Turkish Airlines Class Upgrade

Want to fly on a Turkish Airlines that has an upgrade option? If you are not a top elite member, your odds may appear to be less than ideal.

Turkish Airlines Class Upgrade

Nevertheless, you shouldn’t give up. Despite strong demand and limited availability, there is generally a chance to fly in the front of the plane if you:

  • Learn about the Turkish Airlines upgrade procedure.
  • Be aware of the best ways to use your frequent flyer miles for upgrading opportunities.
  • Utilize discounted rates for business/first class.

Let’s look at Turkish Airlines’ class upgrade policy for assigning upgrades to its top elites, as well as how non-elites might fly in premium cabins. 

Note: With Turkish Airlines, it is easier to get upgrades on flights within Turkey. You need a bit of luck to request Turkish Airlines business class upgrades on long-haul international flights. You’ll soon be the envy of other travelers who are wondering how you managed to score a business class. Let’s actually understand how you can get that one!

Types of Upgrade with Turkish Airlines

You can upgrade with Turkish Airlines to Business class or First class cabin in a few different ways. Some of these alternatives are open to all travelers, while others are restricted to elite status members. You must have a ticket that qualifies for an upgrade, and there must be room for you to do so. The upgrade with Turkish Airlines is never sure unless they are any confirmation from the airline.

Here is a summary of the four primary ways to obtain a Turkish Airlines upgrade to Business Class :

1. Miles Upgrade Under Miles & Smiles Program

Under the Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles Program, passengers get 500 to 1000-mile upgrades that are only available to Elite and Elite Plus members. This is applicable on long-haul international flights.

On flights of 500 miles or less, all elite members (Gold or higher) are entitled to limitless, automatic upgrades. Your elite level governs whether you are eligible for 500-mile upgrades on longer flights:

  • Depending on availability, Elite and Elite Plus members are entitled to unlimited complimentary. 1000-mile upgrades on all paid domestic flights as well as international flights between Turkey and locations across Europe, North America, and South America.
  • Classic and Classic Plus members receive four 500-mile upgrades for every 12,500 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) earned each membership year.

Additionally, elite members have the option to buy 500-mile upgrades for 150 USD each, which equates to 40,000 miles for eight upgrades.

Note: You can ask for an upgrade for a companion or another elite member flying on the same flight with you. The companions of elite members will require further 500-mile upgrades. Executive Platinum members also consist of limitless free upgrades on award tickets.

2. Systemwide Upgrades 

Systemwide upgrades (SWUs) are valid for confirmed upgrades to the next class of service for one-way travel anywhere Turkish Airlines flies. It can be utilize for up to three one-way flight segments operated and marketed by Turkish Airlines.  Even if they aren’t traveling together, members can still give their upgrades to other passengers.

SWUs are excellent since you can use them on any route and they receive first priority. The negative is that in order to obtain these expensive upgrade certificates, you must first attain Elite Plus status.

SWUs are a “choice incentive” for Elite and Elite Plus members. When achieving or maintaining elite status, these members have a variety of prizes available to them, including SWUs. Executive Platinum members can also earn additional systemwide upgrades if they reach 120,000, 160,000, or 200,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs).

A million Milers receive four SWUs when reaching two million miles, and an additional SWU for every million miles beyond that.

3. Business Class Extra Upgrades

Business Class Extra Upgrades

Small-business executives and others can join the Business Extra program for free to earn points toward upgrades. The points can also utilize for other benefits like priority boarding and free flights.

You earn one extra mile worth for every $5 spent on qualified flights as a member. The price for Business Extra upgrades ranges from 650 to 3,100 miles. The fact that the Business Extra points you earn are distinct from your Turkish Miles & Smiles is one benefit of this program. That implies that you can accrue rewards through this program and use them to pay for upgrades without using any of your usual miles balance.

