More Continental Changes Announced – And They’re Mostly Good

In addition to the new Continental award chart, there’s a thread on Flyertalk where a Continental representative outlines a whole sleuth of changes — most of them positive.

In particular, discount tickets on Continental will earn full elite qualifying miles regardless of where they were booked (you don’t have to book on Continental’s website to earn full credit). And regular-priced awards will no longer have a Saturday stay requirement.

There are plenty of other changes and confirmations. As expected, Continental Golds and Platinums will be Star Alliance Golds. Platinums get same-day change fees waived. Elite bonuses will be arned based on 500 mile minimums (rather than actual miles flown, so an improvement for short-haul earning).

Elite upgrades on Northwest go away October 1. This is as expected, now ew have the date.

Travel with Emirates, Eva Air, Kingfisher, Hawaiian Airlines, Island Air, Amtrak and US Helicopter no longer earn elite qualifying miles.

They’re getting rid of the $100 upgrade co-pay on international B fares.

And award change fees change — they used to be per itinerary, now they’re per traveler, so in some cases they go up. But the actual fee itself is cheaper:

All three fees will be $75 for general members, $50 for Silver Elite members, $25 for Gold Elite members and free for Platinum Elite members. And yes, OnePass travel reward changes outside of 21 days of travel will remain free of charge if there is no change to the origin or destination. These new fees will apply to rewards ticketed (or reissued) on or after Dec. 15.

Sadly, they’ve retained the idea of ‘close-in ticketing fees’ even if those fees are not particularly egregious especially if you’re an elite.

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, 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 »

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