Booking Turkish awards is now even harder . . .


a man sitting at a desk with his head in his hands

The Turkish Miles & Smiles sweet spot for United flights that we uncovered just over two years ago is one of the sweetest spots on any award chart. And it is not the only value in the Turkish award chart — with great prices to Europe, the Middle East, India, and parts of Africa, Turkish has tons of value. The problem for many is that Turkish Miles & Smiles awards can be notoriously challenging to book. Unfortunately, a reader pointed out that they have  become even more challenging recently: while you can search online and proceed all the way to the final payment page, you can enter your credit card information but then Turkish is missing any “submit” or “pay now” button. There literally is no button to complete your booking online. This is clearly some sort of glitch, but it is hugely frustrating nonetheless.

a screenshot of a website
What is missing from this photo? Any place to click to “submit” the payment information (my card info was entered above from saved info in this case)

The reader who pointed this out had found availability on a flight they wanted to book to Hawaii. Finding that availability online is a score in and of itself, but when he got to the final payment page and couldn’t submit his payment for the booking, he was understandably confused. He had reported previous successful bookings, but wondered whether he was missing something new.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem he is missing anything but rather Turkish is just missing the button to submit payment. I took a simple Newark-to-San Francisco booking all the way to the final payment page, where it has my stored credit card information pre-populated. I entered my card’s CVV and then hunted around looking for what to do next. There just isn’t a button anywhere.

I thought that perhaps I had my browser zoomed in some weird way. Nope. I zoomed all the way out and all the way in and looked all over the page. Nothing.

I thought that perhaps this was a browser compatibility issue. Nope. I tried Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox: all the same issue.

I thought that perhaps the issue was using a saved payment method, so I entered a new credit card or choosing Klarna. Neither went anyhere.

I thought that perhaps this is the death knell and Turkish has finally killed the domestic flight sweet spot. After all, they did remove the domestic flight section of their award chart almost two years ago. Was Turkish just blocking domestic United flights? Nope. I tried booking a Lufthansa flight to Europe. Same problem – no “submit” button.

I then wondered whether they were just blocking routes to/from the US. Maybe so many Americans have transferred Thank You points and Capital One miles that Turkish decided to cut off those booking to/from the US. Nope. I tried a Star Alliance flight from Europe to India: still no “submit” or “pay now” or “confirm” button.

This is downright weird. I assume that you could likely still book via phone or email and call to ticket your booking. That process is slow: often times agents will not see flights that should be available and even when they do see them, booking over the phone is a tedious process since they read every passenger’s name back one letter at a time with the phonetic alphabet when you book…..and then do that again when you call back to pay for your booking.

If you’re not booking something very time-sensitive, I’d recommend trying via email and spamming a number of offices with the same message asking to book the flights you want. Hopefully someone can get the flight put on hold. Then they’ll ask you to submit a bunch of information via email to pay, including scans of the front and back of your credit card and photo ID. Rather than do that, once the flight is on hold, you can call the 800# and give the agent the record locator for the held flight and pay over the phone, skipping all of the scanned documentation.

I imagine that this is likely a temporary issue that will get resolved, but your guess is as good as mine as to the timeline. In the meantime, it’s back to phone and email bookings for Turkish Miles & Smiles unless someone knows a workaround (and if you do, please share).

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I just had this SAME exact issue! Tried the whole process of booking once more in Firefox (was previously using Chrome) and it worked but was super slow to load each page.


Not working yet. The pay button on their website is still missing. Sent them feedback about it.

I have been trying to book United ticket using Turkish miles that will expire in a week. I have to pay $5.6 for taxes and fees. They will not take my credit card if I call their 800#. I have called them 3 times and used different credit cards. The bank says the charge never came through. It is Turkish that is not sending the charge to the bank. None of their US offices will pick up the phone. And the email to one of their offices has gone unanswered. I suppose I will just spam all their offices. I will end up paying more in gas to go to their office than I have to pay for my ticket (not to say anything about the time wasted.) WTF are these morons worried about fraud on a $5.6 charge.

Turkish airlines and their customer service is a shit show. Transferring miles to them should be last on your plans.


I have an update. I got bites from Houston and DC offices from my email spam. They asked me to send them a written copy of a form requesting a reservation, a payment form, a photo of my credit card and a photo of my id. I sent them all in a password protected PDF file but they do not want a password protected file. It needs to be open/unprotected. That’s a lot of information to be sent just unprotected (credit card #, DOB, address, DL license, miles&smiles #)

They worry about fraud for $5.6 but have no regards for my data’s security. This is of course the fault of their data management team/manager. Terrible company with an extremely callous attitude towards customers.


No. I have tried making payments with the 800# 3 times. It does not accept my credit card. I *suspect* the payment system is in turkey and it rejects US credit cards for whatever reason. So much trouble for $5.6.

I am thinking of pestering their twitter account.


Yeah. That maybe it. My first attempt my card was locked so it did not go through. But since then there was no reason but they have been declining it. I called my bank and they said the charge does not even come through. Anyway lets see. I pestered TK helpdesk on twitter. And told them about the missing pay button online as well.


Hmm. I used a virtual card # the third time. So their system should have thought it was a different card. Maybe I will try their 800# again with a different card next. Or let this reservation lapse and start afresh. Anyway this conversation was very helpful.


