Aug262016

SAS + Aegean $625 LAX to Denmark + Greece, Star Gold elite with three round trips

Star Alliance member Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus frequent flyer program offers a budget traveler’s opportunity for disenfranchised United flyers desiring Star Alliance Gold member elite status. U.S. residents unable to meet the big spend requirement to attain elite status in United Mileage Plus might find Aegean Airlines a suitable alternative if your travels take you to Europe on a regular basis. Aegean Airlines is the largest airline in Greece and operates routes around Europe and Middle East, however, there are no direct flights on Aegean to the USA.

The interesting facet of Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus is a low 12,000 tier points + 2 Aegean/Olympic flights requirement for Silver elite and then another 24,000 tier points + 4 Aegean flights requirement for Gold elite in a 12-month period of flights (not a calendar year). Or the option to skip the Aegean Airlines flight segments requirement and earn 24,000 tier points with any Star Alliance flights for Silver elite, then earn another 48,000 tier points for Gold elite.

A good introductory resource on the basics of Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus is found on FlyerTalk.

Silver elite in Aegean Miles+Bonus

Miles+Bonus Silver membership Aegean Airlines elite qualification rules to reach  

To reach the Silver Tier, all you need to do is fly Aegean or Olympic Air at least twice and earn 12,000 Tier Miles within 12 months or collect a total 24,000 Tier Miles, regardless of which airline you choose to fly with. Whichever you do first will get you there.

To retain your Silver Tier, you have a fixed 12-month period from the date of your upgrade or renewal of your tier to collect 8,000 Tier Miles, including 2 flights with Aegean and/or Olympic Air, or collect a total of 16,000 Tier Miles, regardless of which airline you choose to fly with.

You can fly 24,000 miles on Star Alliance airlines or fly only 12,000 miles + 2 Aegean or Olympic Air flight segments within 12 months.

Gold elite in Aegean Miles+Bonus

Miles+Bonus Gold membership qualification:

To upgrade from Silver to the Gold Tier, all you need to do is fly Aegean or Olympic Air at least four times and earn 24,000 Tier Miles within 12 months or collect a total 48,000 Tier Miles, regardless of which airline you choose to fly with. Whichever you do first will get you there.

To retain your Gold Tier, you have a fixed 12-month period from the date of your upgrade or renewal of your tier to collect 12,000 Tier Miles, including 4 flights with Aegean and/or Olympic Air, or collect a total of 24,000 Tier Miles, regardless of which airline you choose to fly with.

Important point: After you reach Aegean Silver elite at 12,000 Tier Points, your Tier Points reset to Zero 0 points and you need to earn 24,000 points within 12 months to reach Gold elite.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines Los Angeles – Copenhagen, Denmark $500 round trip Sep-May 2017

SAS Scandinavian Airlines has a deal currently for LAX travel departures under $500 round trip to Copenhagen, Denmark from mid-September through May 2017. These discount economy tickets on SAS are a sweet spot in the Aegean Miles+Bonus program as one of the few discount economy fare codes among Star Alliance airlines earning 100% flight miles as Aegean tier points.

SAS Airlines Los Angeles LAX – Stockholm ARN – Copenhagen CPH – Stockholm ARN – Los Angeles LAX

$498.17 round trip  Sat Nov 19 – Mon Nov 28

LAX-CPH Nov19-28 SK $498

LAX-ARN-CPH-ARN-LAX = 11,722 flight miles in SAS economy ‘T’ booking class.

Aegean Miles+Bonus awards 100% flight miles for SAS economy T class. This single $498 LAX-Copenhagen ticket almost puts you to 12,000 for Aegean Miles+Bonus Silver elite at 12,000 Tier Points.

You still need to fly two Aegean/Olympic segments and those will earn more than enough miles for the remaining 278 flight miles to reach Silver elite membership.

You can hang around Copenhagen or head right to Greece from Copenhagen.

Aegean Airlines Nov 21-26

Copenhagen – Athens, Greece ATH – Thessaloniki, Greece SKG – Athens – Copenhagen

844 Danish Krone DKK = $127.30 USD

844.00 DKK round trip Expedia.dk ticket

CPH-SKG Aegean 844DKK Expedia-dk Nov21-26

Google Flights Itinerary for Copenhagen – Thessaloniki, Greece

CPH-SKG 844DKK A3 Nov 21-26

Depart Los Angeles LAX on a Saturday and return from Europe after 10 days with Aegean Silver elite on one trip to Denmark and Greece for $625 in airline tickets.

Repeat a similar itinerary flying two more times on SAS economy LAX-Copenhagen and Aegean Airlines/Olympic to Greece with four flight segments on Aegean and Olympic during your second and third trips and you will reach Aegean Miles+Bonus Gold elite with 24,000 Tier Points.

