Massive Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Devaluation

Massive Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Devaluation

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Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles frequent flyer program is planning a massive award chart devaluation, which kicks in for bookings as of February 16, 2024 (thanks to Prince of Travel for flagging this).

Turkish Airlines introducing new, worse award chart

I’ve written in the past about the Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles frequent flyer program, which has a bunch of sweet spot award opportunities. The program partners with Capital One and Citi ThankYou, and has amazing redemption rates.

Just to give a few examples, the program has historically charged the following number of miles for one-way business class tickets on Turkish Airlines:

  • Fly from the United States to Europe for 45,000 miles
  • Fly from the United States to the Middle East for 47,000 miles
  • Fly from the United States to Central Asia for 52,500 miles
  • Fly from the United States to North Africa for 60,000 miles
  • Fly from the United States to the Far East for 67,500 miles
  • Fly from the United States to Central Africa for 72,500 miles
  • Fly from the United States to South Africa for 85,000 miles

Those are some amazing deals… but they won’t last for long. Turkish Airlines has just published a new award chart, which will be implemented for bookings as of February 16, 2024. You can find the chart below, which shows one-way pricing for travel on Turkish Airlines flights.

New Turkish Airlines award chart

Not only that, but Turkish Airlines is introducing additive, per-segment award pricing. An example is given of an award from Dubai to London, and how the ticket would be charged based on the cost from Dubai to Istanbul and the cost from Istanbul to London.

Turkish Airlines will have additive award pricing

When you combine those factors, these changes are massive. Just to give an example:

  • A Chicago to Istanbul to Frankfurt business class award currently costs 45,000 miles, while under the new program it will cost 85,000 miles
  • A Los Angeles to Istanbul to Delhi business class award currently costs 52,500 miles, while under the new program it will cost 100,000 miles

The good news is that we at least have a little bit of notice of the change, so you can always lock in an award now, under the old pricing.

Turkish Airlines award costs are about to increase

What should we make of this Turkish Airlines devaluation?

This award chart devaluation is rough, and completely changes the value proposition of the Miles&Smiles program.

The new award costs as such aren’t unreasonable — for example, 65,000 miles for business class from the United States to Istanbul is still a good deal, even if this represents a 44% increase over the old pricing. What really makes this devaluation sting is the additive pricing by segment, since a vast majority of people on Turkish Airlines are connecting.

Admittedly Turkish Airlines currently has unusually low redemption rates, but with these changes, the program will have higher than average redemption rates.

Once these changes are implemented, there will be no reason to transfer points to Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles anymore, plain and simple. When you combine the increased award costs with the mild carrier imposed surcharges, the program will no longer be the best, even for Turkish Airlines redemptions. In most situations you’ll be better off booking through a partner program, like Air Canada Aeroplan or Avianca LifeMiles.

This devaluation destroys the value of Miles&Smiles

Bottom line

Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles frequent flyer program will be devalued as of February 16, 2024. Not only will award costs increase considerably, but award pricing will also be additive, meaning you’ll pay for each segment. This is a very rough change, though I guess we should’ve seen this coming sooner or later.

What do you make of Miles&Smiles award chart devaluation?

Conversations (49)
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  1. Jon Guest

    I spent a couple of hours this morning, trying to find two 45K business class to Istanbul.

    Well, I found two tickets, but they were pricing at 65K per person. I called TK as it is still 2/15/24 even in Istanbul.

    As it turns out, the old award chart was only valid until 2/15/24, meaning through 2/14/24.

    Of course, it's my own fault, but it's still very frustrating and disappointing when one of the bloggers...

    I spent a couple of hours this morning, trying to find two 45K business class to Istanbul.

    Well, I found two tickets, but they were pricing at 65K per person. I called TK as it is still 2/15/24 even in Istanbul.

    As it turns out, the old award chart was only valid until 2/15/24, meaning through 2/14/24.

    Of course, it's my own fault, but it's still very frustrating and disappointing when one of the bloggers you trust doesn't check or have someone else from his team check to insure the validity of what is posted rather than trusting another blogger who they credit.

