Continental is a Star Alliance member now, and they’re promoting the news on Twitter with a sweepstakes. You just need to follow @Continental and tweet something with the hashtag #StarTreatment to enter. You can do this up to 5 times a day through November 3rd for more entries to with 2 business class tickets to any Continental destination or one of two $1000 Continental Vacations gift cards.
The big news of course is Star Alliance lounge access, and earn and burn in the Star Alliance. Especially burn. Continental was miserable for redemption as part of Skyteam, but now members have access to the wonders of the Star Alliance — including first class products, something Continental itself doesn’t offer.
A real kudos to the Continental IT team, they’ve made redemptions on United Airlines, US Airways, Air Canada, SAS Scandinavian, TAP Portugal, LOT Polish Airlines, EgyptAir, Air China, and Blue1 possible online. And they also offer inter-island add-ons operated by Hawaiian Airlines and Island Air as well. This is something that’s not even in the IT chute over at United, as far as I understand, and I don’t think it’ll be available at US Airways any time soon either. (I’d love to see Singapore, ANA, Asiana, Lufthansa, Turkish, and Thai a part of this. A man can dream…)
SWISS and Shanghai Airlines are not yet redeemable, although Swiss is supposed to be available come next month.
As part of the changeover to Star Alliance, the Continental – Qantas partnership ends December 17. No big loss, they already killed the value in it when they increased the price of a first class award from 135,000 miles to 285,000 miles. (It was that massive change, among others, that led me to assume the Continental chart would be expensive for Star Alliance awards. So I was truly pleased to be wrong.)
This is a good week for the frequent flyer world.