Mar152019

Checking out Aegean Airlines transatlantic award fees on Star Alliance carriers

Aegean Airlines Miles+Bonus has been my primary frequent flyer program for the past two years. My next two trips to Europe are on SAS Scandinavian Airlines. The great deal with Aegean Miles+Bonus is 100% flight miles earned as redeemable miles and elite tier points for deep discount economy tickets on SAS Scandinavian. United and Air Canada deep discount economy fares only earn 50% flight miles. Miles&More airlines cheap economy K class tickets and some cheap TAP Portugal flights do not earn any Aegean miles. SAS Scandinavian is the sweet spot for Aegean Miles+Bonus flyers.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines earning 100% flight miles as redeemable miles and elite qualifying miles means flying USA to Europe on a $450 ticket San Francisco-Copenhagen-Stockholm and back earns all 11,655 flight miles as redeemable miles and elite tier points – like in old days with American, Delta and United. In fact, Aegean Miles+Bonus member gets even more credit than 11,655 flight miles.

Aegean Miles+Bonus has a 600 miles minimum per flight segment earned on SAS flights. This rule tacks on another 520 miles to the 680 mile flight distance CPH-ARN-CPH each way for a total 12,175 flight miles and tier points in Aegean Miles+Bonus for a San Francisco to Stockholm round trip.

Total round trip SFO-CPH-ARN-CPH-SFO flights on SAS credited to Aegean Miles+Bonus earns 12,175 redeemable miles and tier points for a single ticket as low as $450-$500 during sales from LAX or SFO. There is a FlySAS Scandinavian Airlines sale happening this week through March 21.

I think LAX tends to have more low fares than SFO for SAS tickets.

There are only a handful of cities in USA with SAS direct flights to Scandinavia.

Aegean Miles + Bonus California to Europe award tickets

Aegean charges 30,000 miles for California-Europe one way economy class Star Alliance award ticket and 45,000 miles one way for Business Class..

I examined award flight availability to analyze award ticket cost to a deeper degree than I have in the past three years as an Aegean Miles+Bonus active member.

My initial impressions for award travel between California and Europe are high fees seen with an all Miles & More airlines itinerary, even 5x more at €200 and more to fly San Francisco to Frankfurt compared to €5 for a United nonstop LAX/SFO to London. €30 to €60 lowest fees on SAS and slightly more at €40-60 flying TAP Portugal and these two airlines in conjunction with United Airlines flights.

Small €5 to €6 additional charge to add domestic United flight on award ticket from Stockholm to Monterey, flying SAS nonstop Stockholm to LAX.

Only two flight segments allowed for Aegean Miles+Bonus award ticket.

A limitation with Aegean Miles+Bonus awards is only nonstop and two flight segments award tickets are allowed. A tool like Kayak Direct Flights comes in handy to see which cities in Europe have nonstop flights on Star Alliance carriers to LAX, SFO, SJC, or wherever you may be traveling.

https://www.kayak.com/direct/sfo/2019-07

Aegean Miles+Bonus sample award tickets for California to/from Europe

July 10 San Francisco to London LHR flying United Airlines nonstop 30,000 miles + €4.96

Here are some examples of how Miles & More airlines increase the cost of an Aegean Miles+Bonus award ticket significantly.

July 10 San Francisco to Copenhagen UA/SAS 30,000 miles + €26.57 one way

$30.08 award fees to fly United transatlantic, SAS intra-Europe

Change United and SAS Scandinavian to a United and Lufthansa flight via Frankfurt.

July 10 San Francisco to Copenhagen UA/LH 30,000 miles + €75.61 one way

$85.60 award fees to fly United transatlantic, Lufthansa intra-Europe

Change United transatlantic flight to Lufthansa and award ticket shoots way up in price.

July 10 San Francisco to Copenhagen LH 30,000 miles + €218.62 one way

$247.51 award fees all Lufthansa flights SFO to Copenhagen

July 18 Copenhagen to San Francisco 30,000 miles + €36.41 one way

July 15 Copenhagen to Los Angeles SAS 30,000 miles + €43.90 one way

Low priced one-way award tickets to and from cities across Europe make an open-jaw itinerary a potential way of traveling to far flung multiple cities in one general direction across Europe without backtracking to the original arrival city for a flight home. Intra-European flights are generally cheap with planning.

