Easy LIFETIME Star Alliance Gold Status

Aegean Star Alliance Gold is Easy and for Life: Last week I posted that I had received a status match with Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles. I wanted Gold status a new non-U.S. Star Alliance program now that my beloved british midland was gobbled up by British Airways (oh, don’t cry for me, that gets me British Airways Gold status for 22 months — and access to American’s Flagship Lounges even when flying domestically).

Turkish has an interesting program, their status lasts for two years, and I just need 37,500 qualifying miles in that time to requalify (and I can even buy up to 10,000 of those miles).

So I thought I was done.

Then I read on Milepoint that Aegean was offering status matches to british midland elite members. They’re the Greek airline that joined Star Alliance a couple of years ago, and the program is designed primarily for Greeks flying around the islands with the occasional hop to Europe — you get 1000 (status!) miles for signing up, 4000 miles gets you Star Alliance silver status (so a free checked bag in the U.S.), and 20,000 miles gets you Star Alliance Gold.

In July 2010 I wrote about the value of the Aegean program. For the occasional traveler, a single East Coast – Denver trip on United might earn Star Alliance silver status if credited to Aegean.

Earning is generous on premium cabin fares, with 150% or 200% bonuses for business class and 300% for paid first. While some discount United fares accrue only 50% miles (although they award 500 miles minimum), US Airways fares all earn 100%. There’s no elite status bonus.

The award chart has some values, like US to Europe and North Africa for 90,000 miles in business class, and they allow one-way awards for half the miles. But no changes are permitted to awards once ticketed, and cancellations forfeit half the miles, also no stopovers and only one connection each way, rules which are pretty draconian.

But what’s really special about the program is that status doesn’t expire as long as your account remains active. At least unless Aegean changes its mind. But for now at least the terms and conditions seem clear.

You earn status based on miles earned on a rolling 12 month basis. Once you hit 4000 miles earned, including the 1000 mile signup bonus, you’re “Blue” which is Star Alliance silver. (Aegean Visa cardholders automatically get Blue status.)

Gold status isn’t actually 20,000 status miles — it’s 16,000 miles earned after first earning 4000. So you could earn 4000 within 12 months, not fly for 2 years, and then earn 16,000 and you’d become Gold.

And status earned does not expire. Blue members who do not earn Gold (or fly at all) stay Blue:

If, however, the Blue Member, after completion of the aforementioned twelve-month period, has gathered less than 16,000 Tier Miles, then he/she shall remain a Blue Member, whilst the Tier Miles collected during that twelve-month period shall not be automatically reset, but shall rather be successively deleted one (1) year from the day of each respective flight event, effected within the 12-month period in question.

And they continue to have the chance to earn Gold by flying 16,000 status miles over a continuing rolling 12 month period.

Once you earn Gold, in order to keep it active all you need to do is credit a flight once every three years.

Member Cards and their Passwords will be cancelled within 36 months if no flight activity is recorded in their Accounts.

Aegean is very clear that they can change these rules, of course, so nothing is guaranteed forever.

The number of Tier Miles required for each type of Card, as well as the privileges that stem from each tier, may be modified at any time by AEGEAN without prior notice.

..The Card remains property of AEGEAN at all times and AEGEAN reserves the right to withdraw or cancel and/or replace it with a Card of the same or different level.

Lifetime Gold (which is Star Alliance Gold) sounded good to me, all I would have to do is credit perhaps one US Airways DC – New York flight segment every 3 years and I’d continue to receive lounge access on my domestic US Airways and United travels.

As I understand it, members receive cards that have expiration dates three years forward. We don’t yet know whether status will really last ‘forever’ as long as someone credits a flight every 3 years, though the terms and conditions would seem to reflect that. The program is still pretty new, and the airline has only been a Star Alliance member for two years, so this all still needs to be filed under “developing…”

Given the possibility, though, I signed up for Aegean Miles&Bonus and then emailed a copy of my british midland card and online statement.

Within hours I had a response:

Aegean Star Alliance Gold is Easy and for Life

Aegean Star Alliance Gold is Easy and for Life

Dear Mr. Leff,

Thank you for joining Aegean airlines.
Further to our communication, we are glad to inform you that you have been upgraded to Gold Status ; thus, you may expect your Gold card to be delivered at your address via Post in about two months after the date of your membership upgrade. Until then for your future flights you can print the log in page of your profile via our web site where is clearly shown that you are a gold member.

Moreover, in any case the standard Star Alliance policy is that either you have with you your gold card or the paper boarding pass that you will get from the check-in procedure, in which your gold status is shown .However, in order to have access on the Star Alliance Lounges some Star Partners consider as mandatory to have with you the gold card.

