Continental announced changes to its OnePass program that bring some extra benefits in conjunction with the airline's joining of Star Alliance Oct. 27.
Continental's Platinum and Gold level elite-status members will automatically become Gold members with Star Alliance. Among other perks, that means they get access to more than 800 worldwide lounges with flying internationally with any Star Alliance member, even on coach tickets.
Trying to understand all of this stuff makes my head hurt, but I know many of you will read the details as easily as I read the Mets score. I'm a little curious about the imminent change in mileage requirements. Guidance solicited there.
Here are excerpts from the Continental announcement:
"HOUSTON, Sept. 10 – Continental Airlines today announced changes to its OnePass frequent flyer program, adding new benefits for its customers. Some of the changes will occur in conjunction with the airline joining Star Alliance on Oct. 27, 2009.
Continental’s OnePass members will enjoy reciprocal mileage earning and redemption opportunities with Star Alliance’s 24 member airlines and will be able to connect to more than 950 cities all over the world.
When Continental joins Star Alliance, OnePass Platinum and Gold Elite members will become Star Alliance Gold members, gaining recognition and rewards across all member airlines in addition to OnePass benefits. Platinum and Gold Elite members will have access to more than 800 worldwide lounges when traveling on an international itinerary with any Star Alliance member airline, regardless of class of travel.
Additionally, Platinum and Gold Elite members will receive an extra baggage allowance of up to three bags or 44 additional pounds (20 kg) on both Continental and Star Alliance member airlines and will receive priority services including priority airport check-in, boarding and baggage handling across the network.
...Upcoming changes to the OnePass program [also] include fewer fees for Platinum Elite members, no more Saturday-night stay required for reward travel and 100 percent elite qualification miles and points earnings on any ticket regardless of where it was bought or issued. ...
Summary of Continental’s New OnePass Policies, Effective on Oct. 27, 2009:
---With Continental’s entry into Star Alliance, mileage requirements for reward travel will change, effective for travel booked on or after Oct. 27, 2009. View Travel and Upgrade Reward Charts.
---Saturday-night stay no longer required for OnePass reward travel.
---100 percent Elite Qualification Miles and Elite Qualification Points can be earned on discounted fares regardless of where the ticket is purchased or issued.
---BusinessFirst $100 upgrade co-pay no longer required of members using miles to upgrade from B-fare class.
---Elite bonuses will be based on the minimum mileage earned instead of the actual flight miles flown.
Effective on Dec. 15, 2009:
---New reward travel fees will apply for redeposits, reservation changes and flight bookings within 21 days of departure for rewards redeemed on or after Dec. 15, 2009. There will be no fee for Platinum Elite members. The Gold Elite fee will be $25, the Silver Elite fee will be $50 and for all other members the fee will be $75. These fees will apply per customer instead of per reservation. OnePass travel reward changes outside of 21 days of travel will remain free if there is no change to the origin and destination.
Effective on Jan. 1, 2010:
---All members worldwide will earn 125 percent base miles on F, C, J and D fare classes.
---All members worldwide will earn 1.5 elite qualification points when they purchase and fly in fare classes F, C, J, D, Z, Y and B on flights operated by Continental."