Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles: Big devaluation coming soon

Goodbye Business Class to Europe for 45,000 miles. From 16 February 2024, Turkish Miles&Smiles will introduce new award charts and award pricing rules.

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles has always been a sleeper hit amongst the Singapore miles community, with great value Business Class awards to Europe (45,000 miles) and North America (67,500 miles). What’s more, their periodic award sales cut these prices even further, creating incredible redemption opportunities for members. 

Unfortunately, Miles&Smiles will suffer a massive devaluation from 16 February 2024, which is a bit of a double-whammy. Not only will award prices be hiked, but Turkish Airlines awards connecting in Istanbul will now be priced on a segment-by-segment basis.

New Miles&Smiles award chart

Turkish Airlines currently uses the same award chart for Star Alliance and Turkish Airlines flights, which is shown below.

Current Miles&Smiles award chart (round-trip pricing)

From 16 February 2024, it will introduce separate award charts for travel on Turkish Airlines and Star Alliance.

For travel on Turkish Airlines

New Miles&Smiles award chart for TK travel (one-way prices)

For travel on Star Alliance

New Miles&Smiles award chart for Star Alliance travel (one-way prices)

When comparing the old and new award charts, there’s two important things to note.

First, the old award charts show prices on the basis of round-trip travel, while the new award charts show prices on the basis of one-way travel, so you’ll need to make adjustments before comparing. 

Second (and much more importantly), Turkish Miles&Smiles will be introducing segment-by-segment pricing for Turkish Airlines flights connecting in Turkey, which makes the price hikes significantly worse than they first appear.

For example, a Turkish Airlines award ticket from Dubai to London will soon be the sum of:

  • an individual Dubai to Istanbul award
  • an individual Istanbul to London award

The impact will be unavoidable if you’re using Istanbul as a transit point, which I imagine will be the case for the vast majority of travellers.

  • For flights departing from abroad – connecting in Türkiye – and arriving abroad, the sum of the Miles for flights arriving and departing from Türkiye is taken as the basis
  • For example, if you want to issue an economy class promotional award ticket from Dubai to London, you need to spend 18,000 Miles for the DXB-IST segment and 15,000 Miles for the IST-LHR segment, totaling 33,000 Miles
  • For flights departing from abroad – connecting in Türkiye – and arriving in Türkiye, the Miles to be spent for the domestic segment of the flight are as follows: 2,000 Miles for a promotional award ticket in Economy class and 4,000 Miles for a guaranteed seat award ticket; 5,000 Miles for a promotional award ticket in Business class, and 7,000 Miles for a guaranteed seat award ticket
  • For example, if you want to issue an economy class promotional award ticket from Dubai to Antalya, you need to spend 18,000 Miles for the DXB-IST segment and 2,000 Miles for the IST-AYT segment, totaling 20,000 Miles. 

How bad is this devaluation? Well, consider the following:

✈️ One-way Awards from SIN
(Turkish Airlines & Star Alliance)*
 EconomyBusiness
Turkey30K
35K
45K
65K
Europe30K
45-50K
45K
85-90K
Middle East32K
53K
47K
93K
North Africa45K
55K
60K
105K
Central Africa47.5K
60K
72.5K
125K
Southern Africa50K
70K
85K
140K
North America45K
75K
67.5K
130K
South America52.5K
85K
75K
140K
*Even though they’re split into separate charts, the pricing for Turkish Airlines and Star Alliance awards comes up to the same

Goodness me, these are some hefty changes:

  • Singapore to Europe in Economy/Business Class has increased from 30,000/45,000 miles to 45,000-50,000/85,000-90,000 miles
  • Singapore to North America in Economy/Business Class has increased from 45,000/67,500 miles to 75,000/130,000 miles
  • Singapore to South America in Economy/Business Class has increased from 52,500/75,000 miles to 85,000/140,000 miles

It’s not clear to me at the moment how Turkish Airlines’ fifth freedom flight from Singapore to Melbourne will be priced, since the Turkish Airlines award chart only envisions travel to and from Turkey. 

