I used to have elite status on Aeroplan with Air Canada. Their Gold Status kicked in at 35k miles. This was two or three years ago, so I am not sure if it is still the case. Furthermore, it was possible to opt for 2-3k status miles at the beginning of each year (instead of upgrade certificates etc), so in reality if you had elite status during the previous year you could actually get to Gold with about 32k flight miles. These days I rarely fly AC
so I had to switch programs. Like many other airlines now you have to fly a certain number of miles with them (10k I think) to achieve any status, regardless of the number of miles you fly with other carriers in the same alliance, Star in my case. I'm now on Mileage Plus with UA
. However, since I'm based out of SIN
, virtually every other trip beyond Asia bumps up my status level.
As for ticket prices, AC
is quite expensive as airlines go, partly due to Canadian airport taxes. However, I always thought their service was quite good. I'm actually flying to Vancouver in a few weeks and UA
was definitely the cheaper option (versus SQ
connecting to AC
For flights to secondary cities in Europe on a Star Alliance carrier, I quite like TK
. They tend to have very good deals, and their lounge in IST
is great. However, I have no idea what their FF
program is like. If I was flying DUB
I would certainly look at them.