Aegean has implemented very convoluted scheme to deprive eligible Star Alliance Gold members out from their benefits when flying around in Greece.
Star Alliance benefits go by the operating not by the marketing carrier. Even when the Olympic Air is really an “express” airline for Aegean, they have kept it as separate entity that mainly operates domestic flights to the islands from Athens.
I had purchased Aegean marketed flight that was supposed to be operated by Olympic Air from Athens to Mykonos. These flights, however, during the high season are operated by Aegean.
You won’t get any Star Alliance Gold benefits such as lounge access in Athens unless you are Miles+Bonus Gold member when on Olympic Air operated flight.
Star Alliance Gold members are eligible for complimentary checked bag on Aegean flights even when they choose the non-baggage inclusive fare. This and extra luggage allowance won’t extend for flights “operated” by Olympic Air even when they are in reality operated by Aegean.
You won’t earn miles either unless you swap your frequent flier number to Aegean like I did at the gate for this segment. The number of miles I would have earned for the JMK-ATH segment on UA’s MileagePlus would have been minimal anyway.
Here’s what Olympic Air plane looks like:
I had never previously been on a “codeshare” flight like this where the “operating” airline was MIA and the flight was actually operated by the “marketing” carrier.
Aegean doesn’t provide lounge access even for their own Golds in Mykonos, although there is a nice small lounge that both British Airways and Qatar Airways uses and it is also open for Priority Pass members. More of that later this week.