Although Continental Airlines isn’t officially joining the Star Alliance until Oct. 25, 2009, OnePass members can start earning miles on Star Alliance member flights now. Continental is offering OnePass members bonus miles on itineraries that include connecting flights on Star Alliance carriers for travel through Oct. 24, 2009. You can only earn bonus miles on one segment in each direction that connects to a Continental operated flight. In other words, you can fly from New York to Frankfurt on Continental and connect to Vienna on Swiss and earn bonus miles on the Swiss segment, but if you then continued on another flight from Vienna to Zurich, you wouldn’t earn miles on that segment. And you won’t earn bonus miles on segments flown to or from Newark, Cleveland or Houston.
For qualifying connecting Star Alliance flights, members will earn the actual miles flown plus a 50 percent bonus in first and business class. The connecting flight will also accrue 100 percent Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) and a 50 percent class-of-service bonus for first, business and full-fare coach fares.
Bottom line: Like it or not, Continental Airlines is switching alliances and this promotion reminds members that the network of OnePass partner airlines is changing. This “bonus” promotion will be similar to the standard offer when Continental joins the Star Alliance, without the one segment restriction.