Elite Status gives the frequent flyer several advantages. The first advantage is more miles, in Platinum status I get two miles for every mile I've flown. Just to put that into perspective, in Platinum level for every flight from Israel to the US west coast you get a free flight from Israel to Europe (30,000 miles). And for two such flights you can get another flight to anywhere in the US.
The second important bonus is access to lounges. From Gold level onwards you get free access to airline lounges of all SkyTeam partners.
The third bonus is free upgrades. When a flight is overbooked in Economy class, the airlines upgrade some passengers to Business class. These upgrades are usually given based on frequent flyer level.
So, some info about myself. Here's my plan for this year:
|Month||Flight (click for map)||Status Miles||Award Miles|
|January||Tel Aviv - Hyderabad via Amsterdam||13,276||19,914|
|April||Tel Aviv - Frankfurt; Stuttgart - Amsterdam - Tel Aviv (Award ticket ELAL + KLM)||none||- 5,000|
|May||Tel Aviv - Honolulu via Amsterdam, San Francisco, Newark, and Paris||20,545||30,817|
|May||Honolulu - Hilo (not Skyteam)||none||none|
|July||Tel Aviv - Frankfurt via Amsterdam||5,606||8,410|
|August||Tel Aviv - Istanbul direct (not SkyTeam)||none||none|
|September||Tel Aviv - San Francisco via Amsterdam (one way)||7,513||11,269|
|October||San Francisco - Frankfurt via Houston, Amsterdam and Newark||13,831||24,204|