4. Turkish Airlines Bid Upgrade

With Turkish Airlines, you’re just bid away to access the Business or First Class. If your bid is one of the biggest and most successful, you will be able to enjoy Turkish Airlines’ gourmet lunch, as well as a variety of beverages and other privileges.  Here’s how it works – 

  • Put your PNR or Booking Reference and Last Name in to see whether you qualify.
  • Submit a bid for an upgrade. You have at least 60 hours before your flight to submit, alter, or cancel your offer.
  • Fill in your credit/debit card information.
  • After your bid is accepted, you won’t be charged again.
  • For information on whether your offer has been accepted, check your email at least 48 hours before your trip.

How to Get an Upgrade on Turkish Airlines?

Knowing how to get upgrades can mean boarding/disembarking on priority, sipping champagne, and more. Here are some pointers for obtaining an upgrade:

1. Examine the Available Upgrade Space

Finding upgrade space is one of the most challenging components of upgrading. Despite the possibility of purchasing premium cabin seats, this does not guarantee an upgrade. When you search for flights on turkishairlines.com, you’ll find flights with SWU availability provided you must be an Elite or Elite Plus member. If not, take a look at our advice below:

2. Request an Upgrade

The following three methods can all be used to request a Turkish Airlines flight upgrade if you’ve determined that there is upgrade space available:

business upgrade turkish airlines

Turkish Airlines Auto Upgrade

If you have any level of elite status, you may simply sign up for an auto-upgrade feature with Turkish Airlines. This way you can ask for a free upgrade on domestic flights of up to 500 miles. Additionally, if you have an Elite and Elite Plus status at the top two tiers, you will automatically ask for free upgrades on flights longer than 500 miles.

Request Upgrade in Advance

There are several ways to obtain an upgrade before your flight with Turkish  Airlines. After making a reservation, at any point later, you can ask for an upgrade.

  • How to ask for a mileage upgrade
    • Request a mileage upgrade by calling Turkish Airlines.
  • How to make a system-wide upgrade request
    • To check if a systemwide upgrade is available, first log in to your Miles & Smiles account on the airline’s website.  The systemwide upgrades link can utilize to search for flights with available upgrades while making a reservation. To confirm your upgrade after making a reservation, contact the Turkish Elite Customer Desk.
  • How to ask for an upgrade of 500 miles on a reward ticket
    • If everyone on your reservation qualifies, upgrades will be asked for automatically. You can also make a request by calling the reservations line or visiting turkishairlines.com.
  • Pay for the upgrade
    • If an elite member wants to upgrade but doesn’t have a 500-mile upgrade available, they can buy them with money or miles. One upgrade costs 40 USD, while eight cost 40,000 miles. Non-elite members can also purchase upgrades for miles and cash the exact amounts vary depending on the route and type of fare purchased. In the table below in the “How to upgrade with miles” section, you can see the precise quantities.

3. Upgrade Your Companion

Are you traveling with a family and want to make sure they aren’t stuck in the economy while you are having a ball up front? No need to worry; if you are an elite member, you can use your position to upgrade your partner.

If you and a traveling companion are both wait-listed for the same type of mileage or systemwide upgrade, you can “sponsor” your companion so they obtain the same priority level as you. No frequent flier status is required for your companion.

You must both do the following in order to “sponsor” your travel companion:

  • Despite having separate bookings scheduled on the same Turkish Airlines flight.
  • Use the identical upgrade, whether it be systemwide or for mileage

Contact the Turkish Airlines upgrade service desk to ask to sponsor a travel companion.

If you or both of you are flying on an award ticket, you may upgrade a flight companion for 500 miles. When you use this option, the number of partner upgrades will be debited from your account.

4. Upgrade Turkish Airlines with Miles

Wondering how to upgrade Turkish airlines with miles? If you belong to Miles & Smiles, you can upgrade your Economy Class ticket to a Business Class one and take advantage of all the perks that come with it. To upgrade to the next flight class, you must have a valid, paid Economy Class or Business Class ticket that earns Miles and is for a confirmed reservation. 

To use this service on qualifying scheduled flights, you must have a confirmed reservation and issued a ticket in one of the fare classes listed below, as well as a confirmed reservation in the class to which you are upgrading.

