Review of the Continental Airlines Frequent Flyer Program
The Continental Airlines Frequent Flyer Program (OnePass) was lasted reviewed on 6th August 2006
Earning Miles - The Continental Airlines frequent flyer OnePass program allows flyers to earn one OnePass for every mile flown. You will earn a minimum of 500 miles even if the flight is less than that distance. Business or first class ticket holders get 150% base miles. Full fare economy, business and first class flights gets you 150% qualifiying miles. You earn 1 elite qualifying point if you fly economy class, and 2 qualifying points if you fly business or first class.
Airline Partners - Continental Airlines is part of the SkyTeam network. Members of this network include Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, CSA Czech, Delta, KLM, Korean Air and Northwest. Continental Airlines frequent flyer members can also earn miles from these other airlines : Air Europa, Alaska, American Eagle, British European flyBE, Cape Air, Continental Connection, Copa Airlines, Emirates, EVA Air, Hawaiian, Horizon, Island Air, Maersk Air, Qantas, TAP Portugal, and Virgin Atlantic.
Credit Cards - Continental Airlines has many credit cards that allows frequent flyers to earn extra miles. There are many credit cards for international travellers as well. US OnePass members can get the Continental Airlines� World MasterCard� from Chase. New cardholders get 15,000 bonus miles, earns double miles with Continental Airlines purchases and can earn unlimited miles. Small business owners can get the Continental Airlines Business MasterCard� from Chase, which has identical features as the consumer card, but in addition, allows cardholders to get a 5% discount on Continental Airline ticket purchases for the first year.
Hotel Partners - Hotel partners include Carlson Hotels Worldwide, Choice Privileges, Hilton Hotels, Hyatt, Intercontinental, Langham Hotels, Marriott, New Otani, Omni Hotels, Preferred Hotel Group, Shangri-La, Starwood, WorldHotels and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts.
Car Rental Partners - Continental Airlines Frequent Flyer members can also earn miles with car rentals. Partners include Advantage Rent a Car, Avis, Budget, Alamo, Dollar Rent a Car, Hertz, National Car Rental, Sixt and Thrifty Car Rental.
Cruise Partners - You can earn one mile for every dollar you spend at various Cruise Partners including Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, Crystal, Cunard, Disney, Holland America, Oceania Cruises, Orient Lines, Princess, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn, Silversea and Windstar Cruise..
Dining Partners - Like most frequent flyer programs, the OnePass program has partnered with rewards network, which has a vast network of restaurants. You can earn up to 10 miles for every dollar you spend at partner restaurants.
Financial Partners - Members of OnePass program can also earn extra miles when using partner financial services firm. For example, if you work directly with your choice of one of the nation's four leading mortgage lenders, including Chase Home Finance, CitiMortgage, Wachovia, and Washington Mutual Home Loans, you can potentially earn up to 225,000 miles. Other financial partners include TD Ameritrade, Chase, LendingTree, sharebuilder, realestate.com.
Other Partners - ShopOnePass has partnered with many well known merchants like Circuit City, blockbuster online, GAP, Dell, Eddie Bauer, Apple Store, Barnes and Nobles, Best Buy etc where you can earn miles for purchases made at these retailers.
Redeem Miles - There are three types of flight awards by OnePass - the standard, easypass and stopover. Standard awards are subject to blackout dates and capacity controls. Easypass do not have these restrictions and stopover awards allow you to have stopover between destinations.
The awards are pretty standard for the industry. For example 25,000 miles gets you a roundtrip ticket around continental US. 35,000 miles gets to and from Hawaii.
You can donate your miles to various charities as well, including the Red Cross, AmeriCares, CAREFORCE, Healing the Children and Make-A-Wish Foundation. Miles can also used used for various other things like magazine subscribtions, cruises, merchandises at SopOnePass.
Other Rules - OnePass Miles do not expire. While most airlines claim their miles would not expire if your account has been active within a 36 month period, continental airlines frequent flyer does away with that condition. However, in their terms and conditions, they maintain the right to to impose expiry limits or terminate the OnePass program, thus terminating your ability to claim rewards!.
Elite Membership - There are three level of elite membership levels in the Continental Airlines Frequent Flyer program - the Silver, Gold and Platinum Elite levels.
Silver Level - The silver elite level requires flying 25,000 miles or 30 segments in one calender year. Silver Elite level members get a 50% bonus mileage bonus. In addition to that , silver members also get complimentary upgrades and notifications, Elite priority lines, EliteAccess check-in, EliteAccess security screening, EliteAccess boarding privileges, EliteAccess baggage handling, SkyTeam elite and elite plus travel benefits, preferred economy class seating, confirmed reservations, service recovery assistance, priority waitlisting for reward seats, standby for international rewards and better reward availability.
Gold Elite Level - If you fly 50,000 miles or 60 segments in a calender year, you will qualify for the Gold Elite status. In addition to the other benefits that silver members get, Gold members get 100% bonus mileage (better than the 50% that silver members get). In addition, Gold members also get companion upgrades.
Platinum Elite Level - Flying 75,000 miles or 90 segments (or points as OnePass calls it) gets you a Platinum Elite status. You get all the benefits of gold members with the additional benefits : 125% bonus mileage and SkyTeam Partner lounge access.
Verdict - The Continental Airlines frequent flyer program distinguishes itself by having miles that will not expire. Their program is pretty much on par with the other big six airlines. The website is user-friendly and contains most information that most users will seek. It also have a variety of credit cards that will help OnePass frequent flyers earn more miles.
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