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How to get Star Alliance Gold for LIFE with Aegean Airlines

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Apart from British Airways, Head for Points focusses more on mileage accumulation than status accumulation. However, it is certainly something that we DO cover, and it is about time that I ran an introduction to the world of Aegean Miles&Bonus.

Aegean Airlines joined Star Alliance in June 2010. The company was only formed in 1999, and is now the largest domestic airline in Greece. It only operates short-haul flights, with a fleet of 29 Airbus A319 / A320 / A321 aircraft. It is not something that would usually get much attention, even amongst the 28 airlines inside Star Alliance.

Aegean

However, what makes Aegean special is that its frequent flyer programme is easiest in the world (I think) to obtain top-tier Gold status. It is certainly the easiest way to get Star Alliance Gold.

And, as part of Star Alliance, a Gold card from Aegean gives you the same benefits as a Gold card issued by Lufthansa – lounge access with all Star Alliance members (plus a guest), priority boarding, extra baggage allowance etc.

The programme is idiot-proof to understand:

You receive 1,000 status miles for signing up – these miles have generally counted towards status although some recent reports suggest they don’t any longer

Credit 3,000 (4,000 if the 1,000 don’t count) further status miles within 12 months and you become ‘Blue’

Credit 16,000 (17,000 if the 1,000 don’t count) further status miles within a further 12 months and you become ‘Gold’

Once you are Gold, you will remain Gold forever (or until Aegean change their rules!) as long as you credit one flight to your account every 36 months

None of these flights need to be on Aegean

The programme runs on a yearly basis from when you change tiers and does not work by calendar year

And that’s it!

Getting 20,000 status miles is relatively easy – although, as ever, you should make make sure that your tickets are in relevant qualifying fare classes. (Not all discounted economy tickets will earn 100% mileage, for instance.)

Here are the qualifying fare classes for all Star Alliance airlines on Aegean. These may be different to those used by other airlines, so check carefully before crediting anything. However, getting those 20,000 status miles for lifetime Star Gold is as easy as flying 10,000 miles in, say, Lufthansa business class in a C, D, Z or J booking class.

I am not recommending that you move all your Star Alliance flights to Aegean. As it happens, the ‘spending’ chart is not too bad. The good news is that they allow one-way awards and the mileage needed is average-to-good based on route. However, they do not allow stopovers. In reality, though, once you’ve credited the initial 20,000 status miles to Aegean you can reassess where you send your future Star mileage.

You can learn more about obtaining Aegean Gold in this Flyertalk thread, although I have covered all of the basics above. It seems unlikely that this generosity will last forever, but if you fly Star Alliance then it is worth looking at this opportunity seriously.

Comments (31)

  • Lucas says:

    So I have Gold status with A3 that expires in Dec 2014. What happens with my Gold status after Dec 2014 if I don’t re-collect 20,000 miles till then but I do credit every now an on a *A flight to A3?

  • JL says:

    Unfortunately, I am not flying business class and noticed that Aegean does not provide credit towards many economy / promotional flights offered by other carriers.

    Which FPP from Star Alliance would be a good way to Gold Status then? I do travel here and there for work, but more short all and encouraged to take discount airlines, so it will take a while to accumulate.

    Lufthansa appears to have alot of diversified airline partners. I currently use Air Canada, but it is super slow in terms of accumulation as I am based in the UK now. Any suggestions?

    • Rob says:

      It depends on who are flying – the earning tables are easy to pull up for each airline, as well as the status requirements. You need to trade this off, though, against the ease of spending miles (want one-way redemptions? want low change fees? want low cancellation fees? want cheap redemptions to a certain country in a certain class?).

      Also check how long Gold lasts – Turkish is two years, for instance – and whether there is a ‘soft landing’. Miles & More has issues, but you get Gold for 2 years PLUS the rest of the current year, and that is followed by 2 years of Silver via a ‘soft landing’.

      Remember also that Silver in Star Alliance only gives lounge access with the airline that issues the card, so if you fly Lufthansa then M&M Silver gets you into the lounge. Turkish Silver won’t.

      • OttoMH says:

        Although a lot of economy fares don’t earn great mileage, even at the 25%-75% level you still get the minimum miles. This can soon add up with lots of connecting sectors on airlines like US, UA, LX, SAS and Brussels on reasonable economy fares. It’s a quicker route to gold than most, just check the fare basis before booking.

    • Sir Stamford says:

      If you can provide us with an indication of your normal flying patterns (airlines, booking class, usual routes, number of flights etc), we might be able to recommend a programme.

      TK’s Miles and Smiles does provide a soft landing. For example, if you are an Elite (*G status) member and failed to meet the renewal criteria, your status will be renewed as “Classic Plus”, which is equivalent to *A silver.

      Whilst it is important to consider your flying pattern in making a decision, you should also consider the stability of the airline and FF programme. Malev and Spanair are two recent examples of why this is an important consideration.

      Sir Stamford