Aegean Airlines is the easiest airline in the Star Alliance to earn Star Gold with. They only require 20,000 miles and that can be earned within 12 months of earning the base level, which only requires 4,000 miles. Plus, you earn 1,000 miles just for signing up! Not only is it easy to earn, but it is easy to keep requiring only one flight credited every three years. To read more about this great path to Star Alliance Gold, check this previous post on the subject.
The New Aegean Airlines Digital Card
One of the great perks of having Star Alliance Gold with Aegean (or any foreign carrier) is the ability to access United lounges while flying domestic itineraries. Not only does have Aegean Gold status give you access to those lounges, but to any Star Alliance lounge in the world. That is a lot of access for so little flying! But, the one big drawback with the program is the amount of time it takes to receive the actual Aegean Airlines card in the mail. If your mailing address is in the US, you can be waiting anywhere from 4 – 6 weeks for the card to arrive. The same applies if you lose your card and need a replacement. Since lounges require the card for access, that can be a big pain for any flights you have during that waiting period.
Some people have had success printing out their statement summary from Aegean to show that they are Star Gold to lounge agents, but that is not normally the case. Star Alliance lounges require the following (taken from the Star Alliance website)
Customer must present proof of Star Alliance Gold level status via a valid frequent flyer program Star Alliance Gold level card or other valid indication of Star Alliance Gold level status
Printouts do not really count for the valid indication since they can be altered. So, a card from your Star Alliance Gold airline is required.
The good news is that Aegean Airlines has now (as of July 8) implemented their digital card into their app for Android and iOS. This allows you to pull up a valid, digital copy of your Aegean member card. Aegean says that this will give entrance to all Aegean lounges and it should also work at other Star lounges as well. There may be some agents that will resist this, but I have used my United 1K card in the United app at lounges in Europe without a problem. Even if lounge agents do not except them right away, it should not be long before it is alliance wide since there is such a push towards digital cards and records.
If you already have the Aegean Airlines app, just login to your account to view your card. Nothing more to do! The best part about it is that it will update as soon as the system shows your tier upgrade – in other words, no more waiting for the physical card to come in the mail! This could be a big help to people who have trips before their card arrives, or for travelers who really do not like carrying that extra card.
Not only should this help with lounges, but it should also help with gaining access to the Priority line at check-in and to show proof of extra baggage allotment since there are times that United has not correctly noted my Aegean status in a reservation.