Turkish Airlines targets Qantas with free status match

Your Qantas Platinum frequent flyer card can unlock free Turkish Airlines Elite and Star Alliance Gold status.

By Staff Writers, March 4 2024
Turkish Airlines targets Qantas with free status match

Turkish Airlines is now flying to Melbourne, with Sydney to follow by year’s end – and the door is now open for top-tier Qantas frequent flyers to get enjoy free airport lounge access, free inflight WiFi and seat selection, extra baggage and more, all courtesy of a generous Turkish Airlines status match promotion.

Qantas Platinum and Platinum One members will be matched to Elite status in the Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles loyalty program.

And because Turkish Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance group, your Elite card levels up as Star Alliance Gold for similar frequent flyer benefits across partner airlines including Air Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Swiss, Thai Airways and United Airlines.

Turkish Airlines is renowned for its business class meals and service.
Turkish Airlines is renowned for its business class meals and service.

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 and Star Alliance Gold membership is locked down for a full year.

Turkish Airlines' Istanbul hub boasts an impressive lounge just for Elite-grade frequent flyers.
Turkish Airlines' Istanbul hub boasts an impressive lounge just for Elite-grade frequent flyers.

Qantas is just one of the competing airlines eligible for the Turkish Airlines status match: it’s a broad sweep which includes all members of the Oneworld and SkyTeam alliances, along with Emirates and Etihad Airways, but not Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyers.

So with the start of Turkish Airlines’ flights between Istanbul and Australia just months away, there’s arguably never been a better time to put the Turkish Airlines’ Miles&Smiles status match on your to-do list.

Who is eligible for the Turkish Airlines status match?

Turkish Airlines limits its 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; however, Turkish Airlines’ eligibility list specifically excludes Oneworld Sapphire members (such as Qantas Gold card-holders)
  • 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.

Sleep easy: most top-tier frequent flyers are eligible for a Turkish Airlines status match.
Sleep easy: most top-tier frequent flyers are eligible for a Turkish Airlines status match.

How to apply for the Turkish Airlines status match

First of all, sign up to the Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles loyalty program – you can do this online, and the process is both fast and free.

Then log into your Miles&Smiles account and visit the feedback page on Turkish Airlines’ website to get the ball rolling.

Under the general Feedback option, click the Write Feedback button, select the New Feedback option, then scroll down to the Miles&Smiles program category.

Applying for the Turkish Airlines 2023 status match.
Applying for the Turkish Airlines 2023 status match.

Clicking the Membership processes button will call up a page asking for your personal details plus a text box where you can detail the nature of your feedback.

In this case, your ‘feedback’ should 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.

Applying for the Turkish Airlines 2023 status match.
Applying for the Turkish Airlines 2023 status match.

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 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.

One flight with Turkish Airlines is all it takes to retain your Elite status for a full year.
One flight with Turkish Airlines is all it takes to retain your Elite status for a full year.

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).

Your Turkish Airlines Elite status includes access to the lounges of Star Alliance siblings such as Singapore Airlines.
Your Turkish Airlines Elite status includes access to the lounges of Star Alliance siblings such as Singapore Airlines.

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 with Turkish Airlines flying to Australia, that’ll be easily accomplished with a single business class return trip to Istanbul.

22 Sep 2020

Total posts 16

I tried this 4 weeks ago with QR Platinum and got TK Gold in 4 days. Just did one flight on TK, and am now Gold for one year. Great airline, food was good, wines mediocre, service was not warm.

22 Sep 2020

Total posts 16

And on the return leg - IST NBO, tried to buy an upgrade, but was quoted US$1997.50. Not worth it! However got the magic beep when boarding and free upgrade.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Oct 2021

Total posts 1

Thanks to Executive Traveller's article, I applied for Turkish Airlines status match on 26/06/23.  Was given the Gold Star Alliance match less than 24 hours later.  Just need to get that Turkish Airlines flight now!

13 Jul 2023

Total posts 1

This was a fantastic tip. Recieved my acceptance on the same day. Emerald with One World and now Gold with Star Alliance. Thank you so much ET

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Nov 2011

Total posts 131

Interesting that VA FF are being excluded. A potential VA/TK tie up on the cards?

