Best ways to earn Aegean Airlines Star Alliance Gold flying economy class only

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Gary Leff's post yesterday points out that with US Airways' imminent departure from Star Alliance, reaching Aegean Airlines (A3) gold is going to be a tiny bit harder. He does, however, miss the other golden details about why A3 is so good with their earnings in economy class. A3 have long been known in the air miles community to be the fastest way to hit Star Alliance Gold, though the majority of those who get it quickly do so in business class and in one trip.

star-gold-badge

I'm very reluctant to call it “lifetime” gold, as Gary is always keen to say, as the programme can and will unilaterally change the terms and conditions in their favour. But as it stands, so long as you credit a flight to A3 every three years, your gold status will be renewed.

But I digress. The point of this post is to highlight the several most efficient methods by flying economy class and crediting the mileage to A3. In fact there is a thread on Flyertalk dedicated to the most interesting routings. A3 only requires 20 000 credited miles to hit Gold, and they give you 1 000 as you sign up, sometimes 2 000 during promotion. This means you only need 18 000 – 19 000 miles more.

Here is the earning chart for A3. Don't forget with Star Alliance it matters which airline's metal you are sitting in. Mileage is credited by the operating carrier, not the marketing carrier, so be careful with codeshared flights. To highlight the key points of the earning chart for economy class, Avianca, Ethiopian Airlines, and SAS stand out as they give 100% mileage credit on deepest-discount economy class tickets.

Avianca

 
Business Class Booking Classes Accrual Factor Minimum miles
 Business Class C 200% 750
 Discount Business D, J 150% 750
Economy Class Booking Classes Accrual Factor Minimum miles
Economy Class H, M, B, Y 150% 500
Economy Class E, A, V, Q, P, O, L, K, G, U, T, S, W, Z 100% 500

Booking Classes not eligible for accrual:I, X, R, N

Screenshot from 2014-03-23 00:54:47

 

Extra observations:

  • Long haul flights are fairly restrictive as the only ones of substantial distance are from Spain to Colombia (approx 5 200 miles). The longest intra-Americas route is probably Lima – El Salvador – Toronto clocking up 4089 miles according to GCMap.

 

Ethiopian Airlines

 
Business Class Booking Classes Accrual Factor Minimum miles
Business Class C, D, J 200% 1000
Economy Class Booking Classes Accrual Factor Minimum miles
Economy Class Y, G, S, B, M, K, L, V, H, U, Q, T, W, E, O 100% 500

Booking Classes not eligible for accrual:I, X, R, N, A, Z, F, P

OurWorld

Extra observations:

  • The above map seems to miss out their transatlantic flight to Brazil. The significance here is that Ethiopian Airlines allows ticketing from Europe to Brazil via Africa, meaning you can hit your Star Alliance Gold in one return trip.

 

SAS

 
Business Class Booking Classes Accrual Factor Minimum miles
Business Class C, D, Z 200% 1200
Economy Class Booking Classes Accrual Factor Minimum miles
Economy A, J, Y, S, B, P 200% 1200
Economy Discounted E, M, H, Q, V, W, U, K, L, T, G, O 100% 600

Booking Classes not eligible for accrual:I, R, X, N

Extra observations:

  • SAS give 600 mile minimum credit, increasing to 1200 in the higher fare buckets. VERY generous especially if you are doing intra-European flights where you have to transfer at one of their hubs in Scandinavia.
  • SAS fly to USA and also Far East Asia, so if you are likely to fly either direction twice or both directions once in a 2 year period, then you'll easily hit your Gold in the 100% earning bands. Just one trip will be enough for the 200% bands!

Screenshot from 2014-03-23 00:06:07

 

US Airways

For completeness, here's the US Airways earning chart. Bear in mind there's only 1 week left!

First Class Booking Classes Accrual Factor
First Class F, A 150%
First Upgrades P, O 100%
Business Class Booking Classes Accrual Factor
Business Class C, D, Z 150%
Business Upgrades J 100%
Economy Class Booking Classes Accrual Factor
Economy Full Fare Y, B 100%
Economy M, H, Q,  V, W 100%
Economy Discounted L, S, T, G, K, U, E 100%

 

So hopefully this post has enlighted some of you to hit your quasi-lifetime Star Alliance Gold. The carriers mentioned above will cover most people across the globe though if you're based in South-East Asia or Australasia, you'll be missing out unfortunately.

Is there anything else I've missed out? Leave a comment below to let me and other readers know what other tips you have to hit Gold.

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Comments

  1. Your post began, “Gary Leff’s post yesterday points out that with US Airways’ imminent departure from Star Alliance, reaching Aegean Airlines (A3) gold is going to be a tiny bit harder. He does, however, miss the other golden details about why A3 is so good with their earnings in economy class. A3 have long been known in the air miles community to be the fastest way to hit Star Alliance Gold, though the majority of those who get it quickly do so in business class and in one trip.”

    And yet the concluding paragraph of my post was:

    “On the other hand, since Aegean generously bonuses premium cabin fares, business travelers whose companies buy business or first class could find themselves lifetime Star Alliance Gold with a single trip that’s long enough.”

    I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.. 🙂

  2. Star Alliance Gold feature offered by Aegean Airlines is quite interested. It is a great feature offered to the economy class customers. I have been travelling by Aegean Airlines for the past 3 years. Therefore, I found this article to be really interesting and useful. I learned few new things about Star Alliance Gold. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Tim you are so right!
    they have designed an even fairer way of accruing and redeeming miles, since the final amount of miles corresponding to each flight will be the result of both the fare category and the actual miles flown (for international flights)
    i m afraid that i will travel more to keep my gold status

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