Elite Status Travel News

Bad News: Aegean’s Miles+Bonus Just Devalued Their Best Awards for Star Alliance Carriers

lufthansa first class
Written by Charlie

My favorite Star Alliance program for premium awards just took a dive. Aegean had an unannounced award devaluation that ruined some of the best awards they had.

Well, it finally happened. Aegean’s Miles+Bonus award chart has been quite generous for a while and I thought that some of the quirks of the program (not all awards are bookable online, only one connection included in the award, etc) would keep Aegean from making a devaluation. But, I figured if there was going to be one this year, today would be the day it would happen.

The Aegean Miles+Bonus Award Chart Devalued

Link: New Aegean Miles+Bonus Award Chart as of November 25, 2019

Why do I say today (November 25) would be the day? Well, back in the day, Aegean’s loyalty year was based on ending November 23 and beginning November 24. Any of us who received Aegean status before the elite change of a few years ago still operate on that calendar (as opposed to an actual calendar year). Today is the first business day of the new member year so I was poking around my new certificates and checking things when I noticed the award chart change.

On one hand, I am very saddened by this change since it ruins one of my all-time favorite premium awards (North America <-> Europe in business class for 45,000 miles). On the other hand, I am happy that they decided to do it today instead of next week. See, Aegean has run some great mile purchase bonuses for Black Friday before and it would have been horrible if they dropped this chart next week after running a big mileage sale (if they indeed run one – which I would say is a pretty sure thing now that they have made the awards harder to get).

Sneaky Award Devaluation = Ruined Trust

But, that is just my thankfulness with timing, not with the issue itself. Just like their last award devaluation, Aegean did this one without notice. That is horrible and I refuse to trust a program that makes changes like that. Aegean is my primary elite program (because of the Star Gold access) but I will definitely not be keeping miles in the program for long if I can burn them.

So, what changed? First up is the award chart from yesterday and then the award chart from today. The blue boxes are to highlight some sweet spots in the old program. Remember, all awards shown are for roundtrip so cut it in half for a one-way award.

sweet spots aegean

The new Aegean Award chart as of November 25, 2019

Most significantly in the changes are the following:

  • North America – Europe/North Africa
    • Economy went from 30K one way to 35K one way
    • Business went from 45K one way to 55K one way
    • First went from 60K one way to 75K one way
  • Far East – Far East 
    • Economy went from 12.5K one way to 17.5K one way
    • Business went from 21K one way to 32.5K one way
    • First went from 40K one way to 45K one way
  • Europe/North Africa – Near East/Central Asia
    • Economy went from 30K one way to 35K one way
    • Business went from 45K one way to 55K one way
    • First went from 60K one way to 75K one way

If I had to predict which awards would be on the chopping block, it would have definitely been the ones above, as well as a couple of others (currently unchanged – likely not due to the value present but the rarity of the bookings). The Far East one was always an incredible way to get 8+ hours in business class for very low cash or mile output. Not anymore.

Will I Stay Loyal to Aegean Going Forward?

As long as they don’t change the requirements to earn elite status, I will continue to credit miles to Aegean to maintain by Star Gold status (since it is so easy). But, I will no longer just build up my miles and will instead use them up as soon as I get what I need for an award.

As a matter of fact, I just burned 45K miles three days ago for another Europe – North America business class award. Glad I did that when I did…

What To Do If You Need to Book An Award That Changed?

At present, the only program that transfers to Aegean is the Marriott Rewards program. For every 60,000 Marriott points, you get 20,000 Aegean miles plus 5,000 bonus miles. So, if you are left short of an award you had wanted to book, that is one way to go.

Remember that you can also transfer from any other Aegean member to you for €15, so that is another way to top up your account.

Another way, and I am hesitant to mention this with this unannounced change just happening, is to buy Aegean miles if they have another 100% bonus sale on Black Friday. I hate to reward them with money for making a change but it is likely the best way to get up to the new award level for an upcoming award.

Or, if you happen to have 45,000 miles burning a hole in your account now that you cannot use them for US-Europe, you could always check out this splendid use of miles…

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

10 Comments

  • Too bad, I have some miles still but it is impossible to book a Business class ticket online unless it is within Europe. When I call they say there is nothing, but economy. I bought miles last year on your recommendation but they seem not to be worthy to use. I will burn them for some inter-European flights and domestic next year to get rid of them.

    • It is definitely possible to book international business class tickets online. I have booked 6 this year alone. Always check United (without signing in to United, if you have a UA credit card) to search for availability. Buying miles last year was a great deal – there are still ways to use them, even if it does require extra miles now.

  • Hi Charlie, so if I search UA without signing in and it shows flights then go to Aegean and I will see business class? I haven’t seen one with my route SAN to ATH. I put in March 10th on United without signing in like you said, and it shows a slew of flights with Air Canada and Aegean as well as a Turkish Airline with United, both business class and showing 70000 United Miles. Then I go to Aegean and sign in and none of these flights are shown and only economy is shown from 35000 to 50000 miles. No display of business. I called Aegean and was told only Economy is available at the above listed mileage. You must have a lucky streak for your route as mine is pretty much not possible.

    • Remember that you only get a single connection with Aegean. My guess is that the options you are seeing involve 2 connections. That is why you aren’t seeing it. Also, some airlines do have phantom space with United (not normally Turkish, though). One last bit – sometimes itineraries will not show online if they are not all in business. So, if United is showing an economy leg and the long leg in business, you may need to call and feed them the flights, starting with the long haul.

  • That’s 2 tough devaluations on Intra-Asian awards this year, as I consider the loss of free stopovers with Alaska a major blow for those awards. Still, that NA – Europe J price is not bad compared to many other programs. It feels like it went from “great sweet spot” to “good price” if you compare it to, say, United pre-dynamic pricing.

  • Hi, Charlie. I was waiting 100% extra bonus miles sale like black Friday sale in 2018.
    However it was never held in 2019, and this devaluation.
    Regarding old award chart, I think Tokyo-South East Asia 21K for one way at C class was real sweet spot. Because it’s over 7hrs flight e.g) Tokyo-KL or Tokyo-Sin. Especially, it’s amazing we can book C classs one of world best Airlines Singapore Airlines and All Nippon Airways.
    Would you please teach me another sweet loyalty program? (few miles, big benefit for Asian)
    Thank you.

    • Black Friday is coming up so there still may be a sale. In fact, due to the devaluation, I am thinking there absolutely will be a sale.
      You are right – that truly was a sweet spot. There is still a really nice sweet spot, even better, in fact, but not as convenient (South Africa < -> South America via China or Europe). I will be doing a post at a later time about some other Star sweet spots.

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