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Continental tweaks frequent flier program

Continental Airlines Inc. said that it is changing its OnePass frequent flier program on Oct. 27, when it joins the Star Alliance, an airline group that sells seats on one another's flights.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Continental Airlines Inc. said on Thursday that it is changing its OnePass frequent flier program on Oct. 27, when it joins the Star Alliance, an airline group that sells seats on one another's flights.

One of the changes is the addition of a $75 fee to book a reward ticket within 21 days of travel, beginning Dec. 15. Reward tickets booked more than 21 days in advance will continue to be free, Continental said.

Continental said some mileage requirements for reward travel will change for travel booked beginning Oct. 27, although coach tickets would continue to be available at 20,000 miles.

Other changes include:

  • Reward travel will no longer require a Saturday night stay;
  • Travelers will earn 100 percent Elite Qualification Miles and Elite Qualification Points on discounted fares regardless of where the ticket is purchased or issued;
  • Elite bonuses will be based on the minimum mileage earned instead of the actual flight miles flown.

Beginning Dec. 15, Continental will charge $75 for non-elite frequent fliers to book a ticket less than 21 days in advance, as well as to redeposit miles or change a reservation. The fee is $25 for Gold Elite members, $50 for Silver Elite and no charge for Platinum Elite. Generally, Elite fliers are those who fly more than 25,000 miles per year.

Continental also increased the number of miles travelers with certain types of fares will earn beginning Jan. 1.