The general perception of frequent flyer programs is that you need to be on an airplane at least a few times per week to earn elite status at an airline. For some loyalty programs that might be true, but luckily for us there are some exceptions to this rule. A well known exception is the Miles + Bonus program the Greek airline Aegean Airlines runs.
Aegean Airlines is an airline which has its home airport in Greece. It mainly operates domestic and European flights. How could this airline be of any use to travellers from Europe or even the other side of the world? Well the nice thing about Aegean is that its part of the Star Alliance (a group of airlines working together).
As you can see in the overview below there are quite a few airlines working together in Star Alliance and they are literally from everywhere in the world. Being part of the Star Alliance means you could earn frequent flyer miles in the Aegean Miles + Bonus program by flying any of the airlines mentioned below. On the other side it also means that when you earn frequent flyer status with Aegean, the benefits you get from the status don’t only apply on Aegean flights but also on flights on any of the Star Alliance member airlines.
I could write a long post about the reasons why airline status is good for you (and I might write it on a later moment). The picture below summarizes the main benefits you wil acquire from having airline status. Having to pick one benefit that I appreciate the most, it would be the airport lounge access you would get. With this benefit you could enjoy airport lounges before your flight or during a transit between flights.
It’s relatively easy to gain Silver and Gold status. On top of that maintaining the status over the years is even easier as you will see.
When you at least fly six flight segments yearly on Aegean (or Olympic Air) you wil qualify for the easier qualification requirements for elite status being : Collect 12.000 miles voor Silver status and 36.000 miles voor Gold status.
When you enroll in the Aegean program you will get the Blue status, this status does not really give you any noticeable benefits, so its best to aim for Silver as quickly as possible.
To earn the Silver status with Aegean Air we need to collect two flights on Aegean Air. When we manage to do that we need to earn 12.000 elite qualifying miles on Star Alliance partner airlines (or Aegean) to trigger the Silver status. When you reach the threshold of 12.000 miles your tier miles counter will be reset to zero and your status will be updated to Silver.
With Silver status you will get four coupons to access the Aegean lounges and you will also receive two upgrade certificates for Aegean flights. With those two last certificates you can upgrade flights booked in Economy class to Business class. Finally you will earn an extra 10% miles on all your Aegean flights.
With the Silver status achieved lets focus on Gold status. With your tier miles counter being reset to zero after you reached Silver status we can go on a mission to collect tier miles for Gold. Once again you need to fly four flights on Aegean Air to unlock the lowered qualification requirements for Gold status. For Gold we need to fly 24.000 tier miles together on Aegean or the Star Alliance partners.
Once we reach the 24.000 miles threshold once again the tier miles counter will reset to zero and our status will be upgraded from Silver to Gold status. With this new status you will now earn 20% bonus miles on Aegean flights, you will get some more flight upgrade coupons and some more smaller benefits.
The nicest thing about having Aegean Gold status is that it will also get you Star Alliance Gold status through which you have lounge access on all flights from Star Alliance member airlines (even when you are on US domestic flights).
While having to fly 36.000 miles to acquire Gold status is lots less than with other airlines, it still means you have to fly a lot. Luckily for us the amount of tier miles you will earn is related to the booking class you fly in. Some booking classes will earn your more miles than other ones, and there is one especially sweet spot: SAS Scandinavian Airlines.
When you book a flight on SAS Scandinavian Airlines in economy your flights will earn you 100% of the flown miles towards elite status. The real sweet spot with SAS is that booking a flight in Premium Economy (shows as Economy in the table below) earns you a whopping 200%.
A single return flight from let’s say Copenhagen to Los Angeles in premium economy class will give you just south of 23.000 miles, meaning over 60% of the miles needed to achieve Gold status. Another thing to mention from the earning table below is that a single flight in premium economy always give you a minimum amount of 1.200 miles. So even a short distance flight between Oslo and Copenhagen already give you 2.400 miles for a return flight. When we add a transit in for example Stockholm we could even double the amount of miles giving you 4.800 miles.
SAS is known for having a few very good deals yearly on premium economy. The Copenhagen to Los Angeles flight for example can often be obtained for as little as 750 euro.
Even though you could collect the tier miles very easy through SAS you still need to collect the six Aegean Air segments to unlock the lower qualification requirements. When located in Europe it’s not that difficult to earn in one trip to Greece.
When we start our journey for example in Amsterdam and we choose to fly to one of the Greece island, e.g. Crete, we always need to transit in the Aegean Air hub of Athens. Because we need a transit a minimum of four flight segments will be earned (two on the outbound and two on the inbound. When we add a same day return flight from Crete to Thessaloniki or even another island on Olympic Air (100% daughter airline of Aegean) we can easily collect the two last segments needed.
I hope I convinced you that qualifying for Star Alliance Gold status through Aegean is not the most difficult thing to do (when you at least fly six Aegean segments). When you have the status you of course would like to keep the status over time. Within Aegean Air is keeping the status even easier than getting it at first.
When you fly a minimum of four flights on Aegean Air yearly you only need to collect 12.000 tier miles to extend your Gold status for another year. That equals a one way flight from Copenhagen to Los Angeles in premium economy.
Copyright © 2020 | WordPress Theme by MH Themes