Beginning in mid-2010, Continental and United elite members will receive unlimited reciprocal upgrade benefits on domestic flights. Upgrades will be prioritized by elite level, original booking class purchased and time of request. On United flights, upgrades will be cleared in the following order: United Global Services, United 1K, Continental Presidential Platinum, United Premier Executive, Continental Platinum, Continental Gold, United Premier and Continental Silver Elite. On Continental flights, the upgrade clearing order will be: Continental Presidential Platinum, Continental Platinum, United Global Services, United 1K, Continental Gold, United Premier Executive, Continental Silver and United Premier. Continental elites will also receive complimentary access to United Economy Plus seating and United’s Global Services, 1K and Premier Executive members can reserve exit row seats.
Bottom line: For top elite members, this is great news, especially for United Global Services members who will be first in line for upgrades on United and second on Continental flights. Continental’s highest-tier Presidential Platinum members, however, won’t fare as well on United flights. They will be third in the pecking order on United flights, before United Premier Executive. And for lowly United Premier and Continental Silver members, you might as well forget about upgrades.