Pssst: do you want two years of Star Alliance Gold status, and all the benefits that come with it, without flying for hundreds of hours or hunting down a status match?
Star Alliance member Thai Airways now selling a full two years of Gold status in its Royal Orchard Plus rewards program (which is directly equivalent to Star Alliance Gold ) for a flat US$10,000 through its Time to Gold promotion – and you get that same $10,000 back in travel credit.
That travel credit is issued in the form of 350,000 Thai Baht, and can be redeemed against flights on Thai Airways and its regional arm Thai Smile through to December 31, 2023.
You can buy tickets for yourself, a friend, relative or work colleague – or even a perfect stranger, should you feel so inclined.
As long as you’re in a position to spend the equivalent of US$10,000 on those airlines across the next 18 months, then you’re essentially getting two years of Star Alliance Gold status for free.
That’s two years of lounge access, an extra 20kg of checked luggage, priority services and other VIP perks across Star’s 26 member airlines – an impressive roster including heavy-hitters such as Air Canada, Air New Zealand, ANA, Lufthansa, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines.
Buyers obviously need to be a member of Thai’s Royal Orchid Plus loyalty scheme (which is free to join), but even if they have not a single frequent flyer mile or status credit to their name, Time to Gold catapults them from a no-status zero to a Gold-plated hero (with an actual physical Gold card, not one of those digital ‘save-the-planet’ virtual cards).
And if you’re a Royal Orchard Plus Gold or Platinum member who buys the Time to Gold package to gift to someone else, you’ll earn a bonus 6,200 Miles – and pocket 5,000 Miles if you make your purchase with a Mastercard credit card.
Thai Airways says the launch of Time to Gold comes “in response to the growing travel demand and Thailand’s easing of international travel rules.”
The long-beleaguered Thai Airways was forced to enter a court-supervised rehabilitation after reporting its worst-ever net loss – US$4.1 billion – in 2020 due to the global pandemic. However, the carrier chalked up a net profit of US$1.6bn 2021 – its first net profit in five years – after restructuring efforts which included selling assets and “improving management efficiency”.
The Time to Gold promotion is available in Thailand, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, and Hong Kong.
Thai Airways’ Time to Gold packages are on sale until July 31, 2022 at ThaiAirways.com.