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
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
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
844.00 DKK round trip Expedia.dk ticket
Google Flights Itinerary for Copenhagen – Thessaloniki, Greece
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).