I was able to get Turkish to issue a ticket for a star alliance award. This time no problems on the first attempt. I used the same credit card that had trouble going through on an earlier award reservation. The learning is that if your payment declines first time abandon the award reservation and get a new one (or either go to the airport or be willing to send personal details over email.)

I also pestered their helpdesk on twitter and they asked me to file a feedback form and did try to follow up with me somewhat.

Donald Trump

You had them hold the star alliance award for you via email and then you completed payment over the phone? Just wanted clarification, thanks!

Last edited 2 years ago by Donald Trump
Mike H

Still doesn’t work as of 9/30/21. To add to the frustration, even though I can find flights bookable to Hawaii for 7500 through the star alliance booking tool on the Turkish site, apparently the same flights don’t show up as available for the local sales office. (Chicago, in this case)


Gosh I just tried myself 10/3/21 and still doesn’t work. It’s actually quite comical.
The inventory is taken at the time of payment gathering – so there is a reservation pending out there – some places say check network log to get PNR but I have no idea how to do that. So I guess there is a reservation somewhere created. I dont know when it will be returned to inventory however.


I’m at my wits end with TK.

Found EWR to SFO routing earlier this week. Called Turkish to hold it while I transferred the miles.

Hold ends 7:55am eatern tomorrow. Spend all evening on the phone with Turkish being told they aren’t the people who can do the payment.

One agent said contact the NYC ticket office (already close for the night). Tried calling Sydney’s via Google Voice. After a 30+ minute hold, I was routed to the more general call center. That agent told me to call United to finalize or use the feedback form. I asked about extended hold and told no.

The return flight I was eying showed 6+ seats available. Every Star Alliance including Turkish was showing it. Agents said nope, nothing available. Booking button still missing from the Star Alliance partner booking.

I’m ready to give up and pay cash for eco seats. This has been utterly frustrating.


Before this newest problem cropped up, I couldn’t even log into the Miles & Smiles program as that button had disappeared from the home page for a solid 3 weeks. Turkish IT is worst in class. I would honestly take half a penny a point for my remaining 24,000 miles right now just to be done with them.

J. Dizon

Any update on this?

J. Dizon

Does anyone know how to book MULTIPLE tickets online? I keep getting that error about first booking can only be done under your name.

Russell Levinson

Lifemiles also has made a turn for the worse. Many award flights now appear on a section that says “find more fares” eventually revealing new sky high award rates with equally absurd taxes/fees. Do a few searches and check it out….its new.

Greg The Frequent Miler

I just looked at this. Here’s what I believe is happening:

  1. Lifemiles is showing the same award prices and options as before. As always, the results shown depend upon saver awards being available.
  2. If they don’t find saver award availability, they sometimes show the “find more fares” option.
  3. The “find more fares” option is really just finding cash rates and letting you pay 55% of that rate with miles. That’s probably never going to be a good deal

May I suggest the highly effective “thoughts and prayers” method that is used after every major American disaster? It doesn’t change anything, but it does allow you to walk away feeling like you did everything you could.

Buzz W

I finally had my card processed and got my miles refunded. I went through with a booking and got to the end and yes, no button to pay. Turkish IT is interesting to say the least.


Was it this morning? Because there is a major web problem that’s affecting some payment processors.


Yep, this has been happening for at least 3 weeks… So frustrating

rick b

Maybe its just bad web design. The button is there but not visible. Next time hit F12 and try to search in the page source html code.


How do you click the invisible button to submit the form?

rick b

HTML can be edited inside the browser to change the look and make it visible. This crap happens with low quality / low budget web design all the time.


How do we edit the HTML to change the look and make it visible then?

J. Dizon

I tried finding submit button using F12/dev tools/inspect, and it wasn’t there. Granted, I didn’t try very hard.

Ivan Y

rick b is right. Took me 5 mins to find the frame with the button. I was just able to make a reservation and get it ticketed in minutes(EWR-HNL in F). In addition one can alter the token and book in someone else’s name. I was not aware that one has to book in the owner’s name first, but of course there is a way to get around it. The way they wrote their page is atrocious, tons of bugs all over the place.

J. Dizon

What’s the element ID?


Hi Ivan. Glad to hear that you were able to find the missing button. Can you please share what we should do after pressing the F12 button? How/where do we look for the frame and hit submit? Not a software engineer, so please enlighten us.


Same problem here:

It would be great if you can copy the changes to make the submit button visible 🙂

Buzz W

And if you try to change or cancel that flight be prepared for massive frustration. I called 12 times trying to cancel and get 7500 miles redeposited. Every time I would get walked through the system, I would be informed it was $25. Fine. They direct you to an automated payment system which collects your CC information. It fails every time!

I then emailed the LAX office and for the first three emails they told me to call the customer service line. I explained I had already done that 12 times with no success. They had me email a copy of my CC and license. Still nothing. I followed up and they said they had received my info and to please be patient. To process a $25 payment!

Clearly they are having problems with payment processing.


Emailing a credit card number and driver license over multiple internet server bounces (each one creating and storing a copy along the way) without encryption is a huge security risk. Turkish must be clueless. They should never have prompted you to do that.


Singapore for a United seat works Great costs more so What it’s Safe . Book tickets, TEXT them for United codes then pick the many seats . Once ur info is Out there it’s Out there.
Never Been Hacked or ID stolen .

Last edited 2 years ago by Cavedweller