Here is a list below that shows you how many miles require for an upgrade with Turkish Airlines – 

Upgrade Turkish Airlines with Miles
Upgrade with Turkish Airlines using miles
Upgrade Turkish Airlines

Click here to see what countries include in the following regions. 

5. Turkish Airlines Cash Upgrade to Business Class with Partner Airlines 

Remember Turkish Airlines is a star-alliance member. You can use your miles to request Turkish Airlines business class upgrades on partner airlines to destinations across the globe. 

Some of these bookings provide more value for your miles than others, so understand how to use partner bookings to your advantage.

Notable one-way redemptions include the following if you possess miles with Turkish Airlines:

  • Fly United Business Class for 45,000 miles from North America to Europe.
  • Travel 17,000 miles in economy or 24,500 miles in business class when you take Swiss Air from Europe to the Middle East.
  • Travel to Hawaii on United Airlines for 10,000 miles in economy or 15,000 miles in business class.

To upgrade a flight on certain partner airlines, you need a certain number of miles, as shown below:

To/FromTo/FromFull-Fare Economy to Premium EconomyPremium Economy to BusinessFull-Fare Economy to BusinessBusiness to First
North AmericaEurope12500125002500035000
North AmericaAfrica20000200004000050000
North AmericaIndian Subcontinent, Middle East20000200004000050000

How to Get a Free Upgrade on Turkish Airlines?

Booking business-class airline tickets is probably not an option for your small business when you’re on a tight budget. However, there is a free upgrade option that will allow you to make use of all those benefits.

How do you accomplish that? The following nine suggestions will increase your likelihood of receiving a free Turkish Airlines upgrade on your upcoming business trip:

Ask the Turkish Airlines Executive

Unless you are a frequent flyer, the airline is usually not authorized to push you up to a nicer seat. However, they can increase your chances at the gate by adding a code that tells the executive at the gate that you are qualified for an upgrade.

Book a Flight with The Travel Agent

By making a reservation through a travel agent, you authorize that person to add a note to your reservation, such as OSI.  This will help people recognize you as a VIP or CEO, or if you have a special need which will greatly improve your chances of getting an upgrade. Turkish Airlines are constantly vying for customers away from rivals, particularly if there is a possibility to land a corporate client.

Do Early Check-in

If you are an elite or frequent flier member, arrive early to enhance your chances of getting Turkish airlines last minute upgrades.  The frequent flyer who checks in first will get a better seat when there is just one upgrade available and two frequent flyer members want it.

Offer to Be “Bumped” from an Overbooked Flight

This action boosts your likelihood of receiving an upgrade if you’re not in a rush and don’t mind being delayed. If you are scheduled for the following flight, you will normally be given a free vacation voucher, bonus miles, and more. When you are able to board your original flight, the Turkish airline may reward you for your willingness to assist.

If there is a Seat Available, Ask a Flight Crew About Getting an Upgrade

Usually, simply asking a flight attendant for an upgrade will not work, but there are a few exceptions. If an economy class is fully booked and there are seats available in business, be quick to offer. When there is an issue with your seat or the passenger next to you, or you haven’t been assigned the seat that you were promised, you can also be eligible for a Turkish Airlines free upgrade.

If the Airport is Big, Avoid Flying From the Main Hub of your Airline

When traveling out of Istanbul, it’s quite difficult to secure an upgrade because you’ll be competing with serious VIPs. You’ll have a better chance if you depart from a smaller hub.

Make an effort to Reserve a Flight that will Probably have a Sizable Upper-Class Section

There are frequently several first and business-class seats available on wide-body aircraft like the Boeing 777. Making a fake reservation on the airline’s website allows you to check on their status a few days before your flight. The better the chances of using all the aforementioned strategies are, the more seats there are.

It appears that you Ought to Upgrade

You must appear professional if you want to fly business. The flight attendants are not likely to think highly of you if you are thinking to wear casual, such as jeans, sneakers, or a sweatsuit. Ensure that your attire is appropriate.

What are the benefits of a Turkish Airlines Upgrade?

You can often ladder up to the next class of service with a Turkish Airlines upgrade. You can upgrade from an economy ticket to a business class ticket, and from Business to First Class.   Additionally, keep in mind that the following class of service will vary depending on the flight and whether it is an international or domestic flight. 

