Reader Question: Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles No Longer Sends Out Elite Member Cards And Baggage Tags – What To Do?

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Today we got a reader question concerning Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles and the fact that they don’t send out membership cards anymore, which might affect customers looking for star alliance lounge access.

Turkish Airlines stopped sending cards and baggage tags quite some time ago, but there is a workaround for those members actually visiting Istanbul Airport.

Back in the day, when the airlines and hotels computer systems were even more unreliable than they are now, it was pretty much a must to always carry your elite membership card in order to get access to lounges and to receive other status associated benefits.

Nowadays most airlines and definitely all hotels have changed to the simple fix of attributing all Elite benefits to a passenger as long as the reservation reflects the status and it’s printed on the boarding pass.

There are however a couple situations – mostly IT related – that could prevent a status from reflecting properly or where physical proof might still be required when trying to use the lounge or priority services on the ground.

Our reader inquired how it’s possible to get a physical Turkish Airlines Elite (Star Alliance Gold) membership card these days.

If the digital version or a printout of it doesn’t work customers have one small workaround at the moment.

The Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles FAQ direct customers to visit the Miles&Smiles service counter

The Miles&Smiles Service Counter at Istanbul airport is open daily from 7am until 10:30pm which is a very reasonable time frame. The counter is landside at the check-in counters so if you’re in transit you will need to leave the secure area and proceed to the general check-in area (counters C/D).


Hopefully those Miles&Smiles members who would like an actual card will be able to get it there. For flights on Turkish this wouldn’t be an issue, as their internal  data ‘should’ provide real time information about the passengers status to the carriers reservation system and print it on the boarding pass.

For Star Alliance, partners this would come with the caveat that the data hasn’t synced with the alliance wide systems for some reason. Of course you can always show the website printout and live app with the digital card and hope it will be accepted.

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