Since I’m relatively new to the Points and Miles community, I (gasp!) don’t have status on any airline. If you’re new here as well, you may wonder why it matters. To put it simply, status on an airline gets you preferential treatment and perks that make the whole experience a lot more pleasant (priority check-in, priority boarding, complimentary lounge access, free checked bags, priority baggage handling, etc.). The problem is that for most folks, status is unattainable due to the amount of miles you need to fly in a calendar year. For example, to reach Silver Status on United, you would need to fly 25,000 miles in a calendar year. To reach Gold, just double that number (50,000)!
HOWEVER, there is a way for the average mortal to achieve status with just one round-trip domestic flight. Here’s how (thanks to View from the Wing for sharing the news):
1. First, a little background info. You may already know that when you fly and earn miles on an airline in an alliance, the miles are credited and can be used interchangeably within that alliance. You may also know that United and US Airways are part of the Star Alliance. So, if you fly those 25,000 miles in a calendar year on United, you would earn Silver status that would transfer over to all the other airlines in the alliance.
2. Here’s where it gets good. You can earn Silver status on Aegean Airlines (also part of the Star Alliance) by crediting a mere 2,000 miles to your Aegean account within 12 months of sign up!! You can earn those miles by flying on any airline that is part of the Star Alliance. Aegean is currently offering 2,000 miles when you first sign up for their frequent flyer program, and it only takes 4,000 miles to get to their first status level, Blue. (Blue on Aegean translates to Silver status within the Star Alliance). What this means is that with one round-trip domestic flight, you will earn Silver status which is valid on any airline within the alliance, including United and US Airways.
Star Alliance Silver status gets you:
- priority boarding
- a free checked bag domestically on United and US Airways
- some priority standby/wait-listing status
3. Here’s where it gets better. If you can manage to earn an additional 16,000 miles after you reach Aegean’s Blue level, you will reach their Gold level, which is equivalent to Star Alliance Gold. You have one year from the date which you qualified to Blue status to earn those 16,000 miles, so it is actually an attainable goal.
Star Alliance Gold status gets you:
- priority check-in
- priority boarding
- complimentary lounge access for you and a guest when traveling on a Star Alliance partner
- free checked bags
- priority baggage handling
You can read more about Star Alliance Status here.
To keep your status active, you just need to credit a flight/some account activity to Aegean every 36 months.
I’ve included charts showing how many Aegean miles you will earn while flying on both United and US Airways. Note that some United fares only credit at 50%.