Miles+Bonus Status Retention/Upgrade Changes

Elite status to become much harder in 2023 for Aegean Airlines’ flyers

Aegean Airlines informed its frequent flyers and status holders on the 1st of February there will be changes to the tier retention and upgrade rules. Gaining status will be more difficult, especially for those not living in Greece and not able to fly on Aegean metal. The decision by Aegean is disappointing but understandable. They have good reasons and it has all to do with economics, which I will not delve upon here.

Personally as a member of Miles+Bonus, the Aegean frequent flyer programme, I will find it much harder to obtain Gold status. I’ve already lost this status during 2022 being demoted to Silver. Aegean have been generous in the retention of miles and extending statuses over the last three years hit by the COVID restrictions when many travellers stopped flying. Now many want to return, with some already taking to the skies in 2022, and wanting to regain their top tier status.

The changes will take effect from the 1st of June 2023. Details are outlined on the Aegean Airlines website under Mile+Bonus, Change on Tier retain & upgrade rules. The changes seem to be clear enough not needing any more comment here.

It is never a good time for negative changes like these to happen. The best way to have alleviated any of the damages for those that don’t live in Greece or Europe and wanted to retain their Gold status would have been for Aegean to have expanded their routes and fly to North America and into Asia, not to say the whole way to Australia. In North America and Australia there are many Greeks of various generations whom would dearly fly with their homeland’s air carrier. I would too even though I’m not Greek. Of course this isn’t something that could be done on a whim…the airline would have to purchase or lease twin-aisle aircraft, presumably the latest generation Airbus A350s, which would be a huge investment for a regional airline.

In the long term it would be great to see Aegean fly to Chicago and New York and partner with United Airlines while in Asia fly to Singapore, and partner with Singapore Airlines to funnel travellers from Australia and New Zealand. This would be a perfect solution to stay with Aegean, earn miles and possibly gain status with them.

I’ve looked at this solely from the point of view of retaining or gaining top status. Aegean have been an entry point for many to Star Alliance Gold, whether earning status miles through them or their partner airlines in the alliance. Now it would seem, unless there are changes there too, that only Turkish Airlines and Asiana (soon to be part of Korean Air) are the easiest entry points to gain Star Allaince Gold. Asiana is a tricky one because of the takeover by Korean Air and the time frame involved. Anyone gaining status with them will be converted to elite status in the SkyTeam alliance or possibly status matched by a Star Alliance airline. It’s a gamble depending when you’ll be flying and when Korean Air decides the stop to Star Alliance status. With Turkish it is much clearer. Anyhow for those wanting to stay with Aegean it looks like you’ll have to visit Greece more often and fly more with the Greek carrier into Europe. Not a bad thing, but for many non-resident Greeks Athens will not be the main arrival and departure point in Europe. It will have to be a stepping stone.

For other information visit the Aegean Airlines website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *