Star Alliance Gold Status

Best Way To Keep Star Alliance GOLD With Aegean Miles+Bonus

In this post I will explore Star Alliance Gold With Aegean Miles+Bonus specifically. I don’t talk of airline status often, it’s rarely something I would go out of my way to chase. Given 90% of my flights are in Business/First Class anyway, most status benefits do not add much value to me.

That said, status can still be very useful, as an example most cash business class tickets do not allow you to take a guest into a lounge, but having the right (Gold in this case) status does.

Given the genesis of any programme, more loyalty comes with more perks and privileges. Between 2018-2019 I managed to earn Star Alliance Gold through Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. It is not the easiest of airlines to retain this.

I then decided to make the switch to Aegean Miles+Bonus as my main Star program through which I have been Star Alliance Gold since 2021. Here is why I think it is the best out there if you care to maintain that status..

Aegean Miles+Bonus

Star Alliance is the worlds biggest airline alliance comprising of 26 airlines from United to Lufthansa/Swiss, Turkish, EgyptAir, Air India, Singapore Airlines, ANA, Thai all the way down to Air New Zealand. Together they serve 195 countries, so literally have the whole world covered!

Parthenon
Parthenon

Aegean Miles+Bonus is the frequent flier programme of Aegean Airlines, a Star Alliance carrier based in Greece.

When you fly Aegean or other Star carriers you earn Award Miles which you can use to spend towards future flights. You also earn Tier Miles which keeps track over a 12 month period to determine what status, if any, you will reach.

A look at Star Alliance Gold Benefits

Even when flying Economy on a Star carrier you get:

  • Priority airport check-in ( usually with Business or First Class )
  • Gold Track ( Priority Security & Immigration in over 150 airports worldwide )
  • Extra Baggage Allowance. Usually either 1 extra piece when a piece system applies or extra 20kg when weight system is applied.
  • Airport Lounge Access. For yourself and a guest in over 1000 airports across the world!
  • Priority Boarding
  • Priority Baggage handling
  • Priority Reservation Waitlist
  • Free Upgrade to Business/First Class on Heathrow Express

Whilst it is not an advertised network wide benefit, some airlines do allow Star Gold members into First Class lounges such as Air China. In other cases, Star Gold’s get access to a lounge that is better than a standard Business Class lounge, i.e Lufthansa Senators Lounge in Frankfurt or the Swiss Senators Lounge in Zurich.

Star Alliance GOLD With Aegean Miles+Bonus Specific Benefits

Many programmes also have specific benefits to own members too:

  • 20% extra Award Miles
  • Extra award miles for flights from Athens
  • 4 Upgrade vouchers to use within Aegean + Olympic Air network
  • Free full streaming Wi-Fi onboard Aegean
  • Guaranteed booking for last minute flight needs
  • Dedicated Gold line for customer service
  • Free parking provisions in Athens airport
  • Holmes Place Health and Spa usage for 7 days in the year in Athens
  • Marriott Bonvoy hotel benefits within Greece

Unlimited access to this Beautiful Lounge makes me one happy bunny even if I only happen to use it a few times a year !

Aegean Miles+Bonus Programme

Unlike some airline programmes, Aegean is very simple you have 3 status starting with Blue on enrolment, then onto Silver and Gold. The Route To Aegean Gold is staged, you first have to achieve Aegean Silver and then begin the journey to Gold..

First up lets look at some earning rates from partner airlines..

Aegean Miles+Bonus Swiss Earning Rate
Aegean Miles+Bonus Swiss Earning Rate
Aegean Miles+Bonus Turkish Earning Rate
Aegean Miles+Bonus Turkish Earning Rate
Aegean Miles+Bonus United Earning Rate
Aegean Miles+Bonus United Earning Rate

As you can see most First Class fares earn 300% of your flown miles! Business Class between 100-200%, Premium Economy from 100-150% and Economy between 50-100%. By any measure these are good earning rates that sure makes it easier to earn Star Alliance GOLD with Aegean.

