Book Turkish Miles & Smiles awards via email. Here’s how.

Turkish Miles & Smiles has an incredibly generous award chart which includes deals such as 7.5K one-way from anywhere in the US to Hawaii (or 15K in business class), 45K one-way business class to Europe, 52.5K one-way business class to central Asia, etc.  And you can transfer points to Turkish from Citi ThankYou Rewards (1 to 1) or from Marriott Bonvoy (60K to 25K).  Finding these great deals in Turkish’s award chart is easy.  Booking these deals is not.

Booking award tickets with Turkish Miles & Smiles is not what most would consider an intuitive process. However, it can be done via email and isn’t all that difficult if you know what you want and how to check the availability in advance. Traditionally, one has had to go in person to a Turkish Airlines ticket office to ticket. However, it is also possible to get an award ticketed without visiting a physical office. Whether you’re trying to book to Hawaii for 7.5K miles each way, Europe for 45K each way in business class, or one of the many other Miles & Smiles sweet spots, you will need to put in a little more effort than with other programs. The good news is that the payoff is worthwhile.

Step 1) Search for availability using United.com or Aeroplan.com

Before you reach out to Turkish, find availability so you can feed the exact flights you want to the Turkish agents. Calling or emailing Turkish about availability in general on a route, rather than reaching out about specific dates and flights, is not always useful in terms of finding available flights. Furthermore, with the extra steps involved here that naturally slow down the process, you would be smart to find and verify availability in advance.

United and Aeroplan tend to be your best bets in terms of finding Star Alliance award availability. If you use United.com, make sure that you are not logged in to your United account. United credit card holders and elite members will see expanded award availability when logged in and this expanded availability is not available for partner bookings (i.e. you can not use partner airline miles to book that extra award space) Therefore, you’ll want to start your search logged out. United has a more intuitive interface, but there are times when it shows phantom availability. If you’re looking for particularly complex itineraries, it might make sense to double-check availability via Aeroplan.com.

Keep in mind that Turkish has some additional rules for Star Alliance bookings that may also limit your options further from what you see at United / Aeroplan:

  1. You can only have a single partner in each direction on a Star Alliance award (In other words, you can not fly from New York to Los Angeles on United and then continue from Los Angeles to Auckland on Air New Zealand. However, you could fly Los Angeles to Auckland entirely on Air New Zealand and then fly your return flight entirely on United.)
  2. You can have a maximum of 4 segments in each direction.
  3. While backtracking is allowed, you can not pass through the same airport twice in a single direction.

From what I’ve read, Turkish does not seem to impose a maximum permitted mileage (something that Aeroplan does do, so there may be some itineraries available with Turkish that aren’t available with Aeroplan).

2) Email a ticket office to inquire about availability and confirm the price

Turkish Airlines operates ticket offices in 9 US cities and 2 Canadian cities. They publish contact information for these offices on their website here. Be sure to choose “Ticket Sales Office” rather than “Airport Sales Office” or something like that.

Here is an example email very much like some I have recently sent.

Hello,

I’m emailing to inquire about a Star Alliance award booking. As it is not possible to price this award online, I’m hoping you can confirm the number of miles required and any associated taxes or surcharges on the following itinerary:

Passenger: [Name]
Miles & Smiles Number: XXXXXX
Date: November 12, 2019
Class: Economy
Origin: IAD
Destination: LAS
Segments:
1) UA 632 12NOV IAD-LAX 1230 1456

2) UA 2365 12NOV LAX-LAS 1631 1745

Again, I’m looking for both the number of miles required and the total cost of any taxes, surcharges, or booking fees.
I really appreciate your assistance!
Sincerely,
[Name]

I find the response time to vary a bit but it is decent overall. You’ll need some trial and error: one office did not email me back at all while another generally emailed me back the same day if I emailed before 2pm Eastern. Keep in mind that most of the ticket offices are open 9am-5pm Monday through Friday, so you will not get a response after hours / on weekends.

3) Transfer miles and wait

When an agent responds, they will typically confirm availability and price and ask if you would like to proceed with the booking. At this point, you’ll want to transfer miles as the agent will not be able to move forward with the process until you have miles in your account. Note that transfers to Turkish Miles and Smiles are not instant. You will need to wait 1-2 days for miles to post, which can be an issue for high-demand awards. If availability is limited and your dates / route is of particular importance to you, you may consider booking with a different program.

I let my agent know that I would be transferring miles and she proactively reached out with the necessary paperwork once the transferred miles posted to my account. You may alternatively keep an eye on your Miles & Smiles account and email again when the miles are deposited.

