Nick sums up today’s announcement that United and Continental miles can be freely transferred between accounts and elites can enjoy status with both airlines perfectly–I have only my own two cents to add.
Word came this morning from Scott O’Leary, UA’s Managing Director of Customer Solutions:
Hi Everyone, as most of you know, United Mileage Plus and Continental OnePass will continue to operate separately until we until they’re combined in 2012. As a result, we’ve received requests from members to be able to transfer miles and combine Elite earnings between accounts. Today, we’re pleased to give you, our power-users, a sneak preview of our new self-service tools that do just that.
Specifically, you can:
- Transfer redeemable miles between your OnePass and Mileage Plus accounts. Give it a spin at united.com/transfermymiles or continental.com/transfermymiles (both take you to the same place).
- Match Elite status and combine Elite earnings for your OnePass and Mileage Plus accounts. For those of you who have Elite Qualification miles and segments/points in both OnePass and Mileage Plus, you can now combine these earnings to earn Elite status, Regional Upgrades and Systemwide Upgrades. Go to united.com/combinemyactivity or continental.com/combinemyactivity for all the details.
As usual, we’re grateful for the feedback and your patience during this prototype stage. Enjoy!
Here’s a couple reasons why this is great news:
1. Elite fliers on Continental and United can now enjoy elite status on both carriers–allowing, for example, a United 1K to enjoy Platinum status on Continental as well, meaning he can compete with other Platinums (based on fare class) for upgrades and does not have to wait until all of them are upgraded before he gets a shot at first class.
2. Starnet blocking is essentially dead–at least for now. If you run into any blocking on UA, simply transfer your miles to Continetnal and you’ll be able to book your desired award. As Nick mentioned in the link above, CO also has partners that UA doesn’t have like Cape Air, Kingfisher, and Virgin Atlantic (and vice-versa).
And a couple areas of concern:
1. Upgrades will become harder now for 1Ks and Premier Executives flying in lower fare classes. Currently 1Ks and Premier Execs have upgrade priority over Continental Plats on United flights. Now that CO Plats that earned over 100K EQMs will have 1K status, upgrades will become even tougher.
2. All I am going to say for those with silver/Premier status is…enjoy Economy Plus and your free checked bag.
We see again today that Continental and United are moving closer to full-integration. Take advantage of this deal to enjoy elite status on both carriers in 2011.