Total cost = $1,875 given the ticket price examples shared here for travel during Thanksgiving week. These $500 SAS round trip LAX-Copenhagen ticket prices are available during this week’s SAS sale from September through May 2017.

It is possible to get the SAS ticket prices down to around $400 round trip total for ARN-LAX by using Momondo.com for discount tickets through online travel agencies and finding lower fares for Greece with Aegean.

You can set up the first ticket LAX to Copenhagen for first flight out and last flight back several months later and nest two Stockholm to Los Angeles round trip tickets within those LAX-CPH dates. SAS has lower ticket prices around $400 round trip or less for ARN-LAX.

Aegean Miles+Bonus looks like a program that might fit many travelers needs who feel locked out of elite status with the revenue requirements of American, Delta and United. Following suggestions from readers, I will be looking at Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles and Asiana to check out their programs for my frequent flyer travels.

This Aegean deal looks rather compelling to me. I may have found a suitable alternative to SAS Eurobonus, although Eurobonus might be better suited to me for my travel destinations. I have a couple weeks to decide before I need to picck a program for my next set of Star Alliance flights to Europe.

Loyalty Traveler – Going for SAS EuroBonus elite for 2017, unless I find a better program (Aug 25).

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. I only touched on SAS earning in this post to show the great value of the SAS LAX-CPH $500 tickets.

    One of the main issues I have with Aegean Miles+Bonus is Miles & More airlines Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian earn 0 miles for economy K class. SAS Eurobonus earns 25% for economy K with Miles & More airlines.

    Many of the best deals I have seen in the past year to Europe are Lufthansa and Swiss K class tickets priced significantly higher through United.

    United K earns 50% in Aegean Miles+Bonus and SAS Eurobonus, which is good rate.

    That is what makes the SAS $500 ticket deal so good since earn double points in Aegean compared to flying United to Europe.

  2. I am using this exact booking (LAX to CPH to SKG and back) to requalify Aegean Gold (and thus *A Gold) in a single trip, in October. I wasn’t able to finesse down as low as you show when I made my reservations because my available dates are constrained. But still far less than any other requalification options.

    I’m looking forward to Thai possibly restarting flights to the US, they are another carrier that offers 100% miles in discount economy (though more of their fare codes earn zero miles).

  3. Clarifications on Aegean elite qualification:

    Aegean resets your “miles/miles+flights needed” count once you reach 24k/12k+2 flights. You would need another 48k/24k+4 flights to go from Silver to Gold with them, and additional miles and flights left over from qualifying Silver would not count toward your Gold qualification requirements. (RDMs would still count, of course.)

    So it would take 3 LAX-CPH round trips to get A3 Gold from scratch, plus 2+4 Aegean flights. A RT plus two segments for Silver, two RTs plus four segments for Gold. You could do CPH-ATH and back on each SAS RT, for simplicity. There are other ways to arrange things as well, but that is the simplest.

    The requalification requirements once you have Silver or Gold are significantly lower that gaining them the first time. I consider A3 valuable enough as a long-term *A Gold status to keep it, but might not got for it if I was starting from scratch. Everyone should evaluate their needs, the requirements, and the requalification threshold against the benefits. This goes for all statuses. 😉

  4. @Tracy S. – Thanks for the clarification. I changed the title of this post and made corrections to add a third round trip ticket between California and Europe to qualify with an additional 24,000 Tier Points for Aegean Gold using SAS flights.

    That is a significant miscalculation on my part when it takes three LAX-Europe trips to earn Aegean Gold and not two (unless you are renewing Aegean Gold).

    I see that I did miscalculate the miles needed. Since it takes one round trip set of transatlantic flights for 12,000 miles from California to reach Silver and two more sets of flights to reach 24,000 Tier Points for Gold, then I would definitely look at nested tickets.

    $625 LAX-CPH-SKG Ticket 1.

    $400 ARN-LAX-ARN Ticket 2.
    https://www.google.com/flights/#search;f=ARN;t=LAX;d=2016-11-17;r=2016-11-24;a=STAR_ALLIANCE

    $400 ATH-LAX-ARN Ticket 3.
    https://www.google.com/flights/#search;f=ARN;t=LAX;d=2017-02-04;r=2017-02-09;sel=ARNLAX0SK939,LAXARN0SK940;a=STAR_ALLIANCE

    $125 Aegean four flight segments.

    $1,550 to $1,600 for three round trip flights and Aegean Gold elite.

    Last year I did three round trips to Europe in 5 weeks to earn AAdvantage Executive Platinum with a similar strategy of flying LAX-Copenhagen on a $625 ticket, with two nested tickets flying Bergen, Norway to San Francisco. BGO-SFO was under $400 round trip each ticket for American Airlines tickets through aa.com.

    This deal looks so much easier with September to May to schedule three trips to Europe.

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