Update, false alarm: Turkish Airlines devalues domestic awards on United, old prices still bookable

May 7, 2021

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Update 5/7/2021, 12:45 pm: Thankfully, this is a false alarm. Upon further investigation, Turkish Airlines removed its domestic award chart months ago but kept the same pricing. The prices listed in the article below are for international award tickets within North America, which price higher than U.S. domestic awards.

The author verified this by calling Turkish Airlines to set up a domestic reservation and the old pricing was, indeed, honored. For reference, domestic awards still cost 7,500 miles one-way in economy and 15,000 miles in business class.

That said, the lack of a domestic award chart is still concerning as Turkish Airlines can change domestic award pricing at will.

TPG has reached out to Turkish Airlines for clarification.

This week, Turkish Airlines devalued domestic U.S. award tickets on United Airlines. As reported by Miles to Memories, both economy and domestic first-class award tickets have gone up in price. This no-notice price increase is reflected on the Miles & Smiles Star Alliance award chart.

Thankfully, the price increase isn’t too terrible for most awards, but it’s a hit to the program’s most valuable sweet spot. That said, the changes aren’t showing in Turkish Airlines’ booking engine, so it’s still possible to book at the old award prices for the time being.

Here’s a closer look at the changes.

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The updated Turkish Airlines award chart

United 737 at ORD
(Photo by EQRoy/Shutterstock)

Under the updated award chart, nonstop award tickets cost 10,000 miles one-way in economy and 15,000 in business class. This is a 2,500-mile increase for economy tickets while business class pricing remains unchanged. The new pricing for non-stop award tickets within North America show on the airline’s “promotional award chart,” which shows the following round-trip prices:

Turkish Airines North America promotional award chart
(Screenshot courtesy of Turkish Airlines)

The asterisks notes, “Applicable Mile amount for direct flights with Star Alliance member airlines in the same region.” This is new pricing for non-stop domestic award tickets booked with Turkish miles.

On the other hand, connecting one-way domestic tickets now cost 15,000 miles in economy and 30,000 in business class. This effectively doubles the mileage required for connecting tickets, which is unfortunate for booking connecting flights to Hawaii. These tickets are priced based on the standard Star Alliance award chart. Note that the prices in this award chart are for round-trip tickets.

Turkish North America to North America award chart
(Screenshot courtesy of Turkish Airlines)

Old award prices are still bookable

Now for the strange part. Old award chart pricing is still showing on the Turkish Airlines booking engine. For example, you can still book this Denver (DEN) to Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP) ticket for 7,500 miles one-way in economy class.

DEN to MSP Turkish Airlines award ticket
(Screenshot courtesy of Turkish Airlines)

The same goes for connecting tickets. Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Honolulu (HNL) via San Francisco (SFO) still prices at 7,500 miles.

ORD to HNL via SFO Turkish Airlines award ticket
(Screenshot courtesy of Turkish Airlines)

Miles to Memories states that Turkish Airlines’ phone representatives are seemingly unaware of the change. On a recent phone booking, a representative told me that a connecting business class ticket would cost 30,000 miles one-way. After talking with a colleague, the representative later quoted 15,000 miles for the same ticket. This leads me to believe that Turkish Airlines’ call center isn’t trained to quote the new pricing.

I was unable to find United business class award space on the Turkish Airlines website.

Related: Book this, not that: Star Alliance award tickets

Bottom line

Turkish Airlines has changed award chart prices and not updated the booking engine in the past. It could be months before these changes come into effect, if ever. It’s also possible that the new prices haven’t been loaded into Turkish Airlines’ booking platform.

Regardless, this award chart change gives Turkish the option to change award pricing if it chooses to. It’s best to cover your bases and book upcoming domestic awards now while old pricing still shows on the Turkish website.

TPG will keep investigating the changes and update this article when more information is available.

Feature photo by vaalaa / Shutterstock.com

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