Deals Elite Status

The Most Laughable Airline Discount I Have Ever Had

Airline discount
Written by Charlie

An airline discount can be a great thing, but sometimes they may not save you as much as you might think. Be careful how and when you try to redeem them!

I am a big fan of Aegean Airlines. Not only do they have a pretty easy threshold for qualification for elite status (which, at the Gold level gives Star Alliance Gold) but they also have a very nice airline. Staff is courteous and the airplanes are great, especially for a regional airline.

The Most Laughable Airline Discount I Have Ever Had

Airline discount

The 50% off discount can save some money, but could also leave you surprised at how little it takes off!

Aegean Airlines And Their Elite Benefits

When they overhauled their elite program last year, they rebuilt it to give their regional members the greater amount of benefits. Because of the insanely easy path to “lifetime” Star Alliance Gold status (and with it free lounge access), they had an abundance of US-based flyers, many of whom had never even flown on their airline. When they refreshed the program, they gave several benefits to the flyers that would actually be using their airline – things like bonus award miles on paid Aegean flights, upgrade certificates for travel on Aegean, award discounts for certain routes/times, and 2 50% off discounts on domestic tickets.

50% Off Discount Codes

I have used some of all the new benefits from Aegean with the exception of the 50% off coupons. They only work on their domestic network (which is quite expansive) and tickets domestically are normally pretty cheap anyway (like $23 one way from Thessaloniki to Athens) so I have not really taken advantage of them yet. However, since I have a couple of short trips upcoming from Athens, I thought I would use the certificate to take one of my kids with me on one of the trips and another on another. Might as well use up those coupons before they expire, right? 🙂

The Big Discount Is…

Airline discount

That’s right – a discount of $0!

I entered the unique voucher code for the 50% off discount and thought something must have been wrong. The discount showed as $0. What?! Yep, that was right – my coupon code, exclusive for Aegean’s top elites, had properly taken off $0 from my total.

What I had failed to take into consideration was the amount of taxes on the ticket. Of course I knew that the code only put a discount on the ticket price and not the fees/taxes/surcharges but I had thought they were higher than that. But, no, the actual ticket cost from Athens was only $0 per person so that was the limit of my discount.

Why The Discount Is … Really No Discount

Airline Discount

The red box is around the taxes, fees, and surcharges while the arrow points to the actual fare cost

Flying out of Athens is an expensive proposition when you consider the amount of taxes, fees, and surcharges built-in to the price of the ticket. That’s right, a $40 ticket and the $40 is actually taxes, fees, and surcharges.


Of course, if I avoid Athens, I can get some stronger value out of the certificate. It is just so funny to me that I am prepared to watch the cost drop significantly and only see a $4 reduction in price. Do I think the discount vouchers are useless? Absolutely not, but if you have them, just avoid having to fly out of Athens with it if you want to maximize the discount. These discounts can be stretched to save you some money but you just need to pick your places.


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About the author


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.


  • I’ve got one:
    Wife’s uncle died in a different country. She already had a ticket booked for a date about two weeks ahead and just wanted to move the date up. They wanted to charge a $75 change fee. I explained there was a family death and couldn’t they waive the fee? The agent, devoid of any empathy, said I could pay now, google an application for fee waiver, download it, print it out and send it via snail mail and *if* it was approved, they could waive $25 of the $75 fee.

    If the new CEO is trying to put some humanity back into an airline, death fees, unempowered employees and a lack of empathy would be a good place to start.

  • @Ford – I’ve been in the same situation as you, but it’s understandable for the airlines to request such information. I’ve only submitted one fee waiver form due to a death in the family and it was approved. If they allowed refunds for such changes without any documentation, I’m pretty sure A LOT of people will lie just so they can save the money. If you were the CEO, would you allow refunds without any documentation? Think about it.

    • @Jimmy The point isn’t that they want to verify or have a process for it, I’ve got no beef with that. The point is that it’s paper, slow and $25 off a change fee of which the smallest is probably $75, is a slap in the face of someone who is grieving. Think about it.