    I think it's reasonable to have this expectation, especially as Ben does this for a living and makes money because people read his blog for the valuable information that it provides.

  2. Brian Biros Guest

    New charts are already in effect. One day earlier than advertised.

  3. Wayne Y Guest

    With this massive devaluation, and the 45k miles sweet spot being taken away, I'm starting to think the Cap1 and Citi points will not be as valuable as once was.

  4. Gray Guest

    So... #MilesAndFrowns?

  5. ENRIQUE MIGUEL Guest

    I have been trying to use the miles 'I have (76k) and the system doesn't let you. when you call the operator then for any reason they cannot charge the miles, so I guess everything will miraculously work on the 17th of february when the miles are devaluated.

  6. AD Diamond

    Ugh. I've got 45K miles sitting in my Turkish Airlines account from a cancelled trip and no immediate travel plans I can book with TK.

  7. Lukas Diamond

    I'm still seeing $1,000+ in surcharges on EWR/JFK-VIE (for example) route. No one else? I even called the call center and the agent also quoted me the same surcharge.

    1. Lukas Diamond

      This is for a Star Alliance award via LH/LX/OS.

    2. Lukas Diamond

      Ah, I just realized that TK does pass fuel surcharges on LH/LX/OS and that's why the surcharges are so high. Move along...

  8. Luke Guest

    Oh no this has been one a reliable means to fly to/from India for 52.5 miles on J by transferring from Citi/Cap1. Have used for flying on both Lufthansa and Ethiopian airlines on these routes

  9. Chris G Guest

    I've always been surprised by complimentary things you write about Turkish Miles & Smiles. It is the absolute worst FF account I've ever tried to use. Received 25,000 miles as an apology for a major TK flight mess up. It has been virtually impossible for use them for anything! Star Alliance awards easily bookable on UA, AC, even TP? Not a chance. When it shows availability? Go all the way through to payment and there's...

    I've always been surprised by complimentary things you write about Turkish Miles & Smiles. It is the absolute worst FF account I've ever tried to use. Received 25,000 miles as an apology for a major TK flight mess up. It has been virtually impossible for use them for anything! Star Alliance awards easily bookable on UA, AC, even TP? Not a chance. When it shows availability? Go all the way through to payment and there's some problem. Phone calls to centre don't help. Repeat multiple times for multiple routes over 3 years. Even trying to use for Amazon gift cards has been impossible as a non-Turkish resident. Literally the only use I have found has been for a return on Turkish Airlines only. Then suddenly the tech works and availability matches that shown on the site. I was so happy to get rid of my Turkish account, and to Unsubscribe from emails from them. But guess what, even a simple Unsubscribe is basically impossible with Turkish! Try it, you'll see :-)

    1. Joseph Guest

      Couldn't agree more with this post, but at least you got something out of them for all your trouble...it took me 6 months of back and forth via their dumba$$ "customer service" system whereby you have to write in to them via their website since their phone agents are utterly useless and can't (or won't) do anything when you call in to get back taxes charged on an award ticket on which they: 1. double...

      Couldn't agree more with this post, but at least you got something out of them for all your trouble...it took me 6 months of back and forth via their dumba$$ "customer service" system whereby you have to write in to them via their website since their phone agents are utterly useless and can't (or won't) do anything when you call in to get back taxes charged on an award ticket on which they: 1. double charged me the taxes, 2. wouldn't let me parents board their flight when they go to the airport because I had disputed the double charges only (after writing in to them and getting a nonsensical response!), 3. agreed they had messed up and refunded the points AND taxes on one tickets, but refused to refund the taxes on the other. This company is an absolute fing joke, so glad I'll never have to deal with their BS ever again after this!!!

  10. Cindi Guest

    "A Chicago to Istanbul to Frankfurt business class award currently costs 45,000 miles, while under the new program it will cost 85,000 miles." How are you getting that when the chart says just Chicago to Turkey is 135,000 miles? Is the chart showing round trip?

