When it comes to Star Alliance‘s most attractive loyalty programs, Turkish Airlines‘ Miles&Smiles is usually among the first ones to be named. Getting a gold status is comparatively easy with the program, and the opportunity to redeem reward tickets for a reasonable amount of miles is quite attractive.
Turkish Airlines has confirmed the changes mentioned in this article. They will become effective on Wednesday, February 14 at 23:00 CET.
Sadly, there are warning signs that the latter may come to an end soon. The airline has recently published a new award chart on its website. Fellow travel blog Prince of Travel has been the first to report the news. It seems like the airline plans to change its award system as early as February 16, with two major changes impacting the once advantageous system:
- Implementation of segment based calculation: Under the current system, the price of your award ticket is solely based on your origin and destination. A ticket from Berlin via Istanbul to Los Angeles only counts as a trip from Germany to the USA. It seems like the price will be calculated based on the two segments
IST-LAXin the future. We have no information if this applies to flights by Star Alliance partners, too.
- Introduction of a new award chart: On February 16, a new award chart will be introduced. Prices for single segments on Turkish Airlines raise by 17% to 77% percent.
While these news involve a certain degree of speculation, the published overhauled award chart surely wasn’t a fever dream of a mad web developer in Istanbul.
Examples of New & Old Pricing
We took a look at award tickets based on the current and upcoming reward chart (both can be accessed online) and compared prices. To the surprise of nobody, award prices spike because of the new system. Not only because you have to pay for two segments instead of one. Each segment got more expensive individually, as well.
- Turkish Airlines Business Class Berlin → Istanbul → Los Angeles:
- Previous price: 45,000 miles
- Upcoming price: 25,000 + 65,000 = 90,000 miles
- Change: +100%
- Turkish Airlines Economy Class Frankfurt → Istanbul:
- Previous price: 10,000 miles
- Upcoming price: 15,000 miles
- Change: +50%
- Turkish Airlines Business Class Amsterdam → Istanbul → Dubai:
- Previous price: 24,500 miles
- Upcoming price: 25,000 + 28,000 = 53,000 miles
- Change: +116%
In addition to the mileage price, you also have to pay fees and surcharges in cash. For example, a long haul business class ticket usually comes with €200 to €300 additional costs.
These prices are for travel with Turkish Airlines exclusively. We have no information if tickets flown by Star Alliance partners will still count as one single segment or if they will be split up und sub-segments, as well. While this might sound like
good not-as-catastrophic news, there is still a major price spike for European business class travel. Premium travel within Zone 2 (which covers most of Central and Western Europe) will come at the cost of 35,000 instead of 15,000 miles.
While Turkish Airlines has yet to acknowledge the changes in any official capacity, we still recommend using your Miles&Smiles mileage reserves as soon as possible. At the time of writing, it is still possible to redeem award miles under the supposedly soon-to-be-gone award chart. If Prince of Travel is correct and the new chart becomes the standard on February 16, redeeming miles on Turkish Airlines flights will become highly unappealing in an instant.
Cover Picture: Kevin Hackert