To Achieve Silver You Need

Silvercard Aegean
Silvercard Aegean
  • Fly Aegean or Olympic Air at least 2 times & earn 12,000 Tier Miles from any combination of Star Alliance flights within a 12 month period
  • Alternatively earn 35,000 Tier miles from any Star Carrier when missing the 2 flight components above

Example Itineraries To Get You There 

1 European cities to Athens return ( or vice versa)

1 Europe to US West Coast Business Class/Premium Economy return on any Star carrier*

OR for Economy Only flights

1 European cities to Athens return ( or vice versa)

2 Europe to US West Coast Economy Class return on any Star carrier

To Achieve Gold

Goldcard Aegean. Star Alliance GOLD with Aegean Miles+Bonus
Star Alliance GOLD With Aegean

Once you reach Silver, you have enjoy Silver status for 12 month but also have this 12 month to qualify for Gold. At this point you will have acquired 2 Aegean Upgrade vouchers that you can use for the upcoming flights to help sweeten the deal even more..

  • Fly Aegean or Olympic Air at least 4 times and earn 24,000 Tier Miles within 12 months
  • Collect a total 70,000 Tier Miles, regardless of which airline you choose to fly with.

Example Itineraries To Get You There 

1 European cities to a Greek Island via Athens return ( or vice versa)

2 Europe to US West Coast or Asia Premium/Business Class return on any Star carrier* 

1-2 Additional short Economy flights in Star to make up any potential shortfall depending on specific routes above!

OR if you happen to fly First Class at all even simpler:

1 European cities to a Greek Island via Athens return ( or vice versa)

1 Europe – Asia return in First Class

Gold Status can be achieved for under £2000 spend if you book your flights wisely! In each stage of qualification, whichever criteria you satisfy first will get you there. So this does require some forward planning of sorts.

Since you do not want to automatically achieve Silver from 35,000 Tier Miles (which is much more of a significant expense, but do-able with a round trip First Class and another Business Class ) if you actually intend to fly Aegean 4 sectors.

* There are specific flight codes you need to watch out for here for example if you book a deeply discounted Lufthansa Business Class “P” fare bucket, you do not earn anything on Aegean or many other Star programmes! But strangely enough a “P” Class from from Swiss do earn 100% flown miles! 

To be sure of what you might be earning, check the charts here, as they are periodically updated. Not long ago SAS used to earn up to 200% rate for Economy but this was evidently just too good to last and has subsequently been re-aligned to other airlines.

Renewing Aegean Gold

  • A fixed 12 month period from initial qualification or Renewal to fly Aegean or Olympic Air at least 4 times and earn 12,000 Tier Miles
  • Collect a total 70,000 Tier Miles, regardless of which airline you choose to fly with

As if you needed the incentive, you would have earned 4 Upgrade vouchers to upgrade the 4 Aegean segments into Business Class to really enjoy those flights too. And yes, you receive those 4 Upgrade Vouchers each time you re-qualify 🙂

As this illustrates, renewing your Star Alliance GOLD With Aegean is almost as easy as earning Silver from scratch. Just with 4 Aegean flights instead of 2. This is probably by far the best Gold re-qualification criteria there out of all Star Programmes.

For those based outside of Europe/North Africa or Middle East it may not be as easy, as you are heavily penalised if you do not fly Aegean at least 4 times.

Until May 2023, 48,000 Tier miles were required without the 4 Aegean+Olympic Air sectors. So essentially we’ve seen a “devaluation” of sorts here. Perhaps Aegean is unhappy with people gaining Gold status from it, while being of little value back to the airline itself as member. Seems fair to me!

Example Itinerary to Retain Gold For Under £1000

4 Aegean Sectors:  Sample dates here

1 long haul trip from Amsterdam to Bangkok in Premium Economy: Sample dates

With these Accrual rates

Presuming you were based in Amsterdam, this comes to less than a grand!

