Why Did Continental Reinstate the 500 Mile Minimum Earning for Elites?

Continental, Frequent Flier Programs

My fiancée flew to Orlando again yesterday, so I was hoping to have some more great stories like the infamous dinner roll debacle or the more recent gum incident, but alas, she flew Delta. Instead of problems, she had great service, in-seat video, tasty buy-on-board food, and nothing to complain about. Good for her, but a bummer for the blog. So, let’s talk about Continental instead.

On September 5, Continental announced a handful of changes, including the elimination of the 500 minimum OnePass miles on all flights. Yesterday, less than three weeks later, that was reversed for elite members in the OnePass program. Quick reversals like these really make me wonder who is making these decisions over there.

The airline, always a good friend of FlyerTalk, actually announced the restoration of the 500 mile minimum in a FlyerTalk thread. Scott O’Leary, Managing Director, Customer Experience said:

Hi Everyone, earlier this month we announced our 2009 OnePass changes, and suffice to say after the hundreds of posts and messages received here at headquarters, it was clear that the elimination of the 500-mile minimum was the most impactful to many of you. Especially those of you who are Elite members.

What happened in the last two weeks to change their mind? US Airways was the first one to announce the elimination of the mileage minimum and the reaction was extremely negative. Did Continental not notice this reaction back then? Did they think it would somehow be different when they tried it?

I suppose we should just be happy that they actually are listening to customers and making changes, but I find it hard to believe they didn’t see this one coming.

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5 comments on “Why Did Continental Reinstate the 500 Mile Minimum Earning for Elites?

  1. the worst thing about continental is the CEO in the safty vid.

    CF, will you be in the Quantas 80 aniversary celebration of LAX whith the A380

  2. It appears that although they reinstated the 500 base miles, this does not apply to Elite Qualifying miles. This, I believe is the really anger of Continental fliers trying to maintain or qualify for Elite status. Notice that they did not explicitly address this in their communication.

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