Airline elite status is not really as cut-and-dry of a thing as it was a few years ago. That is thanks to the airlines cutting down on the earning rates as well as mixing up some elite benefits that no longer may appeal to many flyers. But, there are still some elite status levels that provide some great value and can be had without that much flying.
Renewing Aegean Gold Elite Status – One of the Easiest Airline Top Tier Statuses to Renew
I have been an Aegean Gold member since the good ‘ole days of obtaining it and it essentially being good for “life” – though that all changed a couple of years ago. Now, the requirements for earning Aegean Gold status can be quite similar to many other programs’ Gold levels (unless you fly Aegean – more on that in a minute).
Earning Aegean Gold Status for the First Time
Before I delve into my renewal for Aegean, here is a quick look at how to earn Aegean status in the first place. It can be a bit confusing as many people jump into the program without realizing that this is a cumulative earning and not a combined earning system.
- Silver – Earn 12,000 miles and 2 Aegean/Olympic flights or 24,000 miles with any Star Alliance airline within 12 months
- Gold – Earn 24,000 miles and 4 Aegean/Olympic flights or 48,000 miles with any Star Alliance airline within 12 months
After you have earned Silver status, you have 12 months from that point to fly the flight requirements to earn Gold status. If you are crediting cheap United fares, it can take a long time to earn it as many may credit at only 50% of the miles flown!
How Easy It Can Be to Renew Aegean Gold Status
However, once you have earned Aegean Gold status, it can be quite a breeze to maintain going forward – especially if you swing over to Greece for a few hops (which is a great vacation idea – even for the weekend!)!
Here is the renewal requirement for Aegean Gold status:
- Earn 12,000 miles and 4 Aegean/Olympic flights within 12 months or
- Earn 24,000 miles within 12 months
If you fly on carriers that credit the cheap/discounted tickets to Aegean at near 100%, it really does not take that long to rack up 12,000 miles! If you want to fly to Greece (and if you use a Star Alliance carrier to get there for more miles!), you can easily knock out the 4 Aegean flights in no time and for relatively little money. Aegean has a really great airline anyway so they are worth flying around – especially if you want to swing by the Greek islands!
Also, if you are coming up short in the miles, you can actually buy some of them and not have to fly that much!
How I Renewed Aegean Gold Status and Why
Aegean is actually my main carrier and the first airline I typically use to get out of Europe. As a result, keeping my Aegean Gold status is very important. Here are just a few of the perks that Aegean Gold offers:
- Star Alliance lounge access (even in the US when flying United Airlines domestically – something United elites do not get!)
- Priority boarding
- Priority check-in
- Priority security lines
- Free baggage
- Better earning rates on Aegean
All of those create increased value for me as a Star Alliance flyer – especially the lounge access – so it is pretty much a no-brainer for me to renew that status. That is especially true given how difficult it would be to get it back if I ever let it lapse!
How I Renewed Aegean Gold Status
My renewal year started on November 24 of last year and I had until this November 23 to earn the miles for renewal. I had a couple of Turkish Airline flights back and forth between the US and some of them were booked in a class that credited at 100% to Aegean.
With the flight between Istanbul and JFK being at around 5,000 miles, a roundtrip between Greece and NYC (in the right fare class) can earn about 10,500 miles. That leaves an Aegean Gold member just 1,500 miles and 4 Aegean flights shy of renewing Aegean Gold status – their top tier!
In my case, those other 1,500 miles were earned with the 4 Aegean flights and not 6 weeks after my elite year began, I had already locked up Aegean Gold status for another year!
Not United Premier 1K But Still Valuable For Star Alliance Flyers!
While Aegean Gold is not the top tier equivalent to something like United Premier 1K, it is the highest status Aegean offers and comes with some meaningful perks for the Star Alliance flyer – especially if you are in Greece at all!
Given the easy renewal path for Aegean Gold, it is my main airline status but also one that I never really need to do much work for as I can easily pick up those miles in the required 12 months. Overall, I am pretty happy with what Aegean Gold offers and how easy it is to renew.
What is your easiest airline status to renew each year?