Some Caveats & Quirks Of Aegean Miles+Bonus

I have seen references which inferred that you must earn the whole 24,000 Tier Miles after hitting Silver for Gold Qualification, which is not strictly true.

If you are still in the 12 month period of joining or just half way through “Tier Year” you achieve Silver, Aegean does carry over any surplus Tier Miles from date of Silver Qualification at least until the remaining months of your original Tier year, even though your “Tier year” has technically been reset.

As a way of an example, upon my Silver qualification in June 2021 I had two sets of criteria to reach GOLD

  • 4 more Aegean flights + XX amount of Tier Miles by November 2021
  • OR XXX Tier Miles

Alternatively:

  • 4 more Aegean flights + 24,000 Tier Miles by June 2022
  • OR 48,000 Tier Miles from any Star flights

So as you can see I had a whole 12 months to upgrade to Gold with the standard widely publicised requirement or with less Tier miles with my surplus Tier Miles carrying through till November 2021

Other Things I like About This Programme

While many frequent flyer programmes ( soon to on BA too ) have moved to a miles per $/£ spend based earning system. Aegean has not. Thus most cheapish standard Economy fares still earn 50% of base flown miles. In current environment is fantastic!

Lets hope the current tide does not take this Miles+Bonus programme with it!

Moreover, one thing that maybe particularly helpful is you can buy some Tier points, up to 3000 for Gold members if you ever fall short in a year. This realistically means you can just fly a bunch of European Economy flights and still retain Gold.

Aegean Miles+Bonus: Things That Could Be Made Better

You can only enjoy each qualification for a max of 12 month, your Tier year can fluctuates with your qualification! Whereas programmes likes BA which have a fixed Tier Year enables you to take advantage of this to enjoy almost 2 years of Gold benefits if you time your flights correctly. There is no such possibility with Aegean.

Asiana Club by Asiana Airlines for instance, has a 2 year Tier cycle by default, meaning if you play it right you could even end up with 4 years of Gold. However, Asiana’s future in Star Alliance is uncertain given its merger with Korean Air, a SkyTeam carrier!

Aegean does not partner with any non-star Alliance carriers. This is totally understandable given this is a small airline and in any case, the Star Alliance team is already huge.

Other Routes to Star Alliance Gold

There can occasionally be promotional offers from various Star airlines for attaining Gold status either as a Status Match from another alliance or Challenge of sorts, but these are all short term fillers designed to lure you in. After which you still need to fly past their standard qualification thresholds to re-quality.

To the best of my knowledge, I have not seen such promotions by Aegean in recent years. Last I can see was back in 2015 specifically targeted for Cyprus Airways status holders.

Should You Still Spend Money For Status?

This is very much a personal question to you, your travel habits and personal circumstances. I would not advocate anyone to chase status for that sake of it.

If, however, you travel a certain amount and will most likely spend a certain amount flying each you, I think retaining Star Gold might be a worthwhile cause if you get to enjoy the benefit of it, for money you would have spent flying otherwise!

Overall Thoughts

Star Alliance Gold offers real tangible benefits and I think Aegean+Miles maybe one of the most underrated within this large group of airlines. Once you’ve past the slight hurdle of attaining Star Alliance GOLD With Aegean, keeping it should be a breeze for most people.

Furthermore, Aegean is a delightful airline to fly with itself.

For many programmes getting to Gold realistically is a tougher hurdle. Especially if you mostly fly Economy. You will have to do over a dozen long haul Economy flights to get anywhere close to getting BA Silver.

While Aegean is my main Star Alliance airline I credit to for Status, I find it still wise to have at least one or two other secondary programmes. This way you maximise those overflowing Tiers and Miles into other Star programmes that offer specific redemption sweat spots.

Some, like Turkish Miles&Smiles which has particularly attractive rates for their own metal. Avianca Lifemiles also can prove excellent value for redemptions but Aegean has plenty of it’s own that I will cover in a follow up post to this!