Remaining at your disposal for any further assistance.

Best regards

eCommerce & Loyalty Department
E-mail: wwwcontact@aegeanair.com
31, Viltanioti Street
145 64, Kifisia Athens

Aegean doesn’t usually match status that I’m aware of, although they’re currently matching bmi status holders since that airline has left the Star Alliance. I’ve seen references to Aegean matching Spanair elite members when that Star carrier went under, and one reference to a status match from El Al.

But it’s an easy status to earn and for now, at least, it looks like an exceptionally easy status to maintain.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. […] advertisements.  More Agean has one of the more interesting program for attaining Status: Easy LIFETIME Star Alliance Gold Status – View from the Wing Note that currently they have not status expiry; it an Ersatz LT status – i.e. Earn it and then […]


  1. Take a look at A3s financial reports… the loyalty program is costing them more and more each year. Expect a tightening of T&C very soon.

  2. @oliver2002 – a new program is almost certainly going to see rising costs — as folks learn about the program, there’ll be more activity, more mileage-earning, more expenses booked.

    It’s possible that the program is more expensive THAN EXPECTED, that was certainly the case for Continental when it joined Star Alliance. In order to understand the financials I’d need to better understand Greek accounting rules. I admit, it’s all Greek to me!

    But Gold benefits aren’t especially costly to the program, remember there’s not even an elite mileage bonus. Sure, Aegean has to compensate Star partners for Gold use of lounges.

    The biggest risk, I’d expect, is Greece leaving the Euro.. having revenue in a new devalued currency that continues to inflate but obligations in an international reserve currency. That’s when I’d expect problems — but not necessarily problems with delivering Gold benefits.

    One would think that Aegean would need to retain frequent flyers even more. Now, that doesn’t mean they won’t devalue, and won’t tighten up rules for Golds. But it’s not obvious what will happen in the near-term.

    Long term this offer is too generous, and too-generous offers do not last. Which is why I flagged that the rules could change…

  3. Help me understand why they upgraded you to gold? This is a very clever miles/status arbitrage…

  4. Here I am earning my Gold status butt in seat. About to take two LH flights from HEL to LHR via FRA in Q. Easy 2000 points. Hopefully will get there soon.

  5. A3 competes with OA (after the merger didn’t go thru) in a rapidly shrinking economy, whether the Euro crisis continues or not. The accruals for their FFP have grown at CAGR of 30-50% (depending which year you take as a starting point). This is a small regional airline: if 000s start signing up and using UA clubs (at roughly 20$/visit in the *A clearing house funnymoney system) someone will pull some plug asap, or atleast add a A3 segment requirement some time this year….

  6. @Beofotch – because they were going after bmi Diamond Club Gold members, as that Star Alliance carrier was acquired by British Airways and is no longer a partner

  7. @Gary, thanks. I am just a BMI Diamond Club Blue member, so I am guessing they won’t make me Gold. When I get the rejection letter, I will see if they’ll match Delta Gold to their Aegean Gold.

  8. You said you’d get lounge access on your domestic US Airways and United travels. I thought Gold only gets lounge access (for Economy tickets) if they were connecting on a Star Alliance international flight.


    In any case, for me to get 16,000 miles for Aegean, I’d have to give up a year of Gold Status on United (I usually barely make the 50k miles each year). Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I was under the impression that being United Gold is better than being Star Alliance Gold (because of bonus miles, E+ seating availability, etc). My question is: “Is it worth losing United Gold to get Star Alliance Gold?”

  9. @SAS140 – that limitation only applies to United’s and US Airways’ own Star Alliance Gold members. Golds with other Star carriers do get access.

    You probably do not want to give up United Premir Exec 50k in order to have Aegean’s Gold status.

  10. I just flew Aegean, it is my third flight with them in the past several years. Every flight has been very good to excellent! I wonder if I should try to see if they match Delta Platinums…

    Regarding the euro/drachma dillemma…it is very valid imho. Hope they make it!

    p.s. I am fluent in Greek by the way.

  11. No way status will last a lifetime for one flight every three years. Enjoy it while it lasts!

  12. Excuse me because I’m pretty new to all this, but I was wondering how do you go about crediting your Aegean account with a US Airways flight? Thanks

  13. Be careful crediting other *A carrier flights to them. They don’t have all booking codes of partner flights listed on their accrual chart.

    I tried to credit my SA flights to/from Cape Town, & it took them 1 yr too tell me that I’d receive no credit from them (by that time I could no longer credit to CO – which would have also given me gold bonus)!

  14. I’m new to the points system and I’m trying to understand this article. I’m flying later this month on US Airways with enough miles to qualify for their silver level, which would give me silver level in *A apparently.

