Continental just announced some changes to its OnePass program which help align the program with its future Star Alliance partners. Continental joins Star on October 27, 2009. The most beneficial change from my perspective is that Continental will no longer penalize customers for purchasing discount fare travel through venues other than Continental.com. The changes are summarized below just as they were sent from Continental:
Effective Oct. 1, 2009:
• There will be no same-day change fees for Platinum Elite members for tickets purchased on or after Oct. 1, 2009.
• As a part of our transition to Star Alliance, complimentary Elite upgrades will no longer be available on Northwest Airlines flights.
Effective Oct. 27, 2009:
• With our planned entry into Star Alliance, mileage requirements for reward travel will be changing, effective for travel booked on or after Oct. 27, 2009. Link to Continental’s new award chart.
• A Saturday-night stay is no longer required for OnePass reward travel.
• 100% Elite Qualification Miles and Elite Qualification Points can be earned on discounted fares regardless of where the ticket is purchased or issued. (Big win!)
• The BusinessFirst® $100 Upgrade Co-pay will no longer be 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.
• Upon our planned entry into Star Alliance, OnePass members will no longer earn Elite Qualification Miles, Elite Qualification Points or Elite mileage bonuses for travel operated by Amtrak, Emirates, EVA Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Island Air, Kingfisher and US Helicopter.
Effective 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. Platinum Elite members will pay no fee, the Gold Elite member fee will be $25, the Silver Elite fee will be $50 and all other members will pay a fee of $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 Jan. 1, 2010:
• All members worldwide will earn 125% 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.