July 10 San Francisco to Lisbon United/TAP Portugal 30,000 miles + €35.79 one way

United SFO-FRA: TP FRA-LIS

July 18 Lisbon to San Francisco TAP Portugal 30,000 miles + €43.14 one way

July 18 Tap Portugal nonstop Lisbon to San Francisco

July 22 Prague to San Francisco TAP Portugal 30,000 miles + €61.30 one way

All TAP Portugal flights have relatively low fees.

 

Loyalty Traveler – Aegean, Asiana and Turkish Airlines Star Alliance Gold qualification requirements compared (Jan 28, 2019).

Loyalty Traveler – Missed 2018 Aegean Gold elite by 4,848 Tier Miles. Try Again 2019. (July 11, 2018).

I have written several articles on Aegean elite qualification you can find by checking articles tagged Aegean on Loyalty Traveler.

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.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. Interesting. So a reasonable expectation for Y transatlantic would be 60k miles + $100 in fees for a roundtrip. Comparing to $450 sale fares which also earn around 12k redeemable miles, using Aegean miles this way seems pretty low value, with the 72k miles replacing $350 in fare, less than 0.5c per mile.

    Are the fees much higher for J class redemptions?

  2. Cmon, if you have a blog about miles and award travels. Aaaand live in USA, shouldnt u know that United does NOT impose Carrier charges on award flights, meanwhile most other staralliance programs do?
    Here is ur difference on SFO-FRA flight.

  3. @Jig –

    Wed Apr 3
    SFO-CPH-LHR SAS 45,000 + 17.42eur Business Class

    In Asia the fees for J tickets are same as economy tickets.
    Tokyo-Singapore
    Tokyo NRT-HKG Hong Kong NH; HKG-SIN SQ
    Business class = 21,000 miles + 87.92 EUR one way.

    In economy 12,500 miles + 87.92 EUR.

  4. Nice! The business class redemptions certainly seem like the way to go given the same fees as economy and a pretty reasonable 50% or so premium over the miles cost. Thanks Ric

  5. Ric, did your blog lose (or never have) a Search feature? More to the point, have you been to Hungary? Or Southern Italy? Looking for your reports, if any.

  6. @blucat – For some reason the clearly visible search box at the upper right corner disappeared. Now it is only a magnifying glass icon.

    I have been to Hungary, but last time was 4 years before I started Loyalty Traveler and I did not take a camera since it was 2002 and security measures were too time-consuming at airports in the wake of 9/11.

    Kelley and I stayed in the Duna Suite at Hilton on castle hill with one of the most gorgeous views of any hotel we ever stayed. InsideFlyer magazine once asked me about my best hotel stay and I cited that Hilton in Budapest as the most romantic hotel room we ever had.

    And I was only Hilton Honors Gold and had never published anything in the travel sphere outside of FlyerTalk posts.

    Have not been back to Hungary since 2002.

    Never been to southern Italy, although I do have a great travel story from an overnight train ride Pisa to Rome when I was 15 and traveling with my 18 year old sister and her boyfriend. We had to sleep on the floor in the corridor of a crowded carriage. A teenage girl and her brother and family from Sicily fed me and took care of me as I slept by sheltering me from being walked on through the night. They spoke no English and I spoke no Italian.

    I see train travel from Pisa to Rome can be done in 3 hours now. Seems like it was something like 8 hours in 1975, but I can’t say I really recall how long we were on the train. We arrived in Rome in the morning. It is a precious travel memory.

  7. Thanks for the info about Hungary and Italy. Okay, I’m going next month and will tell you if I think the Dreher and Bionda beers are worth a trip.

    BTW, I’m on Chrome and dont see a magnifying glass. Also, FWIW, I check the box next to “Notify me of follow-up comments by email.” but it doesnt notify me.

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