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Everything You need to know about booking Star Alliance awards with Miles&Smiles

Everything You need to know about booking Star Alliance awards with Miles&Smiles

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Old Jan 8, 20, 6:18 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: Gnopps
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Last Updated: 8 JAN 2020
Due to various changes to the TK IT-system booking partner awards has taken a great step back. Details below.

Online: Partially working

From 18 Nov 19, you may continue to book partner awards online for selected airlines, routes and options. Not all options that you could book with another partner is bookable through the TK website.

Availability could be checked online via the United website without being a MileagePlus member with the book with miles tool at the flight search engine. Note: For UA flights, check 'X' fare bucket, for other airlines check Saver Award.

TK Hotline: Not working

Regardless of which number you call, it's currently not possible to book *A awards via the TK hotline.

Sales Office: Working

A sales office could book *A award tickets. You could call, e-mail or visit them in person. Some offices do not answer phones or do not reply to e-mails so visiting them in person would improve your chances to book a *A award ticket.

First class award: Not working

Due to pricing issues in the TK system, TK has stopped issuing first class awards since at least September 2019.
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Old Feb 9, 20, 6:58 pm
  #736  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 143
Originally Posted by SuperFlyBoy View Post
Is the cancellation of Star Awards still $25.00?

And if 2 pax on same ticket, do they consider it as only a $25.00 per ticket fee - or for each passenger?
itís per ticket. I cancelled 2 tickets under same booking last month and had to pay $50
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Old Feb 10, 20, 2:58 pm
  #737  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Bellevue, WA - AA EXP 3MM
Posts: 2,634
I'm trying to book award travel KOA-SFO-ORD on United using M&S points. Availability in X (not XN) confirmed via United.com. To my surprise, https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-u.../availability/ shows availability on the first segment (requesting just KOA to SFO), but when I request KOA to ORD, the tool says no availability. Call center said the same thing.. What to make of this? Obviously tempting to call again, but M&S call center is pretty slow and painful. If United somehow isn't releasing all availability to Turkish, I guess better to know to expect that.

Could the Turkish web site and/or reps have trouble seeing connecting flights? I haven't seen the web site price out any connecting tickets on United yet, though maybe with the right search it would.
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Old Feb 10, 20, 5:40 pm
  #738  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: BAEC Silver, TK M&S Elite Plus, KE SPC, PC Bolbol, KK Brnz, All Silv, HH Blue, Bonvoy
Posts: 2,760
Originally Posted by bedelman View Post
I'm trying to book award travel KOA-SFO-ORD on United using M&S points. Availability in X (not XN) confirmed via United.com. To my surprise, https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-u.../availability/ shows availability on the first segment (requesting just KOA to SFO), but when I request KOA to ORD, the tool says no availability. Call center said the same thing.. What to make of this? Obviously tempting to call again, but M&S call center is pretty slow and painful. If United somehow isn't releasing all availability to Turkish, I guess better to know to expect that.

Could the Turkish web site and/or reps have trouble seeing connecting flights? I haven't seen the web site price out any connecting tickets on United yet, though maybe with the right search it would.
Not all routes and combinations could be booked online, you would need to contact a sales office for booking that award.
ISTFlyer is online now  
Old Feb 10, 20, 5:52 pm
  #739  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Bellevue, WA - AA EXP 3MM
Posts: 2,634
ISTFlyer, thanks for thinking about this . Let me be more explicit about my sequence:

1) Search united.com and find an itinerary that meets my needs, all in X.

2) Write to LAX sales office by email.

3) LAX sales office called me to call call center, 800-874-8875 , so I did -- and was told the SFO-ORD sector has no X inventory.

4) Recheck the itinerary on united.com and confirm X still available.

5) On a whim, see if I can price this on the M&S Star Alliance redemption tool, which worked only as to first segment but not second.

6) Write to Boston sales office by email.

7) They also replied to say the SFO-ORD sector has no X inventory.


What to make of that? Agent error is a perfectly believable explanation, but interesting that two agents (call center and Boston office) said the same thing, and web tool said that too. Of course could be all three are using the same flawed process which is not booking this multi-segment journey correctly. Hence my hope that an expert here can guide me towards the right statements to agents to help them do this properly.
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Old Feb 10, 20, 6:00 pm
  #740  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: BAEC Silver, TK M&S Elite Plus, KE SPC, PC Bolbol, KK Brnz, All Silv, HH Blue, Bonvoy
Posts: 2,760
Originally Posted by bedelman View Post
ISTFlyer, thanks for thinking about this . Let me be more explicit about my sequence:

1) Search united.com and find an itinerary that meets my needs, all in X.

2) Write to LAX sales office by email.

3) LAX sales office called me to call call center, 800-874-8875 , so I did -- and was told the SFO-ORD sector has no X inventory.

4) Recheck the itinerary on united.com and confirm X still available.

5) On a whim, see if I can price this on the M&S Star Alliance redemption tool, which worked only as to first segment but not second.

6) Write to Boston sales office by email.

7) They also replied to say the SFO-ORD sector has no X inventory.


