Turkish Miles & Smiles Complete Guide

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A few years ago, we were the first blog to uncover the killer story with Turkish Miles & Smiles that you can fly one-way within the United States — including to/from Alaska and Hawaii — for just 7,500 miles one-way in economy class or 12,500 miles in business/first class when United has saver availability. In the time since, we’ve found Turkish Miles & Smiles to simultaneously be one of the most valuable and one of the most frustrating Star Alliance programs. However, when you can find the availability you need, there is no doubt that the sweet spots can be well worth the challenges you may encounter in booking. This complete guide combines what we know about the program into a single resource and includes several sweet spot updates in both economy class and premium cabins.

Miles & Smiles is still making me smile…for now.

Things to know about Turkish Miles & Smiles award booking

  1. Book via email or over the phone if you can’t online: While some itineraries can be booked online, many itineraries don’t show up on the Turkish website. In those cases, you’ll need to either email or call to book over the phone with Turkish Miles & Smiles at 1-800-874-8875. Note that phone agents often have trouble finding availability. Email bookings still work, so try the email process if you strike out on the phone. Note that you may need to try more than one ticket office and that we’ve had reports of some difficulties with the process during the COVID pandemic, so booking may be more challenging in the short term.
  2. Connecting itineraries are OK: Award pricing is per direction regardless of segments (i.e. EWR-HNL is 7.5K one way in economy class. EWR-ORD-LAX-HNL is also 7.5K one way in economy even though there are 2 stops provided the layovers don’t exceed maximum connection times).
  3. Award holds: Turkish will give you a hold for 48 hours if booking more than 7 days in advance, so there is no need to transfer before putting an award on hold in most cases.
  4. Transfers are not instant: Citi ThankYou points generally transfer in 18-30 hours. You can alternatively transfer from Marriott Rewards, but the transfer time is likely to be a week or more.
  5. No mixed cabin bookings in most cases: You can not combine an itinerary with some legs in business class and others in economy class. An exception from the program rules is that per the terms it is now possible to book a mixed-cabin award in cases where one of your flights does not have a matching class of service (e.g. one leg has business class but the other leg is operated by a small regional plane with no business class cabin). However, YMMV — the online tool does not yet show these itineraries.
  6. Fuel surcharges are passed on. You’ll want to choose airlines with low/no fuel surcharges and/or departure cities that limit them.
  7. United Airlines Saver availability only: If you’re looking to book United flights with Turkish Miles & Smiles, you must find United saver availability. Only United saver availability is bookable with partner miles. You can not book segments operated by Hawaiian with Turkish miles. You can not use Turkish miles to book award seats that are only available to United credit card holders or United elite members — only saver availability that you see when not logged in to a United account will be available to Turkish.
  8. International first class is not bookable on the Turkish website and may not be available via phone or email. While Turkish added first class redemptions to its award chart, we only see economy and business class booking options on the website. According to Flyertalk, Turkish is unable to book first class awards at this time. YMMV.
  9. The cancellation fee is very reasonable: The fee to cancel and redeposit an award is only $25 per passenger. The mileage redeposit is sometimes instant. Note that changes theoretically also cost $25, but in my experience it was easier to cancel & re-book. Note also that numerous readers have reported free cancellation when due to a significant schedule change.
  10. Many available routes don’t show up online. It’s not clear why, but many itineraries that are available at United.com do not show up on the Turkish Airlines website.
  11. Not all routes price correctly online. Most domestic US itineraries now price at 7,500 miles each way in economy class online. Some price at over 11K online for no known reason (the same itineraries can be booked over the phone or via email for 7,500 miles each way).
  12. The online tool often doesn’t show the most direct routing. Even when direct flights are available, the system sometimes forces a connection (for example, rather than allowing a nonstop round trip award between San Francisco and Honolulu, the options presented required connecting through Los Angeles or vice versa).
  13. You can not book tickets for others until you have booked a ticket for yourself. This might mean that you’ll need to book yourself and traveling companions under separate reservations. It may also be possible to make yourself a “dummy” booking that you will later cancel in order to unlock the ability to book for others.
  14. You can not book tickets for others online unless the member booking is also traveling and you must first add others as your companions. For example, the online system would not allow me to make a booking for my wife and son (without me) using my miles. However, it is possible to book travel for others over the phone and via email even when the member booking is not traveling. Note that to book for others online, you must go to “My personal details” and “My Companions” and add traveling companions there before booking if you wish to book for them online.
  15. There are fantastic sweet spots connecting other regions. If you’re piecing together a multi-region trip, it’s worth a look at the full Turkish Miles & Smiles award chart. Note that you want to see the “Promotional Award Ticket Table” for Star Alliance awards. There are some fantastic values, particularly between Europe and regions East (27.5K in business class to Central Asia, 45K to the Far East, and 52.5K to Oceania all come to mind). See also the region definitions as some regions are quite large.

Turkish Miles & Smiles Economy Class Sweet Spots

Asia / Far East for 45K each way

  • The short story: Turkish offers a competitive economy class award rate to what they dub the "Far East" (defined as Brunei, Cambodia, China (except Hong Kong and Macao), China Taipei, Hong Kong - SAR of China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam). That said, keep in mind that business class is only 50% more.
  • Miles required: 45K each way
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at united.com and call Turkish to book or go to turkishairlines.com, log in to your account, go to "Miles transactions" to find the Star Alliance booking tool and click "book now" to go to that search tool (not the tool on the home page at turkishairlines.com). Note that there may be bookable options that do not appear on the site (hence checking United and calling when necessary).
  • How to book awards: Book online at turkishairlines.com using the instructions above or over the phone at 1-800-874-8875 or via email
  • Key warnings: Turkish is sometimes unable to see Star Alliance availability for no explicable reason. However, Turkish allows a hold for long enough for points to transfer. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you get your desired itinerary on hold via phone or email before transferring points. No fuel surcharges on Air Canada, United, Avianca, or SAS. Low fuel surcharges on LOT Polish and Turkish.
  • Transfer from: Bilt Rewards, Capital One, Citi Thank You, Marriott Bonvoy

