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turkish airlines miles&smiles value 01/26/2020

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Value

Updated January 26th, 2020

Turkish Airlines has one of the most reliable loyalty programs anywhere outside the US. Thanks to their two-tier award system, one is rarely left searching for availability.

Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles program has two levels of award travel, “limited” and “seat guaranteed”. The first, limited, is very akin to what many would consider a normal award seat. There are a limited number of them, and redemption values are normally very good. The second option, seat guaranteed, is something of a hybrid. It is in-between their limited tier and a pay-with-points scheme.

Booking under this award chart, you’ll always find availability, but it will be at a lower value than a true award seat.  Actually, it’s very similar to Southwest’s “if we have a seat, you have a seat” promise. Unfortunately, guaranteed seats are far more common than limited ones. When the dust settled, we assigned an ACRV of 0.90¢ to each Turkish Miles&Smiles point. Sadly, this represents an 8% decline in value since last year. Fortunately, our non-zero average, an un-discounted metric that only looks at flights with availability, improved. It currently stands at 1.54¢, or, an increase of 9%.

Current Previous Period $ Change % Change
International Value 0.90¢ 0.98¢ -0.08¢ -8%
International Non-Zero Average 1.54¢ 1.41¢ +0.13¢ +9%
Award Availability 78% 93% n/a -15%
Average Fees $236.69 $261.39 -$24.70 -9%

It’s worth noting that “limited” award availability is much more common mid-week. As we only search for Friday departures, it didn’t help us. However, if one were willing to be flexible with their travel dates, one could reasonably increase our non-zero average by 50-75%. With this in mind, Turkish would have a “flexible” non-zero average of 2.31-2.70¢, that’s just great.

turkish airlines miles&smiles value distribution 01/26/2020

In addition to excellent availability, Turkish’s award booking portal is just simply great to use. It’s functional and beautiful. Very often, an airline will have a fantastic UX for their cash-customers, and a barely functional one for their award-travel ones. Not so when booking with Miles&Smiles points. It’s nearly as polished as Delta’s.

Turkish Miles & Smiles Booking Interface
Turkish’s Miles&Smiles Award Search Portal Is Great
Redemption Count
Exceptional >6¢ 0
Great 4-5.99¢ 1
Good 3-3.99¢ 3
Respectable 2-2.99¢ 8
Acceptable 1-1.99¢ 17
Terrible <1¢ 13
No Availability 12
Award Availability 77.78%

Although we’ve thus far been smitten with Turkish Airlines’ loyalty program, it’s not all roses. What one gains in reliability they lose in high-value award availability. Our best for the month was found on a business-class limited award seat between Houston(IAH) and Dar es Salaam(DAR). It was bookable for just 72,500 miles + $251.00 in fees. The lowest-priced cash alternative was $3,917, providing a redemption value of 5.06¢. We consider this value great. However, it was also the only data point in excess of 4¢.  Furthermore, we only had 3 “good” redemptions, the majority hanging out in the respectable/acceptable tiers. Sadly, there were 13 in the sewer that we consider terrible.

turkish airlines miles&smiles best and worst value 01/26/2020

As of this reckoning, Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles is primarily on the radar of those who hold Citi’s ThankYou points. We consider it a shame that neither Amex nor Chase partner. They would be a valuable addition to either program.

Compared to It’s Geographical Peers

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For more information about how we value airline/hotel and other award currencies, please visit our valuation method and changelog pages.