4) Fill out paperwork

Turkish will next require all of the following paperwork:

  1. Miles & Smiles redemption form: This is a form that includes the basic route and price information and asks you to indicate the type of award (i.e. an award ticket on Star Alliance Flights). You’ll sign this form.
  2. Credit card authorization form. This form has your PNR and fare information. It also asks for date of birth, email address, phone number, driver’s license number, credit card information, and signature.
  3. Photos of your credit card (both front and back). Be aware that you may need to crop / resize your photos (my email kept bouncing back saying that the ticket office box was full and the message was undeliverable, but it turned out that my files were too large).
  4. Photo of your ID. I provided both front and back.
  5. Miles and Smiles card front and back copy. I didn’t have a physical card and couldn’t find a digital one on the desktop website. However, you can get your “Digital Card” in the main menu of the Turkish Airlines app when you are logged in and that was sufficient.

The above steps may seem a bit tedious and excessive compared to other programs, and it is certainly more information than most programs will ever request. However, if you’re comfortable passing on the information, I can confirm that the ticket offices are capable of ticketing an itinerary once they have the above documentation.

5) Receive confirmation

After the Turkish ticket office has received your documentation via email, they will let you know when your booking is complete and the system will send you a ticketing email as soon as the journey has been ticketed. You’re done!

Bottom line

Traditionally, you had to call Turkish Airlines to put an award ticket on hold and then visit a physical ticket office (one of the nine in the US or others in different major cities around the world) in order to fill out the required paperwork. Being able to complete this process via email means that an award can be ticketed without speaking to anyone or making an unnecessary visit to a ticket office. Note that it is possible (and indeed likely) that some ticket offices will be unwilling to ticket via email. If you receive a response telling you that you must first call Turkish Airlines to set up an award, you may want to try a different ticket office. Keep in mind also that Turkish may require some members to ticket in person and/or change this process at any time. However, for the time being, ticketing via email is fast, friendly, efficient, and easy.

Last updated on July 8th, 2019

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

More articles by Nick Reyes »

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Stephanie Woods
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Stephanie Woods

You don’t need to do that anymore. I booked an award recently. All you need to do is transfer your miles in and book the award on their website. Then they email you the ticket. The process was easy.

Scott H
Guest
Scott H

Nick,

Great find! Big problem!!!

E-mail is a horribly insecure medium. I *might* be willing to give my FF # via email, but I would never give a credit card number via e-mail. In fact, Turkish is violating their agreement with the credit card companies with respect to required security policies (PCI-DSS) by accepting card numbers this way (I do IT Security professionally and have done some work in this area).

I see there’s a comment that one can now book these flights on the Turkish website – that’s a much better way to go. I would ask that you verify booking via the website, and if that’s correct, post an update to this article and deprecate the email process. Even if online booking isn’t available, e-mailing credit card numbers is a very bad idea.

Michael Scepaniak
Guest
Michael Scepaniak

If I were attempting this booking, I’d first try to get the required materials to Turkish using something like Firefox Send (https://send.firefox.com/). I wouldn’t be surprised if they were to balk, but worth a try.

miafll
Guest
miafll

It depends on where you reside. You got the matter reversed.

For US consumers, credit card liability protection is so strong, i.e. you are not responsible for any fraudulent charges, I dont see why one is so worked up by giving out credit card number – after all, during our daily lives, many many places our credit card information is accessible by others – most restaurants in US do not use the handheld device for you to pay the bill by table side like in everywhere in Europe – your card is taken away by the waiter to process the payment then he brings back the charge slip for you to sign, as well as your card. Meaning your card is out of your sight for quite a while. Bad things can happen during that time, and did happen occasionally – all you need to do is to report the fraudulent charges to your bank and your bank would take care of the rest.

On the other hand, when your loyalty accounts are hacked, it takes a lot of efforts to get the balance restored.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Any idea what the implication of wanting to add a lap infant would be on these awards?

HChris
Guest
HChris

Since you mentioned that backtracking is allowed. Does Turkish allow a free stopover? Wouldn’t mind flying East Coast to HNL, stay for a few days and continue to the West Coast…

amy
Guest
amy

On the Turkish Airlines website link under NY, there is no “ticket office” in the drop down window-only Airport Sales office,
Cargo office and Head office. Where did you find a “ticket office” option?

USB
Guest
USB

Just signed up for the program and found this promo:

Invite your friends to join Miles&Smiles and earn up to 2,500 Bonus Miles!