Caribbean from 7.5K each way

  • The short story: Turkish Miles & Smiles offers excellent award pricing for Star Alliance flights within North America (i.e. on United, Copa or Air Canada).
  • Miles required: From 7,500 miles each way in economy or 12,500 miles each way in business class. Note that domestic flights are 7,500 each way in economy class or 12,500 miles each way in business class which includes the continental US to/from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. International destinations in North America theoretically cost 10K each in economy or 15K in business. However, note that most Caribbean islands are classified as South America and as such are a poor deal.
  • How to find awards: Search United.com and look for "Saver Awards". You can also try searching via the Turkish Airlines website, but it does not always show full availability.
  • How to book awards: You can try booking on the Miles & Smiles website, though not all flights are available online. Previously phone bookings have worked and may again be possible. If all else fails, try booking via email. See our guide for booking United flights with Turkish for more detail.
  • Key warnings: Turkish agents occasionally can't see availability even though it is marked as "Saver". You may just have to try again with a different agent.
  • Transfer from: Capital One, Citi,

Central Asia for 34K each way

  • The short story: Turkish offers incredible rates for economy class to the Central Asia (defined as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) - but watch out for fuel surcharges on some partners.
  • Miles required: 34K each way
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at united.com and call Turkish to book or go to turkishairlines.com, log in to your account, go to "Miles transactions" to find the Star Alliance booking tool and click "book now" to go to that search tool (not the tool on the home page at turkishairlines.com). Note that there may be bookable options that do not appear on the site (hence checking United and calling when necessary).
  • How to book awards: Book online at turkishairlines.com using the instructions above or over the phone at 1-800-874-8875 or via email
  • Key warnings: Turkish is sometimes unable to see Star Alliance availability for no explicable reason. However, Turkish allows a hold for long enough for points to transfer. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you get your desired itinerary on hold via phone or email before transferring points. No fuel surcharges on Air Canada, United, Avianca, or SAS. Low fuel surcharges on LOT Polish and Turkish.
  • Transfer from: Bilt Rewards, Capital One, Citi Thank You, Marriott Bonvoy

Middle East for 32K each way

  • The short story: Turkish offers incredible rates for economy class to the Middle East - but watch out for fuel surcharges on some partners.
  • Miles required: 32K each way
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at united.com and call Turkish to book or go to turkishairlines.com, log in to your account, go to "Miles transactions" to find the Star Alliance booking tool and click "book now" to go to that search tool (not the tool on the home page at turkishairlines.com). Note that there may be bookable options that do not appear on the site (hence checking United and calling when necessary).
  • How to book awards: Book online at turkishairlines.com using the instructions above or over the phone at 1-800-874-8875 or via email
  • Key warnings: Turkish is sometimes unable to see Star Alliance availability for no explicable reason. However, Turkish allows a hold for long enough for points to transfer. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you get your desired itinerary on hold via phone or email before transferring points. No fuel surcharges on Air Canada, United, Avianca, or SAS. Low fuel surcharges on LOT Polish and Turkish.
  • Transfer from: Citi Thank You, Marriott Bonvoy

North America from 7.5K each way

  • The short story: Turkish offers incredible value on domestic Star Alliance flights. This makes Turkish the absolute cheapest way to book flights within the US on United -- including to Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Miles required: 7,500 miles each way in economy class or 12,500 miles each way in business class domestically on United within the US or domestically on Air Canada within Canada (can include connections for the same price). For North American international flights (e.g. US to Canada or Mexico), 10K each way in economy class or 15K each way in business class.
  • How to find awards: Search United.com and look for "Saver Awards". You can also try searching via the Turkish Airlines website, but it does not always show full availability.
  • How to book awards: Not all available flights are displayed online at the Turkish Airlines website (and for many months the checkout page has been broken and missing a button to pay for your reservation. Then they added a checkout button but flights fail to ticket). Previously phone bookings have worked and may again be possible. If all else fails, try booking via email. See our guide for booking United flights with Turkish for more detail.
  • Change ang cancellation fees: The fee to change or cancel is $25 per passenger, though I've been unsuccessful in finding agents who know how to change a partner award. Thus cancelling for $25 is your best bet.
  • Key warnings: Turkish agents occasionally can't see availability even though it is marked as "Saver". You may just have to try again with a different agent. Irregular operations can cause a huge headache in getting in touch with Turkish to get your flight fixed. Booking via Turkish is not for the faint of heart (or those who can not drop back 10 yards and punt when things go sideways).
  • Transfer from: Bilt, Citi, Capital One

Hawaii for 7.5K each way

  • The short story: Turkish offers the same pricing on flights to Hawaii as for other domestic US awards, making them an unbelievable value for flights to Hawaii.
  • Miles required: 7,500 miles each way in economy class or 12,500 miles each way in business class (can include connections for the same price)
  • How to find awards: Search for available award space at United.com.  Important: make sure that the results indicate that the award is a "saver award", otherwise it won't be bookable.
  • How to book awards: While it's theoretically possible to book online (details here), you'll likely have much better luck via phone.  Even then, it may take several calls to get an agent who can see that the award space is available.  Details for booking via phone can be found here.  See also:  Turkish still a mixed bag, but patience helps.
  • Key warnings: Turkish appears to have a max connect time of 4 hours on a domestic itinerary, so itineraries with a longer connection would require 2 awards. Also, for an unknown reason, Turkish agents often can't see award space that other partner airlines can see.  You may have to call several times to get an award booked.  Keep in mind that transfers to Turkish are not instant; it will take 1-2 days for the miles to show up in your Turkish Miles & Smiles account.  As a result, we highly recommend calling to put an award on hold before you transfer points to Turkish miles.

Turkish Miles & Smiles Premium Cabin Sweet Spots

Africa from 60K each way

  • The short story: Turkish offers excellent pricing to North Africa on Star Alliance carriers and decent award pricing to Central and Southern Africa.
  • Miles required: 60K miles each way in business class to North Africa, 72.5K miles each way in business class to Central Africa, and 85K each way in business class to Southern Africa
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at united.com and call Turkish to book or go to turkishairlines.com, log in to your account, go to "Miles transactions" to find the Star Alliance booking tool and click "book now" to go to that search tool (not the tool on the home page at turkishairlines.com). Note that there may be bookable options that do not appear on the site (hence checking United and calling when necessary).
  • How to book awards: Book online at turkishairlines.com using the instructions above or over the phone at 1-800-874-8875 or via email
  • Key warnings: Turkish is sometimes unable to see Star Alliance availability for no explicable reason. However, Turkish allows a hold for long enough for points to transfer from Citi. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you get your desired itinerary on hold via phone or email before transferring points.
  • Transfer from: Capital One, Citi ThankYou points, Marriott Bonvoy

