Thursday, June 24, 2010

How Airlines View 'Courtesy' to Elite Members

Yo, to evoke my native Philadelphia patois, notify this, Continental.

Listen to how an airline feels free in addressing its most elite-status customers. Have a look at the snotty, officious tone of this note from Continental that elite-status fliers see when they sign in. It says it all about how airlines feel toward their customers, even the most loyal ones. Sounds like a martial law directive or an eviction notice. I highlighted some particularly snotty sections. This is what happens when you let the house lawyers address your customers directly. Better you should keep the house lawyers locked in the basement, without Internet access.

"Program Changes
Continental Airlines and all OnePass partners reserve the right to change any aspect of the OnePass program at any time within 30 days notice to active members. This right includes, but is not limited to, changes in partner affiliation, rules for earning mileage credit, rules on earning Elite status, Elite benefits and mileage redemption levels. However, rules for use of travel rewards, cities served, flight schedules, limited seating or space availability, restricted travel dates and specific features of promotional offers are subject to change with or without notice at the discretion of Continental Airlines or the OnePass partner. Continental Airlines is not responsible for unilateral actions taken by OnePass partners.

Official up-to-date information concerning the OnePass program is available throughout the Frequent Flyer section of Information about the OnePass program published through is the final authority with respect to the terms and conditions of membership in OnePass and supercedes any conflicting information contained in any previously published communications.

Continental Airlines reserves the right to discontinue the OnePass program with six months notice to members. This means that, regardless of your level of participation in the program, your right to accumulate mileage and claim rewards will be terminated six months after we give you notice.

Account Privacy
OnePass account information is proprietary to Continental Airlines. As a condition of OnePass membership, you consent and give permission for Continental to collect, use and transfer the personal data provided by you to Continental offices in the United States and around the world so that Continental may furnish you with our products and services.

At Continental's discretion, information regarding your OnePass account may be supplied to OnePass partners for promotions and also to certain government agencies for security reasons. If you choose to 'opt out' of Continental Airlines' promotions or our OnePass partners' promotions or have any changes made to your personal data, please visit My Account or contact your local OnePass Service Center. You may also access Continental's complete privacy policy.

You are authorized to access OnePass account information solely to obtain information regarding your OnePass account and for no other purpose. You may not delegate or grant any power of attorney or other authorization regarding any such access. Any other use of OnePass account information is strictly prohibited. You may reproduce information regarding your own account for personal use and, in consideration of this authorization, you agree that any copy of such information shall retain all copyright and other proprietary notices contained therein. Redistribution in any way requires the express written consent of Continental Airlines."



ChefNick said...

Soon the "frequent flier" deals of yore will be meaningless. They already are. Air Canada used to require 75,000 miles for a trip to the Far East and N. America; they arbitrarily changed it to a cool 100,000 just because they could, with no prior notice.

They arbitrarily changed the flying status for "Elite" (get your own line, check in before the plebes, get a chance at an upgrade) to "Prestige", which is basically nothing at all (fuck you, get in line with the rest of them, no upgrades, shut up.)

I really don't know why I bother.

Oh, maybe because I have 100,000 miles with Air Canada that I can't use because they canceled my most-used routes long ago.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like typical legal disclaimer mumbo jumbo to me. You can probably find similar wording on any airline, auto, hotel, etc. site.

See also said...

The point is: this is what they are pushing in your face when you log in as an elite status customer. It isn't buried with the other boilerplate. Besides the inexcusably snotty tone (really, they are ways to convey information without sounding like a drill sergeant), I object to the presentation. It conveys contempt. Continental has a good reputation for customer service in general.