I’ve written several times about Aegean Star Alliance Gold status.
The gist is that with 19,000 miles you can earn a status that may last you a lifetime.
Until now United has given Star Alliance Gold members and everyone who travels with them 3 free 70 pound bags each.
Not only that but foreign Star Alliance Gold members have free access to domestic United lounges even if they aren’t traveling internationally. United’s own elite members don’t have that privilege.
United however isn’t amused. The letter of the law is that Star Alliance Golds must be provided with 1 additional free bag. Effective for tickets bought on or after 10/17 United is doing just that. They are slashing the Star Gold baggage allowance down to just 1 free 50 pound bag for the Gold member and their travel companions on domestic itineraries.
On most international itineraries (such as Newark-Tel Aviv) Star Golds and their companions will each get 2 free 50 pound bags.
When Star Golds are traveling in business or first class they will still get 3 free 70 pound bags.
Star Alliance Silver members will no longer get any free bags, down from 1 free 50 pound bag.
If you fly on Air Canada or USAirways with Star Alliance Gold status you and all of your companions still get 3 free 50 pound bags (for now!) I wouldn’t be surprised to see them match United soon, so if you do need the extra baggage you may want to book travel on them now before the change goes into effect.
Baggage rules always follow the date you book the ticket, not the date of travel.
Note that this doesn’t effect United elites. United Silver elites continue to get 1 free 50 pound bag. United Gold/Platinum/1K/GS elites continue to get 3 free 70 pound bags.
It’s also worth noting here that effective next year United is making it much harder to qualify for United elite status if you are based in US.
If you want Silver status not only will you need 25,000 miles but you’ll have to spend $2,500 on United flights. Gold status will take 50,000 miles and $5,000 spent on United flights. Platinum status will take 75,000 miles and $7,500 spent on United flights. 1K status will take 100,000 miles and $10,000 spent on United flights. Oh, and taxes built into the tickets dont count towards that spending.
-If you’re not based in the US the spend requirement is waived.
-If you have a Presidential Plus card the spend requirement is waived for Silver, Gold, and Platinum
-If you spend $25,000 anywhere on a United credit card in 2014 then the spend requirement is waived for Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The United Explorer card also gives a bonus 10,000 miles for spending $25,000 on it in a calendar year, earning an effective 1.4 miles per dollar spent in additional to waiving the spend requirement on United flights. The Club card earn 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere on all spend.
In unrelated United news you can register to earn double miles on United flights bought and flown within the next month, but only in non-discount fare classes. Namely: F, A, J, C, D, Z, P, Y, B, M, E, U, H, Q, V, W and S.