Around one year ago, as American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum, I made the decision to move part of my flights in 2017 from Oneworld to Star Alliance. Since I am a low fare economy class flyer typically flying four to six trips California to Europe each year, my objective was finding a Star Alliance program where I would be able to qualify for Star Alliance Gold with those cheap flights.
Aegean Miles + Bonus seemed to be a good fit with my travel. Earning Silver elite requires 24,000 Aegean Tier Miles on Star Alliance airlines in a 12-month period or fly 2 Aegean/Olympic flight segments and you only need 12,000 Aegean Tier Miles on Star Alliance carriers.
Upon earning Aegean Silver elite, members have 12 months to fly 24,000 Aegean Tier Miles on Star Alliance airlines + 4 Aegean/Olympic flight segments or fly 48,000 Aegean Tier Miles without any Aegean flight requirements.
I earned Aegean Miles + Bonus Silver Elite status August 1, 2017
I qualified for Aegean Miles + Bonus Silver elite last week.
United London LHR – SFO on August 1 put me over the 12,000 Tier Miles Silver elite qualification threshold. I flew 2 flight segments on Aegean with a $106.20 ticket Sofia, Bulgaria – Athens, Greece – Warsaw, Poland in February 2017.
United economy K class, the most common discount economy fare ticket for USA-Europe flights, earns 50% Aegean Tier Miles based on flight miles. London LHR – San Francisco SFO earned 2,679 Tier Miles. I was only 1,415 shy of 12,000 Tier Miles for Silver elite.
A positive outcome of the United flight posting is seeing the 1,264 Tier Miles over the Silver elite qualification level were applied to my Gold Elite qualification level and Silver elite renewal for Star Alliance flights by August 1, 2018.
22,736 Tier Miles to Aegean Miles + Bonus and Star Alliance Gold
Currently, I need 22,736 Aegean Tier Miles by August 2018 for Star Alliance Gold. I have already completed two SAS flights for 6,073 Aegean Tier Miles with San Francisco – Copenhagen – Stockholm flights I made last month flying to Europe. Somehow these flights were not processed by SAS or Aegean, even though my Aegean frequent flyer number was included on the booking. I need to make a phone call to get them properly credited.
22,736 – 6,073 = 16,663 Aegean Tier Miles + 4 Aegean Flight segments to qualify for Star Alliance Gold.
One of the reasons I chose Aegean Miles + Bonus is all economy booking codes in SAS earn 100% Tier Miles for flight miles. Cheap Norwegian flights between Oakland and Scandinavia has me frequently transiting through Copenhagen and Stockholm. I use Norwegian as a positioning flight to Europe, where round trip tickets from ARN, CPH, OSL are regularly under $500 to San Francisco on SAS.
Four Aegean flight segments will likely cost around $200 or less.
Aegean Airlines London LHR – ATH Athens, Greece
61.05 GBP = $79.60 USD one way Sat Oct 7
1,511 Aegean Tier Miles.
London to Athens is a simple one-segment flight for $80 one way. Google Flights is not currently pricing 2-segment flights automatically for a ticket like London – Milan via Athens. Past searches show me there are many opportunities to fly a two segment across Europe for under $100 and pick up 2,000 to 3,000 Aegean tier miles. Of course, I can always fly within Greece for four flight segments, if I want to visit some Aegean Sea islands.
Basically, I see myself as being one SAS round trip ticket from Gold elite with 12,000+ Tier miles and four intra-Europe Aegean flights for about 3,000 to 4,000 miles and another Star Alliance flight to put me over the Gold elite qualifying Tier Miles. Short-haul SAS flights earn minimum 600 Tier Miles.
Next Trip Nice, France
Nice, France is the primary destination for my next trip to Europe in late September or October. I have not ticketed any flights yet. Over the next month I will track fares seeking a good deal with SAS to Scandinavia or SAS round trip to SFO from Scandinavia.
Norwegian Airlines Oakland to London is currently $140 one way in October and looks like a good positioning flight. Aegean flies Athens to Stockholm and Copenhagen.
I don’t know that I will get four Aegean flight segments on my next Europe trip. It might be February to April 2018 before I make those flights to reach Aegean and Star Alliance Gold elite.
No hurry for me. I have a winter trip planned with Oneworld through London LHR and I still hold American AAdvantage Platinum elite for 2017. I will probably do a status match with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan for 2018 to go along with my Star Alliance elite status.
Star Alliance Gold Elite for United Basic Economy Flights
One of the useful benefits of Aegean Gold elite and Star Alliance Gold is one free full-size carry on bag and one free checked bag when flying United Airlines Basic Economy fares in the USA.
Related Aegean posts:
My Aegean Miles+Bonus Blue Card arrived (March 15, 2017).
Trip Report Aegean Airlines Gold elite status progress (March 1, 2017).
Building my Aegean elite status 9 day mystery trip (Jan 7, 2017).
Perhaps go for both Turkish and Aegean Gold elite in 2017 (Oct 25, 2016).
SAS vs. Aegean frequent flyer programs for USA flyers (Aug 30, 2016).