Two airlines I watch for California to Europe low fares are Ethiopian and Scandinavian SAS for their high rate of earning Aegean Miles+Bonus Tier Miles at 100% flight miles on most discount economy fares.
Star Alliance Silver elite is my only current airline elite membership status through Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus. I need 11,000 Tier Miles by July 2018 to reach Miles+Bonus and Star Alliance Gold membership.
Ethiopian Airlines Los Angeles to Dublin, Ireland is as low as $583 round trip in April 2018. LAX-DUB-LAX route is 10,363 flight miles round trip.
Ethiopian Airlines Los Angeles LAX – Dublin DUB – LAX
Ethiopian Airlines Booking Code Q earns 100% flight miles for Aegean, EVA, Thai and Turkish Airlines frequent flyer programs.
But I need more miles than that round trip ticket earns.
Ethiopian Airlines LAX to Cape Town, South Africa
Today there are $835 round trip tickets for LAX to Cape Town, South Africa on Ethiopian Airlines via Dublin, Ireland and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at 24,742 flight miles.
Two weeks ago these tickets were $787 round trip tickets for LAX to Cape Town, South Africa.
Loyalty Traveler – Ethiopian $787 LAX to Cape Town, South Africa
One ticket like that provides all the Aegean Tier Miles needed to requalify for Gold elite at 24,000 Tier Miles when flying 4 Aegean flight segments during the year. You need 48,000 Tier Miles earned during the membership year without 4 Aegean flight segments.
In October 2017 I flew Nice to Sofia and Sofia to Prague via Athens each trip to earn 4 Aegean flight segments for $140 on 2 one-way tickets across Europe.
$1,000 for maintaining Star Alliance Gold is cheap elite.
That is a killer flight schedule at 28 hours each way.
Scandinavia to South Africa
Another option for cheap long haul tickets flying Ethiopian Airlines is Stockholm ARN to Johannesburg ($462) or Oslo to Cape Town, South Africa ($588).
Stockholm, Sweden to Johannesburg, South Africa
12,352 flight miles in Ethiopian Airlines economy booking code E = 12,352 Aegean Tier Miles
My spring 2018 travel plan had been fly San Francisco to Scandinavia with SAS ($600) to earn 12,000 Aegean Tier Miles I need by July for Aegean Miles+Bonus Gold elite qualification with Star Alliance Gold elite membership upgrade.
Ethiopian Airlines might switch up my plans for traveling around Central Europe this spring for a trip to South Africa on Ethiopian Airlines, while still reaching my objective for Aegean Gold elite.
There are many cheaper ways to reach Stockholm from San Francisco Bay Area besides flying SAS.