Asia / Far East for 67.5K business / 100K first

  • The short story: Turkish offers excellent rates for both business and first class to the what they dub the "Far East" (defined as Brunei, Cambodia, China (except Hong Kong and Macao), China Taipei, Hong Kong - SAR of China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam) - but watch out for fuel surcharges on some partners.
  • Miles required: 67.5K each way in business class, 100K each way in first class
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at united.com and call Turkish to book or go to turkishairlines.com, log in to your account, go to "Miles transactions" to find the Star Alliance booking tool and click "book now" to go to that search tool (not the tool on the home page at turkishairlines.com). Note that there may be bookable options that do not appear on the site (hence checking United and calling when necessary).
  • How to book awards: Book online at turkishairlines.com using the instructions above or over the phone at 1-800-874-8875 or via email
  • Key warnings: Turkish is sometimes unable to see Star Alliance availability for no explicable reason. However, Turkish allows a hold for long enough for points to transfer. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you get your desired itinerary on hold via phone or email before transferring points. No fuel surcharges on Air Canada, United, Avianca, or SAS. Low fuel surcharges on LOT Polish and Turkish.
  • Transfer from: Bilt Rewards, Capital One, Citi Thank You, Marriott Bonvoy

Caribbean from 12.5K each way

  • The short story: Turkish Miles & Smiles offers excellent award pricing for Star Alliance flights within North America (i.e. on United, Copa or Air Canada).
  • Miles required: From 7,500 miles each way in economy or 12,500 miles each way in business class. Note that domestic flights are 7,500 each way in economy class or 12,500 miles each way in business class which includes the continental US to/from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. International destinations in North America theoretically cost 10K each in economy or 15K in business. However, note that most Caribbean islands are classified as South America and as such are a poor deal.
  • How to find awards: Search United.com and look for "Saver Awards". You can also try searching via the Turkish Airlines website, but it does not always show full availability.
  • How to book awards: You can try booking on the Miles & Smiles website, though not all flights are available online. Previously phone bookings have worked and may again be possible. If all else fails, try booking via email. See our guide for booking United flights with Turkish for more detail.
  • Key warnings: Turkish agents occasionally can't see availability even though it is marked as "Saver". You may just have to try again with a different agent.
  • Transfer from: Capital One, Citi,

Central Asia for 52.5K business / 72K first

  • The short story: Turkish offers incredible rates for both business and first class to the Central Asia (defined as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) - but watch out for fuel surcharges on some partners. Still, it may be worth those fuel surcharges for first class redemptions in some cases given the low mileage rate.
  • Miles required: 52.5K each way in business class, 72K each way in first class
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at united.com and call Turkish to book or go to turkishairlines.com, log in to your account, go to "Miles transactions" to find the Star Alliance booking tool and click "book now" to go to that search tool (not the tool on the home page at turkishairlines.com). Note that there may be bookable options that do not appear on the site (hence checking United and calling when necessary).
  • How to book awards: Book online at turkishairlines.com using the instructions above or over the phone at 1-800-874-8875 or via email
  • Key warnings: Turkish is sometimes unable to see Star Alliance availability for no explicable reason. However, Turkish allows a hold for long enough for points to transfer. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you get your desired itinerary on hold via phone or email before transferring points. No fuel surcharges on Air Canada, United, Avianca, or SAS. Low fuel surcharges on LOT Polish and Turkish.
  • Transfer from: Bilt, Citi Thank You, Marriott Bonvoy

Europe for 45K business / 67.5K first

  • The short story: At 45K each way in business class or 67.5K each way in business class, Turkish offers one of the best mileage rates to Europe - but watch out for fuel surcharges on some partners. Still, fuel surcharges may be worth it in some instances given the low rates (particularly in first class).
  • Miles required: 45K miles each way in business class or 67.5K each way in first class
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at united.com and call Turkish to book or go to turkishairlines.com, log in to your account, go to "Miles transactions" to find the Star Alliance booking tool and click "book now" to go to that search tool (not the tool on the home page at turkishairlines.com). Note that there may be bookable options that do not appear on the site (hence checking United and calling when necessary).
  • How to book awards: Book online at turkishairlines.com using the instructions above or over the phone at 1-800-874-8875 or via email
  • Key warnings: Turkish is sometimes unable to see Star Alliance availability for no explicable reason. However, Turkish allows a hold for long enough for points to transfer from Citi. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you get your desired itinerary on hold via phone or email before transferring points. No fuel surcharges on Air Canada, United, Avianca, or SAS. Low fuel surcharges on LOT Polish and Turkish.
  • Transfer from: Bilt Rewards, Capital One, Citi Thank You, Marriott Bonvoy

Hawaii for 12.5K each way

  • The short story: Turkish offers the same pricing on flights to Hawaii as for other domestic US awards, making them an unbelievable value for flights to Hawaii.
  • Miles required: 7,500 miles each way in economy class or 12,500 miles each way in business class (can include connections for the same price)
  • How to find awards: Search for available award space at United.com.  Important: make sure that the results indicate that the award is a "saver award", otherwise it won't be bookable.
  • How to book awards: While it's theoretically possible to book online (details here), you'll likely have much better luck via phone.  Even then, it may take several calls to get an agent who can see that the award space is available.  Details for booking via phone can be found here.  See also:  Turkish still a mixed bag, but patience helps.
  • Key warnings: Turkish appears to have a max connect time of 4 hours on a domestic itinerary, so itineraries with a longer connection would require 2 awards. Also, for an unknown reason, Turkish agents often can't see award space that other partner airlines can see.  You may have to call several times to get an award booked.  Keep in mind that transfers to Turkish are not instant; it will take 1-2 days for the miles to show up in your Turkish Miles & Smiles account.  As a result, we highly recommend calling to put an award on hold before you transfer points to Turkish miles.

