Getting to elite status with an airline is your ticket to more comfortable travel: priority check-in, waived baggage fees, airline lounge access, and more. For the 27 airlines that are part of Star Alliance, you could achieve gold status with far fewer miles you might normally need to accumulate. Here’s how:
According to Airfarewatchdog, the secret is to use Aegean Airlines as your miles-earning program. Instead of putting all your effort into earning the typical 50,000 miles you’d need on the other airlines in Star Alliance to reach gold status, you can get gold status on Aegean with just 20,000 miles—and this gives you all the benefits of gold on every other airline in the Star Alliance, including United, Continental, and US Airways. To do this, when you fly on any Star Alliance airline, use your Aegean Airlines frequent flyer number when you buy your tickets:
For example, let’s say you fly between New York and Los Angeles on Continental or United nonstop (roughly 5,000 miles round-trip) and provide your Aegean frequent flyer number at check in. After four roundtrips, you will have earned Star Alliance Gold status. Even after just one roundtrip, you will have earned Star Alliance Silver status, which on Aegean requires only 4,000 miles. That entitles you to free checked bags, which can save hundreds of dollars over a period of time.
There’s a caveat that you pass up on the complimentary upgrades United and Continental give to elites on their own flights, but otherwise, this is a great way to get the benefits of gold status on Star Alliance airlines sooner.