    Then, when I fly with United (my normal carrier), in order to get the free bag (from *A silver) would I have to use my Agean Air acct, or could I still use my UA acct. I guess it all boils down to, would UA recognize me as *A silver (through Agaen) if I use my UA acct #? (I’m not UA silver yet). I’d like to still accrue miles in my UA acct.

  15. Gary- How did you get British Midland Gold? Also, why would BA give you Gold status, which is their top tier? I thought that gold status in BA’s program is a higher tier than Star Alliance Gold?

  16. @John – I got my bmi Gold by butt-in-seat flying 🙂 It was a great program to credit premium cabin fares to, and I would also credit my short hope US Airways segments there, e.g. Charlotte-Fayetteville would earn 600 miles minimum + elite bonus. It was bmi’s top tier, and BA granted equivalent status in its program when they acquired bmi.

  17. So once you become Star Alliance Gold, do you need to use your Aegean frequent flyer number on all future United reservations to get the free checked bags or can you still use your United #? I’m asking since I would like to continue to accrue miles on United for the 3 years of Gold rather than Aegean (after the 20,000 miles this year to achieve Gold status).

  18. You likely need to add the # to your United reservation, check your bags, then change your number in the reservation (at the gate, the lounge, customer service, what have you)

  19. How would you use the gold status for checked bags if the mileage is not being credited to Aegean after u achieved gold status?

  20. Why would A3 have to pay a lounge operator for an A3 Gold member to fly another carrier. It is the operating carrier which has to pay the *A lounge operator for lounge use by a *Gold passenger. The issuer of the card (A3) has no liability if the passenger is flying another airline.

  21. Dan’s Deals has a great write up on a similar topic for Aegean, and he gives details on which fare class/airline flights can be earned in the Aegean program.

  22. Regarding lounge access on domestic flights… Will they allow you in by showing your A3 *G card even when the boarding pass shows a FF# from another airline (i.e. when crediting to another airline)? Always wondered!

  23. I guess I read the terms as your tier miles earned will expire a year after they were earned, meaning a year after each flight date.

  24. I credited a January US-SIN roundtrip (enough to put me over 20,000 with the 1000 bonus!) to United, but seeing this, I should have put it on Aegean. Is there a way to credit it back to A3 now?

    Second, do North America-North America flights using A3 points cost 25,000 on any Star airline, or only on A3 codeshares?

  25. I have access to UA/US lounge even if I book the flight with my UA/US FFP number,right? Do I have to follow the “add the # to your United reservation, check your bags, then change your number in the reservation (at the gate, the lounge, customer service, what have you)”? If I am a UA platinum, I don’t have chance to upgrade,right?

  26. Any idea if airline classes not listed in the mileage accrual list of Aegean (specifically Austrian deeply discounted economy classes K and E) earn any mileage?

  27. I love your blog, but I must admit the Turkish folks haven’t even sent me an FF# after 10 days.

    I tried twice. Should I bother to try again?

  28. @beachfan didn’t you open an account online to get a frequent flyer # first, before contacting them? Make sure you have a frequent flyer # for them to upgrade the status of. Then re-forward your information (including your new FF#)

  29. Hi Gary;

    I’m still at the “open account” stage. They said I would get an email from them (with my account info I assume) and haven’t. Been checking my spam folder regularly.

  30. I think you’re reading this incorrectly. The clause that “Member Cards and their Passwords will be cancelled within 36 months if no flight activity is recorded in their Accounts” isn’t underneath the “Gold card” part of the T&C, but rather the general “Cards” part.

    The way I read it, if you don’t credit a flight for 36 months, your miles expire and you lose the account.

  31. I know this thread is a little old, but if you have a chance, I have a question:
    I’m US Air Gold right now, but don’t think I’ll make it to Gold again this year. After my next trip, I’ll be around 26k miles, securing US Silver, at least. I have one more trip booked after that, that will earn about 5200 BIS miles. The question is, do you think giving up those 5200 miles (plus 50% Gold bonus) to be credited to my US Air acct (where I’m saving up for an international premium trip) is worth it to also get Aegean Silver?
    I really like the idea of only needing 16k more miles to reach Gold, especially next year when I’m not sure what my travel plans will be, but on the flip side, I already have a decent stockpile of US Air miles, and I’m really looking to reach that 280k mile threshold to score intl 1st tix for me and the missus.

  32. If you’re US silver then no huge reason to be Aegean silver except making it easier to get Aegean gold. Which you might just want to do later..

  33. “So you could earn 4000 within 12 months, not fly for 2 years, and then earn 16,000 and you’d become Gold.” This is not true. I collected 5000 points, turned blue and didn’t fly for a bit more than a year. They dropped me a notch to the basic membership.

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