October 4th, 2012
Update: The signup bonus for opening a free Aegean mileage account is now 2,000 points. That’s halfway to Star Alliance Silver and 10% of the way to Star Alliance Gold.
This article was originally posted on 02/06/12:
I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while, but finally am getting around to it…
Aegean, a Greek airline, is one of the many member airlines of the Star Alliance. They are a relatively recent entry to the alliance.
All miles earned for signing up and crediting flights to the program are elite qualifying and you get 1,000 miles for enrolling.
Here’s the cool part, they only require 4,000 miles for Blue card status (which gets you Star Alliance Silver status) and 20,000 miles for Gold card status (which gets you Star Alliance Gold status). Contrast that to the 25,000 miles required for Silver and 50,000 miles required for Gold with the US based carriers.
Even cooler, if you qualify for Gold status in 2012 it won’t expire until 12/31/15!
Not only that but according to the published terms of the program you just need to credit a single flight to Aegean in that time period and it will extend your account and the gold status for another 36 months. The thing is that nobody has actually had their Aegean gold status expire yet as the program only started in 2010, so it is possible they will add more requirements in the future to keep the status, but for now it’s really easy to attain and really easy to extend.
You have 1 year from when you signup to the program to get 3,000 more flight miles to reach Silver status at 4,000 total miles.
You then have 1 year from when you earn Blue/Silver status to credit 16,000 more flight miles to Aegean and earn Gold status until the end of the 3rd year from when you qualify.
When flying on any Star Alliance carrier just give them your Aegean frequent flyer number to get credit for the flight in Aegean miles.
Aegean Mileage Earning Table Linky
This is where things get a little tricky and it’s important to note the fare class of the ticket you buy, but here are the general rules:
-All USAirways coach fares earn 100% of the flown miles when credited to Aegean. Some business fares earn 150%.
-Most United discounted fares only give 50% of the flown miles when credited to Aegean, medium fares give 100%, full Y earns 150%, all business fares earn 200% and all first class fares earn a whopping 300%.
-Some Air Canada fares don’t earn any miles at all when crediting to Aegean.
You can lookup how many miles there are between cities by using the Great Circle Mapper. For example a $550 mileage run on USAirways from NYC to Alaska can get you more than halfway to the 19,000 miles you need for gold. Or a first class ticket nonstop from Chicago to Honolulu on United will give you more than enough miles to reach gold after the 300% miles you get for flying in first.
Thus mileage runs for Aegean elite status should either be done in coach on USAirways or in business or first on United.
-Star Alliance Silver gets you and your travel companions a free checked bag on Star Alliance carriers like Air Canada, United, and USAirways.
-Star Alliance Gold gets you and each of your travel companions 3 free checked bags on Star Alliance carriers. Some carriers (like United) even allow each bag to weigh 70 pounds each.
-When you have Star Alliance Gold status from United or USAirways you can’t access any of their lounges when traveling domestically, but when you have Star Alliance Gold status from a foreign carrier like Aegean you get free access at any of the 900+ Star Alliance lounges worldwide, even when traveling domestically in the US, for you and a companion.
-Star Alliance Gold status also gets you priority baggage, priority checkin, priority security, priority boarding, priority waitlisting, etc.
-When flying on United having Star Alliance Gold status will allow you to make the free same-day confirmed changes to your flight when done in the online check-in process.
-Aegean miles aren’t worth nearly as much as United or USAirways miles, so once you get the status you want you will want to switch back to earning miles from those carriers.
-You won’t get upgrades on United or USAirways like you would if you earned elite status in their programs.
-You won’t get bonus miles on United or USAirways like you would if you earned elite status in their programs.
-You won’t get expanded elite award availability on United like you would if you earned elite status in their programs.