Even if you’re looking at point-to-point travel elsewhere around the globe, the impact will be felt too:

✈️ One-way Awards from SIN
(Star Alliance)
 EconomyBusiness
Far East20K
35K
35K
50K
*Far East includes Brunei, Cambodia, China (except Hong Kong and Macao), China Taipei, Hong Kong – SAR of China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau,  Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka,  Thailand, Vietnam

For example, Singapore to Japan/South Korea is currently a sweet spot on Miles&Smiles, with Economy/Business Class awards at 20,000/35,000 miles. That will increase to 35,000/50,000 miles from 16 February 2024.

For what it’s worth, the revised Miles&Smiles prices are still lower than what KrisFlyer charges. It costs 103,500 miles to redeem a Business Class ticket to Europe on Singapore Airlines or its Star Alliance partners, so even at 85,000-90,000 miles, there’s still value here. 

However, the inconveniences with issuing a Miles&Smiles award ticket are well known, especially for Star Alliance partners. Support over the phone is practically non-existent, so it’s common to have to travel down to their sales office to get the most basic of tasks completed. This could be tolerated when the award prices were a honking good deal, but now that it’s more marginal, the entire equation changes. 

What should you do now?

Turkish Airlines B777-300ER Business Class

I suppose the silver lining here is that Turkish Airlines is providing a week’s notice, so there’s still time for you to redeem your existing miles at the current rates.

If your points are still on the bank side, however, the prospects aren’t so bright. 

BankRatio
TravelOne Card35,000 HSBC points = 10,000 Miles&Smiles
Citi Miles10,000 Citi Miles = 10,000 Miles&Smiles
TY Points25,000 TY Points = 10,000 Miles&Smiles

HSBC TravelOne Cardholders enjoy instant conversions to Miles&Smiles, but the rate on offer is a very poor 35,000 points = 10,000 miles, 40% higher than the rate for other partners like KrisFlyer.

Citi Cardholders enjoy a more reasonable rate, but transfers can take a week or so, which means it may already be too late to initiate a conversion.

Conclusion

Turkish Miles&Smiles will be carrying out a significant devaluation from 16 February 2024, which sees higher prices for both Turkish Airlines and Star Alliance travel, plus a new segment-by-segment rule for flights connecting in Turkey.

Truth be told, the existing award prices were almost too good to be true, and there was no way they were going to last forever. 

Be sure to burn your Miles&Smiles stash before the devaluation kicks in.

(HT: OMAAT)

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Fatih

A super n00b here, can you use Krisflyer elite points to redeem with other Star Alliance and if so, how?

Lemon

If you are referring to Elite miles, which is different from KrisFlyer miles, then answer is no, it cannot be used for any redemption.
From the FAQs:
KrisFlyer miles are earned through both flight and non-flight related activities, and can be used for the redemption of award flights and upgrades, among many other options.
 
Elite miles can only be earned when flying with Singapore Airlines and selected partner airlines. These miles count towards Elite Silver and Elite Gold tier qualification. Similar to PPS Value, they are not redeemable for award flights, upgrade awards or purchase of airfares.

JHH

Anyone seeing any promotional award availability IST-SIN or SIN-IST in the next 12 months?

Mr Roboto

Actually I wouldn’t mind paying the devalued rates if there is half-decent availability from SIN

drawar

No, you wouldn’t. The redemption rates are downright uncompetitive compared to Krisflyer, customer service is terrible, the IT system is a joke, miles are not easy to come by, and fuel surcharges are astronomical. If you need help with your reservations, either you have to haul your ass to the Beach Road sales office or call their Istanbul office directly, the latter would also give you hypertension and a fatter phone bill.

Fred

My trips back to Europe would now cost me 180k miles one-way (with a connection in Istanbul): no value here. I will even cancel my paid flights with TK: no point accumulating miles there.

Greg

With the devaluation at both credit card points and airline side, it seems the death of miles game.

Berni

Have you found any availability at reasonable miles price recently? it seems there are no more 45k business class availabilities in 2024 between south east asia and europe…

Greg

Just booked 2 Biz class tickets from SEA to Europe for 45k. There is still availability from Hanoi. Good luck!

Elizabeth Lau

I have much Krisflyer points.
1. Where to book TK business class multi city Europe tickets?
2. How to use my Krisflyer points please?

Dickson

In October last year, I managed to book Sin-IST-Europe biz class promotional tickets for travel in Aug/Sep. There were relatively good availability. So I guess if you book far ahead enough, there’s availability.
I think TK still makes sense if the European destinations are not covered by SQ. In my case, it’s to Athens & Zagreb.

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