Even though I don’t really fly that often, it’s nice to have elite membership in a frequent flyer programme – it gets you into lounges, lets you join the Business/First Class check-in queue, and gets you free additional baggage.
Possibly the best way to obtain elite membership is the Aegean Airlines Miles and Bonus scheme. It’s got one of the lowest qualification levels of any airline – 16,000 miles in a year will get you gold status: this will get you lounge access and free extra baggage on any Star Alliance carrier.
Take into account that you have to travel in certain fare codes – the most discounted flights will not count.
The only real caveat is redemption of miles – you can’t use your Aegean miles to upgrade your flight.
Airline Lounges vs. Third Party Lounges
Generally, airline lounges are reserved for people who either have elite status with the airline alliance (e.g. Star Alliance, oneworld, etc.), or those travelling in a premium cabin, such as first or business class.
There are also third party lounges, which are run by companies such as Servisair.
You can get access to third party lounges by either paying an entry fee, or by having a bank account or credit card which gets you access – these usually provide you with a Lounge Pass/Priority Pass membership.