check accordingly.
NO DIRECT SERVICE
Any ideas ?

kim

Nick, I gave then exact flights with origins and destinations. IE Class: Economy or first
Origin: cle
Destination: ogg
1st segment UA1615 ,UA1273 CLE OGG

2nd segment December OGG – LIH

Return LIH – CLE (I had the dates) UA1292,UA2265,UA1850

Andrew R.

Kim…What email did you use? I emailed seven different offices and never received a single reply. Thanks!

Big Al

Great post Nick. Amazing find! I know this is all new to you still but any idea if Turkish charge close in booking fees?

paul peterson

I don’t think so. Was quoted $5.60 in taxes/fees for a United flight departing in five days.

Big Al

Awesome. Thanks

[…] morning, we wrote about an amazing sweet spot in the Turkish Miles & Smiles program (See: 7.5K each way to Hawaii. The sweetest spot we’ve been missing.). However, it’s not the only sweet spot in the chart — and Turkish is upping the ante […]

Michael

Amazing!! Thanks for the great find! Follow up question: since Antilles Netherlands (St. Maarten, Aruba, etc) and Bermuda is included in North America, does that mean we can fly anywhere from North America to those places for the same price as HNL?

AlexL

My guess is no since it will be not a domestic flight. It should be “North America to North America costs 20K / 30K / 50K round trip in economy / business / first class.”

nfd

I can see all the Netherlands Antilles islands are part of South America region however Netherlands Antilles still shows as part of North America.

Jimm

Wow… Mind blown*** Nick, this is an incredible find. I’m looking for availability as I’m typing. Another reason why frequentmiler is my favorite travel blog :). Thanks!

George

So is it or is it not limited to direct flights? Their terms say yes, but you’re saying connecting flights priced out the same when talking to them…

George

Thanks for the confirmation!

Shonuffharlem

I feel like something is lost in translation. I feel they mean no stopovers. But I could be wrong.

TJones

I won’t say that I am a ThankYou Points hater, but I certainly wasn’t a believer… until now. What an amazing sweet spot! Well done indeed!

phil

Now if UA would issue more saver inventory. I’ll ck this method before our next HI trip.

Miles Ahead

OMG, Nick that seems like a fantastic find that is too good to be true. Beyond emailing or going to a ticket counter what’s the catch (aside from UA super saver award availability, perhaps fees as others have indicated)? Can one fly direct for the 7.5K miles&smiles points say ORD>HNL; your example lists a stop. Thanks, could be game, set, match, Nick…

Maxim Izeitbabe

Damn, just spilled my coffee all over the place while reading this post this morning. Holy cow, how does one top this monster of a deal!?
Like Sam said – it might be time to call the winner of this challenge…

[…] it still remains a valuable transfer partner with multiple airlines around the world. Today, Frequent Miler noticed something amazing: Turkish Airlines, one of those partners, has an extremely generous […]

Ralph Kramden

I am currently bowing over with my arms stretched out in front of my chanting “I am not worthy.”

You are the King…..Long Love the King

Silas

Didn’t they used to tack on a $115 booking fee for domestic awards, or does this only apply to first class (or not at all)?

[…] 7.5K each way to Hawaii: The sweetest spot we’ve been missing – Frequent Miler […]

Sam

End the 40K competition. Nick hereby has just won it all.

Ramzi

You are a god among men Nick, Awesome find. 2 questions: Do you know if Turkish allows mixed cabin awards? Do you know the layover allotment for US Domestic flights (including Hawaii) using Turkish airline points?

Stefan Krasowski (Rapid Travel Chai)

Mixed cabin can be booked except the pricing becomes additive.

Diana

Thanks so much! This is an awesome deal if you can find it! Just got back from Hawaii a couple weeks ago using American miles and this looks my opportunity to go back!

Stephen Pepper

Uh-oh, I’m gonna be hosed for the 40k challenge aren’t I?!

Robert

Interesting that their award chart lists Honolulu and not “Hawaii.” Any data points on if United flights to OGG, LIH, or KOA are also bookable with Turkish miles at the 7.5k price?

paul5795

Yup, I spoke with a Turkish Airlines agent so I know it works for OGG too!

Nick, you guys are simply awesome. My only fear is just how long can this last, and will I be able to take sufficient advantage of this before it dies???

Andrew R.

I tried to fly into KOA and was quoted 22k round trip. It was from DAY and not a major hub so that might have made a difference.

Kyle

This is interesting, thanks! I knew about the Turkish one-country awards, but had read on Flyertalk that some people were being quoted very high taxes and surcharges on UA domestic routes as of a few years ago. Great to know that you got them to issue a domestic award ticket for a reasonable amount of money.

Jan

For booking NA to Europe for 90k round trip, would this be on any star alliance airline? If available by looking at United.com would it also be available for booking the award ticket by calling Turkish airlines call center? Is there fuel tax for booking?

Thanks

RTW Rob

Strangely, I flew Air Canada and Turkish Austin/Toronto/Istanbul last month and did NOT pay fuel surcharges. This month, I needed to travel AUS/MUC and found a great connection, also in Toronto, with Air Canada and Lufthansa. United offered the flight for 70,000 miles plus nominal taxes. I thought GREAT – I’ll transfer miles and book on Aeroplan for 55,000 miles. So I did, and then got shocked that while MP doesn’t charge a fuel surcharge for Lufthansa over the water, Air Canada charged over $550 per ticket. So, I went back to United… never expected that AC and UA would have different redemption rates and fees.

HoKo

Air Canada passes on surcharges on some of their partners but not others. United never passes on surcharges…but has higher mileage redemption rates to Europe than AC

HoKo

Yeah I’d also be interested to hear about fuel surcharges on the European itineraries. Have you priced any of these?

Sam

In order to book with turkish miles, doesn’t that require United Saver awards be available? Thanks!

chris jensen

Join the discussion What about Aeroplan?…

Tom

United mileage plus member with an upcoming United flight. Should I/can I credit Turkish miles and how do I determine the number of Turkish miles I would receive? I have United status match and in the process of a challenge and need the 12,500 PQM’s with United to maintain gold status through 1/21. If I don’t credit United mileage will I not meet the challenge? Thanks.

Vet&Banker

Tom,

When booking United flights look for the Fare Code; it will be a letter in parenthesis next to your booking cabin – e.g. “United Economy (N)”. Easiest place to find what that gets you on Turkish is WhereToCredit.com: just find United and whatever code your flight is in the drop down links. It will show a table of United partner airlines and Turkish will be there. That will be the % of miles flown credited to Turkish if you choose.

Miles for a particular flight can only be credited to 1 program. thus, if you credit that flight to Turkish you cannot credit to United. That will mean those miles won’t count towards the status challenge.

[…] Miles & Smiles has an incredibly generous award chart which includes deals such as 7.5K one-way from anywhere in the US to Hawaii (or 15K in business class), 45K one-way business class to Europe, 52.5K one-way business class to central Asia, etc.  And you […]