This has been well covered by many blogs, but I thought I’d add my 2 cents. Continental’s entrance into the Star Alliance is exciting news for many travelers. While we all know that American and AAdvantage are my preferred airline and mileage program, I don’t think I’m stretching things very much when I say that Continental is likely the best managed legacy airline in the United States of America. Continental’s ability to execute on its stated goals are renowned. And for good reason…they almost always deliver on their promises.
Once upon a time, I was Silver Elite in the OnePass program. Amazingly, Continental promised express luggage delivery for their elites on every flight. One hundred percent of the time, they delivered (for me). That, coupled with almost 100 percent personable customer service, made for a pretty good airline experience. No doubt, I liked flying Continental. That said, OnePass just didn’t measure up to American’s AAdvantage in availability and flexibility. Add in the fact that I’ve always had pretty good service on American, and I just couldn’t find a compelling reason to move my travel dollars to Continental.
With their entry into Star Alliance, the world really opens up for Continental OnePass members. Star’s excellent lineup of airline partners along with Continental apparently not blocking award availability on their Star Alliance partners really make Continental an attractive option for travelers.
I’m still committed to American, and AAdvantage, but I plan to follow Continental’s progress as it heads down its new alliance path. Living in Washington, DC, United and US Airways should be logical options for me, but neither airline gives me the confidence I need to commit to a loyalty program relationship. Continental is now a real option, and I will follow them closely. With their entry into the Star Alliance, OnePass has become a reliable loyalty program option for many more travelers.