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
From 16 February 2024, it will introduce separate award charts for travel on Turkish Airlines and Star Alliance.
For travel on Turkish Airlines
For travel on Star Alliance
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.
How bad is this devaluation? Well, consider the following:
|✈️ One-way Awards from SIN
(Turkish Airlines & Star Alliance)*
|*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
|*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?
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.
|35,000 HSBC points = 10,000 Miles&Smiles
|10,000 Citi Miles = 10,000 Miles&Smiles
|25,000 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.
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.