Aegean Gold status used to be one of the best ways to achieve Star Alliance Gold (which means free international lounge access!). But, they redid the program and now it is similar to other programs in terms of achievement. However, it has always been relatively easy to retain the Gold status (especially if you were to visit Greece). Now, it is even easier as they adjust for the Covid travel situation.
Easier Than Before to Keep Aegean Gold
Link: Aegean Status Update
With some airlines already throwing in the elite towel for qualification in 2021, Aegean is in a rather unique situation. Their elite status has a specific renewal calendar – for those “legacy” elite members that held the status prior to its overhaul, the status expired on November 23 each year. For everyone else, it would expire one year from when they earned it.
Last year, they just moved everyone’s renewal date to May 31, 2022. With an expiration date that far out, it doesn’t really make sense for Aegean to automatically renew everyone again, though I did kind of expect they would extend it until the end of 2022. However, they decided they would take a different tactic which, in a way, could end up helping them in weeding out members that only use them for the lounge access and do not ever fly with them.
Aegean Gold Retention Status Amount Lowered by 25%
There are two different ways you can retain Aegean Gold, in a typical year. One is to credit 24,000 miles (remembering that all fare classes are not equal when it comes to mile credit) from any Star Alliance airline to Aegean in a member year. The other is to credit 12,000 miles from any airline but you must also credit 4 separate Aegean airline flights to the account as well.
This works out great for any members who like to visit Greece, especially since they have a very strong European network that also reaches into the Middle East and northern Africa. Even better, Gold members get 4 business class upgrades so that can make those 4 Aegean flights even better.
This year, they reducing the amount needed to retain Aegean Gold by 25% – but only for the method that requires 4 Aegean flights. So, if you do not fly Aegean the required 4 times, you still need a total of 24,000 miles earned before May 31. But, if you credit 4 Aegean flights before May 31, 2022, you also will only need 9,000 miles total!
Buy Miles to Retain Aegean Gold Status – At a Discount
But, it gets even better! Aegean allows you to buy tier miles (as well as award miles). Gold members are limited to buying 3,000 tier miles per member year but this year, Aegean will let you buy up to 5,000 miles and will let you do it with a 25% discount!
Here is how that breaks down by cost (in euros and converted to USD at today’s exchange) and you can buy in blocks of 500 miles (I am showing the 1,000 mile amounts):
- 500 miles – €37.50 ($43.80)
- 1,000 miles – €75 ($87.60)
- 2,000 miles – €150 ($177.20)
- 3,000 miles – €225 ($262.85)
- 4,000 miles – €300 ($355.40)
- 5,000 miles – €375 ($435)
So, if you have not credited a single mile to Aegean yet, you can still get your Gold status retained by flying just 4,000 miles and 4 Aegean flights. Depending on the fare class, you could probably do those miles in those 4 flights, plus buying 5,000 tier miles. Sure, that isn’t cheap but if you want to easily retain it, it could be the best way to do it at this point. You have until May 31, 2022 to buy at discount.
One more thing – buying these miles is done directly through the airline so you should get your bonus points/miles for airline spending as well.
While it is not as welcome news as an outright one year extension, I get why Aegean is doing this. There are still 8 whole months before this extension expires so it doesn’t make sense to extend it right now. Plus, with this new lowered amount, it gives them a way to retain customers who are actually loyal to the airline. If you flew and credited Aegean flights this summer, it means you will already see your account requiring fewer miles.