Turkish Airlines status match (get 1-2 years of Star Alliance Gold with very reasonable requirements)

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In my post about my 2024 elite status plans, I noted that I intend (hope?) to get Star Alliance Gold status by matching my American Airlines Platinum Pro status to Turkish Miles & Smiles Elite status. A couple of readers have since reported success with this Turkish Airlines status match and it seems to be a great deal, particularly if you can take a couple of Turkish Airlines flights in the first year since you could end up with Star Alliance Gold status for two years with very low flying requirements.

a man wearing a hat and glasses standing next to a model airplane

I picked up on this match just by browsing through general data points on statusmatcher.com (and then when I wrote my 2024 elite status plans post, I found that Executive Traveller wrote about it at the end of December).

How to request a Turkish Airlines status match

Feedback form for Turkish status match

It seems like Turkish has a pretty widely available status match, but as is the case with many other things with Turkish, you need to fill out their online feedback form to accomplish the match.

Link to fill out online feedback form to request a status match

You can alternatively find the link for “Feedback” at the bottom of the home page and chose “Membership processes” for the purpose of your feedback.

You will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your current membership card showing your current elite status
  2. Your recent account activity from that account for the last two months
  3. The photo page of your passport

I attached screen shots of my American Airlines Platinum Pro card, my recent AAdvantage activity, and the photo page of my passport along with the following message:

Hello,

I am writing to inquire about a status match with the Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles program. I currently have oneworld Emerald status (American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Pro). I am attaching a copy of my AAdvantage card, my passport photo page, and my recent activity. I very much appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

I got a response after only one day:

Dear Nicholas REYES,

Thank you for choosing Miles&Smiles, the frequent flyer program which offers a whole world of benefits.

So that we can fulfill your request to match your membership status to Elite and offer you a truly special flight experience, we need you to send us the documents listed below. You can do this by checking the “Previous feedback” option on our feedback page.

  • A photograph or scanned copy of your membership card (front and back) for your other airline’s frequent flyer program that has at least 4 months of validity or a document that shows your Oneworld Emerald membership has a validity of 4 more months with QR code

We look forward to bringing you all the benefits that Miles&Smiles has to offer.

Sincerely Yours,

I responded with some additional information and they replied again with the same message shown above.

I currently have Platinum Pro status from the Hyatt elite member fast track from last fall. My status is currently scheduled to expire on 2/1/24. Once I complete earning my 42,000 Loyalty Points, my status will be extended for four more months, so I’ll probably just try again once my status shows a new expiration date. That said, it might just depend on the agent you get: a reader wrote to us the other day who submitted their Platinum Pro status from the same promotion that is set to expire early next month and their status match was approved.

Based on data points at Status Matcher, it looks like both American Airlines Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum have matched to Turkish Elite status rather than top-tier Elite Plus status. However, Elite is enough for Star Alliance Gold. There are also a handful of perks when flying Turkish that maybe I’ll dig into if my match goes through.

How to extend Turkish Airlines status for 1-2 years

Turkish Airlines business class seat

The match initially includes 4 months of trial elite status. To extend status for an additional 8 months (for a total of one year), you just need 1 Turkish Airlines flight in that four month period. In other words, if you signed up today (January 19, 2024), you would need to take 1 Turkish Airlines flight by May 19, 2024 in order to keep status until January 19, 2025.

Then, to keep Turkish elite status for another year (for a total of 2 years), you just need to earn 15,000 miles in your first year on Turkish-operated flights. Given that a round trip from New York to Istanbul would be 10,000 miles flown without any additional segments or bonuses, so it wouldn’t require an unreasonable amount of mileage running to keep status for two years.

Here is the chart from the Turkish website for mileage earning on paid Turkish Airlines-operated flights:

Turkish status match mileage earning

Personally, if I get the Turkish Airlines status match, I intend to buy a business class fare using credit card points. I could either use Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a value of 1.5c per point or the Amex Business Platinum pay-with-points rebate to get slightly better than 1.5c per point when paying for a business class fare. I have a trip booked later this year where I’m currently booked on an award ticket with another airline, but I could alternatively fly a reasonably-priced Turkish K-fare and at 160% of mileage flown (since I would presumably have Turkish Elite status), I would earn enough status miles from that one trip for two years of Star Alliance Gold status. That seems like a great deal, especially when you consider that having Star Alliance Gold status with a foreign airline will get you access to United Club lounges even when flying United domestically as well as things like priority check-in, priority security where available, and additional baggage allowance.

Bottom line

Turkish Miles & Smiles is currently offering some members the chance to status match airline elite status from competing airlines to Turkish Airlines elite status for four months with the ability to extend status for a full year with a single Turkish-operated flight or two years with 15,000 miles earned on Turkish-operated flights. If you currently have elite status with another airline, it may be worth inquiring and/or checking data points at StatusMatcher.com to make sure that you’d be matched to the “Elite” level or higher since that will result in Star Alliance Gold status. Keep in mind that this match could get pulled at any time and there is no guarantee as to what they will match.

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Grey

Does AA send a physical member card? I have AA Platinum however, I never received a physical card. I tried doing the match today with a screenshot of my account and received a response asking for a copy of the physical card.

