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I nearly deleted the e-mail. Of course deleting it wouldn’t have changed anything, but who imagines that an email looking like this is anything other than propaganda / spam…
But the email actually brought genuinely good news. Miles & Smiles members with elite status will have that status extended by an additional 12 months. This comes on top of a 6-month extension that was granted back in the spring of 2020.
How Miles & Smiles elite status works…
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles offers two tiers of elite status that are equivalent to Star Alliance Gold – Elite Plus and Elite. You must complete the following number of Status Miles within any rolling 12-month period:
- Elite Plus – 80,000 miles
- Elite – 40,000 miles
Once you reach Elite status, your account will be upgraded for exactly two years to the day. Because of the rolling 12-month structure, those initial 40,000 miles can continue to be used when attempting to reach Elite Plus. (which if you make it, means that you’d have a new two-year period from the date that you qualify for Elite Plus)
Because you’d have elite status for two years, Elite members have two ways of renewing their Elite status (assuming that you are resident outside of Turkey):
- 25,000 status miles during Year 1 of your renewal cycle
- 37,500 status miles over both years of your renewal cycle
Similarly, Elite Plus members have two ways of renewing their Elite Plus status:
- 40,000 status miles during Year 1 of your renewal cycle
- 60,000 status miles over both years of your renewal cycle
One of the benefits of Elite Plus is that you are guaranteed a soft landing to Elite. So any time that you make it to Elite Plus, you are already guaranteed at least 4 years of Star Alliance Gold status.
I’ve been an Elite Plus member since an amazing travel hack / promotion from 2017. For my last re-qualification cycle, I needed to earn 40,000 status miles before 30 May, 2020 to renew my Elite Plus status. Luckily I managed to complete that task before COVID-19 disrupted travel!
At the start of 2020, my Elite Plus status was due to expire in May 2021. The initial 6-months extension took that to November 2021, and yesterday this date was moved yet again… to November 2022.
But of course I’ve already locked in my re-qualification. So, in due course my Elite Plus status will expire in November 2024.
And even if I don’t credit a single Star Alliance flight to Miles & Smiles, my account would soft land to Elite status, with an expiry of November 2026.
That’s lounge access and other Star Alliance Gold perks for at least 6 years! Who needs lifetime status?!?!?
Unfortunately, this news is really only relevant to those who already have elite status with Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles. But it certainly demonstrates the power of elite status that lasts for two years, combined with soft landings – so it’s definitely worth paying attention to airline loyalty programmes that operate on that basis.
If you are interested in reading about how Miles & Smiles works, you can click here to be taken to an article I wrote awhile back.