The beauty of airline alliances is that you can “shop”, which is the best frequent flier program for you. If your goal is to get the easiest Star Alliance Gold status that lasts for the longest, Aegean’s Miles & Bonus program is the answer.
You can access Aegean’s Miles&Bonus website here.
Here’s what you need to qualify:
1. You will get Blue status for crediting 4,000 status miles within 12 month period (3,000 actually as the 1,000 sign up bonus miles are tier qualifying)
2. After qualifying for Blue, you will have 12 months to collect 16,000 status miles for the status to be upgraded to Gold.
Things to note:
– Aegean uses rolling 12 month calendar for status qualification and not calendar year.
– Currently Aegean status doesn’t expire and only requires ONE flight to be credited to the program in any 36 months.
– The 1,000 bonus miles for signing up are currently showing as tier qualifying (July 22, 2013)
Easiest Gold Status
You can get Star Alliance Gold status by crediting i.e. one-way business class ticket from London to Sydney or return economy one one Thai Airways.
One-way distance between LHR-BKK-SYD is 10,620 miles according to Great Circle Mapper. This is usually within few miles that the airlines credit.
The Thai business class earns 200% tier miles on Aegean and one-way would then be 21,240 tier miles. If you book economy return in qualifying fare class, you would earn that 21,240 miles for the return trip.
Eligible Fare Classes
You have to be careful with the eligible fare classes, if ticketed in economy. Ageean lists the eligible fare classes on its web page here along with the non-eligible ones.
It get’s tricky, when you are on i.e. Lufthansa marketed but Thai Airways operated flight. With the Star Alliance, it is the booking class of the operating carrier and not the marketing carrier that dictates the mileage earning. And it is not easy to find out the booking class on i.e. Thai that Lufthansa fare maps to. The easiest way is to ring the operating carrier to get their underlying booking class.
Currently your status doesn’t expire as long as you credit one flight within 36 month period. Whether this approach is sustainable in the long run, remains to be seen. Some airlines have a requirement for flying few segments on their own metal in order to qualify for status and all the other airlines (that I have been member of) require you to qualify yearly for status.
Star Alliance Gold Benefits
The lounge access, business class check in, extra baggage allowance and priority baggage handling are the main benefits that I continuously use.
Aegean truly is the easiest to get the Star Alliance Gold status by just doing one long-haul trip and currently the status doesn’t expire as long as you credit one flight every 36 months.