Comparing obtaining status across the three alliances.

Over the past few days I’ve looked at some of the easiest and quickest routes to getting mid-tier status with each of the three global alliances of oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam.

There’s also been fair bit of debate and some excellent points raised in some of the comments, so do read those as well.

In this post I’m going to compare the qualification process across the five programmes that I looked at.  I’ve summarised everything into this handy table.

British Airways Executive Club Aegean Miles & Bonus Lufthansa Miles & More Air Europa SUMA Air France KLM Flying Blue
Alliance oneworld Star Alliance Star Alliance SkyTeam SkyTeam
Name Silver Gold Senator Gold Gold
Level Sapphire Star Gold Star Gold Elite Plus Elite Plus
Qual. Threshold 600 tier points 12,000 miles to silver AND
24,000 miles to gold
100,000 miles 32,000 miles 40,000 miles
Segment Reqs 4 2 to silver AND
4 to gold
No No No
Requal threshold 600 tier points 12,000 miles 100,000 miles once every two years 32,000 miles 40,000 miles
Requal segments 4 4 No No No
Status Duration 1 year 1 year 2 years 1 year 1 year
Time period Rolling year Rolling year Calendar year Rolling year Calendar year
Suggested Number of Long-hauls 1 2 2 2 2
Suggested Number of Short-hauls 1 2 0 0 0
Approx. total cost to qualify £1,600 to £2,200 £3,200 to £3,600 £6,000 £3,000 to £3,500 £3,000 to £3,500
Approx. cost to requalify £1,600 to £2,200 £1,300 to £1,600 N/A lasts for two years £3,000 to £3,500 £3,000 to £3,500

I think there are some interesting conclusions we can draw from this.

  • The British Airways Executive Club is surprisingly easy to get status both from a cost and a time perspective
  • The Aegean programme is complicated
  • However once you’re gold, it’s very easy to maintain status
  • Lufthansa has a very high up-front cost in terms of time and effort, however when averaged over two years is actually more cost efficient than it appears
  • The SkyTeam programmes are broadly equivalent

Regular readers of this blog may notice that I’m fairly critical of British Airways.  However it’s undeniable that their Executive Club is exceptionally good at easily building loyalty and maintaining it, despite the overall poor quality of the underlying product; it remains an excellent choice.

For aspirational awards in first class, then Miles & More and Flying Blue remain the options to go for given that they are essentially the only route open to being able to redeem miles.

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