United and Continental Announce "Enhancements" to 2011 Elite Program

United and Continental have announced the first details of the 2011 elite program, and many 1Ks are going to be unhappy.  1Ks will now earn only 4 CR-1s (confirmed regional upgrades) for 100,000 miles of flying versus 8 for the same (or less) flying in prior years.  In addition, 1Ks won't earn any CR-1s until they reach 75,000 EQMs for the year.

1K qualification will now require 120 EQS (elite qualifying segments), as compared to 100 EQS in prior years.  Qualification via EQMs (elite qualifying miles) remains unchanged at 100,000.


Darren November 16, 2010 at 11:11 am

Ouch.... just ouch! I have 6 CR1s currently with June, October & November expirations next year, so will be ok in 2011, but 2012 will be tough. When I fly for work, it is usually LAX-JFK, so those CR1s are a godsend.

The segment change for 1K qualification is a major slap in the face. Segment peeps should almost get a reduction, not an increase!

Nick November 16, 2010 at 11:28 am

Honestly, what it looks like is that UA is setting up for a 4 tier system, so that 1K is still at the top, but there is another level between 1P and 1K.

gene November 16, 2010 at 11:39 am

@Nick -- No doubt, this is a sign that a 4-tier system is coming. I just hope that 1K doesn't become 1.25K, like Delta.

Michael D November 16, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Aren't there effectively 4 tiers in 2011 now with the 75k Premier Executives receiving higher priority and regional upgrades.

Gene November 16, 2010 at 01:03 pm

@Michael D -- You are correct. The new fourth tier just doesn't have a name yet (except perhaps Continental Platinum). Anyone have any suggestions for a name?

Darren November 16, 2010 at 02:49 pm

How about "1<K" for the new tier? j/k. I had assumed they would just do away with a 75,000 mile level in 2012. Still time to tinker with it, of course.

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