Turkish Airlines has been offering a status match challenge for quite some time now. The carrier and its frequent flyer program Miles&Smiles are Star Alliance members, and therefore you can obtain Star Alliance Gold by reaching Miles&Smiles Elite. To take part in the challenge, you will need to hold at least SkyTeam Elite Plus, Oneworld Emerald or Star Alliance Gold status with another airline.
Over the last couple of years, Turkish Airlines has tightened the requirements for its status match. While they used to give away their Elite tier without any additional conditions that had to be met, it now has become a challenge that you have to complete. Currently, this is how it works:
- If you’re accepted to the challenge, you will be granted a Miles&Smiles status for 4 months. Within this time, you will have to fly Turkish Airways at least once internationally, e.g., from Spain to Istanbul.
- The validity of your status will be extended to one year. Within that year, you will need to earn 15,000 miles on your frequent flyer account. You have to collect these miles exclusively on Turkish Airlines flights! Even though the welcome mail that the carrier sends out doesn’t mention this.
- After completing that challenge, your Miles&Smiles status will be valid for 2 years.
These are the official requirements:
Welcome to Miles&Smiles Turkish Airlines’ advantageous Frequent Flyer Programme. Elite card trial period will be valid for 4 months. As of start date of elite membership within 4 months trial period one international Turkish Airlines flight should be realised for extending your card validity date to 1 year, if 15.000 status miles accumulate at the end of the first year elite membership will extend 1 year more and the total validity date will be 2 years.
Once you’ve met all the criteria, you will need 25,000 miles within one year or 37,500 miles within 2 years to keep your Miles&Smiles Elite tier from expiring. The extension of your status will be another 2 years.
How to do the Miles&Smiles Status Match
Time needed: 10 minutes
Follow our step-by-step instructions, and you shouldn’t run into any major problems. If we’ve missed something or if your experience differs from ours, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks!
- Become a Miles&Smiles member
First of all, you should set up an account with Miles&Smiles. The process pretty much explains itself. If you’re having trouble entering your address because your city is not available, just make sure to enter the correct postal code.
- Prepare all documents
To request a match, you will need a picture of your current frequent flyer card as well as a screenshot of your account, showing your current status. Turkish Airways doesn’t seem to care about the number of miles that you earned to obtain your current status. Still, it can’t hurt if there’s been at least some activity over the past two or three months.
Turkish Airlines will also request some form of ID (a passport in most cases) It’s up to you if you want to send it right away or wait for the airline to ask for it – which they most likely will. In some cases, it has been necessary to verify the member’s identity at a Turkish Airlines ticketing desk at the airport.
- Request the match
Your request for the status match has to be transmitted via the customer contact form. Choose New Feedback:
- Attach your documents
You can now type of few lines and attach the picture of your frequent flyer card as well as the screenshot of your account. It would be better to convert both files into one PDF. And keep the file size below 1 MB. Otherwise, you’ll have trouble uploading it.
At the end of the process, log in to your account with your Miles&Smiles number and send the request.
- Wait for the response
Now all there is left to do is wait. It shouldn’t take longer than 2 weeks to receive a response from the airline. If it does, simply resend your application.
Even though you have attached your frequent flyer card and the screenshot of your account, Turkish Airlines could ask you to send them again. Just use the files you converted to a PDF and attach them to your reply. It should work on the second attempt.
There’s no way to tell how long it might take for your card to arrive. But don’t get nervous if it takes three weeks or longer.
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Some people will receive a welcome mail stating that they’ve been matched to Classic Plus. Now, before you get all upset, log in and check your account. In most cases, your new status is Elite.
- Aegean Miles+Bonus Gold –> Elite
- British Airways Executive Club Gold –> Elite
- Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club Diamond –> Elite
- United 1 K Mileage Plus –> Elite
- Emirates Skywards Gold –> Elite
- FlyingBlue Gold –> Elite
- FlyingBlue Platinum –> Elite
- Delta SkyMiles Gold Medallion –> Elite
- Finnair Plus Gold –> Elite
- Garuda Indonesia Platinum –> Elite
- ITA Volare Elite Plus –> Elite
- Iberia Plus Oro (Gold) –> declined
- Qatar Privilege Club Platinum –> Elite
- Lufthansa Miles&More Senator –> Elite
If you’ve been successful with your request for a status match, we’d love to hear from you in the comment section!
Advantages of Miles&Smiles Elite
As a holder of Miles&Smiles Elite status, you will also obtain Star Alliance Gold, including all its benefits:
- Extra luggage allowance (20kg or one additional bag)
- Priority check-in
- Access to the frequent flyer lounge (you can bring one guest)
- Priority boarding
- Priority luggage handling
- Higher priority on the standby list
Also, you will receive 25% more award and tier miles on Turkish Airlines business class flights!