Hawaii is a bucket-list item for many Americans, especially those on the east coast. However, it’s never been easier (or cheaper) to get to Hawaii.
Nick Reyes from The Frequent Miler discovered this beauty of a redemption recently: 7.5k Turkish Miles each way in economy to Hawaii. And, if there’s award availability, you can go in business class each way for 12.5k Turkish Miles.
Acquiring Turkish Miles
I imagine if you’re reading this, you don’t have any miles in the Turkish Miles & Smiles program.
I certainly do not.
However, Turkish Airlines is actually a transfer partner from the Citi ThankYou Point program at a 1:1 ratio.
It’s important to note, especially when it comes to this redemption, that points do not transfer instantly so there’s a bit of risk when transferring that award space could disappear. In theory, you could call Turkish AIrlines and put the award space on hold. However, if you have specific dates you need to travel, this might not be the best option.
For some reason, Turkish Airlines has mainland United States (as well as Canada and Mexico) and Hawaii in the same “North America” region. This means that, according to the Turkish award chart, you can fly domestic carriers at a discount for an in-region award.
You won’t actually be flying Turkish Airlines to Hawaii. Since Turkish Airlines is a Star Alliance airline, you will be flying United Airlines (another Star Alliance airline) on this trip.
In order to find availability, you will need to search for award space on UnitedAirlines.com and then book with Turkish Airlines. According to Nick, economy space is fairly easy to find, while business class can be more difficult.
You will be looking for Saver award space. Let’s take a look at the picture below:
There is no “First Saver Award” availability on the date I looked which isn’t shocking. It’s typically difficult to find premium cabin space through a partner.
For the first flight listed, do you see how it says “Saver Award” just above the 22.5k? This means that this flight should be bookable. The second flight, would NOT be available as it does not list saver availability.
Now, in order to book an award flight on a partner airline through Turkish Airlines, you need to go to a Turkish Airlines ticket office, email them or call them. There are only several cities in the United States that have Turkish Ticket Sales Offices, so email or phone is going to be the best option. Nick has a great write-up about how he booked his flights to Hawaii using email.
If you’re a beginner at this, searching for award space, transferring to a foreign program and having to email to book the award probably seems like a bit much. However, there isn’t going to be another way to go from anywhere in the United States to Hawaii for just 15k miles.
The points and miles game is all about finding the deal. Traveling for free (or cheap) isn’t necessarily always easy, but it pays off in the end! And, even if this redemption isn’t one that you can take advantage of, it hopefully shows how transferable points and non-domestic programs can be useful.