Continental announces fourth tier and SWUs!


Earlier this evening, Scott O'leary (a previous guest of the show) announced a few changes upcoming in 2010 to the Onepass program.  (The original thread can be found here).

The highlights:

  • A fourth tier that will be revenue based, like United's Global Services.
  • System Wide Uprgrades

 First, the System Wide Upgrades.  At 100k miles, members will be granted four SWUs.  No word if additional thresholds exist for accumulating more.  For listeners of the podcast, I've in hinted that they were coming so I'm glad I was right. ;)

  • Valid on all fares with no co-pay requirements.
  • Valid on Continental, Continental Micronesia and Copa
  • Valid until the end of the following year.  SWUs earned in 2010 will be good until the end of 2011.
  • Fully transferable.
  • They will be available starting mid-2010 but credit towards earning them stats on 1/1/10.  Sadly 2009 EQMs don't appear to count.

The fourth tier, Presidential Platinum, requires:

  • For 2010, $30,000 in spend on Continental.  This will be adjusted to keep the ranks thin.
  • A dedicated reservations line.
  • Top priority for upgrades and standbys.
  • For members in the 48 states and Alaska, a free membership to the Presidential Plus Mastercard. 
  • Upon reaching four million miles, one earns lifetime Presidential Platinum status.

So, at this point, Onepass has become one of the best US programs.  The SWUs and their benefits easily are comparable to AA's, but with a larger international route network.   So, those Delta SWUs are officially worth less than used toilet paper.

So, the big question... does this mean Hunter's relationship wtih Delta has come to an end to become a CO flyer? 



kd5mdk December 9, 2009 at 02:40 am

The SWUs are comparable to AAs, but you get half as many. :p

There is word on accumulating more:

Originally Posted by sbm12 Any tiered earnings beyond 100K/120 for additional SWUs?

Not at this time, sbm12, but I don't blame you for asking!

Scott O'Leary Managing Director, Customer Experience | Continental Airlines

Fozz December 9, 2009 at 08:23 am

@km5mdk you are correct, I missed that and just reread the thread to see that. Still, four with no fare requirements is pretty damn huge.

As for AA, yes AA gives you more, but AA also has a lot fewer routes to Asia or EU. The only place AA is a better option, from a route perspective is to South America.

kd5mdk December 14, 2009 at 01:37 pm

I was expecting more discussion here.