Aegean’s Miles+Bonus has been the easiest way of getting Star Alliance Gold status that for now has not had any kind of re-qualification requirement. This, however, is changing effective November 24, 2014.
Getting Aegean Miles+Bonus Gold status, which maps to Star Alliance Gold, from zero requires 36,000 status miles including at least 6 Aegean or Olympic Airlines segments OR 72,000 status miles with Star Alliance Airlines (when you have no or less than 6 Aegean/Olympic Air segments).
You can access Aegean’s website for these changes here.
You should always be worried when a loyalty program sends out an email stating with more benefits and a “fairer” way of accruing miles. This usually means that the program is being “enhanced” aka devalued.
Here’s the new benefit table provided by Miles+Bonus:
Previously, you only required to qualify Blue first (4,000 status miles) and then you had 12 months to collect 16,000 status miles to be upgraded to Gold. There were no requirements to take any Aegean fights. The Gold status was then valid indefinitely as long as you credited one flight to the program every 36 months.
Now, you need to first collect 12,000 miles and at least 2 segments on Aegean or Olympic to get the Silver status or total of 24,000 status miles on Star Alliance airlines. Then to reach the Gold status, you need additional 24,000 miles and at least 4 segments on Aegean or Olympic or you can fly 48,000 miles on Star Alliance airlines.
Aegean has made it easier to retain the Silver and Gold tiers. Retaining Silver tier requires 8,000 miles + 2 Aegean/Olympic segments or 16,000 Star Alliance status miles. The Gold status requires 12,000 status miles + 4 Aegean/Olympic segments or 24,000 miles on Star Alliance airlines.
“Together” Miles Pooling & Happy Miles
Aegean starts allowing up to 6 people to pool their miles into one account. Each member will continue earning status miles to reach Silver and/or Gold status, however. Aegean will offer award discounts on specific Aegean and Olympic flights.
The number of miles required for international Aegean and Olympic flights will change. The number of miles required will now entirely depend of the distance flown and Economy (Go or Flex) or Business class per the table below. Each award type also has the minimum number of required.
One-way from Athens to London Heathrow would require 12,080 miles in Go, 15,100 miles in Flex and 22,650 in Business class.
In “fairness” Aegean changes the number of miles that you earn for domestic and international flights per the table above.
Nothing will last for ever and keeping Star Alliance Gold status by just crediting one flight to the program every 36 months was too good of a deal.
You initially had to credit 20,000 status miles to reach the Gold and this now jumps to 72,000 miles (without any Aegean/Olympic flights). Retention of the tier is not that bad of a deal as long as you can take those four Aegean/Olympic flights per year. Even without the Aegean/Olympic flights the renewal only requires 24,000 status miles that has to be one of the easiest Star Alliance Gold status re-qualification requirements.
Miles+Bonus appears to be beefing up the benefits for those that actually fly on their metal by offering award discounts, giving bonus miles for Silver & Gold members, pooling of award miles and giving out upgrade certificates.
Although all these changes are negative for those that were only after the easy Star Alliance Gold status, this is still not that difficult of a program to work with once you have the Gold status. Whether it makes sense to start at the base level and go for the Gold without any Aegean/Olympic flight activity, is entirely a different matter, however.
Here are frequently asked question about these changes:
How do I move up to a higher tier?
To move up to the next tier, you need to collect the required amount of Tier Miles and take the required number of flights within 12 months from your earliest recorded flight activity. To upgrade from Blue to Silver Tier, you need to collect 12,000 Tier Miles, including 2 flights with AEGEAN and/or Olympic Air, or collect a total of 24,000 Tier Miles regardless of which airline you choose to fly with. To upgrade from Silver to Gold Tier you need to collect 24,000 Tier Miles, including 4 flights with AEGEAN and/or Olympic Air, or collect a total of 48,000 Tier Miles regardless of which airline you choose to fly with.
How do I keep my Silver or Gold Tier?