EAP

Nick–have you or someone you know had the opportunity to do this challenge yet? You stated, “I would earn enough status miles from that one trip for two years of Star Alliance Gold status.” Apparently, per FT, the 15,000 status miles accrual doesn’t begin until after the initial flight. Just want some data points from those who’ve done it.

Art Vandalay

Does the flight on Turkish Airlines need to be paid? or can I fly via a points redemption?

Dana d

I’m only AA gold. I wonder if they would do a match? Also is it a problem because I have no membership physical card

Joseph

I think an important point of clarification is that the 15,000 miles required to extend the status for a second year, these are status miles earned, not distance flown. These two are not the same thing. Your article mentioned a round trip flight from New York to Istanbul would be 10,000 miles, but this is distance flown, not status miles earned. So it will require a bit more flying to get to 15,000 status miles, but still in the realm of a reasonable amount of flying.

Matt

Does the initial flight counts toward the 15,000 miles?

Tony W

Also, does that initial flight have to be a cash fare, or can it be a Turkish miles redemption? It only says you need to take a flight on Turkish, so that would imply that redeeming miles on Turkish for a flight would suffice, but I would rather be safe than sorry in terms of planning…

Vivek

Can anyone clarify this, please?

Vivek

Thank you, Nick. I was actually asking about Matt’s first question (does initial flight count towards 15k miles requirement) but somehow the blog posted my question as a reply to his second question. Do you know if one single cash fare flight on Turkish metal can satisfy both requirements?

Matt

Yes. It can. I checked with support

Abby

Sorry if slightly off topic? P2, without asking booked economy Turkish for work JFK/ABV – ungodly 16 hours in economy. Too late to cancel/rebook but there are miles upgrade available using Turkish miles. Issue – I have plenty of Cap1, but no way to transfer to P2 Turkish account. Cap1-requires name to match loyalty #. Wouldn’t matter anyway since Turkish only allows family pooling IF you have elite status. We don’t, I am AS MVP Gold/AA Plat, but still ticket’s in his name. Anyone have any outside the box thoughts?

Kim

I found flights to Maui for 7500 miles. I do NOT have any Smiles Miles points. I have tons of amex and or chase. How do I get those transferred to Smiles and miles to secure that flight .

Kim

Thank you for clearing that up for me. I found the saver award on United and confirmed it’s available on Smiles and Miles. Can I transfer to Aeroplan to book Smiles and Miles ? Does Aeroplan have the same flights as United? Any other angle to find it less than United Saver… Thanks Nick!

EruptingLoowit

If they approve my match from AS via DL, this is tempting. I’m on the ground in CAI for 20 hours on my RTW award trip (I don’t blog, you do!) in Feb. & Can definitely MR CAI-IST-CAI. Be nice to fill the OW Emerald black hole, which is definitely ME/Eastern Europe. Don’t get me started on Amman…

Luke

According to Flight Connections, Turkish has a flight from Mexico City to Cancun. Nice short 2.5 hour flight…

Jan

Does anyone know if Turkish is still matching other Star Alliance programs? (I’m United Gold for another 10ish days and still hope to leverage it in a match.)

Jay

It seems not. I have SQ Gold and was denied. Other https://statusmatcher.com/ data points match my outcome.

Mary

I have multiple long and short haul Turkish flights coming up in May and June, but I was planning on assigning the earned miles to my United account. While two years of Star Alliance Gold status is tempting, it’s quite a bit offset by having to bank those miles into Miles & Smiles, which would be much less useful for me. The last thing I want at this point is orphaned miles. So it’s a tough call.

Last edited 3 months ago by Mary
Peter

Out of curiosity, given no changes to TK’s policy, what would it take to earn year #3?

SoberPointsGuy

This is why you’re the best!

TravelPhD

Great Post! Do you know if the initial flight could be a domestic Turkish flight?

Nabil

Hate to correct you Nick, but I just successfully got the status match, and in my approval email, it specifically said international flight on Turkish. Specific wording from email below:

here are a few details about your upgrade to Elite that we would like to tell you about:
 

  • You are required to perform at least one international flight with Turkish Airlines in this period.
  • At the end of the trial period, if you have at least one international flight in your membership account, which you have performed with Turkish Airlines, your Elite membership is extended for 8 more months (i.e. it remains valid for 1 year in total after the match).
  • If you reach 15,000 Status Miles in the international flights you will perform with Turkish Airlines in the first year of your Elite membership, your membership is extended for 1 more year (i.e. it remains valid for 2 years in total after the match).
Neo

Can this 1st flight be an Award flight? I know award flights don’t earn points so won’t work for extending to 2nd year, but wondering if it’d just get me from 4 months to 12 months.

Tony W

I have the same question. It makes a big difference for how I would plan things.

Nabil

Needs to be an international flight

Jay

There’s plenty of EU to Istanbul flights around $125 ow. Vienna, Paris, Bucharest.

Tony W

But can it also be a Turkish miles redemption flight? Or does it need to be a paid cash fare?

Jay

Needs to be paid

Tony W

Fair enough. Can it be a one-way ticket or does it need to be round trip?

Tony W

As of January 1, 2023, miles redemptions on United also count toward status. The flights have to be on United metal, which is a limitation/restriction, but otherwise it works after January 1, 2023.