Starwood Adds Aegean As Transfer Partner – Great For Star Alliance Awards

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One of the reasons Starwood’s SPG guest is so popular (and one of the reasons so many people are concerned about the upcoming takeover by Marriott) is because of its very generous conversion ratio to a variety of airline loyalty programs.

As things stand Starwood’s Starpoints can be converted to 34 different airline loyalty programs and that’s a number no other loyalty program comes close to matching. For 30 of those 34 airline loyalty programs, Starwood offers a transfer ratio of 1 Starpoint to 1 Airline mile/point and, as if that wasn’t good enough, for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer, Starwood will throw in a further 5,000 airline miles/points.

That gives an effective Starpoint to airline mile ratio of 1:1.25 which is fantastic.

The 34 airline that Starpoints can be converted to was announced today and, as the headline says, it’s Aegean – a Star Alliance member.

Transfers to Aegean’s Miles & Bonus (M&B) loyalty program are already live on and they’ve been introduced into the program at the same 1:1 ratio as the majority of other airlines:

Starwood to Aegean Transfer

And, just like with all other transfers, the 25% bonus is available too:

Starwood to Aegean Transfer

Aegean And Miles & Bonus Brief Overview

The Miles & Bonus (M&B) homepage is here but, for those who’d like a brief overview of the airlines and it’s loyalty program, here are some details:

Aegean is a Greece-based European airline and is a member of the Star Alliance. The Miles & Bonus loyalty program is based on distance flown for flights on Aegean and Olympic while Star Alliance Awards are region-based.

For most people reading this blog it will be the Star Alliance awards that are of most interest so I’ll concentrate on those:

  • Stopovers must be no longer than 24 hours
  • Only one connection is allowed in each direction.
  • One way awards are allowed at half the cost of a round-trip award
  • No First Class availability for travel on SWISS

Here’s a link to the full Star Alliance award chart.

Here’s a screenshot of the Star Alliance award chart (click to enlarge):

Aegean Star Alliance Award Chart

And here are a few highlights:

All figures are for round-trip travel.

North America – Europe (Economy/Business/First): 60,000/90,000/120,000

North America – Middle East: 80,000/110,000/150,000

North America – Far East*: 100,000/150,000/200,000

North America – Oceania: 100,000/150,000/200,000

Europe – Oceania: 100,000/150,000/200,000

Europe – Middle East: 40,000/60,000/90,000

Europe – Far East: 80,000/110,000/150,000

*Far East includes: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.

While, clearly, everything will depend on availability there are some every interesting looking redemption options in that list.

North America to Europe in Business Class costs just 90,000 return (45,000 one way) and that is fantastic value. Compare that to United Airlines where the same award would cost 140,000 miles.

North America to the Middle East in First Class costs just 150,000 return (75,000 one way) while United will charge 280,000 miles for the same trip!

Europe to Australia/New Zealand in Business Class costs just 150,000 miles return (75,000 one way) which compares quite favorably to, say, British Airways who will charge up to 300,000 Avios for the same trip.

It’s worth noting that Aegean will charge fuel surcharges on award flights (but then so will British Airways, for example). Per this thread on FlyerTalk the surcharges on award tickets are the same as they are for regular cash tickets so they can be checked using ITA Matrix.

Bottom Line

I’m looking forward to finding out just how easy it is to book Star Alliance awards using Aegean Miles. With airlines such as Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and ANA in the Star Alliance (all of whom have premium products I’ve yet to try out) there appear to be some fantastic redemption options….on paper. But  it’s one thing to have a favourable award chart and another to actually offer good availability. I guess I will have to wait and see.

I’d be interested to hear from anyone out there who has actually redeemed Aegean Miles for premium travel on a Star Alliance airline – Was it easy? How flexible did you have to be with dates and, ultimately, was it worth it?


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