Turkish Airlines publishes new (devalued) award charts — redeem your miles now

If you have a Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles redemption planned, it’s time to act fast. The airline is set to roll out a significant pricing devaluation on February 16th, with redemption rates increasing by up to 100%. This change will come in the form of a new per-segment pricing structure.

Currently, the Miles&Smiles program offers attractive redemption rates, especially for flights to Turkey and Europe. Economy awards start at just 30,000 miles each way, while business-class awards start at 45,000 miles, with connections included at the same price. For example, you could fly Turkish Airlines to Turkey from North America and then take a separate short-haul flight to Europe, all in business class, for just 45,000 miles. Additionally, you could fly to anywhere in the Middle East on Turkish Airlines or its Star Alliance partners for as little as 32,000 miles in economy or 47,000 miles in business class each way.

These redemption rates were considered to be some of the best in the industry, offering great value for travelers. Miles&Smiles is also a transfer partner of both Citi ThankYou Rewards and Capital One miles, making it easy to earn and redeem Turkish miles. However, all of this is about to change.

Turkish Airlines has published new award charts on its website, revealing the upcoming changes. The cheapest saver-level prices for flights to Turkey will increase from 30,000 and 45,000 miles for economy and business class, respectively, to 40,000 and 65,000 miles. While this may not seem like a substantial increase compared to other loyalty programs, there is another unwelcome change: connections will now be priced separately.

For flights to Europe via Istanbul Airport (IST), the previously attractive rate of 30,000 or 45,000 miles will no longer apply. Instead, you will need 50,000 to 55,000 miles in economy and 85,000 to 90,000 miles in business class, depending on your destination within Europe. The program now splits Europe into two zones for redemptions. Similarly, redemptions on Star Alliance carriers such as United Airlines, Air Canada, and Lufthansa (excluding Turkish Airlines) will have a separate award chart with the same new pricing for flights from North America to Europe.

Furthermore, domestic flights within North America on United Airlines will increase from 10,000 to 15,000 miles each way.

Although the new prices will take effect on February 16th, the current rates will still be available until February 15th. Therefore, if you have a Miles&Smiles redemption in mind, it is highly recommended to book it as soon as possible.

Miles&Smiles used to be one of the best ways to redeem Citi points and Capital One miles. However, devaluations are an unfortunate reality in the loyalty industry, and these increases will make Turkish miles less attractive in the future. Nevertheless, Turkish Airlines should be credited for providing at least seven days’ notice of the impending changes, allowing members to transfer miles to the program and book redemptions at the existing rates.

After February 15th, the new rates of 40,000 miles in economy and 65,000 miles in business class for flights to Turkey are still reasonable. However, if you plan on connecting to a flight in Europe, you may want to explore other programs that offer lower overall redemption costs.

In conclusion, time is of the essence if you have a Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles redemption in mind. With the upcoming pricing devaluation, it is crucial to book your flights before February 16th to secure the current redemption rates. While the new rates may still offer decent value for flights to Turkey, connecting flights to Europe will come at a higher cost. Stay informed and act fast to make the most of your Miles&Smiles redemptions before the changes take effect.

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