Recently, Continental Airlines sent an email of updates about the merging of the airline to United with information of interest, especially to those flyers who have miles in both programs. The two programs will continue to operate separately in 2011, but members can expect a single program by Jan. 1, 2012. At the end of 2011, the elite qualifying miles and elite qualifying points in OnePass and Mileage Plus will be combined and count toward your 2012 status in the new program. The new elite program will offer six one-way systemwide upgrades for those who earn 100,000 elite qualifying miles or 120 elite qualifying points; two additional upgrades will be issued every 50,000 EQMs or 60 EQPs earned thereafter (available for all eligible fares except S, T, K, L and G in all BusinessFirst markets). A new benefit for Elite members will be two regional upgrades after completing 75,000 EQMs or 90 EQPs; two additional regional upgrades will be issued for every additional 25,000 EQMs or 30 EQPs. Regional upgrades, valid for upgrades to first class, can be confirmed as early as the time of booking.
Current and ongoing qualifying OnePass Presidential Platinum Elite members will receive all the benefits and services associated with that program through Jan. 31, 2012. The United Global Services program will replace the Presidential Platinum Elite program in 2012 and will be open to OnePass members. Top revenue qualifiers will be invited to Global Services in late 2011.
There are also changes to how members will qualify for 1K status starting Jan. 1, 2011. Now, members will need 120 segments to qualify (it was 100 segments) while the number of elite qualifying miles will remain at 100,000. Members will receive their six systemwide upgrades as soon as they reach their qualification threshold, instead of getting the upgrades at the beginning of the next year.
The OnePass Elite program year will now be valid for 13 months, beginning Jan. 1 and continue through Jan. 31 of the following year (instead of continuing through February per the current policy).
Overall, United Mileage Plus members are unhappy with these changes compared to Continental OnePass members. The elite Mileage Plus program is more generous than Continental’s, and to align the two programs Mileage Plus members believe that they are having to give up more.