What to make of that? Agent error is a perfectly believable explanation, but interesting that two agents (call center and Boston office) said the same thing, and web tool said that too. Of course could be all three are using the same flawed process which is not booking this multi-segment journey correctly. Hence my hope that an expert here can guide me towards the right statements to agents to help them do this properly.
AFAIK, all sectors should individually have 'X' availability in case of an *A award, in your case SFO-ORD has no 'X' inventory.
If the SFO-ORD sector has 'X' fare class availability ( individually ) you should be able to book the ticket with Miles&Smiles.
ISTFlyer is online now  
Old Feb 10, 20, 6:07 pm
  #741  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Bellevue, WA - AA EXP 3MM
Posts: 2,634
Ugh. Well, I guess that solves the puzzle. My desired second sector does not have X inventory individually, though it does have it when booked with the first sector. Just 18K United points for the second sector, meaning a pretty low rate (compared to United's standard 12.5K), but I guess the bottom line is I am at the mercy of United RM computers to release this individual sector in X.

When AA books partner awards, it is possible for AA agents to either grab the inventory segment by segment, or from origin all the way through to destination. Usually the former was preferable/advantageous, but I can imagine the latter sometimes being better, as it seem to be here. I gather there is no way for M&S staff to do the latter...
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Old Feb 14, 20, 7:01 am
  #742  
336
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,012
Originally Posted by 336 View Post
Any recent experiences on whether backtracking such as EU-TYO-SIN on ANA is still allowed, and counts as a 45k one way reward in business?
Apparently it is not possible to price it as one leg.

Source: nine different TK ticket offices. (Of which four even wanted to price the intra-EU feeder leg separately.)

Last edited by 336; Feb 16, 20 at 10:34 pm
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Old Feb 14, 20, 1:09 pm
  #743  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: NJ
Programs: Marriot- Plat / SPG- Gold / UA Silver
Posts: 20
What does TK charge for infant awards on
TK metal?
*A?
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Old Feb 15, 20, 12:04 pm
  #744  
336
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,012
Originally Posted by ISTFlyer View Post
TK does not want people to use their miles on *A partners rather than using on TK so they have restricted online bookings for *A awards for the member and for passengers traveling with the member on the same flight.

Also, the hotline does not ticket *A awards.

They simply want you to contact a sales office. I know it seems strange, however, by this method, TK has been successful people giving up to try issuing *A awards and make them spend those miles on TK.
So do I understand correctly that if I want to use my miles for an *A partner award flight for someone else, and I am not travelling with them, only a TK ticket office could complete the reservation.

Depending on the process of the selected ticket office, this may be possible remotely (by sending the required info/forms to the ticket office) or only possible by a physical visit to the ticket office. Correct?
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Old Feb 15, 20, 12:07 pm
  #745  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: BAEC Silver, TK M&S Elite Plus, KE SPC, PC Bolbol, KK Brnz, All Silv, HH Blue, Bonvoy
Posts: 2,760
Originally Posted by 336 View Post
So do I understand correctly that if I want to use my miles for an *A partner award flight for someone else, and I am not travelling with them, only a TK ticket office could complete the reservation.

Depending on the process of the selected ticket office, this may be possible remotely (by sending the required info/forms to the ticket office) or only possible by a physical visit to the ticket office. Correct?
Yes, you are correct. You would need to contact a sales office and depending on their process you could complete the ticketing process remotely by phone/e-mail or you might need to visit them in person.
336 likes this.
ISTFlyer is online now  
Old Feb 17, 20, 5:41 am
  #746  
336
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,012
Does TK have difficulty in having / seeying BR availability?

I see 2 seats available on United. But one ticket office informs me they can't see anything.
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Old Feb 17, 20, 7:58 am
  #747  
336
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,012
Tried a different BR flight, which has availability on Aeroplan, but again ticket office informs me they can't see it.
BR 87 13MAR TPE -CDG 2350 0640
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Old Feb 18, 20, 4:06 am
  #748  
336
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,012
Strangely enough. Another TK ticket office was able to find availability.


​Is it still not possible to mix booking classes, even in case that all seats on the flight are economy?
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Old Feb 18, 20, 6:56 am
  #749  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: BAEC Silver, TK M&S Elite Plus, KE SPC, PC Bolbol, KK Brnz, All Silv, HH Blue, Bonvoy
Posts: 2,760
Originally Posted by 336 View Post
Strangely enough. Another TK ticket office was able to find availability.


Is it still not possible to mix booking classes, even in case that all seats on the flight are economy?
No, the system can't quote the miles required for a mixed booking class award ticket so either you would need to purchase Business and Economy awards separately.
ISTFlyer is online now  
Old Feb 18, 20, 9:53 am
  #750  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Barcelona, London, on a plane
Programs: BA Gold, TK E+, IB+, VS FC, Hyatt Globalist, MR Plat Prem, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 7,788
Originally Posted by KSMH612 View Post
What does TK charge for infant awards on
TK metal?
*A?
As near as I can tell, none of the TK regulars on FT has an infant. I've also asked a similar question in another thread.

I think it's 10% of the fare for international and simply forget about doing an infant on a partner. (via TK, although you can perhaps add one later with the operating carrier)
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