Turkish Airlines sweet spot flights to & from Hawaii for 7,500 miles + $5.60 (one way)

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Updated: Feb 4, 2024
On our upcoming trip to Hawaii, my wife, Nancy, couldn’t stay the entire time we’re in Hawaii. She needed to fly back sooner than expected, With having miles and points, it makes things easy to decide to book flights on the “fly” without having to worry so much about the costs. This post will show you:
  • How I booked her flight from Honolulu, Hawaii back to Los Angeles using 7,500 miles + $5.60 each way with Turkish Airlines
  • Another example of a round trip booking from Mainland US (from Denver to Honolulu, and from Honolulu to Detroit) for 7,500 miles + $5.60 each way with Turkish Airlines

First option – Southwest

There were flights with Southwest from Honolulu to LAX. It was also dirt cheap for 7,715 points and $5.60 in fees with Southwest. However, there were two issues:
  • not a direct flight (with a stop on Maui)
  • arriving really late in LA (10:35pm)
I booked the flight anyway just so Nancy’s got a guaranteed return ticket. But the good husband that I am wanted to make sure that Nancy gets on a direct flight from Hawaii that arrives in LA earlier in the evening vs late night.
Waldorf Astoria – Grand Wailea Resort -Maui

Let’s check Turkish Airlines

Wait, does Turkish Airlines fly to/from Hawaii?  Well that’s not the case here. Turkish Airlines has access to flights operated by United Airlines, and your goal is to find a United flight that you could book with Turkish Airlines. If you are lucky, each way will cost you 7,500 Turkish Airlines miles + $5.60. Or, you could use 15,000 miles + $11.20 a round trip to/from Hawaii.
I signed into my account with Turkish Airlines, and searched for HNL-LAX flight and did not find any availability with their website. I decided to then check United Airlines website, and for her return date of Feb 22, I found a:
  • Saver Award
  • United Economy (X)
Those are my triggers. There’s a big chance that Turkish could have availability with those combinations. United was charging 11,600 miles + $5.60, and to be honest, I was willing to pull the trigger with United. We have lots of United miles, but hey, I wanted to give Turkish another try. 
If you want a complete guide how to find the sweet spot award with Turkish Airlines, here’s what I wrote – step by step details how to go about your search.

Turkish Airlines Sweet Spot Guide

Transferring miles to Turkish Airlines

I also decided to transfer points from my Capital One account to Turkish Airlines. I was confident that I would need 7,500 miles for this booking. I transferred 8,000 since I needed to transfer in 1,000 increments. Why did I transfer ahead of time? I learned that once Turkish finds the availability, they can’t book the trip without your points in your account. Their call center is busy, and the agents are trained to advise the customers to call back when you are truly ready with your points all ready to book. So instead of calling them back, I made sure to have my points already in my Turkish account. I DO NOT advise doing this if you have to transfer A LOT of points. I didn’t mind the risk. Transferring 7,500 Capital One miles to Turkish would not hurt me at all.

Call Turkish Airlines to book

Since I could not book the flights directly using the Turkish website, I decided to call Turkish Airlines directly. I knew exactly what to expect and I was ready for it. Last time, it took me 5 hours to book my roundtrip business class tickets to Greece. I figured anything less than 5 hours would be a major win for me.

  • The phone # to call was 800-874-8875. Here’s what I had prepared for the call
  • My Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles account number. It’s a 9-digit # that begins with TK
  • My Turkish Airlines PIN code. It’s a 6-digit number
  • My flight information that I want them to book for me
  • My credit card information

What to expect when calling Turkish Airlines

  • You will be asked for the full names of the traveler/s
  • Spell the names out phonetically – for example Jason – J for Juliet, A for Alpha,  S for Sierra, O for Oscar, N for Nancy
  • Do the same for the email address
  • When asked for your phone #, for us in the US, our phone number begins with a +1 (that’s the country code, then the area code and phone number)
  • Credit Card name (exactly as shown on the card)
  • Expiration Date and Security Code

Once the agent finds the flight that you requested

The agent will send you an email with a Booking Reference Number (PNR). It’s a 6-digit code. You will be given “time” to finish the transaction:

  • pay the fees (using a credit card)
  • pay the amount of miles required to book (basically, you’re authorizing Turkish Airlines to apply your miles to the booking

This is a two-step “payment” system.

  • Step 1: The agent will NOT take the credit card payment info from you. You will be transferred to a voice prompt that will ask you to key in your credit card number, expiration date, security code.
  • Step 2: For the miles/points transfer, you will be asked to punch in your Turkish Airlines 6-digit PIN code. This is KEY!!! Do not screw this up.

Once that’s all clear, the agent will confirm, and an e-ticket is sent to your email immediately. Once I received the confirmation email, I checked the United Airlines website to manage the booking and selected seats….DONE!

Sample testimony: booked a flight to Hawaii from Mainland US (Denver, CO) and back home to Detroit

Sandy M. from my Daddy Travels Facebook Travel Group recently booked a trip to Hawaii coming from her home state. Here’s what she shared:

I live near Detroit, so on the way there to Honolulu, I am taking a positioning flight to Denver the next morning, flying United from Denver to San Fran to Honolulu…. on the way home no positioning flight needed….Honolulu to San Fran to Washington DC home to Detroit.

The flights I found on United, Turkish reps could not find, I called multiple days emailed several different locations and no response. So I ultimately found both on the Turkish website, booked mine going  online easily but couldn’t book my husbands online…ugh. So then I called Turkish and they said there were no more tickets to book. I checked their website and it wasn’t there either. I panicked for the next three hours I was looking for another option and then magically my flight from Denver appeared as open and found my same flight for my husband and called Turkish again and booked his going to Hawaii.

On the return trip, I found it on Turkish website and booked both my husband and my flight with a Turkish rep on the phone (took a couple of calls for the rep to understand me). The process took a long time and was a bit overwhelming. Thanks for all your help and support making my first big redemption…. I am so excited!

Which credit card points transfer to Turkish Airlines

Citi credit cards that earn ThankYou® Points

  • Citi® Premier Credit Card
  • Citi Double Cash® Credit Card
  • Citi Rewards+® Credit Card
  • Citi Custom Cash® Card
  • AT&T Points Plus® Card From Citi

Capital One credit cards that earn Capital One Miles

  • Capital One Venture X
  • Capital One Venture 

Find links for these cards here

 

Patience and flexibility

Your dates may or may not always show availability with Turkish. After all, these are award flights and awards are not available on ALL days….so be flexible.

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Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

 

2 Comments

  1. Funny you spelled your name wrong in the spell phonetically. You said “R” for Romeo instead of “N” ……for the last letter of Jason.

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