Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Alas, United points expire for frequent fliers

We knew it was coming but we have been dreading it!

Continental Airlines frequent flier miles will expire after 18 months in accounts without activity, though members will be able to avoid this without flying or using the miles. I don’t want to take the risk of engaging in an activity that may prevent miles from expiring. Everyone will be using their miles so awards will be difficult to obtain.united_continental_logo_det

Continental Airlines frequent fliers have been feeling like United has been treating them like 2nd class passengers now that Continental's merger with United Airlines has gone through.

Recently, many frequent fliers from Continentals main hub have noticed the deterioration of service and elite benefits. United has been heaping on the fees, cutting meal service and ticket prices have gone up now that they have less completion. The United fee for upgrading to a better seat increased, and chances of a free upgrade have diminished.

They are calling the Global Entry (line skipping) Program a new perk, but passengers can apply for Clear or Global Entry, even if they are not a United Frequent flyer member. -Though elite members of the MileagePlus program can apply for the benefit without paying the $100 application fee. Clear speeds you through airport security for a fee of $179 unlimited usage per year, and you can add a household member for just $50.

The new combined, frequent flier program will have 4 tiers:- Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum.

A benefit that OnePass elites have strived for, has been added to the new MileagePlus. It gives elite status benefits to spouses or partners of passengers who accumulate a million frequent-flier miles.

Your Lifetime Flight Mile balance counts towards your Million Miler status: Earn at least one million lifetime flight miles and your Elite status will never fall below our Silver Elite level. Trouble is that silver does not really get you and your spouse many perks, sure you get baggage but my credit card covers free bags. I was happy to attain this but there is no chance of an upgrade with Silver! The best is if you earn four million miles, you will always be Presidential Platinum Elite but that is not going to happen now that flying has become more unpleasant.

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