Turkish Airlines is a highly-regarded world class airline in its own right – and now that it’s planning to begin flying to Australia by December 2023, it’s worth putting a status match for Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles rewards program on your radar.
Simply by holding top-tier frequent flyer status on a competing airline – a broad set which includes all members of the Oneworld and SkyTeam alliances, along with Emirates and Etihad Airways – you can qualify for Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles Elite tier.
Miles&Smiles Elite membership unlocks some practical perks ranging from lounge access and a higher checked luggage allowance to the use of priority lanes at Istanbul.
What’s more, as Turkish Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance group, your Miles&Smiles Elite card levels up as Star Alliance Gold for similar benefits across partner airlines including Air Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, Thai Airways and United Airlines.
If your Turkish Airlines status match application is successful you’ll get four months of free Turkish Airlines Elite (and Star Alliance Gold) membership right off the bat.
And by taking just one Turkish Airlines international flight within that period, either in economy or business class, your Miles&Smiles Elite / Star Alliance Gold membership is locked down for a full year.
Who is eligible for the Turkish Airlines status match 2023?
As in previous years, Turkish Airlines limits its 2023 status match to the upper echelon of frequent flyers on a long list of competitor airlines and alliances:
- Oneworld Emerald – this includes Qantas Platinum and Platinum One, British Airways Gold, Cathay Diamond, and other Platinum tiers at the likes of Finnair, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways
- SkyTeam Elite Plus – this includes Air France/KLM Flying Blue Gold or Platinum, Delta Air Lines Gold Medallion or above, Vietnam Airlines LotusMiles Gold or above, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club Gold
- Emirates Skywards Gold or Platinum
- Etihad Airways Guest Gold or Platinum
All of the above frequent flyers can request a status match to Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles Elite tier.
While this sits below the top-rung Miles&Smiles Elite Plus tier – which delivers extra benefits such as free upgrades and Elite memberships to gift to family, friends or colleagues – most people will find Miles&Smiles Elite status remains a comfortable fit for their needs.
Note that Turkish Airlines’ eligibility list specifically excludes Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyers, as well as Oneworld Sapphire members such as Qantas Gold card-holders.
How to apply for the Turkish Airlines status match 2023
Then log into your Miles&Smiles account and visit the feedback page on Turkish Airlines’ website to get the ball rolling.
Click the Write feedback button and on the next page, select New feedback, then scroll down to the Miles&Smiles program category and click the Membership processes button.
You’ll then see a page asking for your personal details plus a text box where you can detail the nature of your feedback – which in this case will be a short but respectful request for a status match to the Miles&Smiles Elite tier based on your current high-level status with a competing airline.
It’s useful to give some context as to why you’re seeking this status match – for example, you could have many flights to and within Europe planned for the coming 2023-2024 financial year.
Finally, you’ll need to provide supporting documentation such as
- a scan or photo of the front and back your frequent flyer membership card clearly showing your name and your current status’ expiry date
- a PDF of your most recent activity statement with the competing airline showing you taking status-earning flights
- a scan of your passport.
Note that Turkish Airlines may reply asking for more information, so don’t expect to be given this status match straight away; in the past, Executive Traveller readers have reported turnaround times under two weeks from application to approval.
If successful, your Miles&Smiles account will be upgraded to the Elite tier for four months; again, this also includes Star Alliance Gold-grade perks across all the Star Alliance member airlines.
As with all status match promotions, this offer of free Miles&Smiles Elite status is made entirely at the discretion of Turkish Airlines and it success can vary from one applicant to the next (for example, a request from one Qantas Platinum frequent flyer might be granted, while another declined).
Extending your Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles status match
To keep Turkish Airlines Elite and Star Alliance Gold status for a full year, all it takes is one paid Turkish Airlines international flight in either business or economy class within that initial four-month period.
That’s an easy box to tick if you’re almost anywhere within Europe.
You can add a second full year of Turkish Airlines Elite and Star Alliance Gold status by earning at least 15,000 miles on Turkish Airlines flights within that first 12 months – and once Turkish Airlines is flying to Australia, that’ll be easily accomplished with a single business class return trip to Istanbul.