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You can continue to earn 100% Elite mileage on Continental?

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Sep 19th, 2003, 04:45 AM
  #1
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You can continue to earn 100% Elite mileage on Continental?

Can someone help me with translation what Continental is saying in this statement below?
I cannot find any information on their website where they say about changing requirements. Until now it was easy. Every ticket earned miles. What is going to happen after December 31, 2004?
I called them and they told me everything is posted on their website. I checked again. I cannot find any details. What is going on?

"You can continue to earn 100% Elite mileage and full segments/points for Q, S, T and L Economy Class fares (or equivalent fare classes) for travel on Continental Airlines, Continental Express and Continental Connection flights by booking your tickets at continental.com for flights between January 1 and December 31, 2004."

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Sep 19th, 2003, 05:03 AM
  #2
 
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I'm not sure the change is very significant to occasional, non-elite, low-fare travelers. For elite One-Pass members who fly on discount tickets, it is a HUGE change because a couple of things are happening:

1. Only 50% of the mileage on low-fare tickets will count toward elite qualification. This change is effective at the end of the year for flights booked via means other than the Continental website. For flights booked on Continental's site and flown by June 30, 2004, full elite mileage can still be accrued.

2. Another change will provide high fare ticket customers with elite-type upgrade privileges.

Here's a link on the changes to elite qualifying miles:

http://www.continental.com/onepass/n...0030910_02.asp

For an exhaustive discussion by frequent flyers on this change (clue: many are not happy!), go to:

www.flyertalk.com

Click on the Continental section of Flyertalk Miles.
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Sep 19th, 2003, 05:11 AM
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Update: Apparently Continental has implemented a stay of execution for low-fare tix booked on their site:

"You can continue to earn 100% Elite mileage and full segments/points for Q, S, T and L Economy Class fares (or equivalent fare classes) for travel on Continental Airlines, Continental Express and Continental Connection flights by booking your tickets at continental.com for flights between January 1 and December 31, 2004."

This adds six months to the original cutoff date for full mileage credit on the CO site. The hope must be that CO can stem a near-term mass exodus of "low-fare elites" by delaying implementation of the change a bit longer....

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Sep 19th, 2003, 06:18 AM
  #4
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All these changes will make a big difference to us as we are Gold Elite memebers. We do not fly for business so always looking for the least expensive flights. What should we do Flyboy? How can let Continental know that we are not happy about these changes? I will check out flyertalk.com

Flyboy, I do appreciate your help.
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Sep 19th, 2003, 10:18 AM
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After you look over the discussion on Flyertalk, you may have a better handle on how to proceed. This move by Continental seems to be geared toward aligning their program with Delta's (which isn't all that great.)

First, you can voice your displeasure with Continental. Collectively, these things can make a difference. U.S. Air retreated from an unfriendly policy when their customers put the pressure on some time back and the change to allowing full mileage for all of 2004 for flights booked on the Continental website shows that some of the shouting probably had some impact. For right now, the net result is that you may be able to maintain gold elite through 2005 (by making it in 2004 again). Your decision point would then be at the end of next year, based on whatever rules may be in effect by that time for Continental and/or competing carriers. Of course, you will also find out whether you're not getting as many first class upgrades, in the meantime.

You could also take the gamble that Northwest isn't going to follow suit (and it IS a gamble!) Because your elite status and mileage earning perks are essentially interchangeable on Northwest, you could choose to begin banking your mileage in a Northwest account and become a Northwest gold elite with the leverage of your current Continental status, rather than sticking with Continental OnePass. There are pitfalls:

1. You will end up with your mileage broken up into two accounts, leaving you with potential "orphan" balances that aren't nearly as flexible for you to use or capture value from as having all of your mileage in a single account.

2. Northwest could do the same thing at some point along the way, which would render your strategy pointless (along with dealing with the issue cited in #1).

FF programs have been a good thing for a long time, but only time will tell if the party is ending. If so, then I suppose some of us will end up just sitting in coach again and having very little carrier loyalty.

Stay tuned!
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