Just a few days ago I wrote about Turkish Airlines offering 1000 free miles for profile updates, and reminded that Turkish Airlines is a Star Alliance member (United partner) that offers status matches to the Star Alliance Gold level [so free lounge access when flying United even domestically], an easy status re-qualification, and some interesting award chart possibilities.
So I was concerned yesterday when I received an e-mail update about upcoming changes to the program — which are very non-specific but offer clues to changes I’m not going to like.
They promise more saver award availability, and changing pricing on one way awards and companion awards (awards booked in conjunction with a paid ticket).
Currently there’s an award chart for Turkish Airlines redemptions, and a separate chart for Star Alliance redemptions. They’re going to just one chart, but haven’t provided specifics of what that chart will look like. Surely this will mean an end to 70,000 mile roundtrip business class awards, Los Angeles – Instanbul. The cheap Turkish-only award chart cannot possibly be the ‘one award chart’ they’re going to use.
Mileage-earning is going to vary by fare class, and the bonus for booking paid business class is going to drop from 100% to 25%. Minimum mileage on short-disctance flights will go up, but there will be lower mileage-earning on cheaper fares.
Finally, it sounds like any coach fare class will be upgradable to business:
The New Miles&Smiles program will give you the chance to turn your travel into a wonderful experience by letting you upgrade your cabin based on a fixed number of Miles for the region, regardless of the class of the paid ticket.
So lower mileage-earning, and probably higher award costs (because of an end to the discounted chart for redeeming on Turkish only), and possibly better upgrades.