Middle East for 47K business / 69.5K first

  • The short story: Turkish offers incredible rates for both business and first class to the Middle East - but watch out for fuel surcharges on some partners. Still, it may be worth those fuel surcharges for first class redemptions in some cases given the low mileage rate.
  • Miles required: 47K each way in business class, 69.5K each way in first class
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at united.com and call Turkish to book or go to turkishairlines.com, log in to your account, go to "Miles transactions" to find the Star Alliance booking tool and click "book now" to go to that search tool (not the tool on the home page at turkishairlines.com). Note that there may be bookable options that do not appear on the site (hence checking United and calling when necessary).
  • How to book awards: Book online at turkishairlines.com using the instructions above or over the phone at 1-800-874-8875 or via email
  • Key warnings: Turkish is sometimes unable to see Star Alliance availability for no explicable reason. However, Turkish allows a hold for long enough for points to transfer. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you get your desired itinerary on hold via phone or email before transferring points. No fuel surcharges on Air Canada, United, Avianca, or SAS. Low fuel surcharges on LOT Polish and Turkish.
  • Transfer from: Citi Thank You, Marriott Bonvoy

North America for 12.5K business

  • The short story: Turkish offers incredible value on domestic Star Alliance flights. This makes Turkish the absolute cheapest way to book flights within the US on United -- including to Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Miles required: 7,500 miles each way in economy class or 12,500 miles each way in business class domestically on United within the US or domestically on Air Canada within Canada (can include connections for the same price). For North American international flights (e.g. US to Canada or Mexico), 10K each way in economy class or 15K each way in business class.
  • How to find awards: Search United.com and look for "Saver Awards". You can also try searching via the Turkish Airlines website, but it does not always show full availability.
  • How to book awards: Not all available flights are displayed online at the Turkish Airlines website (and for many months the checkout page has been broken and missing a button to pay for your reservation. Then they added a checkout button but flights fail to ticket). Previously phone bookings have worked and may again be possible. If all else fails, try booking via email. See our guide for booking United flights with Turkish for more detail.
  • Change ang cancellation fees: The fee to change or cancel is $25 per passenger, though I've been unsuccessful in finding agents who know how to change a partner award. Thus cancelling for $25 is your best bet.
  • Key warnings: Turkish agents occasionally can't see availability even though it is marked as "Saver". You may just have to try again with a different agent. Irregular operations can cause a huge headache in getting in touch with Turkish to get your flight fixed. Booking via Turkish is not for the faint of heart (or those who can not drop back 10 yards and punt when things go sideways).
  • Transfer from: Bilt, Citi, Capital One

South America for 35K if originating in the Caribbean

  • The short story: South America is a poor value via Turkish if originating in North America, but much of the Caribbean is classified as South America and as such Caribbean islands to South America present a solid value.
  • Miles required: Too many from North America (75K each way), but 35K each way in business class "within" South America (which includes many Caribbean Islands to/from South America, so it may be worth positioning to the Caribbean to pay just 35K miles one-way to anywhere in South America). Note that the Turkish region definition for South America isn't entirely reliable as it includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, but those islands actually price as part of the US. Noting that inaccuracy, here is how Turkish defines South America: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cayman Islands, CHILE, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Maarten (Dutch Part), Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uruguay, Venezuela, Virgin Islands (US).
  • How to find awards: Search for available space at united.com and call Turkish to book or go to turkishairlines.com, log in to your account, go to "Miles transactions" to find the Star Alliance booking tool and click "book now" to go to that search tool (not the tool on the home page at turkishairlines.com). Note that there may be bookable options that do not appear on the site (hence checking United and calling when necessary).
  • How to book awards: Book online at turkishairlines.com using the instructions above or over the phone at 1-800-874-8875 or via email
  • Key warnings: Turkish is sometimes unable to see Star Alliance availability for no explicable reason. However, Turkish allows a hold for long enough for points to transfer from Citi. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you get your desired itinerary on hold via phone or email before transferring points. No fuel surcharges on Air Canada, United, Avianca, or SAS. Low fuel surcharges on LOT Polish and Turkish.
  • Transfer from: Citi Thank You, Marriott Bonvoy

Getting Turkish Miles & Smiles miles

You can of course earn Turkish Miles & Smiles miles by crediting Star Alliance flights to Turkish. Wheretocredit.com is a terrific resource for determining your earnings for paid flights.

For those who prefer to earn / generate miles without flying, there are several options.

Citi ThankYou Points

Most people will transfer Citi ThankYou points to Turkish Miles & Smiles since Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles is a 1:1 Citi Transfer Partner. Simply log in to ThankYou.com and transfer your points to Turkish Miles & Smiles like you would with any airline partner.

Transfers from Citi are not instant. Transfer times vary from 18-30 hours. You should easily receive the miles in time to ticket your held award provided you initiate the transfer right away after placing the hold.

Citi did provide a transfer bonus to Turkish Miles & Smiles once in 2018. Hopefully we will see that return.

Marriott Bonvoy

You can alternatively / additionally transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Turkish Miles & Smiles at a rate of 3 Marriott points to 1 Turkish Airlines mile. When you transfer 60,000 Marriott points, you’ll get a 5K bonus for a total of 25K Turkish miles. Unfortunately, Marriott transfers are slow and may take a week or more. You can’t count on a transfer from Marriott processing while you have an award on hold.

Buy miles from Turkish

Turkish Miles & Smiles will sell you up to 50,000 miles for 3 cents per mile. These miles post instantly to your account, so this can be a way to top off your account for a valuable award. Turkish processes these transactions directly, so mileage purchases appear like ordinary airline charges.

Buy Citi ThankYou points

As long as you have a card that earns Citi ThankYou points, and you have at least one point in your account, you can buy additional ThankYou points for 2.5 cents each, up to a maximum of 100K points per year.  You can then transfer those points to airline miles.  Greg wrote about this in detail a while ago: Buy miles via ThankYou Rewards. He then wrote a post about doing it specifically for award to Hawaii. See: $386 to Hawaii round trip from anywhere in the US.

Step-by-step guide to booking Turkish Miles & Smiles award tickets

Check the Turkish Airlines website

As we’ve previously noted is the case with the Turkish Airlines website, availability shown online via Turkish Miles & Smiles is very much hit or miss. The good news is that you will find some good options easily bookable online. The bad news is that you will not see all of the bookable options on the website.

Key to finding availability online begins with knowing where to search. Unlike other airline websites, you will not start your search on the Turkish Airlines homepage, rather you’ll want to log in to your Turkish Miles & Smiles account and then click the drop-down from your name and choose “Miles transactions”.

Turkish miles

You can then find the “Star Alliance award ticket” booking engine to the right of your name.

Turkish miles

Clicking “book now” will bring you to the Star Alliance Award Ticket booking engine.

Turkish miles

When you click the calendar to select dates, you can find a box to easily search for one-way awards, which is likely the easiest way to search.

