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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 Nov 20, 15, 3:57 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Programs: Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Elite Plus, SAS EuroBonus Gold, American Express Platinum, Hilton Gold
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Everything You need to know about booking Star Alliance awards with Miles&Smiles

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles have one of the most lucrative award charts in Star Alliance, but booking an award on their partners is far from an easy process. Having just successfully ticketed a Star Alliance award with TK miles, I've decided to put together this guide to help you along the way. This should answer most of your questions.


  • Star Alliance awards can be booked as one-way, round trip, multi-city and open-jaw.

  • In order to make a reservation, you need to call Turkish Airlines call centre on +1-8008748875. Look up the availability in advance, and then give the agent your flight numbers and date. That way you'll speed up the process.

  • Please note that it is NOT possible to ticket your award over the phone. Once you have completed your reservation you will be given a confirmation number. To pay for the award you need to visit a physical ticket office, where you will pay the taxes and have your miles deducted in exchange for an e-ticket number. You can do this at any Turkish Airlines ticket office in the entire world.

  • Please note that you can NOT mix two airlines in the same leg of an itinerary, without being charged for a new award.

  • For example. ARN-HKG-SIN on SAS and Singapore Airlines would cost you 80 000 miles one-way in Business Class. ARN-HKG counts as EU2-Far East for 45K, and HKG-SIN counts as an intra-Far East for 35K.

  • However, should you chose to fly on the same airline the entire way e.g ARN-BKK-SIN on Thai Airways you will be charged for an EU2-Far East award = 45 000 miles one-way in Business Class.

  • You can combine two airlines on a round trip, as long as each leg of the trip is on the same airline.

  • You cannot mix classes on award tickets.

  • Experimenting with routings is possible, and TK don't seem to impose MPM. Transferring through a higher zone is possible, but you'll pay the award rate for the higher zone. Backtracking is allowed, and a ticket may include a maximum of 8 flight segments.

  • Some restrictions may apply, for instance domestic flights in Business/First Class may only contain one flight segment per leg.

I have successfully managed to book BRU-NRT-SIN on All Nippon Airlines in Business Class. It wasn't easy, and I had to call at least 10 times. Most important of all, be patient and HUACA.

Good luck!
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Old Nov 20, 15, 4:43 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: HEL
Programs: Turkish M&S Gold
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Thanks for this guide! Not mixing airlines and classes is a bummer, so STO-FRA-NYC in C+F would be two awards?
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Old Nov 21, 15, 12:57 pm
  #3  
G_G
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Originally Posted by LH4116 View Post
Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles have one of the most lucrative award charts in Star Alliance, but booking an award on their partners is far from an easy process. Having just successfully ticketed a Star Alliance award with TK miles, I've decided to put together this guide to help you along the way. This should answer most of your questions.


  • Star Alliance awards can be booked as one-way, round trip, multi-city and open-jaw.

  • In order to make a reservation, you need to call Turkish Airlines call centre on +1-8008748875. Look up the availability in advance, and then give the agent your flight numbers and date. That way you'll speed up the process.

  • Please note that it is NOT possible to ticket your award over the phone. Once you have completed your reservation you will be given a confirmation number. To pay for the award you need to visit a physical ticket office, where you will pay the taxes and have your miles deducted in exchange for an e-ticket number. You can do this at any Turkish Airlines ticket office in the entire world.

  • Please note that you can NOT mix two airlines in the same leg of an itinerary, without being charged for a new award.

  • For example. ARN-HKG-SIN on SAS and Singapore Airlines would cost you 80 000 miles one-way in Business Class. ARN-HKG counts as EU2-Far East for 45K, and HKG-SIN counts as an intra-Far East for 35K.

  • However, should you chose to fly on the same airline the entire way e.g ARN-BKK-SIN on Thai Airways you will be charged for an EU2-Far East award = 45 000 miles one-way in Business Class.

  • You can combine two airlines on a round trip, as long as each leg of the trip is on the same airline.

  • You cannot mix classes on award tickets.

  • Experimenting with routings is possible, and TK don't seem to impose MPM. Transferring through a higher zone is possible, but you'll pay the award rate for the higher zone. Backtracking is allowed, and a ticket may include a maximum of 8 flight segments.

  • Some restrictions may apply, for instance domestic flights in Business/First Class may only contain one flight segment per leg.

I have successfully managed to book BRU-NRT-SIN on All Nippon Airlines in Business Class. It wasn't easy, and I had to call at least 10 times. Most important of all, be patient and HUACA.

Good luck!
Thanks for sharing

Very interesting experience

So you BRU-NRT-SIN was 45 000 miles ?
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Old Nov 21, 15, 1:54 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Gnopps View Post
Thanks for this guide! Not mixing airlines and classes is a bummer, so STO-FRA-NYC in C+F would be two awards?
Correct.

