Here is an idea that may work for some of you and give you lounge access on domestic flights. Aegean Airlines is a newer member of the the Star Alliance. They offer Star Gold status at 20,000 EQM. The first 4K gets you Blue status then you have 12 more months to get 16K more and you become Star Gold. As an international Star Member, you can use that status for access to Star lounges domestically as you will be considered on an international itinerary when flying in the US. We used to do this with BMI, but this one is even better.
Get a leg up on the 20,000 by crediting your excess miles end of this year to Aegean and gaining blue status. Then you can easily work another 16K in later in 2011 or do it all in 2011. I have 108K EQM on United this year and won’t make it to the next level to earn extra Systemwides. I should be crediting to Aegean.
And, if I get bumped and pushed into a First Class revenue fare on my next flight, I’ll earn 300% of flight miles. That can make 20K one cross country if you get bumped both ways.
Seems like a doable strategy for those that are over their status limit for this year and looking for cheap lounge access in the future.