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WebFlyer Home > Programs > Ratings & Reviews

Ratings & Reviews

(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)


Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles


8.79
(218 ratings)

7.21

This program was reviewed and rated by our editors in February 2012. Changes in the program past this date are possible, especially program partner information. We recommend you subscribe to the #1 source of frequent flyer information, Inside Flyer Magazine, to get the most current information possible.

Istanbul not Constantinople

Turkish Airlines was founded as the country's national carrier with just five airplanes in 1933. The Miles&Smiles frequent flyer program was launched almost 70 years later, in 2000. Shortly afterward in 2006, the airline announced its membership in the Star Alliance and in the same year expanded its growing frequent flyer program to include four levels of membership.

Today, Turkish Airlines operates a fleet of 179 planes and flies to 40 destinations within Turkey and nearly 150 international destinations including direct flights to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. As part of the Star Alliance, Turkish Airlines also offers Miles&Smiles members access to partner destinations around the globe.


EARNING ABILITY:

8.91
Our
Rating:

8.00
Miles&Smiles members earn actual mileage flown on Turkish Airlines, Star Alliance carriers and other partner flights. Those flying in Comfort class receive a class-of-service bonus totaling 25 percent of actual miles flown, and those in business class receive a class-of-service bonus of 50 percent. (There are three classes of service: economy, Comfort and business class.) On domestic Turkish Airlines flights, members earn a minimum of 250 miles in economy, 375 miles in Comfort class and 500 miles in business class. On Turkish Airlines international flights, members earn a minimum 500 miles in economy, 750 miles in Comfort class and 1,000 miles in business class.

Members can also earn miles with hotel, car rental, technology, communications and healthcare partners, as well as with the Shop&Miles Credit Card (soon to become the Miles&Smiles Credit Card). The program features frequent limited-duration bonus offers along with ongoing bonus offers and discounts with Miles&Smiles partners.

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AWARD CHOICES:

8.84
Our
Rating:

7.00
Members can redeem miles for flight award tickets, companion tickets and upgrade awards on Turkish Airlines and Star Alliance partners. On Turkish Airlines, two types of award tickets are available: Capacity Controlled and Seat Guaranteed. Capacity Controlled tickets have limited seat capacity and restrictions such as blackout dates, but can be redeemed for fewer miles. Seat Guaranteed award tickets are treated in the same way as paid tickets given that there is availability in the related flight classes, as defined in the terms and conditions. The required mileage amount for Seat Guaranteed award tickets vary by date according to high and low travel periods. The website features award charts and an award mileage calculator to assist with redemption.

Examples of the miles needed for Capacity Controlled roundtrip economy class tickets between Istanbul and the following destinations include: within Turkey, 10,000; London (Europe & N. Africa), 20,000; Cairo (Europe & N. Africa), 20,000; Amman (Near East), 20,000; Abu Dhabi (Middle East), 30,000; Mumbai (Central Asia), 40,000; Hong Kong (Far East), 50,000; New York City (North America), 50,000; Los Angeles (North America), 50,000.

A sampling of Capacity Controlled roundtrip Comfort class tickets include: within Turkey, 12,000 miles; Istanbul-London, 22,500; Istanbul-New York City, 60,000. A sampling of Capacity Controlled roundtrip business class tickets include: within Turkey, 13,500 miles; Istanbul-London, 25,000; Istanbul-New York City, 70,000.

A sampling of Seat Guaranteed roundtrip economy class tickets include: within Turkey, 15,000 miles (low season) and 22,500 (high season); Istanbul-London, 30,000 (low season) and 45,000 (high season); Istanbul-New York City, 65,000 (low season) and 90,000 (high season).

Companion tickets on Turkish Airlines flights can be added for lower amounts. For example, miles required for Companion Capacity Controlled roundtrip economy tickets include: within Turkey, 7,000; Istanbul-London, 15,000; Istanbul-New York City, 40,000. Flight upgrades are another award option and one-way awards are available at 60 percent of a roundtrip award.

Miles&Smiles members can travel on Star Alliance partners at redemption rates similar to these. The program also offers awards with telecommunications partner Avea. Currently, no other non-flight awards are offered and a cash-plus-miles option is not available.

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PARTNERSHIPS:

8.92
Our
Rating:

7.00
Airline partners include the members of Star Alliance as well as AnadoluJet, B&H Airlines and Jet Airways. Mileage earned varies by flight and class of service flown; most economy class fares range between 25 to 100 percent of miles flown; most business fares with partners earn 150 percent of miles flown and most first class fares earn 200 percent of miles flown.

Car rental partners include Avis, Europcar, National, Budget, Hertz and Sixt offering the industry-standard 500 miles per rental. Inter Limousine offers chauffeured vehicles, which earn 500 to 10,000 miles per rental.

Miles&Smiles has expanded its list of hotel options to 15 partners including Best Western, Dedeman Hotel & Resorts International, Divan Hotels, Elite World Istanbul, Gural Sapanca Wellness Park, Hilton, Hyatt, Kempinski Hotels, The Marmara Hotels & Residences, MovenPick Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Blu, Rixos Hotels, Swissotel Hotels & Resorts, TAV Airport Hotel and Zorlu Grand Hotel; most offering 500 miles per stay.

