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!