Mar122018

Cheap Star Alliance Gold elite with SAS Flights (1 of 2)

Star Alliance Gold elite membership grants access to Fast Track Gold lines in airports, extra baggage allowance and airport Star Alliance lounge access, including United Airlines Red Carpet Club access in USA airports when flying Star Alliance airlines. Red Carpet Club access in USA airports is not a benefit for Star Alliance Gold members through United Mileage Plus.

These are some reasons to consider international frequent flyer programs.

Aegean Miles+Bonus Elite Qualification

Aegean Miles+Bonus is one of the easiest Star Alliance frequent flyer programs for obtaining and requalifying for Gold elite membership with equivalent Star Alliance Gold benefits. Aegean Miles+Bonus confers Gold elite with as few as 24,000 Miles+Bonus Tier Miles and four Aegean flight segments.

In part 2 of this frequent flyer elite strategy I show ticketing strategies for earning 24,000 Tier Miles in Aegean Miles+Bonus for under $1,000 on a single ticket.

There are two ways to reach Aegean Miles + Bonus Silver and Gold elite status.

Aegean Silver Elite initial qualification

  • 12,000 Tier Miles + 2 Aegean/Olympic flight segments

   or

  • 24,000 Tier Miles (any Star Alliance airlines)

Membership year is date of initial qualification

Aegean Silver Elite Renewal

  • 8,000 Tier Miles + 2 Aegean/Olympic flight segments

   or

  • 12,000 Tier Miles (any Star Alliance airlines)

Aegean Gold Elite initial qualification

Membership year is date of initial qualification

  • 24,000 Tier Miles + 4 Aegean/Olympic flight segments

   or

  • 48,000 Tier Miles (any Star Alliance airlines)

Aegean Gold Elite Renewal

  • 12,000 Tier Miles + 4 Aegean/Olympic flight segments

   or

  • 24,000 Tier Miles (any Star Alliance airlines)

 

Aegean Miles+Bonus Tier Miles Earn Rates

Tier Miles are earned at different rates with different Star Alliance airlines.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines tickets tend to be higher priced than other Star Alliance airlines for California to Europe tickets. The tradeoff is 100% flight miles count as Aegean Tier Miles making SAS flights more rewarding for Aegean Miles+Bonus elite qualification. SAS flies to Stockholm from LAX and Copenhagen from San Francisco.

Many of the 13,000 Aegean Tier Miles I earned since earning Aegean Silver elite were United Airlines and Air Canada deep discount economy flights in K booking code. These flights only earn 50% flight miles as Aegean Tier Miles. A round trip ticket from San Francisco to Stockholm earns a little over 6,000 Tier Miles when flying United Airlines SFO-EWR-ARN or Air Canada SFO-YYZ-CPH.

Two cheap $400 round trip tickets on Air Canada earn 12,000+ Tier Miles for $800. Then fly 2 Aegean flights when in Europe for Aegean Silver elite qualification. Total cost $850 to $1,000 to earn 12,000 Tier Miles and fly 2 Aegean flight segments if you plan cheap flights.

Lufthansa and Swiss frequently have the lowest priced tickets between California and Europe, however, Miles&More flights in K class earn 0% Aegean Tier Miles.

Aegean, SAS and Ethiopian Tier Miles Sweet Spot

SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines both operate flights between California and Europe. SAS flies from LAX-Stockholm and SFO-Copenhagen routes. Ethiopian Airlines flies LAX-Dublin.

Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus members earn 100% flight miles as Tier Miles on deep discount economy class tickets with both SAS and Ethiopian.

LAX to Dublin on Ethiopian is 5,182 flight miles.

A single round trip ticket on SAS between California and Scandinavia can earn 12,000 Tier Miles.

LAX-Stockholm, Sweden LAX – ARN = 5,521 flight miles.

SFO – Copenhagen, Denmark SFO – CPH = 5,487 flight miles.

SAS flight segments earn a minimum 600 Tier Miles in Aegean Miles+Bonus.

SFO – CPH – ARN = 5,828 flight miles. In this case the flight distance at 341 miles for Copenhagen CPH-ARN Stockholm earns 600 Tier Miles and SFO-CPH-ARN in SAS economy earns 6,073 Tier Miles each way for 12,146 Tier Miles on a round trip ticket.

My Aegean Miles+Bonus Silver elite Tier Miles earned for $573 with two airline tickets.

My initial flight earning Aegean Miles+Bonus Tier Miles was SAS Scandinavian Stockholm to San Francisco ARN-CPH-SFO on Dec 30, 2016 in cheap SK deep discount economy T class on a $470 round trip ticket.

  • Stockholm ARN – Copenhagen CPH earned 600 Tier Miles.
  • Copenhagen CPH – San Francisco SFO earned 5,473 Tier Miles.

My return SAS flight SFO to Stockholm was July 11, 2017

  • San Francisco SFO – Copenhagen CPH earned 5,473 Tier Miles.
  • Copenhagen CPH – Stockholm ARN earned 600 Tier Miles.

Total 12,146 Tier Miles in Aegean Miles+Bonus after my SAS flight segment on SAS arriving in Copenhagen July 12, 2017.

In Feb 2017, I flew two Aegean Airlines flight segments on a $106 one way ticket from Sofia, Bulgaria to Warsaw, Poland via Athens. Olympic Air serviced Sofia to Athens. Aegean Airlines flew Athens to Warsaw, Poland. I paid $106.20 one way for these two flight segments.

  • Sofia SOF – ATH Athens, Aegean Economy T = 400 Tier Miles
  • Athens ATH – Warsaw WAW, Aegean Economy T = 746 Tier Miles

Once a member earns Silver elite, then the membership year resets to that date. You then have 12 months from the anniversary date of your initial tier upgrade to earn Gold elite by earning 48,000 Tier Miles or 24,000 Tier Miles + 4 Aegean/Olympic flight segments.

July 12, 2017 was my Silver elite membership upgrade date. I need another 11,037 Tier Miles to reach 24,000 Tier Miles by July 12, 2018 to earn initial Star Alliance Gold elite.

I flew 4 Aegean flight segments in October 2017.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines is my Aegean Gold Elite Qualification plan

  • SAS Economy earns 100% Tier Miles
  • SAS Premium Economy earns 200% Tier Miles

Next Article: Cheap Aegean Gold elite with SAS 2 of 2 (link to be added) covers current ticket prices for SAS Economy and Premium Economy tickets between California and Scandinavia.

 

 

 

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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