Aegean Airlines — the New and Easiest Path to Star Alliance Gold Status

Lucky and Kiwi Flyer have already written about the great, low qualification requirements for Star Alliance Gold status with Aegean Airlines which has just joined Star Alliance.

I’ve previously written about the easiest ways to secure Star Alliance Gold status,

Turkish Miles & Smiles requires 40,000 miles in 12 months to make Star Alliance Gold. That status is valid for 2 years. And — as long as you don’t reside in Turkey — requalifying only takes 25.000 status miles in the first year or 37.500 status miles over two years.

Asiana Club…Star Gold is earned after flying 40,000 qualifying miles within two years, and status lasts for two years. If you earn the status quickly enough, it can actually last for a full four years before dropping down and having to requalify again.

And of course it’s earned after 35,000 miles with Air Canada Aeroplan, and bmi’s requalification is after 38,000 miles (truly sad the program will be ending).

Well, Aegean’s Star Alliange Gold status is earned after just 20,000 qualifying miles. And they are even giving out 1000 status miles just for joining. (Star Alliance silver is earned after 4000 status miles, with the 1000 mile kicker that’s just 3000 miles to free baggage on United, Continental, and US Airways.)

Moreover, Musings of the Global Traveller posits that the program is pretty decent for crediting premium class travel to, bonuses similar to Miles & More and a slightly better award chart:

The program is similar to Miles & More – 150% or 200% earning rates for business class, and 300% for first class. Flights on many (but not all) Star Alliance airlines also have minimum mileage earning. Awards are a bit cheaper than Miles & More rates. The program isn’t all good – international awards must be booked 14 days before departure.

With the bmi program — my favorite place for crediting premium cabin travel — closing, it’ll be worth looking into crediting such fares to Aegean.

Naturally the value of their award chart depends on the destinations you’re interested in. US to Europe (and North Africa!) is only 90,000 miles in business class. That would get you from Los Angeles to Nairobi. US to Europe is either 80,000 or 100,000 miles in business class with Aeroplan, otherwise one of the most appealing chart options (business class to Europe is 100,000 with US Airways and 105,000 with Continental and United). I haven’t yet paid attention to their routing rules.

Lucky points out that the program isn’t good for crediting discount United fares:

It’s worth paying close attention to their mileage earning chart, as not all fare buckets qualify for full mileage. For example, while first class on United accrues 300% mileage through Aegean, some discounted economy class buckets (W class and below) only accrue 50% mileage. On US Airways and Continental, however, all fare classes count for a minimum of 100% mileage credit.
It’ll also be interesting to see whether or not they offer a status match, something that bmi used to quite easily. In fact, bmi was the only non-US Star Alliance program offering to match elite status on a regular basis (excluding special Star Alliance-wide offerings, and excluding local market sales promotios). Recently, however, Air New Zealand has begun offering to match status. Frankly it would just be cool to carry around Aegean elite status!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Hi- any chance you can share some details on the Air NZ status match? A quick google and search through FT didn’t yield anything concrete. Thanks!

  2. You can’t change your award reservation after ticketing or you lose 50%?!? strike this one off the list…

  3. Gary,

    I’m flying United out of DIA tonight and tried to credit my new Aegean account (signed up yesterday after reading about it here) and couldn’t. Apparently its too new of an addition as the United computers don’t recognize Aegean. Even though they show up in the list of avaialble programs on the website, i kept getting an error. The agent at the checkin desk couldn’t override this either. Maybe in a few more weeks?

  4. So if I’m *G on Aegean, but flying UA domestically (with my 1K number in the record), do I get RCC access on my *G Aegean status?

  5. Maybe this is naive question, but I was reading through the program and they said something about having to achieve Silver BEFORE you can achieve gold – the type of travel I do would mean that I was hoping I could get the whole lot in one trip… Would this force me into an MR to get silver at the 4,000 mile mark and then the larger trip to get actual status?

  6. I’m trying to take advantage of this but am unclear on what “Minimum miles” refers to. Is it the minimum needed to get credit? Or is it the minimum that will be credited per segment? I have a couple of Economy flights coming up and am not sure it’s worth crediting to Aegean at 50%. However, I have some short segments that are less than 500 miles so if that’s the minimum that they credit I may use Aegean for those. Thanks!

  7. Well it’s been a while since this was posted – but I am on an RTW biz trip and I thought it would be a good opportunity to try this out. 3 Segments: EWR-BRU-FRA-SIN in J and I’m now *G. Less than a week’s worth of flying. Thanks for posting this.

  8. In order to get the benefits of silver status (free bag, etc), do I need to be crediting the miles for that flight to Aegean? If I do not fill in my Aegean FF number, how else would they know my status?

  9. @ET enter your aegean number in the reservation up until checkin. once you have your boarding passes, swap out your frequent flyer #

  10. @Gary Got it. Thanks. Do people ever report having trouble changing it at the gate or is that a pretty accepted practice?

  11. @ET I’ve never had a problem, i suppose there are cranky agents out there. i’ve also changed the number at kiosks as well as customer service and the gate so lots of opportunities to do it

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