Quickest Paths to Star Alliance Gold Status

Star Alliance has a new video promoting the benefits of Gold status within the alliance.

Gold is top tier within Star (there are only two tiers offered). Each member program has their own rules about how to get there.

Benefits of Star Alliance Gold

The biggest benefits of most frequent flyer programs are held for their own elite members. But Star Alliance Gold status generally gets you lounge access (although United and US Airways qualifying elites only get access to those airlines lounges when flying internationally), priority check-in, priority boarding, priority waitlisting, and also a free checked baggage allowance.

Getting Star Gold via Status Match

Turkish Airlines is one of the few non-U.S. programs that offers status matches where they will give you status based on status you already hold with another airline. They will even match United and US Airways status much of the time. Their status lasts two years, and is a path to free lounge access on domestic U.S. itineraries.

You can read about status matches, and which airlines offer them, here.

Getting it Quickly Starting from Ground Zero

If you don’t already have airline status with which to get a match, the quickest path by flying to earn Star Alliance Gold is with Aegean’s Miles&Bonus.

I outlined the Aegean program back in June when I was comped to Aegean’s Gold status (based on my british midland Gold) although they do not generally offer status matches. And then last month theyimproved their change policies on award tickets. And I flagged the Aegean as a non-obvious program to consider.

You receive 1000 miles just for joining, earn Star Alliance silver status after just 4000 miles within a year (including the 1000 for joining) and then need only 16,000 more within a year for Gold.

In contrast, both United and US Airways require flying 50,000 miles to earn Star Alliance Gold status — and their Star Gold members do not get to access United and US Airways lounges when flying domestically within the U.S., but Turkish and Aegean Star Golds do get access to those lounges on purely domestic U.S. itineraries.

Do note that while all US Airways fares earn 100% of miles flown, many discount United fares earn only 50% in the Aegean program — and Aegean elites do not earn a bonus for flights (other than the class of service bonus that everyone flies).

Downsides to Being Star Gold Versus and Airline’s Own Elite Member

And there are downsides to flying on a partner’s Star Alliance Gold as opposed to having equivalent status with the airline you’re flying.

Star Gold status doesn’t get you Economy Plus extra legroom seating on United, whereas United’s elites can access those seats for free. And partner elites aren’t eligible for complimentary upgrades, either.

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. I have been trying to get a status match from Delta Gold Medallion to Turkish Miles and Smiles, for a month. I have e-mailed them 3 times (once every 2 weeks) and called once. I have not received any reply to my e-mails and when I called the rep said that they don’t do status matches. Any suggestions?

  2. i am sorry i didn’t understand. I don’t have any airline status yet, How do I get Star Alliance Gold status?

  3. @ Gary

    I don’t have any airline status yet but have united and AA miles and recently used up over 120k united award miles on my asia round trip with my wife.

    What Do I have to do now to get gold status with star alliance? Please show me easy and simple steps.

  4. I had a similar experience to Jamie trying to get them to match my AA Executive Platinum. No response after several emails. I have been trying since late October.

  5. I’ve also had a terrible time trying to get a TK match to my UA gold. Have gotten no response after multiple emails over the past two months.

  6. Know of any other good carriers to fly besides US to get credit on Aegean? Turkish G no longer credits to United, but doesn’t appear to credit to Aegean either.

  7. @Ralph there is an update to the status match thread there from today indicated that matches may no longer work and that there have been no reported successes in 2013. There have been a couple of reported successes in 2013 in the comments here at View from the Wing. So I don’t think there’s certainty on this yet, here or there, certainly not the degree of certainty your comment implies.

  8. Gary,

    I am flying with Air Canada next month to LHR and I gave them my Turkish Air FF number (whom I achieved *A status match with). If I change my FF to Aegean for accural purposes, can I still use my Turkish air status for the *A benefits (3 bags, lounge access, etc)

    Second question is what is the renewal requirements on Aegean to retain Silver or Gold and long do I have to re-qualify? And how long validity of the Gold Status with Aegean last?

    Will await your reply.

  9. You do not need to accrue with an airline to use that airline’s card for lounge access. You may need to enter your frequent flyer number in the reservation, check in with that number in, in order to get the checked baggage allowance. Once checked in that’s when you want to change your number for accrual purposes.

    T&C on Aegean suggest as long as you keep your account active (activity once every 3 years) the status should be permanent. We’ll see if that holds.

  10. Gary,

    Thank you for your quick response. If you were to choose between Aegean or Turkish Airline FF and Elite programs, which would it be? And which program is better for Elite travelers and also for award redemption?

    Will await your reply.

  11. @Raj Panjabi – they each have their sweet spots but my own approach is not to accure a ton with either, award redemption with united is MUCH better. Aegean’s routing rules and lack of elite status bonus are frustrating. But Aegean status may last forever…

  12. I have found that dealing with TK is an exercise in frustration. I echo what a poster up thread said. They dont answer, they dont read and they dont open attachments. I sent them back in October copies of my 1K card (expiring 2/1/13) and my statement showing I will be Premier Platinum in 2013 and they ignored it. Then they told me that they had no record of it.

    I love their product and especially their lounge in IST but as far as their customer service – really bad.

  13. I know 3 people, including myself who have been unsuccessful in TK status match requests in December. (more if you include the people in the comments here)

  14. I had a few questions about Star Alliance Silver:

    1. I know it gives me free 1st checked bag, but what abt my companion on the same PNR?

    2. If I gain Star Alliance Silver through Aegean Airlines, how long does my Silver status last? How often do I have to credit my US Air miles to Aegeon in order to maintain status “forever”? Your post seems to indicate that you don’t need to do that.

    Thank you so much, and i love your site! Great work!

  15. I requested a TK status match last year (via my Delta Gold status). It was just approved today – so they are doing it, but taking a looooong time.

  16. @David – Very interesting. I had tried to match from SkyMiles Gold as well last year. I had to send about 6 messages over a period of 3 months or so before I got a reply on February 24th stating, “Please be informed that your account can not matched with your Miles&Smiles account since the program has been created by a non-partner airline.
    Thank you for choosing Turkish Airlines on your flights. Kind Regards”.

    I wrote back to them again today now that I know from your post that they are in fact still matching. Crossing my fingers that it works this time.

  17. Just an update on this. Turkish is indeed slow, but having begun the process in December 2012 and interacting once with them I just received an email saying that I’ve been status-matched to my United Gold and that my welcome kit is in the mail….

  18. Hey guys, sorry I’m very new but if I acquire Star Gold Status with Aegan, than can I access other airlines lounges that are part of Star Alliance? For instance, could I access Asiana airline lounge in Seoul, South Korea ?

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