Continental recently made some changes to its airport elite upgrade processes, and this time, OnePass members are pleased.
Essentially, OnePass rearranged the list of which passengers get priority when it comes time to hand out at-the-airport complimentary upgrades.
First in line will be elite-level members traveling on full economy (Y) class fares. Platinums level will go first, then Gold, then Silver. This is in itself not really a change from current policy.
Second in priority will be elite-level members on other than full economy fares. The first upgrades will be granted based on elite status, then fare class, and then time of check in. While this step may be less than ideal for travelers on discounted fares, it ensures that high-level elites will not get bumped by members in the lower levels.
Finally, upgrades for companions will be sorted by the status of the accompanying elite member and by time of check in. For instance, companions accompanying a Platinum Elite member will be upgraded after all Platinum Elite members have been upgraded. This will ensure that no Platinum Elite-level members are passed over for companions of other Platinum Elite-level members.
The new procedures are slated to go into effect on March 16.
Overall member response at FlyerTalk.com has been positive, particularly by FlyerTalk standards. While some lower-level elites and “Elite Access” (non-elite full-fare passengers) may endure some uncertainty, the general consensus is that the plan makes good business sense.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the good news comes just in time for a FlyerTalker reception with Continental CEO Larry Kellner the first week in April.