Turkish miles

After searching, if awards are available in both economy class and business class, you will see radio buttons to select which class of service you would like to see displayed.

Turkish miles

If you search and nothing happens, it is not finding availability. This does not always mean that no awards are available. Assuming you have found Star Alliance availability via United.com or the Aeroplan website, you should be able to book that space by phone or email. Note that sometimes agents don’t see availability that should be there, so it may take multiple tries to book successfully. While I’ve at times gotten an agent able to book on my first call, other times it has taken many calls or a copy/paste email to multiple ticket offices to get a ticket booked.

Check United.com for saver availability

If you have not found your desired availability via the Turkish Star Alliance booking tool, the easiest next step is to check United.com for your preferred date and route looking for saver award availability for United-operated flights. Only saver awards can be booked with partner miles. (Note that any Star Alliance partner awards shown on United.com should also be available to Turkish Miles & Smiles).

The United Airlines flights marked “Saver Award” can be booked with Turkish miles. Those with higher mileage prices (like 45K and 90K in the image above) can not be booked using partner miles.

Note that Turkish can not book seats that are only available to United credit card holders or elite members. Your best bet is to make sure you are not logged in at United.com when searching.

Calling Turkish Airlines to book via phone

The key to phone bookings with Turkish Miles & Smiles is that you must feed the agent each segment separately. (Alternatively, the email process still works. See this post for instructions on booking via email).

To book a United Airlines award ticket over the phone with Turkish Miles & Smiles, follow these steps:

  1. Call 1-800-874-8875
  2. Press 1 to continue in English
  3. Press 1 because you’re a Miles & Smiles member
  4. Enter your Miles & Smiles number
  5. Press 1 to confirm your number is correct
  6. Press 4 for reservations

When you call Turkish Airlines to book an award ticket over the phone, you will need to be prepared to tell the agent exactly which flights you want and then feed the agent one segment at a time.

For example, if you’re looking to fly from Chicago to Honolulu with a layover in San Francisco, you’ll need to be very specific:

“I’d like to book a partner flight on United airlines. There are 2 segments. The first flight is from Chicago (ORD) to San Francisco (SFO) on October 22nd for 2 passengers in economy class. I’m looking for flight UA 1891 leaving Chicago at 10am and arriving at 12:50pm in San Francisco.”

Let the agent find that flight. Then, move on to the next flight.

“The second segment is from San Francisco (SFO) to Honolulu (HNL) on October 22nd for 2 passengers in economy class. I’m looking for flight UA 300 leaving San Francisco at 2:10pm.”

If you instead just ask for Chicago to Honolulu, the agent will likely tell you that there is no availability (unless there is a nonstop flight available). You have to go segment by segment and also keep in mind that agents often can’t see availability that should be there. Be prepared to hang up and call again multiple times (or try via email).

Keep in mind that the max layover on domestic itineraries appears to be 4 hours for tickets booked via phone or email. If your itinerary has a longer layover, you’ll be charged for two awards. The online booking tool sometimes returns results with longer layovers priced as a single award.

Note that sometimes, agents will not find the itinerary you want. In that case, you’ll need to hang up and call again. Unfortunately the process sometimes involves several phone calls to get an agent who sees availability.

Book a Turkish Miles & Smiles award via email

Turkish Airlines operates ticket offices in 9 US cities and 2 Canadian cities. They publish contact information all of their ticket offices on their website here. Be sure to choose “Ticket Sales Office” rather than “Airport Sales Office” or something like that.

Here is an example email very much like some I have sent.

Hello,

I’m emailing to inquire about a Star Alliance award booking. As it is not possible to price this award online, I’m hoping you can confirm the number of miles required and any associated taxes or surcharges on the following itinerary:

Passenger: [Name]
Miles & Smiles Number: XXXXXX
Date: February 12, 2021
Class: Economy
Origin: IAD
Destination: LAS
Segments:
1) UA 632 12NOV IAD-LAX 1230 1456

2) UA 2365 12NOV LAX-LAS 1631 1745

Again, I’m looking for both the number of miles required and the total cost of any taxes, surcharges, or booking fees.
I really appreciate your assistance!
Sincerely,
[Name]

Note that some offices will not respond to your email. You’ll need some trial and error: some offices almost never respond and others are more reliable. Since this varies all the time, your best bet is to just send the same email to multiple offices. Keep in mind that most of the ticket offices are open 9am-5pm Monday through Friday, so you may not get a response after hours / on weekends and/or you may need to try an office in a different area.

When booking via email, Turkish may require all of the following paperwork:

  1. Miles & Smiles redemption form: This is a form that includes the basic route and price information and asks you to indicate the type of award (i.e. an award ticket on Star Alliance Flights). You’ll sign this form.
  2. Credit card authorization form. This form has your PNR and fare information. It also asks for date of birth, email address, phone number, driver’s license number, credit card information, and signature.
  3. Photos of your credit card (both front and back). Be aware that you may need to crop / resize your photos (my email kept bouncing back saying that the ticket office box was full and the message was undeliverable, but it turned out that my files were too large).
  4. Photo of your ID. I provided both front and back.
  5. Miles and Smiles card front and back copy. I didn’t have a physical card and couldn’t find a digital one on the desktop website. However, you can get your “Digital Card” in the main menu of the Turkish Airlines app when you are logged in and that was sufficient.

Note that I have alternatively had success putting an award on hold via email and then calling to pay for taxes and ticket the award without a need for any of the above paperwork.

Putting an award on hold

Turkish Miles & Smiles allows award holds when booking via phone or email. Once an agent finds your flights, you will need to ask them to put the itinerary on hold for you to transfer over the miles (since Turkish allows free and easy holds there is no reason to transfer miles before this point). The agent will need to take the names and birth dates of the passengers in your party to put it on hold.

Provided you are booking travel at least 7 days in advance, you will be offered a hold of 48 hours, which is plenty of time to transfer the miles necessary.

If you are booking a flight within 7 days of travel, you will only get a hold for 24 hours. That may be enough time to make the transfer if you’re lucky.

Once your itinerary is on hold, you’ll want to transfer the miles to pay for your award.

Calling to ticket

Once you have the miles necessary in your account, you’ll need to call back to ticket your held award.

