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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an introduction to Aegean’s Miles + Bonus scheme. The Greek carrier’s loyalty programme is arguably the easiest route to achieving Star Alliance Gold status. Here are some ideas for what I consider good-value uses of Aegean miles.
For the sake of comprehensiveness, here’s Aegean’s award chart. Note that these are the miles required for a round trip; one-way redemptions require half the miles.
1. Redeem for travel in the Far East
Aegean’s definition of the ‘Far East’ is generous, stretching from Mongolia and Japan in the north as far south as Indonesia and Thailand. This means that a one-way redemption on 5-Star airline ANA from, say, Tokyo to Singapore will only cost you 12,500 miles in economy, 21,000 miles in business and 40,000 miles in first class.
There are no shortage of Star Alliance carriers in the Far East. You can fly to hundreds of destinations across the region with Thai, Asiana, EVA, Air China, Singapore Airlines and ANA.
2. Redeem for travel in Oceania
Aegean groups the following countries into the Oceania reward band: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Micronesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Wake Island, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Easter Island, French Polynesia, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna.
Again, like in the Far East, the distance between some of these countries can be enormous. And yet a one-way award booked through Aegean Miles + Bonus will only cost you 12,500 miles in economy, 21,000 miles in business and 40,000 miles in first class. Admittedly, Star Alliance’s presence in this part of the world isn’t great, but getting all the way from, say, Perth to Fiji or New Zealand for only 12,500 miles is a steal,
3. Redeem for travel in North America
You could fly from anywhere in the United States (except Hawaii) to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean for 12,500 miles in economy, 21,000 miles in business class and 40,000 in first class. United obviously offers hundreds of destinations…
4. Redeem for transatlantic travel
One-way awards from Europe to North America cost 30,000 miles in economy, 45,000 miles in business and 60,000 miles in First class. There are many options here, including direct flights from the UK. Singapore Airlines fly Manchester to Houston, for instance. United Airlines offers many routes from London.
If you are after a true premium experience, consider first class travel on Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa. Apart from Manchester to Houston, Singapore Airlines also offers Frankfurt to New York. Lufthansa serves destinations across North America with a first class cabin. The snag is of course that you can only book Lufthansa First awards two weeks before departure. But if you are flexible, 60,000 miles is a steal.
5. Redeem for flights between Greece and the Near East
Awards on Aegean metal cost the following:
Cash tickets to exotic destinations like Cairo, Tehran or Tel Aviv can be really expensive. 7,000 Aegean miles will get you to Cairo and Tel Aviv, 12,120 miles will get you to Tehran (Economy light; each way).
Things to consider
- Booking award tickets online is free of charge. Booking via the call centre will incur a 20 EUR surcharge.
- You may change your award ticket up to 30 min before departure for a 20 EUR fee.
- Cancelling an award ticket costs 20 EUR; you will be refunded the miles.
- Aegean Miles + Bonus passes along carrier imposed/ fuel surcharges. You can minimise these by redeeming on United, Singapore Airlines and Thai. Redeeming for Lufthansa First Class however will incur substantial surcharges, unless your journey originates in Brazil, Japan or Hong Kong.
- It is difficult to earn Miles + Bonus miles in the UK, unless you fly Star Alliance frequently. You can however top up your account by crediting car rentals or hotel stays to Aegean.
Not only is it easy to achieve Star Alliance Gold status through Aegean, but the Greek airline also offers some great value redemptions. My personal favourite probably is intra-Asian travel. You certainly can’t argue with 40,000 miles for a First award from Tokyo to Jakarta for example! 60,000 miles for a Singapore First award from Frankfurt to New York isn’t bad either.
There are many other great uses of Aegean miles. The above are just a few ideas. Let me know your personal favourites in the comments below.