Originally Posted by G_G View Post
Thanks for sharing

Very interesting experience

So you BRU-NRT-SIN was 45 000 miles ?
Correct. 45K miles + 113,30 in taxes and fuel surcharges. I added BMA-BRU as a separate paid ticket on Brussels Airlines for 40, which was the same price as the taxes on an award anyways. Don't mind sitting in Economy on that short flight, rather than being charged an extra 15K miles.
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Old Nov 21, 15, 4:06 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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Thank you, this is a handy summary that I have gladly bookmarked.

Just to make sure, the 45'000 miles were for a one-way BRU-NRT-SIN, right?
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Old Nov 22, 15, 9:37 am
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I have paid for awards by sending in a form by email with credit card info
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Old Nov 22, 15, 3:54 pm
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Originally Posted by airoli View Post
Thank you, this is a handy summary that I have gladly bookmarked.

Just to make sure, the 45'000 miles were for a one-way BRU-NRT-SIN, right?
Correct, 45K was the price for a one-way ticket on ANA in Business Class.

Originally Posted by cheesedawg View Post
I have paid for awards by sending in a form by email with credit card info
I would never give away my credit card info in an email, and I doubt that the credit card company would compensate you if something goes wrong.
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Old Nov 23, 15, 4:46 am
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Join Date: May 2007
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Was the ticket office able to issue the ticket?

My experience, so far, was thatnthe ticket office was not able to issue the ticket, although reservation was successful in both cases. The first time it was a booking on AC and the ticket office was TK's Toronto downtown office, the second time it was a LX booking and the ticket office was the one in Zurich. In both cases, the staff was trying hard, even calling a staff hotline in IST - but no success. In both cases staff blamed the non-compatible IT system (which might be true in respect of LX, which indeed has a highly non-compatible system ...)

So what was your experience at the ticket office?
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Old Nov 23, 15, 4:58 am
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Originally Posted by swiss_global View Post
So what was your experience at the ticket office?
I didn't have any issues with getting the ticket issued at the ticket office. The staff did take some time to get the taxes calculated, but in the end they managed to get the amount right.

I also called ANA a few days prior to inquire about my Amadeus booking reference, and I was able to select seats in advance before going to the ticket office.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 7:23 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Thanks so much for sharing. Much appreciated!

Question: 1. if one wants to book a simple one-way/round-trip on TK metal, can it be done online, or does one HAVE to call to ticket and go to the office to pay?

2. How does partner F award availability look like with TK M&S?

Thanks once again!
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Old Nov 24, 15, 7:40 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by AvidFlyer1990 View Post
1. if one wants to book a simple one-way/round-trip on TK metal, can it be done online, or does one HAVE to call to ticket and go to the office to pay?
Redemptions on TK only can easily be done online (assuming you don't have any complicated routings, stop-overs, open-jaws etc.) and paid online on THY.com.
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Old Nov 24, 15, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by airoli View Post
Redemptions on TK only can easily be done online (assuming you don't have any complicated routings, stop-overs, open-jaws etc.) and paid online on THY.com.
Awesome...Thanks! How about an itinerary such as:

1. IAD-IST-FRA, or
2. JFK-IST-NRT, both on TK metal (all segments)

Can the online system handle it, or do I have to call TK?
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Old Nov 24, 15, 10:57 am
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At which stage did they calculate the taxes? My experience is that they cannot tell you the amount of taxes before you actually want to pay, which is sort of ridiculuos...
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Old Nov 25, 15, 10:33 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2014
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I did manage to get my reservation on LX (Swiss) business one way.
The entire process was by email - no calls, no ticket offices.
I found an email of a closest ticket office from TK website. Asked them if I could come in and do my awards reservation and pay the fees. They offered to do by email instead (after I rejected phone idea - see details below).
So I send them all the flight details, they emailed me two forms (miles and payment) and also asked to add credit card and driver's license scans. That's it.

I found phone agents completely useless. The local ticket office only opens for 2.5 hours, inside an airport in the middle of the day - not worse it. They don't have direct phone to find out if they have a clue how to do it, it is redirected into the main 800 number. The phone people passed me to different places (miles to reservation to customer service - each one dimmer than the other). One suggested to do reservation and pay fees to Swiss directly - Swiss told me that is crazy, which I completely agreed with. That is why email turned out the only way I could get it - after I repeatedly asked them how to get an appointment during the opening hours at the ticket office.
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Old Nov 26, 15, 10:47 am
  #15  
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Today I called to make another award booking. Since I am paying with miles from a different account, I asked the agent whether it was possible to deduct miles from two different accounts to make the payment, which he said yes. My award costs 24500 miles so I plan to deduct 11000 miles from my sister's account and 13500 miles from my Mother's account which should be 24500.

Is it really possible to do this, or did the agent simply misunderstand my question? It would be great if it was possible, since then I don't have to pay the $135 transfer fee.
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