    Glad I booked already. I got business class in June from Ljubliana to SEA through Istanbul for 45,000 plus $309.

    1. Trey Guest

      Look under "promotion award ticket"; 65000+20000

  11. Points and Miles Doc Guest

    What no one talks about is that the saver fares are few and far between. Sometimes I would find one saver fare from LAX for the entire calendar year. Currently there's nothing. So while LAX-IST-DEL would be a fantastic deal, it's just not real.

    I think the value is that they offer award seats if there is any seat available. From the west coast to Europe, 115k for 15 hours in the sky still isn't completely unreasonable. It's not exciting, but it is a way there.

    1. MattR Guest

      Yeah it's hard for me to care when saver space has evaporated on most Star Alliance partners.

    2. Wayne Y Guest

      It is really hit and miss, and depending on the routing. Back in early November, I was able to redeem 3 business class seats MIA-IST-ATH at the saver rate for this October (so about 350 days out). There was also availability on the return routing for end October, but I did not have enough Cap1 miles to transfer to TK.

  12. Andre Guest

    I've been trying for a couple months to find a flight from Detroit to Rome in June, but have not found anything for less than 115k miles (business class one way). Terrible value to begin with. Will that price change as well?

    1. Michal Guest

      If you can get yourself cheap to Cancun, there is plenty of availability in June for 45k plus $320 in taxes Cancun to Rome.. Cancun offers some great deals on TK.. Cancun to Singapore for 67k plus $450 in taxes in June

    2. James Guest

      We flew Turkish to Bologna in 2022. Not too bad a train ride from there to Rome. And Bologna is pretty cool too.

  13. Andy Guest

    Will this change also impact TK award flights booked through Lifemiles?

  14. cdsfrog Guest

    65k for SEA to IST and one of the only flights that leaves in the evening is still damn nice.

    Sucks because I was planning this for 2025 but 40k extra for me and my wife whatever. Alaska miles being nearly useless longterm is worse.

  15. Lukas Diamond

    I just tried to book and SURCHARGES are also wayyyy up, now $1,100 for a business class seat. So if it's 85,000 miles in J to Europe AND $1,100 in taxes, it's truly RIP for Turkish miles.

    1. cdsfrog Guest

      wait $1100 per ticket for 1 way business class?

      I need to see what it is for me. If that's true that sucks.

    2. cdsfrog Guest

      definitely not 1100 each not even close. $217 in taxes per ticket from SEA to IST business class each way.

    3. Lukas Diamond

      I did EWR-VIE and that's how it priced out for me. Hopefully a glitch though breakdown showed $1,000 as a fuel surcharge (YQ).

  16. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Something that is too good to be true usually is - or won't last.

  17. Tony Guest

    This is a devaluation of Citi Thankyou points as well, because TK is one of better transfer partners Citi has. Capital 1 (with Aeroplan) and Bilt (with Hyatt and AA) arguably have stronger transfer partners than TK.

    1. Peter Guest

      Yes, thinking what now differentiates Citi TYPs (Eva, Choice 1:2 or Leaders Club?).

      Also scratching my head about CapOne (is TAP their differentiator?).

      Both programs have reasonable transfer bonus promotions and reasonable AFs so not jumping ship yet.

    2. Brent Guest

      It hurts both Citi and Cap One, though the big winner in this is Avianca, which still has zone pricing and is much easier to buy miles. Even North America to Istanbul on TK metal will be better booking through Avianca. The only potential sweet spot left is the 10k/15k domestic flights on United, if you can find them. Given how much harder it is to get the miles and how much people complain about...

      It hurts both Citi and Cap One, though the big winner in this is Avianca, which still has zone pricing and is much easier to buy miles. Even North America to Istanbul on TK metal will be better booking through Avianca. The only potential sweet spot left is the 10k/15k domestic flights on United, if you can find them. Given how much harder it is to get the miles and how much people complain about the customer service, they basically made themselves irrelevant to the US credit card market overnight. It is a shame.

