Star Alliance Gold status in Aegean Airlines’ Miles&Bonus frequent flyer scheme will be harder to obtain from November with the airline jacking up its qualification requirements across the program.
That allowed Aussie frequent flyers to take just one trip from Sydney or Melbourne to New York or London to qualify for Miles&Bonus Gold outright, and in doing so earning a shiny Star Alliance Gold card.
Even if frequent flyers have never flown with Aegean, the internationally-recognised Star Alliance Gold status unlocks lounge access and priority check-in and boarding with airlines such as Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, United Airlines and Air Canada.
Aegean’s informal ‘lifetime’ status will also come to an end as new annual requalification thresholds take its place.
Although not a published benefit, the airline is currently known to renew the membership levels of its elite frequent flyers every year – even if travellers have only taken a single Star Alliance flight, making it one of the most generous frequent flyer programs for earning and retaining elite status.
Building status in Aegean Miles&Bonus
Currently, Miles&Bonus Blue and Star Alliance Silver status can be had after earning just 4,000 miles within a 12-month period, while Miles&Bonus Gold and Star Alliance Gold is a steal at only 20,000 miles.
From November 24, Blue becomes the entry-level tier – akin to Qantas Bronze or Velocity Red – and a new Miles&Bonus Silver tier takes its place. Miles&Bonus Gold remains the top status level.
To hit Silver under the revised scheme, you’ll need to fly with Aegean or Olympic Air twice within 12 months and earn at least 12,000 miles in the program, or you could instead earn a minimum of 24,000 miles on any Star Alliance airline, with no requirement to fly on Aegean or Olympic.
In a similar fashion, the number of miles needed for Gold skyrockets to 48,000 on any Star Alliance airline – more than double the current level – or 24,000 miles plus at least four flights on Aegean or Olympic.
That roughly lines up with other Star Alliance frequent flyer programs such as Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer and Thai Airways’ Royal Orchid Plus, which both require 50,000 miles for their lowest Star Alliance Gold tier.
Retaining your Aegean Miles&Bonus status
While the days of Aegean Star Alliance status for life are coming to an end, it’s not all bad news for globetrotters – once you’ve earned your Silver or Gold status with Aegean, it’s much easier to retain.
Travellers can hang on to their Silver cards after flying just 8,000 miles over 12 months with at least two Aegean or Olympic flights, or 16,000 miles across the alliance on other airlines.
For Gold, a mere 12,000 miles and four Aegean/Olympic flights keeps the card in your passport wallet, or just 24,000 miles on any Star Alliance airline.
That’s easily done in one return business class trip from Sydney to London with Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways, or a single round-trip from Sydney to Vancouver with Air Canada – so if you can jump the hurdle of earning the status at the beginning, Aegean could still have its place in your frequent flyer portfolio.
Existing Miles&Bonus Blue, Gold members
Come November, Aegean Miles&Bonus Blue members (Star Alliance Silver) will be relegated to the ‘new’ Blue tier at the bottom of the pile, which comes without any alliance-wide status.
While it’s a blow to those who have earned their threads, albeit after flying a mere 4,000 miles, Star Alliance Silver doesn’t give any perks beyond waitlisting and standby priority – so if you normally fly on confirmed tickets, you won’t miss much.
Regardless of how many flights have been taken, current Miles&Bonus Gold members get to keep their valuable Star Alliance Gold card for the time being, but will need to meet the retention requirements in future years.
If you’re flying within the Star Alliance network before November 24, check out our article on how to earn Aegean Miles&Bonus Gold – and Star Alliance Gold – after just one international trip.
Better yet, if you lock in that Gold status before the new rules kick in, you’ll never have to meet the 48,000-mile threshold – only the 24,000-mile retention minimum, which is easily done even if you’re flying in business class but once per year.
If you’re using Aegean Miles&Bonus for your Star Alliance status, will you stick with the program in spite of the new requirements, or will you look for a better deal elsewhere?
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About Chris Chamberlin
Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!