If there is one thing that makes flying remotely bearable, it is Elite Status.
Although I love collecting miles, taking free trips, geeking out over airplanes, etc, surprisingly I don’t particularly enjoy the whole airport experience.
Up until this year, I was fortunate enough to have the lowest rung Elite Status on United because I flew 25,000 miles on United in 2010.
With my Elite Status, I would get bumped up to Economy Plus, occasionally bumped to First Class on Domestic Flights, got free checked bags, priority check-in and security, etc.
While those perks were nice, I didn’t re- qualify last year, so this year I am status-less and am now once again considered a normal traveler by United’s standards.
Since it normally takes at a minimum 25,000 miles to earn the lowerst Elite Status on any Airline, I didn’t think I would have Elite Status again for a long time. However last week, Gary from View From The Wing had an awesome post about how to earn Lifetime Star Alliance Gold Status as well as Star Alliance Silver Status for only 3,000 miles, which really got me excited.
He has typed out all the details on the offer, so if you are interested, check out his post.
Basically to sum it up, if you credit your flights on United or any other Star Alliance Carriers like US Airways etc to Aegean (a Greek Airline), for only 3,000 miles you can earn Star Alliance Silver Status with Aegean. That Silver Status is recognized by United and all other Star Alliance Carriers!
Outside of the benefits of having Elite Status, like free checked bags, what is really great about this offer is that you can just fly normal flights in the U.S and just credit them to Aegean. No need to do any mileage runs or fly anywhere exotic. A basic flight from Chicago to LA or NYC to Seattle would be enough miles to get Star Alliance Silver Elite Status!
Remember that normally on any Airline, to earn the lowest rung Elite Status it takes a minimum of 25,000 miles flown. With this offer, for 1/8th of the miles flown, you can get all the same benefit without having to fly the extra 21,000 miles!
I had originally heard about this Aegean Silver Status offer last year but at the time I could justify crediting my precious United miles to Aegean. However, with the recent United Mileage Plus Explorer offer as well as the Chase Sapphire Preferred offer, I have over 175k United miles so I can afford to “throw away” 3,000 miles to earn Status.
Since I am going to Seattle in September and according to WebFlyer, it is 3,420 miles round trip from Chicago, I plan on just crediting that flight to Aegean to earn Silver Status!
If you are flying somewhere more than 16,000 miles away like Australia, China, or India, the I’d highly suggest you think about crediting your flight to Aegean because you can earn Star Alliance Gold Status which gets you free worldwide lounge access as well as a host of other benefits like Typically to get Star Alliance Gold Status you would have to fly over 50,000 miles in 1 year, with this offer you only have to fly 16,000 miles!
Overall, this promotion is definitely one of the better offers of the year, so if you have any flights coming up on United, US Airways or any other Star Alliance Carriers, I’d 100% suggest taking advantage of this offer!
A Few More Things
FFU Reader Ming commented that:
- Almost all the cheapest classes on United only earn you 50% of actual miles flown on Aegean Airlines. Be careful of the classes. (I believe all US Airway flights earn 100% for Aegean)
- The Silver or Gold Star Alliance Status on airlines outside of United won’t give you Economy Plus or any other upgrades that you would normally get as an United Elite.
- It becomes tricky after you obtain the status and want to utilize it. You need to enter the Aegean airlines mileage number while you check in. To enjoy all the benefits including lounge access and priority boarding, you need to have the Aegean mileage number on your boarding passes all the way. It means you cannot claim the miles on other airlines.
Although these rules make a bit more difficult to earn and use the Silver Status, I still think this is a particularly good deal and better than not having any Status.
What do you think?