The process is pretty straightforward: you’ll call Turkish again and tell them that you need to pay for an award you have on hold. You’ll give them the PNR you were given when you put your tickets on hold and they will verify all of the information. The agent will then transfer you to an automated system to enter your credit card information. After you enter credit card info, the agent came will verify the first 4 and last 4 digits of the card number and your Miles & Smiles number and then transfer you to an automated prompt to enter your Miles & Smiles PIN. That “PIN” is the password for the account. Once that is complete, the award can be ticketed. Note that unlike searching for award space, ticketing a reservation once you have it on hold is very easy and shouldn’t require more than one call.

Change / cancellation fee for Turkish award tickets

Changes before check-in will incur a $25 fee (the ticket must be used within 1 year of the day it is issued). Changes after check-in or a no-show will incur a $50 fee. Itineraries can be canceled over the phone and miles are immediately re-deposited. Note that many readers have reported paying no cancellation fee when cancellation is due to significant schedule changes.

Turkish Miles & Smiles expiration policy

Turkish Miles & Smiles miles expire 3 years after they are earned. You can pay a fee of $10 per 1,000 miles to extend miles for another 3 years, though at 1c per mile, that is quite expensive. It is best to avoid transferring unless confident you will use the miles within 3 years.

Turkish Miles & Smiles Elite Status

Turkish Miles & Smiles sometimes matches status for those with oneworld status. See Status Matcher for recent data pounts.

For those looking to earn status the old fashioned way, here are the tiers and requirements:

Note that you’ll want to check wheretocredit.com before choosing to credit your flights to Turkish to be sure that they are eligible to earn the miles you expect.

One key benefit of elite status may be the ability to pool family miles.

Bottom line

Turkish Miles & Smiles has some fantastic award chart sweet spots. However, they can also easily be the most frustrating program given the inexplicable difficulty in booking awards in some circumstances. However, the award sweet spots can be worth the challenge for those who don’t mind making a few phone calls or sending a few emails when necessary.

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Joseph fisher

Thank you for this amazing guide it really helps. I just have one question, when I find a flight on United.com for an x amount of points. When I call Turkish to book it they will charge me that x amount of they will charge me the 32k point to Middle East ?
TIA

Execula19

For the last week I’ve been trying to reserve IAD-Bodrum on Turkish metal and am getting a price of 115,000 miles for business. There are plenty of award seats available. Changing the itinerary to IAD-IST quoted the same 115K. Has there been a huge devaluation on Turkish miles lately?

Terry

Data points…

Fri – 3/18

Fri – 3/25

  • Called Turkish Airlines at 800-874-8875 – waited about 5 minutes and was able to put a hold on my reservation (OGG – DEN on United).
  • Tried to transfer Citi TYP from P2’s Citi Primier to my TK account. Didn’t work because the names on the Citi and TK accounts need to match.
  • Called back to straighten that out (waited about 20 minutes). Learned that there can be more than one TK account on the reservation. Added P2’s TK account. The agent nearly completed the reservation and their systems went down. Told me to call back in 30 minutes.
  • Called back. The agent couldn’t find my reservation. Started the process over agian and they said they could no longer find availability for my itinerary.

Sat – 3/26

  • Tried again multiple times. Most times they couldn’t find the itenerary. Once they found it and started booking it but their systems went down again.

Sun – 3/27

  • Called a couple more times…couldn’t find availability, again.
  • Finally talked to someone who was able to find availibility and get it booked, transfer the points, and take payment for the fees. She sent me an email while I was on the phone so I could look it over before she finalized it.
  • I checked that the flight is ticketed on united.com so I think I’m good now.
ben

Probably a noob question, but I hope that someone can help. In my united.com account, there is a section for me to enter my frequent flyer account numbers. For my Miles and Smiles account, do I need to enter TK before the string of numbers? Thanks.

Arthur

Thanks for the great guide.

I was able to put a hold on CDG-IST-SFO through the phone. The agent correctly identified all three options for CDG-IST (16:15, 15:45, 19:35) and allowed me to hold the 16:15 flight (longest possible connection time) with the IST-SFO flight operated on the following calendar day.

The call took about 20 minutes, including spelling out 2 names, birthdates, email addresses, etc. The agent was very competent and helpful.

He said my award reservation is on hold for 72 hours, but I’m planning to ticket as soon as my TYP transfer (I definitely don’t want to test that time limit!).

I wanted to share my experience since it seems like phone agents have more flexibility now. Fingers crossed that’s the case!

Arthur

P.S. I do see the reservation/award hold under “my flights” on the TK website. It also states I have “2 days and 23 hours until final payment date” in addition to showing the “Pay and fly until Sunday, January 16, 2022 08:55PM (Paris local time).

There’s a button for “Manage this booking” and one for “Pay and fly.” Neither works, unfortunately (nothing happens when l click on it).

I’m well aware I got lucky with a good agent who was able to help me, and I hope I don’t need to cancel or make any changes to this reservation (the other comments on here are painful to read).

Maybe my positive experience is because it’s all TK-operated flights? Either way, I’m looking forward to my first flights with them.

[…] Booking tips can be found in Frequent Miler’s Turkish guide. […]

[…] United awards can be found using Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles (warning: Turkish can be persnickety to deal with), ANA (round-trip awards only), or Air Canada […]

Teo

For an itinerary originating in Turkey I was only given a hold time of 6 hours. 🙁
Any pointers if they will be able to add a UA segment after the transatlantic TK flight?

[…] is a mammoth Frequent Miler’s guide to everything Turkish (airline, that […]

[…] hear your rebuttal, and yes, the Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles program has some sweet-spots and Citi Thank You Points are uniquely positioned to take advantage of that; but booking Turkish […]

Frank

Heads up: I’m on day 5 of my attempt to transfer from Citi ThankYou points to Turkish. Started Saturday 6/19 and nothing has happened other than they’ve deducted it from my Citi account. Called Citi ThankYou desk and they said “3-5 business days” and refused to look into it until the sixth business day after the transfer was initiated. HUCA yielded the same indifference. Of course, their T&C says that most Turkish transfers get done with 24 hours but it can take up to five days.

Last edited 10 months ago by Frank
Frank

Now 10 days with no sign of my points at Turkish. Citi started a “case” and told me it takes 5 more days to investigate.

Clyn6

Did you get your points?

whocares

great guide! Applying for a Citi TY Premier card through the FM link. 2nd card going through you guys.