I just can’t find any promo T & C. Would the new member need to take a flight or need to meet some other requirements .. no clue.

Guest
Guest
Guest

I just called up TK office twice to inquire about United award availability that I saw on United’s website (without logging in). Sadly, although United was showing availability on two different routings to HNL out of IAD, neither was available to TK. Not that day, not the previous day. At least the agents confirmed it would have been 7,500 TK miles (+$5.60 in tax). Oh, well, back to scrambling 22,500 United miles per person… It was too good to be true.

Julian Banks
Guest
Julian Banks

Instead try Singapore for 17.5k each way, don’t pay 22.5k

trackback

[…] Book Turkish Miles & Smiles awards via email. Here’s how. […]

Marcus
Guest
Marcus

Is it possible to book multiple people? My family and I’ve been eyeing a trip back to Hawaii and are getting ready to shell out cash. Would only have to spend a couple hundred in TY points to get all 5 of us there. That’d be much better than paying a few grand.

Akuma
Guest
Akuma

Wondering the same thing…

MSer
Guest
MSer

Nick, what do you expect to happen when UA goes dynamic pricing later this year? How would you find Saver fares if they no longer technically exist?

James
Guest
James

Then using Aeroplan becomes even more valuable. Since UA would only release whatever they define as “saver” to partners.

It’s similar to Delta going full-on crazy with business class points, but Virgin Atlantic still books at the saver level.

guest
Guest
guest

when you are discussing award availability on United.com, you mean the ‘saver award,” correct? (i.e. 22.5K one way to HNL, not the everyday lowest award availability at >45K)

AlexL
Guest
AlexL

Yes, that is what Nick is referring to.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Would it be possible to put award on hold by calling and then ticket via email? Otherwise it feels awfully long process in which award seat may simply disappear.

Julian Banks
Guest
Julian Banks

I’d like to know that too.

trackback

[…] How to book awards: Traditionally, you have needed to call Turkish Airlines to put the award on hold and then travel to a Turkish Airlines ticket office to ticket the award. However, bookings have been working via email. See: Book Turkish Miles & Smiles awards via email. Here’s how. […]

Koshin
Guest
Koshin

I tried inquiring about the United flights through the email method described but haven’t received any response. I emailed three different offices: Boston, San Francisco, and LA. Then called the Seattle office and the agent directed me to book on the Star Alliance website. Can anyone share which office they are able to get an email response?

map
Guest
map

Yes, I have tried Atlanta, Chicago and San Francisco. No response.

trackback

[…] it seems no longer to be necessary, as you should be able to book your ticket via email. Please read carefully that link if you’re going to follow that […]

PRP
Guest
PRP

I’ve emailed three different Turkish Airlines locations’ ticket sales offices and have yet to receive a reply. I copied and edited exactly the email example in this post. Any way to get them to respond? I’ve even followed up once to date.

The Man
Guest
The Man

Same here. I don’t believe this is working via email.

PRP
Guest
PRP

Super disappointing. Seems dead then? I will keep trying a bit more.

Justin Ross Lee
Guest
Justin Ross Lee

Does anyone know if you can book a flight via email for someone else who is not the account holder?

trackback

[…] Turkish Ticket Sales Offices, so email is going to have to do it. Nick has a great write-up about how he booked his flights to Hawaii. It’s hard to believe it’s […]

trackback

[…] Unfortunately, all of this has considerably limited my available mileage options. For example, while you can redeem Singapore KrisFlyer miles on United flights (17.5k miles one-way), the connection can’t be longer than 4 hours. The same logic seems to apply to an amazing sweet-spot redemption via Turkish program, recently discovered by Nick at Frequent Miler. […]

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[…] we broke the story on that sweet spot last month, we initially thought that booking had to be done via email. We later posted that bookings could be made via phone, which has been true for many (but not all) […]

trackback

[…] Turkish partner awards can be booked via email (otherwise it’s necessary to go to a Turkish Airlines ticket office). […]

John
Guest
John

Nick,

I followed the template you laid out and have run into issues today. I found saver award flights available on United.com, and emailed the Chicago Ticket Sales office. The representative directed me to call the miles and smiles department because my miles and smiles account didn’t show that I had any miles in my account (I haven’t transferred my Citi thank you points yet because I want to make sure I will be able to use them in advance). I called the miles and smiles number (800-874-8875), provided the exact dates of travel that the United.com site showed saver award flight availability, but the miles and smiles department representative told me they have no award flight availability for my dates of travel. Any advice? Thanks!