When you purchased an economy class flight directly with Aegean or Olympic Air, through a travel agent, or an OTA, you will soon receive an email offering a paid upgrade via bidding or buying outright.
We previously covered these PlusGrade upgrades back in 2019 (read more here) that you will have difficulty in crediting to Star Alliance partner programs outside of Aegean. This year, however, I used Aegean Gold upgrade vouchers to upgrade two longer flights.
You can access Aegean here.
Does it make sense to upgrade on Aegean?
You can buy the cheapest fare class on Aegean, no luggage included, and be able to check in two bags, have lounge access, and greater in-cabin allowance if you upgrade into business. Also, Aegean serves snacks even on the shortest domestic flights in business.
If you have Star Alliance Gold status, your benefits only apply to Aegean flights that are mostly those to and from Greece.
Aegean runs a scam for flights within Greece where it claims that the flights on Aegean codeshare are operated by its Olympic Air subsidiary, not part of Star Alliance, but in fact are Aegean.
This allows Aegean to collect luggage fees to/from the islands without giving Star Alliance Gold members (outside of its Miles+Bonus Gold members) lounge access when flying within Greece.
Many, if not most, domestic flights arrive at remote gates with a bus ride to the terminal. Aegean sends specific buses only for business class passengers.
Aegean reminds you of business class allowance on its upgrade emails:
With your upgrade to Business Class you will enjoy:
- More baggage allowance: 2 free pieces of baggage up to 32 kg each and 1 personal item & a carry on bag on board. Please note that your new baggage allowance may temporarily not appear in “My Booking” section.
- Airport priorities: Dedicated check-in counters, as well as priority disembarkation & baggage delivery
- Access to the AEGEAN Business Lounges
- Your personal space on board: comfortable seating with the middle seat always vacant, extra pitch and a cabin separator that can ensure extra personal space, comfort and privacy throughout the flight.
The above is one of Aegean’s emails to remind me of possible upgrades on their flights.
I decided not to burn upgrade vouchers for flights to/from the islands but upgrade flights between Athens – Corfu for 40 euros each. The minimum bid for Athens to Mykonos flights was 45 euros.
These upgrades book into I-class that is award class within the Star Alliance. It might still be a challenge to get these credited to other than Aegean’s own Miles+Bonus. The upgraded flights’ credit like any other, usually within 24 hours, to Aegean’s program.
This was the first time I decided to use the Gold member upgrade vouchers for BCN-ATH and ATH-MAD flights.
You cannot apply them online but have to call Aegean to process the upgrades. Previously, I had just used the PlusGrade (I absolutely loath calling) and just paid the 100 or so euros that are the minimum bids for these sectors, and these paid upgrades appear to clear BEFORE voucher ones.
When the agent waitlists the upgrades, it creates a second segment for the same city pair on the PNR. You should not be surprised to see this.
It waitlists you for the same I-class award segment like into what the PlusGrade upgrades book into.
The Barcelona – Athens upgrade cleared day before, and Aegean sent an upgraded electronic ticket that shows the bookings class (see the image above).
The Athens – Madrid segment didn’t clear in advance, although the business class was practically empty. However, the check-in called ticketing that cleared the upgrade, and you might be surprised what posts to your Miles+Bonus account…
In-flight Service Barcelona – Athens
In-flight Service Athens – Corfu
In-flight Service Corfu – Athens
In-flight Service Athens – Madrid
If you are flying from the islands and need to pay for checking in a bag, it is likely roughly the same price to try upgrading the flights + get some service too.
The same applies to non-Star Alliance Gold members on Aegean flights to/from Greece. In addition, you get the luggage allowance that comes with the business class, in-flight food and beverage service, and lounge access.
I am surprised that Aegean provides F&B on these very short intra-Greece hops even in economy, and the snack plate in business is a nice touch.