A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question on Facebook that must be on the minds of many that visit our website.
Here’s the Facebook message from the reader:
I wanted to know which is the best star alliance program to credit miles to both for reward flights as well as status. Are there any fast tracks for status? And which program allows mileage pooling.
This is one of the shortest reader questions that I have ever covered here but extremely difficult one to give an easy answer.
My additional question for the reader would be:
1. What kind of tickets they usually buy? Deeply discounted economy class, mixed economy and business class or business class only?
2. How often they fly? Is reaching status within an alliance reasonable?
3. Is Star Alliance the right alliance?
Generally speaking, the reader should credit the flights to the frequent flier program of the airline he/she uses the most or the country where they live in for credit card and other tie ups (more mileage earning opportunities).
There are, however, reasons to pick up frequent flier program independent of airlines that one may use.
- You may fly number of airlines and none of them may be dominant.
- You may live in market where there are no strong credit card tie ups with frequent flier programs.
- The frequent flier program of the airline just may not be a good one.
Easiest Star Alliance program for status?
Aegean’s Miles+Bonus as long as you can take some Aegean or Olympic flights each year.
Silver requires 12,000 elite qualifying miles + two Aegean or Olympic segments (or 24,000 miles without A3/OA flights) and 8,000 tier miles + two segments to renew on subsequent years (or 16,000 tier miles without A3/OA flights)
Gold requires 24,000 tier miles + four Aegean or Olympic segments (or 48,000 mile without A3/OA flights) and 12,000 tier miles + four Aegean or Olympic segments to renew on subsequent years (or 24,000 miles without A3/OA flights).
Each of the programs have their own award charts with their sweet spots. You should try to credit to programs that don’t charge fuel surcharges on awards such as United’s MileagePlus. Aegean’s Miles+Bonus has quite reasonable award chart.
There aren’t many programs that allow family members to pool miles. The one in the Star Alliance that I am aware of is Lufthansa’s Miles&More (read more here).
Question such as this is very difficult and there never really is a clear cut answer. I believe that the Aegean status is probably the easiest if you can fly few times on their flights every year (especially convenient if you trek to Greek islands every year) and then fly on other Star Alliance airlines.
I would stay away from programs that don’t allow online award reservations. I hate having to call airlines to book award tickets when other programs allow you to do everything (at least most) online.
At this day and age, there really shouldn’t be any reason not to allow us to do most of these by ourselves without having to call them in.