Turkish Airlines First Class Upgrade

On Turkish Airlines, you can only upgrade to the first class via a systemwide upgrade or by paying cash and miles to upgrade from a paid business class fare. In addition, “genuine” first class cannot be obtained via 500-mile upgrades. 

You should be aware that many smaller and shorter domestic Turkish flights feature only two cabin classes.

Upgrade Turkish airlines first class

To make the most of your Turkish Airlines first-class upgrade, book a long-haul flight, preferably in the said cabin. Systemwide upgrades are valid for up to three segments on a one-way flight. The benefits include – 

  • You will have priority check-in as well as access to business lounges. 
  • You’ll receive an improved amenity kit, a pair of Casper pajamas, lie-flat seats, and chef-inspired meals while you’re in the air.

Upgrade Economy to Business Class on Turkish Airlines

The majority of Turkish Airlines’ upgrades are from economy to business. The perks you receive with an upgrade vary on whether you choose domestic first class or real business class.

Turkish Airlines Upgrade to Business Class

You will be upgraded to domestic first class on the majority of shorter flights on smaller aircraft. You’ll benefit from having a little larger seat, more legroom, and more choices for food and beverages as a result. You will have access to the Premiere Lounges.  Depending on the flight’s route and aircraft, you may also have a bigger seat or a lie-flat seat in the air.

This upgrade is available via SWUs, 500-mile upgrades, or cash and miles. One of the greatest ways to put a 500-mile upgrade to use is to upgrade a purchased economy ticket to Business. that is now offered on the following routes:

  • San Francisco (SFO) – Istanbul (IST) – 
  • Miami – Berlin (BER)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Tel Aviv (TEL) 
  • JFK to Dubai (DXB) 


A definite method for awarding upgrades is a plus because it rewards Miles & Smiles members who have the highest level of devotion to Turkish Airlines. Others find that flying in premium class necessitates directly ordering tickets, just like with any airline.

It is very simple to travel in first or business class by purchasing award tickets with miles or by taking advantage of discounted flights.

Can a Turkish Airlines Business Class Upgrade get me Miles?

After receiving a Business Upgrade, it is not possible to earn more Miles. You will accrue Miles in line with your reservation for Economy Class.

How do I make use of Turkish Airlines Last Minute Upgrade services?

Last Minute Upgrade is available at check-in desks before your flight. If a Business Class seat becomes available in the cabin and you have enough Miles in your account, you can upgrade your Economy Class ticket.

How can I obtain a Business Upgrade with Turkish Airlines?

Purchase a Business Upgrade through Turkish Airlines sales offices, online methods, or by contacting the airlines. At the check-in desks, you can purchase last-minute upgrades.

Can I obtain a refund for the Business upgrade for the tickets that I bought?

The cost for choosing a seat in the Business upgrade is not refundable.

I won’t be able to make it to my flight. Can I get a refund for the cost of the Business Upgrade?

The upgrade price is not refunded if the passenger does not use the upgrade. If the passenger upgraded with Miles, a refund is available for a fee.

What advantages of Turkish Airlines business class upgrades am I eligible for?

Upgrade to business class to enjoy check-in privileges, lounge access, the utmost in comfort, and award-winning meals while traveling.

Will the Business Upgrade allow me to bring more luggage?

After a Business Upgrade, the luggage restrictions that apply to reservations made in Business Class remain in effect. Hence, your baggage allowance would be increased.  

How to upgrade the economy to business class Turkish Airlines?

To request an upgrade, passengers need to call the airline’s customer service at least 3 hours before the scheduled departure. Turkish Airlines upgrade requests can be made at the airport on the day of departure.

How much do you need to upgrade to business class on Turkish Airlines?

The airline charges a change fee of 150 USD as a service fee to request an upgrade. If paying in cash, a fare difference may apply.


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A seasoned content writer with a passion for storytelling, who loves creating content that engages the audience, builds trust, drives results, and solves problems related to travel assistance and travel news

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