United Airlines Mileage Accrual Changes with Turkish Airlines and Why We Will No Longer Feature Their Fares

Long time readers know that we feature Turkish Airlines deals with some regularity. Turkish offers good prices and a solid product for travel from the United States to Europe, Middle East and Africa. On top of that, it is a member of the Star Alliance and partners with United Airlines and US Airways, earning mileage and elite status benefits for United and US Airways flyers.


Until February 28th, the cheap tickets that Turkish offered – G, W and P coach fares were 100% mileage earning with United. However, United and Turkish mutually agreed that these fares will no longer earn miles at 100%, but instead at  ZERO percent beginning March 1st.


New: 0% – Old: 100% = NO MORE Turkish Fares on The Flight Deal.

The Flight Deal is not only about cheap airfares but also about traveling wisely. That means using miles for aspirational and expensive travel while buying cheap tickets to earn miles. With cheap fares from Turkish no longer mileage earning, we will no longer feature them in our regular rotation unless they are super cheap (yes, we will use a qualitative measure vs our standard 6 cents per mile to determine super cheap).


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20 Responses to "United Airlines Mileage Accrual Changes with Turkish Airlines and Why We Will No Longer Feature Their Fares"

  1. webrob says:

    Booo! I still want to know about these fares until EVERY frequent flier program in all of Star Alliance follows United into the zero percent earning table. I doubt that happens, so please keep these good fares coming.

    • TFD says:


      1. United (also covers Copa) – nope
      2. US Airways – nope
      3. Air Canada / Aeroplan – nope
      4. Lufthansa Miles + More (covers LH, Swiss, LOT, Crotian, Brussels, Adria, Austrian) – nope
      5. SAS EuroBonus (SAS, Blue1) – nope
      6. Thai – nope
      7. Singapore – nope
      9. Air New Zealand – nope
      10. Air China (and Shenzhen) – nope
      11. Aegean – nope
      12. Avianca -negative
      13. Ethiopian – nope
      14. ANA – nope
      15. Asiana – nope
      16. South African – nope
      17. EgyptAir – nope
      18. TAM – nope
      19. TAP Portugal – nope (P earns 25%)

      That’s all the Star Alliance program and not a single one credits Turkish G, W, P fares. We are not going down the path of having one set of fares being published here that are not mileage earning and not do fares from other int’l carriers. We have to have some baseline — and that baseline continues to be 6 cents per mile that are mileage earning.

  2. Andrew L says:

    I was relieved to see the words “unless they are super cheap.”
    Some of the past Turkish deals have been so good that I would consider them even without miles.

    Can these fares earn any credit with other programs such as Lifemiles or Aegean?

  3. Jerry says:

    Nice to see someone with integrity!

  4. PlatinumTraveller says:

    thats nice notice from UA and TK! I should be in the middle of a mileage run from NYC to Sth America, decided the visas were too expensive and cancelled, if I was in the middle of this trip as originally planned id be super pissed right now!

  5. Eric W says:

    Well that sucks. Anyway, love the site & twitter team. Keep up the good work!

  6. Andrew L says:

    Perfect timing for $590 TLV-JFK. 😛

  7. Ron says:

    I hope you reconsider.

    Apparently, miles will be credited to their own frequent flyer program, if not any partners.

    Additionally, great fares can be of value, even if not point/miles earning. I would hope that you can continue to post these deals and comment in the post whether or not the fare class qualifies partner miles or not.

    Full disclosure … and let the reader decide whether or not it is of value to them, individually, rather than you making that decision for us.

  8. Vinny says:

    Worth mentioning this is also the case with some Malaysia Airlines (new Oneworld member) fares. Although mostly seen to/from Europe/Asia, classes N, O and Q earn ZERO for the other OW programs.

    • TFD says:

      @Vinny – the difference between this instance with UA/TK vs MH is that MH entered OW with those fares as zero % earning. OW isn’t that great for low fare flyers to be honest. Whereas in this instance, TK changed what they are willing to pay UA years into the partnership. We are pretty certain we won’t do a MH deal unless they come up with another $500 LAX-NRT deal.

  9. Jamb says:

    Please don’t stop covering these TK fares! Not everyone reading your site is about the miles.

    • TFD says:

      @Jamb – we understand that there are readers who are not interested in miles. But our whole value proposition is built on 6 cents per mile that are mileage earning. If we move away from that, then we are just another fare site. What we have seen is that Turkish fares to Istanbul are often matched by United and Delta. So we won’t be missing much.

  10. Adam Westley says:

    So did you change this decision as it was based on false premises?

    • TFD says:

      @Adam – no. We are not doing TK deals until their G/W/P fares start crediting to US based airlines. We are an US centric site serving a predominately US audience (over 95% of our user traffic is from the US). We have rarely posted deals that are not mileage earning with American, Delta, United and US Airways. Out of the close to 3,000 deals we have posted, about 1% of them are Virgin America / JetBlue deals. We had 4 deals with Qatar, Malaysian, Transaero and Air Berlin that were not mileage earning at 6 cents per mile. Qatar was 50%, Malaysian was 50%, Transaero at zero and Air Berlin at 25%. Since our launch in August, 2011, we have featured 98 Turkish deals, we will miss them.

      We are heavy in curating airfare deals. If we go down the path of fares that doesn’t credit to the above, then we just become another fare site. And that experience we feel is not the best to our readers. If we do cover everything, then what stops us from posting Spirit Air? Or Allegiant? We need a baseline and that’s ours. While we understand that not everyone is here for the best fares that are mileage earning, we cannot be everything to everyone.

  11. Amy says:

    I found your web site because I was trying to figure out why my Turkish Airlines miles didn’t post to my United acct. NO ONE at Turkish or United knew that the rules changed and that my P fare flight wasn’t eligible for miles. How can none of the employees (I emailed and called a million times) know the rules? Why am I learning this only by searching blogs on the net?! The Turkish site says “there are no exclusions” when it comes to miles..argh! I flew over 14,000 miles with 3 kids!!! I can get miles and smiles points.

  12. PeeAm says:

    United was already not giving miles for some fares on Turkish. I got zero miles in December 2013 for a flight from JFK to IST and back. It totally screwed up my plans for retaining Premier Platinum status and I had to do a mileage run at the end o the year. Turkish Miles and Smiles did credit the miles.

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