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 415

That's a bit of a stretch, it's more that TK is aiming the status match at its competitors so it's covering Emirates, Etihad plus OneWorld and SkyTeam airlines, but Virgin is pretty much a domestic carrier so no 'threat' to TK, not even relevant to them.

Brilliant, got my TK Elite status match thanks to this article, now waiting the the AU flights to be announced and go on sale!

08 Aug 2023

Total posts 2

Quick Question for those who got the status match. 

Did TK give you 4 months from the dates approved or was it defaulted to calendar month?

Cheers!

08 Aug 2023

Total posts 2

For those that got the status match already - did TK give 4 months from date of approval or default to calendar months? 

Thanks. 

16 Oct 2023

Total posts 1

Thank you so much ET for this wonderful news. I applied for status match in the morning with my Flying Blue Platinum and in the evening received the email with the confirmation of Star Alliance Gold with TK for four months. Perfect ! 🤩 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Dec 2011

Total posts 22

I have Star Alliance gold already - how can i match to One World?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Aug 2018

Total posts 2

I've got the TK Gold status match and I'll have the "TK extension run" Y Singapore - Frankfurt next week. Has anybody already checked whether the TK Gold allows entrance to the Silver Kris Lounge at Changi Airport? TK has contracted the Marhaba Lounge at T1 for their J customers.

Yes, TK Gold gets you into SQ's SilverKris Lounge at Changi T3. Don't worry about TK's "preferred lounge" at Changi for business class and M&S Elites, this is just like Finnair does, the airline directs everyone to the crappy Changi T1 SATS Lounge when of course they can use any of the T1 Oneworld lounges depending on travel class or status.

03 Jun 2019

Total posts 28

No. *A G only have access to SQ's KrisFlyer Gold Lounge instead of SilverKris Lounge @ SIN.

Apologies, I thought Donne was asking about the KrisFlyer Gold lounge. As Evian says in his reply here , you need to be in business class with SQ, TK or another Star Alliance airline to get into the SilverKris lounge, which is a business class lounge. Those lounge names can be a bit confusing something! The KrisFlyer Gold lounge is a lounge for Gold frequent flyers in KrisFlyer and Star Alliance plus the equivalent tier in partners like Virgin Australia. But the KrisFlyer Gold lounge is still way better than the Marhaba Lounge. Just leave enough time to get from the SQ lounges at Changi T3 to your boarding gate at Changi T1.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Aug 2018

Total posts 2

Thanks ABT and Evian,

the Kris Lounge names are indeed a bit confusing. Marhaba Lounge T1 is default for TA pax. Distance between T1 and T3 a factor to be calculated. Not sure about TK performance/service. Just back from TK SIN-IST-FRA to get 8 months extension on Elite Gold, however, 2.5hrs delayed SIN departure without any explanation from (non TA) groundstaff,  combined with delayed arrival at IST and long distances between arrival and FRA gates, forfeited my ability to enjoy a shower and decent BF @ TA Lounge. Hope that it was just my unlucky day with TA.

Turkish Airlines - Miles & Smiles

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 263

Thank you ET. Status Match done and done, approved in less than 24 hours and then 24 hours later I’ve got my flight booked! *A Gold in my digital wallet. 

22 May 2011

Total posts 88

Tried this in Feb 2020 and it worked!  Only problem was I didnt get to use it at all given all of the border closures.  I tried again recently saying that the borders are now reopened and that Turkish is starting to fly to Australia soon - perfect time to try out Turkish!  They said no - you only get it once.  It's actually turned me off Turkish.

27 Jul 2017

Total posts 19

Any idea if there is an expiry date on this? I probably won't be flying Star Alliance for another six months so would prefer to delay my status match

Does anyone know how long this status match will go on for? Only have a flight to europe in six months, but also don't want to wait till this sweet deal expires. 

08 Mar 2021

Total posts 8

It looks like the process is different now as the website has been updated. Any tips on how to complete the process now in 2024.


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