The program offers the Shop&Miles credit card from Garanti Bank, which earns 1.5 bonus miles for every 1 YTL spent as well as occasional enrollment bonuses. Miles&Smiles members can also earn with telecommunications partner Avea, technology partner Bimeks and medical partner Memorial Healthcare Group.

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ELITE-LEVEL PROGRAM:

8.92
Our
Rating:

7.00
Miles&Smiles features four membership levels including three elite tiers. The basic membership level is Classic, and the elite levels include Classic Plus, Elite and Elite Plus. Status miles are collected for actual miles flown on eligible flights, and count toward elite-level membership. Elite membership levels remain valid for two years.

Miles&Smiles members are welcomed at the Classic Plus level after earning 25,000 Status miles within 12 consecutive months. To maintain Classic Plus, a member needs to collect 17,000 Status miles within the first year or 35,000 Status miles within two years. Benefits include business class check-in regardless of class flown, priority waitlisting (including those traveling with you), CIP lounge access for you and traveling companions (spouse/children or one guest) on Turkish Airlines domestic flights, last-minute upgrades at check-in and additional 10kg luggage allowance.

Members who reach 40,000 Status miles within a year earn Elite status; to re-qualify, members must earn 30,000 Status miles within the first membership year or 45,000 Status miles within two years (those outside Turkey retain Elite membership after collecting 25,000 or 37,500 Status miles). Elite offers additional benefits such as the opportunity to purchase Status miles to retain the membership level, business class check-in and lounge access for international as well as domestic Turkish Airlines flights, an additional luggage allowance of 20kg plus one additional piece, a 50-percent discount on companion tickets with paid business class tickets on domestic and international Turkish flights, special passport immigration desks in Ataturk Airport and a dedicated phone line.

Elite Plus, the highest elite level, is reached at 80,000 Status miles and is retained upon earning 40,000 Status miles in the first membership year or 60,000 Status miles within two years. It offers additional benefits such as a family membership that allows Elite Plus members to earn miles for Turkish Airlines flights taken by a spouse or unmarried children under the age of 25. Family members also earn miles in their own accounts for partner flights. Other Elite Plus exclusive benefits include an additional 25kg luggage allowance, a complimentary two-year Elite card membership for one person of the member's choice, two free upgrades on any Turkish Airlines flight per membership year, a special security entrance at Ataturk Airport and a guaranteed seat in economy class when reserved at least 72 hours before departure and 48 hours before departure when flying business class, Turkish Airlines flights only. Currently, Miles&Smiles does not offer lifetime elite status.

On Star Alliance flights, Miles&Smiles Classic Plus membership is equal to Silver membership, and Elite or Elite Plus membership is equal to Star Alliance Gold. Silver benefits include priority waitlisting and priority standby on Star Alliance flights. Gold membership includes the additional benefits of priority check-in and boarding, priority baggage handling and extra baggage allowance as well as airport lounge access for the member and one guest.

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RULES AND CONDITIONS:

8.67
Our
Rating:

8.00
To join Miles&Smiles members must be two years of age or older. Miles expire at the end of the third full calendar year following their collection. You can redeem award tickets for any person you designate with written request to the ticket sales office. Miles cannot be pooled except in the case of family membership offered to Elite Plus members only. Missing miles for Turkish Airlines flights within the past 12 months can be claimed by using the online form and entering flight number, date, class, departure/arrival and ticket number. Missing miles for Star Alliance flights can be claimed by mailing ticket copies and original boarding passes to the Miles&Smiles Service Center.

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SERVICE SUPPORT:

8.57
Our
Rating:

7.00
The Miles&Smiles call center can be reached via mail, email, phone and fax. When we called, we were connected quickly to a representative who was informative and professional.

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ONLINE SERVICES:

8.66
Our
Rating:

6.50
You can enroll in Miles&Smiles online and find complete program information on the website, including elite-level details. Members can book award tickets online, but not upgrades or companion tickets. The website features an award calculator to guide members through award options.

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PLUS FEATURES:
With Turkish Airlines' Star Alliance membership, Miles&Smiles can offer members a wide range of mileage earning and redemption options when taking to the skies. The airline has added Comfort class fares since the last time we reviewed Miles&Smiles, allowing members to choose a mid-range option for awards between economy and business class. In addition to its free flight awards, Turkish Airlines offers companion tickets and upgrades, and now non-flight awards with telecom partner Avea. In recent years, the Miles&SMiles program has also expanded its list of hotel, car rental and other partners.

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MINUS FEATURES:
Although the elite-level program offers noteworthy benefits, including lounge access, free upgrades continue to be available only to the highest tier, and not many at that. One-way awards are 60 percent, not half the cost of a roundtrip award--something that many other programs offer. It would be good to see some flexibility added into the program to include cash-plus-miles awards and mileage purchase options when members are close to having enough miles for an award.

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INFORMATION:
Turkish Airlines,
General Management Bldg.,
Product Dev. Mgmt., 8th Floor,
Ataturk Airport, Yesilkoy
Istanbul, Turkey
90 212 444 0 849
90 850 333 0 849
www.milesandsmiles@thy.com
www.turkishairlines.com

  Earning Ability Award Choices Partnerships Elite-Level Rules & Conditions Service Support Online Services Overall Rating
Our
Rating:
8.00 7.00 7.00 7.00 8.00 7.00 6.50 7.21
Member
Rating:
8.91 8.84 8.92 8.92 8.67 8.57 8.66 8.79

(218 ratings)

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