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Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeResidency DirectoryBangkok, ThailandBooking Miles & Smiles on Air Canada: Takes Calls, Emails, Luck

Booking Miles & Smiles on Air Canada: Takes Calls, Emails, Luck

Booking Miles & Smiles on Air Canada is part of the Bula! Fiji Hub Trip Report. This post is also part of the Melbourne & Bangkok Residencies.


Could there be a more frustrating challenge than booking a partner award using Turkish Airlines‘ Miles & Smiles? No, there certainly is not. But is there a better value than making an Air Canada booking using Miles & Smiles? Again, the answer is no.

If you’re just joining in on the fun, my flight to Fiji left from Vancouver (see 55K Alaskan to Fiji And My New Melbourne Residence). The most comfortable way of getting from the Midwest to Vancouver is on Air Canada’s lie flat from Toronto (see Worth It! Lie Flat Toronto to Vancouver on Air Canada). The best way to book this flight is using Miles & Smiles. For only 12,500 miles and $52, I would be able to lie flat. The sticker price for such a trip is $1523.

To book the trip, I went to Turkish’s website and searched for availability under Star Alliance.

a screenshot of a computer

The good news was that many flights were available. The bad news is that I could not book the ticket for myself, let alone for two people.

TPOL’s Tip: If you want to book a Miles & Smiles award for someone else using your miles, you need to have flown on a Miles & Smiles award ticket before you try to make the booking for that special someone. I have no idea why this is a requirement.

TPOL’s Tip: If you want to book a Miles & Smiles award for someone else using your miles, you have to call Turkish as bookings cannot be made online. Ask yourself if you really like that person before committing to making such a booking.

Call Center Time 

I called the call center. The good news is that I was not on hold for a long time. The bad news is that the agent could not find availability. I called again and again and again and again. I finally was able to put one ticket on hold. I could not put another ticket on hold because there was no availability.

Riding Coach? 

Needing to get two passengers to Vancouver, I informed Ms. TPOL that she may have to fly peasant to Vancouver (see Points in the Front, Peasants in the Back). Why? Because she had applied for the Citi Premier card and was not approved (see Leave Your Lover Behind? What If She’s Bad at Recon). She was not happy but accepted that this may be the only way.

Ticketing for Myself 

With my ticket on hold, I called to pay the taxes. It took four phone calls until the taxes populated correctly and I was able to secure my flight.

Business Availability? 

Understanding that I could not leave my lover in peasant, I kept checking availability for another business class seat. Time and time again, the website would show seats. Time and time again, I would call and the agent would say that there was no availability.

Time to Give Up? Never

I called at various times to see if availability would show up. It finally did. I tried to pay for the taxes, but the system kept rejecting my credit cards and Ms. TPOL’s credit cards. With the award hold expiring, the agent agreed to extend the time the award could be held.

Emailing Credit Card Information 

Making zero progress, I thought that I could pay for the ticket when I arrived in Toronto. Googling this option I learned of a different option. I could email a Turkish ticket office and, if they responded, I could send them my credit card information. I looked up every Turkish office in the US and Canada and sent them this email:

I have been trying to pay over the phone with Turkish. System keeps giving an error. I would like to send you the documentation to complete this booking. The ticket is in [Ms. TPOL’s] name but it is my account number. Please help. 

Response #1

Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups: ZMEZOUARI@THY.COM The recipient’s mailbox is full and can’t accept messages now. Please try resending your message later, or contact the recipient directly. The following organization rejected your message: ISTPEXCF13V.thynet.thy.com.

Of course, this didn’t work, I thought to myself.

Response #2

The next day I received this:

Dear Alexander,

You reached the Turkish Airlines office, we can accept the USA credit card for payment via email only.

The cost of the ticket against reservation below will be 12500 miles and 52.00USD as airport taxes.

Kindly ask you to transfer to our side the following:

-Miles&Smiles  card holder’s passport copy

-Award ticket request form (attached)

-CC authorization form (attached)

-credit/debit card photo

Ticketed

I sent in the required information and received the confirmation email. That was easy!

Response #3 & 4

Many offices did not respond. However, two other offices did. They sent this message: Dear passenger, Thank you for your email. Ticket seems already issued. Have a nice flight.

Which Office Should You Email?

I didn’t list the offices that responded. Why? Fellow travel bloggers advised against doing so as the responsive office would get inundated with emails, and it would ruin it for everyone. Since multiple offices did respond to my request, I do not feel bad about not publicizing this information. I am confident that you will get a response following my steps.

Overall

When it comes to points bookings, I get fixated on making it work. While Ms. TPOL was very happy that she didn’t have to ride in coach for 5 hours, I was happier than she as I had, once again, proven my points-booking prowess.

a tv on a table
Damn right it was worth it!
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Omg I had pretty much the same experience! And even after flying on a mileage ticket, I’m only allowed to book for myself online. Which probably still doesn’t work.

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