To retain your tier, you have a fixed 12-month period from the date of your upgrade or renewal of your tier in which to collect the required amount of Tier Miles and take the required number of flights. To remain in the Silver Tier, you need to collect 8,000 Tier Miles, including 2 flights with AEGEAN and/or Olympic Air, or collect a total of 16,000 Tier Miles regardless of which airline you choose to fly with. To remain in the Gold Tier, you need to collect 12,000 Tier Miles, including 4 flights with AEGEAN and/or Olympic Air, or collect a total of 24,000 Tier Miles regardless of which airline you chose to fly with. If you have not managed to retain your tier, you will move back to the previous tier.
What will happen to my existing tier?
The current Basic Tier members as well as the Blue Tier members will be granted the Blue New Miles+Bonus Tier. The new Silver Tier will be granted to the Blue members that have accrued more than 8,000 Tier Miles (including at least 2 flights with Aegean or Olympic Air) or 16,000 Tier Miles in total, within the past 12 months from the new Miles+Bonus launch date (24/11/2014). Current Gold members will be automatically transferred to the Gold Tier, regardless of their past flight activity.
How do I earn miles when flying with Aegean and Olympic Air?
On domestic flights with Aegean and Olympic Air, the miles are calculated based on the booking class, while on international flights with Aegean, the miles are calculated based on the booking class and the distance flown. Silver and Gold members will earn 10% and 20% extra miles on flights with Aegean and Olympic Air. The extra miles are counted only as Award Miles.
How do I calculate the miles needed for an award ticket with Aegean and Olympic Air?
On domestic flights with AEGEAN and Olympic Air, the amount of miles needed for an award ticket is based on the service class, while on international flights with Aegean, the miles are calculated based on the travel class and the distance flown. Now, you will have two options in Economy Class, GoLight and Flex! Are you travelling for one or a few days? Choose a GoLight award ticket and travel cheaper than ever before, starting with 5,000 Award Miles for a domestic flight! GoLight award tickets can be changed for a fee and there is a charge for every checked baggage. Do your plans keep changing? Choose a Flex award ticket and travel with more flexibility as you have the right for free transfer of one piece of baggage and change your ticket as many times as you want without paying a rebooking fee.
How do I calculate the miles needed for a seat upgrade award with Aegean and Olympic Air?
On domestic flights the amount of miles needed for a seat upgrade award is fixed, while on international flights the miles are calculated based on the distance flown. Seat Upgrade is allowed only for Flex revenue fare category to Business Class.
Can I enroll members into my account so that I can earn Miles when they travel?
As a Silver or Gold member you may activate your Together account and up to 5 members. All the award miles earned by each member will automatically be transferred to the Together account. At the same time, all the members of the account will continue to receive their personal tier benefits in order to be eligible for upgrade to a Silver or Gold status.
If I don’t have enough Award Miles for an award, can I purchase additional Award Miles to top-up my account?
Purchasing Award Miles is easy to do and can help you reach the number of Award Miles you need for any type of award. The maximum Award Miles you can buy on a membership year depends on your tier. Purchased Miles are credited to your account or the recipient’s account immediately and are non-refundable.
Can I pay to have the validity of my Tier Miles extended?
There is no Tier Miles extension option available. You may, however, top up your account by purchasing additional Tier Miles in order to upgrade to the next tier or retain your tier before your Tier Miles expire. The maximum Tier Miles you can buy on a membership year depends on your tier. Purchased Miles are credited to your account or the recipient’s account immediately and are non-refundable.
What are Happy Miles flights?
Happy Miles” is a unique Silver and Gold benefit that allows you to redeem fewer miles on specific flights throughout the Aegean and Olympic Air network. With Happy Miles flights you spend your miles smartly and save!
If I am newly enrolled can I claim miles for any flights I have taken recently?
Those who will register in the new Miles+Bonus program as of November 24, 2014 and onward, can claim miles for flights flown with Aegean or any airline partner up to twelve months prior to their registration.