      Citi still has a few unique redemptions (as you note). Cap One really took the gut punch. TAP is just not a competitive program. Finnair has a couple of interesting niche redemptions with the new reward charts, but moving to Avios made them likely accessible by everyone.

      Honestly, I would like to see a program go after COPA. They aren't the cheapest, but they have Emirates redemptions. Their chart is competitive to South America. The 70k Europe pricing is also decent on longer routing. More than anything, it will be a protection against further devaluations by Aeroplan or Avianca. Right now, SkyTeam is looking like the best bet for European travel without insane surcharges.

  18. Eli Guest

    Are they also changing for star alliance. If yes how much will it cost now from Now York to Europe on United?

    1. Lee Guest

      If you book any TK partner using TK points, the new rates will apply. And, pricing will be per segment. A non-stop flight from the US to Europe in business will run you 65k each way. Mediocre. A connecting flight will be 85k to 100k. Unattractive. The only way TK would be attractive is one were transferring Bilt points at 2.5x . . . IF that ever comes about. It might well be that this devaluation has occurred in anticipation of a Bilt Rent Day bonus.

  19. bo Guest

    What about using points for 7.5K domestic coach United tix? Will that deal still be around?

    1. Tony Guest

      No, it's going be 10k on UA domestic non-stop flight in coach (may cost more if there's a connection, depending on whether the new segment-by-segment logic applies to non-TK flights).

  20. Jason Guest

    It was great while it lasted. I've enjoyed my 47K J class redemptions to the middle east. Sigh/ alas.

  21. Ex Guest

    Looks like the new pricing is effective February 16. The old award charts are linked at the website under "You can view award ticket Miles values valid until February 15, 2024, from the links below."

  22. Manny Guest

    What will be the use of Cap 1 miles going forward ? This kills the TK program effectively for any long haul international redemption.

    1. Brent Guest

      There won't be a unique one. They still have the same stuff everyone else has (Virgin, Flying Blue, BA, Aeroplan, Avianca). But they no longer have a unique compelling partner. And they don't have a domestic airline. Among 99% of the population, it won't make a difference. But for hobbyists, access to a unique transfer partner with great valuations really pushed the Venture X to a different level. Now it is just a BBP available to consumers with decent travel perks.

  23. frrp Diamond

    Looks like Turkey is cooked. Maybe they should rename it Miles and Frowns

    1. Lee Guest

      Looks like the gravy days are over. This point currency had been the darling of so many. People would endure the difficult customer service because of the deals. No longer.

  24. Dan Guest

    I logged onto my account to burn my miles but I already see the new prices. Seems it's effective as of now.

  25. Tom Guest

    Just burned the last miles I had in Miles and Smiles for a reservation I’d been looking at. Thanks for the heads up

  26. InceptionCat Guest

    Let’s be honest, if TK devalues its awards this much you can expect that partner programs will either follow suit or there’ll be no award availability on those other programs. Look no further than EK and their massive fees.

  27. RetiredATLATC Diamond

    Will this affect Aeroplan as well?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ RetiredATLATC -- No, this devaluation is about the program you book through, and not the airline you fly.

    2. RetiredATLATC Diamond

      Thanks @ben.

      Follow-up, trying to get back from Tbilisi around January 8 to ATL. TK has 0 I availability from (presently) January 1-13 but miraculously has awards again starting Jan 14.

      Does TK "black out" awards during Orthodox Christmas (Jan 7 next year) or do you think they'll release some I availability?

      I seem to remember them doing this 2 years ago. Plenty of I space up until Jan 1, but then it disappears.

    3. Ann Guest

      Aeroplan is already bad enough with most partners blocked lol

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Tony Guest

This is a devaluation of Citi Thankyou points as well, because TK is one of better transfer partners Citi has. Capital 1 (with Aeroplan) and Bilt (with Hyatt and AA) arguably have stronger transfer partners than TK.

3
frrp Diamond

Looks like Turkey is cooked. Maybe they should rename it Miles and Frowns

3
Ben Schlappig OMAAT

@ RetiredATLATC -- No, this devaluation is about the program you book through, and not the airline you fly.

3
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