Lonnell

Hi,
so I remember reading a story about Turkish airlines that made me attempt to open a Turkish airline account. The story did say that I would likely have problems. I definitely had problems. I cannot remember the reason right now why the story made me want to open the account, but it may have been because of transfer availability. I looked diligently through past stories, but to no avail.
My focus now is on the Maldives because I have several certificates from Marriott. The problem is finding the best possible award ticket. I have points all over the place. I have MR, UR, AA, Delta, and some other randoms. Is there any suggestion you can make, or offer toward this goal?
Also, if Turkish happens to fall in there, do I need to call in order to get an account set up with them?

Javan

You can’t book a ticket via email. The only office that even has a reservation email address is LAX, and their response: “Please call 1800 874 8875 to book and purchase your award tickets.” I tried it twice. Not sure why they have a reservation email if you can reserve tickets???

[…] if you generally fly domestically, Turkish Airlines might be your best option. The carrier partners with United Airlines, which means you can redeem Turkish miles for a one-way […]

[…] if you generally fly domestically, Turkish Airlines might be your best option. The carrier partners with United Airlines, which means you can redeem Turkish miles for a one-way […]

[…] if you generally fly domestically, Turkish Airlines might be your best option. The carrier partners with United Airlines, which means you can redeem Turkish miles for a one-way […]

[…] if you generally fly domestically, Turkish Airlines might be your best option. The carrier partners with United Airlines, which means you can redeem Turkish miles for a one-way […]

[…] in case you typically fly domestically, Turkish Airways could be the best choice. The provider companions with United Airways, which suggests you may redeem Turkish miles for a […]

[…] in the event you usually fly domestically, Turkish Airways may be the best choice. The service companions with United Airways, which suggests you’ll be able to redeem Turkish […]

[…] when you usually fly domestically, Turkish Airways could be the best choice. The provider companions with United Airways, which suggests you may redeem Turkish miles for a […]

[…] if you generally fly domestically, Turkish Airlines might be your best option. The carrier partners with United Airlines, which means you can redeem Turkish miles for a one-way […]

[…] if you generally fly domestically, Turkish Airlines might be your best option. The carrier partners with United Airlines, which means you can redeem Turkish miles for a one-way […]

Beth

Thank you for the comprehensive guide. I am hoping you can help me navigate my experience. I booked United flights with Turkish Miles for 12/16/21. I now have flights showing for 12/16/2021 AND 11/16/2021. They only took out points for one date and I have no idea where the November flights came from. When I called they told me not to worrry about it? Also, how can I choose seats for these flights? I have a Turkish booking reference but cannot find how to convert this to a United unmber and select seats. We are a family of 5 and need the kids near us, I am always fine with paying to choose the seats. The Turkist website is so sketchy and I have spent nearly a dozen hours on the phone with various Turkish agents trying to book and correct this so I am quite nervous there will be a problem with seats/departure. Thank you for your insight!

Mark Ruthers

What is “China Taipei”? You mean “Taipei, Taiwan”?

Darin

I commented when you first put this post up about my EWR-TLV experience suggesting that there needs to be a huge asterisk that booking TK should be for experts only and even then I would think twice. I had another experience recently that underscores this. Honestly, as tempting as the sweet spots are, I really think everyone needs to proceed with extreme caution when attempting to redeem with TK.

My recent experience was booking EWR-HNL many months ago, a huge value at 12.5k miles in business. This booking has lead to literally hours of pain and suffering with TK.

  • EWR-HNL service was cancelled by UA and in the end, I needed to switch to OGG due to intra-island COVID testing rules. I had initially switched to EWR-LAX-HNL, but by the time I needed to move to OGG, no award flights were available to switch to, so I ended up buying a ticket.
  • I called TK to do the refund and after about 30 minutes on the phone with an agent, they told me they could not complete the refund and I would need to contact the agency who booked it (I explained that TK was the agent, but they insisted I would have to go to the CHI sales office in that case).
  • Multiple HUCAs, all with the same result: we can’t do this, contact the sales office.
  • No response from CHI sales office email, tried a few others as well.
  • With the date of travel approaching and no resolution, I asked a phone agent if they could simply cancel the flights so I wouldn’t be a no-show and I’d deal with the refund later – they were able to do this.
  • Wrote to TK customer care, stating specifically that phone agents couldn’t handle and I was getting no response from sales office. Their reply: “Please contact our call center for assistance”
  • A TK expert on FlyerTalk suggested I personally go to a ticket office (airport ticketing).
  • Went to JFK during hours listed on the website when they would be open – no one was there.
  • Went to JFK a second time when I knew there was a flight leaving.
  • At first, the ticketing agent said they couldn’t handle, I would need to reach out to the email address (that no one responds to). I insisted that no one responds there, she claimed she would follow up with them personally to ensure they handled. At this point, her colleague started speaking to her in Turkish and showing her something on the screen. She then started doing some work on her computer and said she would try to handle. The transaction took over an hour with several calls from the agent to someone at TK, but at the end of the day they charged me $25 per ticket and said my miles would be back in my account within 72 hours. Oh, and I also needed to provide IDs for every passenger on the itinerary (had to have these texted to me while I was there) and the original form of payment used.
  • A couple of days later, I indeed had the miles back in my account.

tl;dr – their redemption rates are very tempting, but if you need to have ANY interaction with TK, it can be extremely painful and cause hours of work. Proceed with extreme caution.

[…] spots in the Turkish award chart. You might want to read a series of excellent Frequent Miler’s posts if you want to learn […]

harry B

I am a member of Mile&smiles TK441653433
I want to up-grade my economy ticket however my transaction
cant get through ( hung ), I just want to buy more mile&miles point so
I cant un-grade my seat.
I try to call but also failed. I think there is some technical issue
of transaction for award miles.
3 of my creditcards has no problem if you think my card got an issue.
I can event buy ticket for friends at turkish airlines website.
My credit card is regular used.
I did all I can called turkish airlines, tried and tried again, and transaction on the phone, until I arrive at Turlish airline office in my Country. I was surprise they told me in Turkish airline office in Indonesia they cant help me to purchase point for miles.
Worse thing happen, as soon as I change my flight at the turkish airlines office, I am no longer able to change my flight online at turkish airlines website.
I also try to book my seat, I can get seat at my Departure flight, but on my return flight its said I need to paid. Ofcourse I refused. Just unfortunately I cant booked one way seat ( departure seat, because its become automaticly all my seat will be cancelled because I didnt booked the return seat ).
I am very up seat and dissapointed, never experiences such things.

[…] Award flights can be booked via email or over the phone per Frequent Miler […]

Michael

Diggin the sweet spots section, especially business class flights to Europe!

