(Updated) After Confused Agents, Turkish Airlines Awards Revert To Previous
Update: when making bookings, the ‘old’ prices are still being honored.
From looking through Turkish Airlines’ award chart this morning and attempting to make some bookings, it looked like a devaluation was in the works. After a few phone calls and dummy bookings, things have reverted to the old pricing in bookings.
Why People Like Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
We’ve talked about Turkish Airlines’ loyalty program (Miles & Smiles) several times. Their main sweet spot is domestic redemptions within the U.S. You can book one-way “North America to North America” flights for 7,500 miles in economy or 12,500 in business class (possible, but technically 15,000 on their award chart). That’s a great deal, as it can get you to Hawaii in lie-flat seats for a real bargain.
Turkish Airlines Award Chart
The “rub” comes from the fact that the Turkish Airlines website chart here lists mileage requirements that are not what they actually charge. That leaves room for ambiguity and possibly even incorrect charges in the website or with phone agents. “Domestic” prices without crossing a border are cheaper but not listed on the website.
Domestic economy flights
The cheapest prices are on the promotional award chart. For direct flights, the price lists 10,000 miles. You’ll also notice an asterisk * on the mileage requirement. Down below the table, it says this: “*Applicable Mile amount for direct flights with Star Alliance member airlines in the same region.”
However, Turkish seems to still honor “direct” meaning single booking and not only “non-stop”. While pricing was giving errors earlier, it seems to have reverted to normal.
Domestic business class flights
For direct flights, the chart still lists 15,000 miles for a one-way award.
But What About A Real Booking?
The Turkish mileage requirements have changed and un-changed in the past. That being said, what about when you make a booking?
For flights in economy, I still get the old price.
It will not show me any flights in business on the website. Not on any route for any day. When I called Turkish Airlines to make a phone booking, they couldn’t find any partner business awards on the first call. I tried multiple options…nothing for business class.
Phone rep 2 told me 30,000 miles, and I asked him if he’s sure. Someone else told him to tell me 15,000 miles. Neither of them seemed certain. Plus they told me I couldn’t book because I don’t have enough miles in my account, so I couldn’t get a confirmation.
From the fact they removed the ‘domestic’ chart within the North America zone, the chart and the required mileage for a booking aren’t matching. Given the increased visibility on this domestic award sweet spot, it’s possible Turkish is implementing a higher mileage requirement.
Or it’s possible that we ran into a glitch with bookings that appeared to be more than it was, compounded by bad info from Turkish agents.
Turkish Airlines can be tricky to deal with, even on a good day. The inability to book, then wrong price, then back to the good price over the past few hours leaves us wondering if it’s just “Turkish Airlines being Turkish Airlines” or if an award chart devaluation is possibly in the works. Hopefully the former.