Continental to Restrict “EasyPass” (aka RuleBuster/Standard) Awards for Non-Elites

Continental seems to be dribbling out their Onepass program changes rather than announcing everything at once.  In July it was no more award holds and greater fees.  Now they’re putting an end to last seat availability unless you’re an elite member of their program.

Used to be that if you were willing to spend additional miles (and recently on Continental it’s been a lot more miles) you could get any seat on any Continental flight.  According to Continental’s Scott O’Leary in a post on Flyertalk they’re taking this away.

For non-elites,

EasyPass Rewards will have some capacity controls and may not be available on certain flights where demand is high. In these cases, availability of EasyPass rewards on Continental will be based on R class availability for front cabin rewards and M class for main cabin rewards.

The change also extends to COPA and KLM flights, but Northwest flights will still offer last seat availability. KLM business class rulebuster awards strike me as especially restricted, allowing redemption only when Z inventory is available — that’s the deeply discounted fare class used, for example, for 50-day advance purchase premium cabin leisure fares.

The value proposition truly has been broken. Delta started it by taking away last seat availability, only to reintroduce it with a new higher 3rd redemption tier (and promoting that as a new exciting benefit – hah!). Now Continental has seized on the idea as well. As if Continental miles weren’t of limited value to begin with (some hope for redemption via the coming Star Alliance membership notwithstanding).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Comments

  1. TO: EXECS AT CONTINENTAL AIRLINES

    I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY CONTINENTAL AIRLINES IS STILL NOT BEING COMPLIABLE WITH THERE CUSTOMERS WHO WANTS TO EXCHANGE THERE TICKETS TO GO SOMEWHERE ELSE DURING THIS EPIDEMIC THAT’S GOING ON IN MEXICO, THEY ARE STILL CHARGING FEES FOR TO MAKE THE TRANSFER, THAT SHOULD BE UN CALLED FOR WHILE THIS DISEASED IS GOING ON. FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE, CONTINENTAL AIRLINES SHOULD CHANGE PEOPLE AIRLINE TICKETS WITH NO PROBLEM, IF THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT GOING TO MEXICO THEN DON’T MAKE THEM PAY FOR EXCHANGING THERE TICKETS. THIS DISEASE IS NOT GOING AWAY IN 2 WEEKS ITS IMPOSSIBLE. (EX. SARS, AND BIRD FLU) SO CONTINENTAL NEEDS TO STOP THINKING ABOUT MAKING PROFITS AND START HAVING A CONSCIENCE ABOUT PEOPLE LIVELIHOOD REMEMBER WE ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS,,, CONTINENTAL AIRLINES???

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *