How to earn Star Alliance Silver Status with one round-trip Domestic Flight

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.

More info:

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%.

Happy flying!


  1. Hi,

    Thanks so much for the great post! So, I’m super super new and so please forgive me if my question is like the dumbest question ever; I’m trying to learn, I swear! 🙂

    So, my hubs and I earned some miles through united a little while back from a trip we took to Europe. So, can those miles (about 6,000 for each of us) be somehow transferred to Aegean to get their blue status which would then give us Star Alliance silver?

    Thanks so much for the help!

    • Points Pixie says:

      Toni – Hi and welcome! Not a dumb question at all! You can certainly get a retroactive flight credit if the flight was within the last 30 days. If the flight was before that, you probably won’t get credit – but it doesn’t hurt to try! I would call Aegean to plead your case and ask if they could/would give you credit for the miles. If they say no, try United. You could also try sending DM’s via twitter to both Aegean and United, as sometimes that department is more responsive and empowered. Good luck!

  2. N.B.: this is NOT United Premier Silver status, which entitles the traveler to EconomyPlus on day of departure, reduced same-day change fee, 25% mileage bonus and upgrades (low priority). Star Alliance Silver status through a non-UA partner does not earn a traveler these benefits while flying United. That said, the Aegean strategy certainly has merit and is useful as an easy way to earn lounge access on even purely domestic itineraries with the Aegean Gold tier. Again, no Economy Plus or upgrade reciprocity with UA.

    Some meaningful distinctions which may cause a bit of confusion.

Speak Your Mind