Today we will show you how you can become a Star Alliance Gold member with only 40 single economy short-haul flights during one calendar year at Ethiopians's ShebaMiles program.
Star Alliance Gold Status
Star Alliance is a global airlines alliance with 28 participating airlines worldwide. Lufthansa, SWISS, Singapore Airlines, United and Avianca are just a couple of airlines participating in Star Alliance. For a full list just visit the Star Alliance website here.
The GOLD status will give you the following benefits on each participating airline, no matter in which class you fly:
- Priority Airport Check-in
- Extra Baggage Allowance
- Gold Track (Priority Security & Immigration)
- Airport Lounge Access (+1 guest)
- Priority Boarding
- Priority Baggage Handling
- Priority Reservation Wait list
Lounge access, priority check in and boarding as well as priority security are nice to have perks when travelling economy on all the participating airlines.
ShebaMiles is Ethiopian's loyalty program, and they are part of Star Alliance. They have 4 tier levels which will give you the following benefits on all Star alliance flights on all classes:
As you can see, the ShebaMiles Gold status matches to the Star Alliance Gold status. This is very interesting because to qualify for Gold you would only need 40 flight segments. For a full list of all available benefits, visit their site here.
ShebaMiles Gold = Star Alliance Gold with only 40 flight segments during one calendar year
Maybe the best thing of ShebaMiles is that possibility to become a Star Alliance Gold member with only 40 flight segments, no matter what class you will fly in. Stopovers will of course count as extra flight segments. However, one drawback exists. Not every booking classes on every airline is eligible as a segment.
The lowest booking classes of Lufthansa for example (K,T & P), will not bring you any miles and therefore do not count as a segment.
However, at SWISS or UNITED, and nearly all the other airlines, the situation is a different one. You will earn miles on all booking classes usually available. Visit the following site for detailed information on earning styles on each available partner airline. As long as your booking class is not listed under “Mileage Earning not available”, your flight will count towards the 40 segments mark. You also have to note that NOT ONE SINGLE FLIGHT SEGMENT WITH ETHIOPIAN is necessary to receive the status.
If you happen to accumulate 60 flights, you will even get the Platinum status at ShebaMiles offering you two years of Star Alliance Gold after your qualification year.
Be advised that it will only make sense to credit short-haul flights to ShebaMiles, as you would not receive any significant amount of award miles with those anyway. However, we do not recommend crediting business class flights to ShebaMiles. Unless you have booked flights from the cheapest booking class which will again not earn you a significant amount of award miles at different programs.
This not so well known possibility is especially interesting for people who fly economy on a regular basis during a year. You still need to pay attention to fly on booking classes which are eligible towards the 40 segment count.
If you happen to fly a lot of other airlines where all flights will count as a segment, like Swiss or United, this is a great way to receive Star Alliance gold relatively cheap. Considering that with most airlines, like Lufthansa, you need 30 segments only to become Silver.
Crediting to ShebaMiles should always be in your mind if you often fly short-haul during one calendar year.