With the advent of the new Miles+Bonus program from Aegean Airlines came some welcome additions for Gold members. To me, one of the most valuable parts of the new program is the 4 business class upgrades on Aegean or Olympic Airlines. In this post, I will outline the details about the business class upgrades (or coupons), some of the best routes to use them on, and how to redeem them.
Using Aegean’s Business Class Upgrades
In order to retain Aegean Gold status, you must either fly 24,000 miles in a member year or 12,000 miles and 4 Aegean/Olympic segments. If you can get to Europe, the 12K and 4 segments is obviously the best way to go. Thanks to the 4 business class upgrades, you can fly each of those segments in business class – not bad! So, what are the details about these upgrades?
Upgrade Coupon Details
For every year you qualify/retain Gold status, you will receive the 4 business class upgrades. They are valid until November 24 of the year following their issue date. According to what I have been told, the flight that they are used on must be flown by that date – not just ticketed. Obviously, we will have to wait until this coming November to see if that plays out in reality, but for now, plan on using them before November 24.
Who Can Use Them?
Unfortunately (with a slight bit of fortunately), these upgrade coupons can only be used by the Gold member that has them in their account. That means you are the only one getting upgraded. That includes a situation where you are traveling with another person and you want to upgrade – you are the only one that will receive the upgrade.
I say that there is a slight bit of fortunately because you don’t have to feel bad about using them on yourself! You are the only one that can use them so upgrade and enjoy!
What Tickets Can Be Upgraded?
Aegean rolled out different families of fare classes last year with the lowest family of fares not offering any bags and zero flexibility. Because the cost of those tickets is so cheap compared to the tickets that give more flexibility, I always buy the GoLight fare (the lowest fare). I mean, we are talking about flying to Germany from Greece for under $40! If it does not work out, I can just skip it rather than paying quite a bit more in case it doesn’t work out and I need to change it.
The good news is that every fare class of revenue tickets can be upgraded! The flight I just upgraded was the lowest fare class and it upgrades without a problem! So, good news for those who like to travel on the cheapest fare class – no problems upgrading to business!
When Does The Upgrade Need To Be Processed?
As long as there is room in business class, your upgrade can be used. So, you can call way in advance or shortly before your flight and upgrade to business.
What Airlines Can I Use The Upgrade On?
Unfortunately, these upgrade vouchers are restricted to only Aegean or Olympic Airlines. That does not mean you have to only be flying around Greece to take advantage of this. Aegean has a great route network all over Europe and the upgrades are good on any of those flights.
What Is Aegean Business Class Like?
It is inter-European business class – which means a regular row of three seats with the middle seat blocked off. The food is quite a bit better than in coach (which is not bad at all – Aegean serves some great stuff even on the shortest of flights). You are allowed extra baggage and you have transportation to and from the plane just for business class passengers – which can save some great time between connections!
How Do I Use A Business Class Upgrade?
These upgrades cannot be redeemed online – you have to call in. Fortunately, the call center is staffed with many English speaking representaatives and they are very helpful. After a wait of about 8 minutes, it took only 4 minutes to process the request and issue the upgrade. During that time, the rep asked for my ticket number and birthdate. Within 10 minutes after the phone call, I had received an e-mail with the details of my upgrade and the coupon was removed from my account.
The phone number to call (if outside of Greece) is – 011 30 210 6261000.
Best Flights To Redeem The Upgrade For
Obviously, you want to get the best bang for your buck with the upgrade, so I would look to use it on any of the flights beyond the 2 hour time span. If you are flying from/to Athens, that is many of the international destinations that Aegean flies to. If you are flying from Thessaloniki, your non-stop international destinations are more restricted – several in Germany and some other seasonal flights.
Many of the flights from Athens are 3+ hour flights – like London, Oslo, Saint Petersburg, Hamburg, etc. So, if you are visiting Europe and want to knock out your 4 segment requirement while there, you probably will be able to find an Aegean flight from one of the nearby major cities and then simply use your upgrades to enjoy a better trip! Once in Athens, you can fly to many of the domestic destinations on a roundtrip ticket for under $70, depending how far in advance you book.