The easiest way to gain gold status in the Star Alliance. Welcome to the Greek way!. Star Alliance is a group of airlines (see the image below for the member airlines) working together to offer the passengers a wider network of destinations.
Besides that passengers who hold status in one members loyalty program can use benefits on all the other member airlines.
E.G.: When you are a gold member with Aegeans Miles + Bonus program you can also use the United Airlines lounges even when you’re not flying Aegean (you have to fly a Star Alliance airline, but still a nice benefit).
I can hear you think: that would be nice, but I don’t fly enough to make status even on one member airline…… Well if you try it the Greek way, it sure is possible to make, even when you don’t fly weekly!
Benefits of having airline status
I could write a whole post about the benefits you will gain once you reach airline status, but let me give you an overview of the most important ones:
Personally I especially appreciate the lounge access because thats the benefit that makes my travel way more convenient.
Well, what is that Greek way ?
With the Greek way we mean the Aegean way. Aegean is an airline based in Greece which caters mainly the domestic and European markets. They don’t have any intercontinental flights.
You only have to collect 36.000 miles in a membership year to gain Gold status and get all the benefits mentioned above. Again I hear you think: I don’t fly Aegean airlines that much, if at all…. Well luckily flights flown on Star Alliance member airlines also count towards status qualification. E.G. when you fly on United Airlines you can choose Aegean as the airline to credit the miles to.
Now we know that, how does the journey to gold status look like ….
Before we can qualify for gold status we have to get ourselves to the silver status level. To do so we need to collect 12.000 miles and 2 flight segments on Aegean or Olympic airlines. (If we don’t want to fly the Aegean flight segments we need to collect the double amount to qualify, so 24.000). More on collecting flight segments on Aegean later on.
Once we reach 12.000 miles and have collected the needed flight segments both the miles and the segments will be deducted from our account balance. From the moment you pass the silver threshold you have one year to comply with the qualification requirements for gold status.
Now that we have silver status we can continu our path to more benefits by collecting some more miles and segments. We need an additional 24.000 miles and 4 flight segments on Aegean/Olympic to qualify for gold status. As said above we have one calender year to qualify.
I know this seems like a lot of flying, but luckily we can do it the Scandinavian way!
Earning miles the Scandinavian way
When you fly economy on United Airlines chances are big that you would earn only 50% of the miles flown in the Aegean program. If we would earn status this way you would need to fly 36.000 * 2 = 72.000 butt in seat miles to gain status… thats not really a fasttrack to status.
What if instead of doubling the amount of butt-in-seat miles needed for gold status we could make it less… When we fly economy class on SAS Scandinavian airlines we would earn 100% of the miles flown, so you would only need to fly 36.000 miles. However what if we can make it even 50% less ….. Now I have your attention?
As you can see in the earning table above, most economy class fares would earn 100%. However if you would fly premium economy (fare codes A or P) you would earn 200% of the miles flown!
Lets explain by using an example flight from Oslo to Los Angeles, which has a flight distance of 5.500 miles each way (making it 11.000 miles total). Would we do this flight using United economy class airplanes we would earn 5.500 miles. If we choose SAS in economy class we would get the full 11.000 miles, however if we choose to fly premium economy, we would get 22.000 miles.
What makes if even better is that SAS premium economy is priced not that bad and often on sale.
Whats an Aegean segment
The Scandinavian way is a nice little “trick” to collect the miles needed we still need the 6 segments on Aegean/Olympic metal for Gold. The easiest explanation of a flight segment is every time an airplace takes off, its 1 segment.
If you’re on the direct flight from Amsterdam to Athens, that would be one segment. If you choose to continu your journey to e.g. Crete, you have a transit in Athens and therefore another take-off so you will collect 2 segments. For a return flight thats already four out of six flights needed. From Crete you can opt to fly any of the domestic (and often cheap) flights offered by Olympic air and there you are: Ready to collect gold status.
Requalification for gold status on Aegean
The most beautifull aspect of the Aegean Miles + Bonus program is that requalification for gold status is even more convenient than qualifying the first time. As soon as you reach your gold status you have one year to requalify for another year of benefits.
To requalify you only need to collect 12.000 miles and four flight segments on Aegean!! Thats just one return flight from Los Angeles to Athens and four domestic flights on Olympic. Easier than that it will not become.
Are you planning on qualifying for gold status? Leave a comment below!