[…] least one reader was far overcharged on the cancellation fees despite protesting that program terms indicate a $25 cancellation […]

Agnes

DEN-LIH went up from 7500 to 11500 one way today. I was able to book SFO-LIH for 7,500. The agent can’t see 7,500, so I had to book it online. I hope this is only a glitch, but I went ahead an book what I can, before it got worse, such as SFO-LIH 11,500 for all.

54austin

My recent experience was relatively painless, although not complete yet. I called on Aug 7 to put on hold two United flights (EWR-LAX, SFO-EWR) for two passengers in business class. The first agent couldn’t find award space and offered me Alaska Airlines seats instead. She also couldn’t quote miles required or taxes/fees and suggested I call Alaska Airlines (oy). I thanked her for her time, and called again. The second agent had no problem finding the space and putting the awards on hold. I got the email confirmation immediately. and then initiated a transfer of 50k miles from Citibank. Still waiting on the points to hit my M&S account (it’s been about 20 hours). I’ll update when ticketed. BTW, this is my first time booking with M&S.

Last edited 1 year ago by 54austin
54austin

Just ticketed the flights. The Citibank transfer was initiated Friday evening (around 10pm) and the miles were in my M&S account by Sunday morning 7am. During the call with the M&S agent, you are transferred to an automated system to submit your credit card info and M&S login info, so have both handy. Otherwise, pretty easy and not super time-consuming.

Mauro

Hi 54Austin, the confirmation number you gave the agent when you were ready to book was the same as your United confirmation number?

54austin

No, but if I go to the UA website and enter the TK conf no, my flight will show (but with the UA conf no).

Darin

I know there are great sweet spots with TK, but I would recommend against using them for anyone but the most patient and knowledgeable mileage geeks, despite your very thorough guide. Dealing with TK is incredibly frustrating and requires many HUCA sessions and persistence. Pain points on my last booking (EWR-TLV rt booked in June):

  1. Non-stop saver awards were available on UA, but on multiple calls to TK over weeks, agents could not find the space. Later the space was even available on TK’s website, but the agents still couldn’t find them (and I spoke to MANY). Which brings me to my next point.
  2. Even if you are traveling on the itinerary, on the TK website your first booking cannot include additional travelers. So while I could pull up availability on the website I could not book for 2 passengers and TK agents on the phone could not find the availability.
  3. E-mail was completely non-responsive, I tried several different offices with no response.

After weeks of phone calls, I did find the needle in the haystack agent who was able to locate and book the flights. But I don’t know that I would do it again, the difference in miles is not worth it (often there are other sweet spots with ANA or AC that are slightly higher).

HoKo

Great guide, one recommendation is that you mention that it is best to avoid booking travel on star alliance carriers that impose high fuel surcharges. It would be good if you could link to a post that talks about approximate expected fuel surcharges on each star alliance carrier

MichaelR

1 – I wish cancelling an award ticket was only $25/ticket. I tried HUCA 4x and each time was told it was a $200 cancellation fee/ticket. I finally bargained them down to $150/ticket, stinks but better than $200.

2 – It’s been nearly 4 weeks since I cancelled, and I still don’t have the miles redeposited into my account. I cancelled a Hawaii trip 3 days before departure, playing chicken, hoping United would Cancel the flight, but low and behold the flights all departed on time. I was told the cancellation fee was due to the fact that I cancelled within 2 weeks but I could NOT find anywhere on Turkish site that specifically states this fee. Was told the reservations numbers don’t match and each time was told it would take 10-14 business days to redposit. Because the flights were changed 4x from Jan-July, they have tried each different reservation number to cancel and refund the miles.

But they had no problem posting the charge the day I paid for the cancellations fees….

Michael Ryan

Hey Nick, thanks for getting back.

I referenced that sameTurkish URL numerous times, and each time they stated it was a $200/ticket fee. I thought about disputing the charge, but then possibly I’d be out 75K Turkish points. Not sure If I should try another agent or office, but the Boston office is the one I’ve been dealing with.

And yes, was booked via Turkish email and cancelled via numerous phone calls.

Either way, I’m stuck now trying to navigate getting the fee reduced/refunded and also receiving my points back. Going on 4 weeks….

Michael Ryan

Afternoon Nick – thought you might like another data point. I have spoken to ‘David’ the past month, and every time I call he tells me 5 more business days for the miles to be redeposited. Today I call and am told an add’l 20 days! I speak to a supervisor, ‘Sharon’, and she proceeds to tell me 30-50 business days. You can’t make this S$!T up.

I explained I paid the crazy $750 fee ($150/ticket) on July 15th and am entitled to a timely refund of my miles, she then explains ‘why would I need to use my miles now because of COVID-19…”
WOW – now they’re telling me I have no reason to use the miles now. This situation is nuts now.

Lies, lies and more lies. Contrary to everything I’ve heard about them with cancellations I’ve had the EXACT opposite experience. Now just waiting again…..stuck.

Just FYI for others who cancel Turkish awards…..

Stvr

1. They have not responded to dozens of my emails since February. I wouldn’t even be recommending this.
2. Is book by phone possible now? In March it wasn’t. Did they upgrade their systems in the pandemic?
3. In my experience, their online shows a good amount of what United has but you can ONLY book for yourself, not others. Any insight on that?

JamesD

Are the ticket offices open? I tried last week to ticket via email with Boston with no reply and yesterday with Atlanta? So should I try the phone option? Does it work right now? Last time they would not even try to book an award trip. Thanks

Jacob

Just FYI I’ve called and emailed every single listed sales office in the last few days–no office picked up the phone, but I did receive emails back only from the Chicago and Boston offices.

Buzz

This is a great guide. I have many Thank you points and many, many United miles due to being a Million Miler. I’m curious if my status would pass through so I could select Economy Plus seats. I guess I’d have to transfer some points and make a trial booking.

Darin

At least online, the TK frequent flyer number you use to book the tickets is locked in and cannot be changed (both on UA & TK). I haven’t tried calling UA or TK to change it, but you can only add UA numbers to additional travelers.

Buzz

I found I was unable to do it that way. My current method is to book the ticket and later DM the Turkish FB team and have them add my United number to the ticket. It then shows up in the United app where I can re-select my seats in Economy Plus.

Also, United has Saver fares that only Chase card holders can see. Those aren’t likely to be seen by Turkish.