Star Alliance is the biggest airline alliance in the world with the largest number of member airlines. Almost every airline has their own program that lets you get the prestigious Star Alliance gold status. But which airline should you credit your miles to? Some airlines set the bar for the ever so sweet Gold card a bit too high. 🤔
Why should you care about getting Star Alliance gold?
Star Alliance gold comes with a lot of extra perks. The best ones are airport priority meaning priority check-in, security check and boarding, an extra free bag and of course a lounge access. There’s no better way to spend a long layover than munching free food and sipping some free wine in a lounge! You will mostly not need to worry about having to place your luggage underneath the seat in front of you when you get to be one of the first people to board on the plane. Plenty of room for your bags!
One of the hidden features is priority on waiting lists. This means in practice that if the flight is overbooked, you are more likely to get a free business class upgrade. Airlines usually upgrade their elite members in the order of their status. The higher you rank, the more likely you are to be upgraded!
So which airline gives Star Alliance gold the easiest?
Aegean. You might have heard that Asiana also has a relatively easy program, but currently Asiana is merging with Korean Air, which is a SkyTeam airline. If the merge goes through, it is very likely that Asiana will join SkyTeam and leave Star Alliance.
How to get to gold on Aegean then? First you will need to reach the silver level. This requires only two Aegean flights and 12,000 miles. It’s a good idea to fly those two Aegean flights as soon as possible because you can reach silver also with 35,000 miles and no Aegean flights. You don’t want your extra miles to go for nothing if you accidentally hit the 35,000 mark before flying Aegean twice. Also, if it’s your first year, you will get 1,000 tier miles as a welcome gift… Pretty sweet.
Once you reach silver level, your tracking period will reset meaning that the miles and flights that got you to silver will not count for gold. On the other hand, it also means that you have an entire year from reaching silver to reach gold.
To reach the next level, which is Aegean gold, you need either 24,000 miles and 4 Aegean flights or 70,000 miles and no Aegean flights. 4 Aegean flights might sound like a lot, but actually it’s just one vacation trip to Greece. Just fly to any of the Greek Islands via Athens and and you will have your 4 flights. Remember that every leg counts as a separate flight. So for example flying from Helsinki to Athens and from Athens to Santorini is already two flights. And how to get 24,000 miles then? Well, Tokyo is around 6,000 miles away from Europe so just grab any business class flight that has a multiplier of 200% and you will get 12,000 miles each way. Easy? Better yet, you can use our flight search to optimize the points you will get for the cheapest price.
It only gets better. To maintain Star Alliance gold, you just need to fly Aegean 4 times and get 12,000 miles in a year. Now that’s one holiday in Greece and one Economy class trip to Tokyo. Remember that you will also get points for your 4 Aegean flights. If you really want to optimize, you can fly Lufthansa in Business class within Europe a couple of times. Each flight can give you a flat rate of 2,000 miles. I have found routes such as Helsinki-Frankfurt-Brussels-Madrid back and forth for around 600e. That’s already your 12,000 miles.
Aegean gold can be a bit hard to get but it’s so easy to maintain. Especially Lufthansa Business class in Europe giving 2,000 miles each leg is an absolute bargain. Just make sure you know which fare class you are booking because P class gives you a full 0 points even if you fly in business class.
If you fly so much that you can get a status with some other airline, then do that. Star Alliance gold perks are shared across all the airlines, but each airline has their own benefits for their own customers. Aegean gives you some free business class upgrades, but they do you no good if you don’t fly Aegean frequently. Also free business class upgrades are usually given first to the airline’s own clients when the flight is overbooked and only after that to any other Star Alliance gold member.