As you probably know Continental is about to become the largest airline ever to change alliances when they go from 9 member Skyteam to 24 member Star.
They leave Skyteam on 10/24. If you want to redeem Continental miles for Skyteam partner flights or partner Skyteam miles for Continental flights don’t forget to do it by 10/24!
Continental joins Star Alliance on 10/27.
Here are the major changes:
The nice thing is that for the most part with the new Star Alliance chart the rates are the same no matter which airline you fly on. Under the old charts the rates varied according to the airline. Also the premium cabin on any flight without a true business and first class is only considered business class!
The new Continental chart is basically the same as United’s chart except that a round-the-world trip is much cheaper with Continental miles (160,000 in coach, 220,000 in business, 280,000 in first) than with United miles (200,000 in coach, 300,000 in business, 400,000 in first) and Continental has promised not to block partner award availability when using Onepass miles on Star Alliance carriers, while United severely blocks partner award availability when using their miles.
Here are the rate differences when redeeming Continental miles on sample routes between the: Current Rate/New Rate.
(Most surprising is the drop in mileage for TLV flights, which were the only flights to go up for 2009, and are now amongst the only flights to go down!)
Newark-Chicago in coach with Saturday night stay: 20,000/20,000.
Newark-Los Angeles in coach without Saturday night stay: 50,000/25,000.
Newark-Honolulu in coach: 35,000/40,000.
Newark-Honolulu in BusinessFirst: 75,000/80,000.
Newark-Tel Aviv in Coach: 90,000/75,000.
Newark-Tel Aviv in BusinessFirst: 120,000/115,000.
Tel Aviv-Honolulu in Coach: 110,000/80,000.
Tel Aviv–Honolulu in BusinessFirst: 140,000/120,000.
Newark-Buenos Aires in Coach: 50,000/55,000.
Newark-Buenos Aires in BusinessFirst: 90,000/100,000.
Newark-London in Coach: 50,000/55,000.
Newark-London in BusinessFirst: 100,000/105,000.
Newark-Shanghai in Coach: 60,000/65,000.
Newark-Shanghai in BusinessFirst: 120,000/125,000.
-Saturday night stays are no longer required for a domestic saverpass reward flight. (Eff: 10/27)
-Award redeposit, change, and expedite fees are $75 per passenger for non-elites, $50 for silver elites, $25 for gold elites, and free for platinum elites. The fees are contingent on the status of the member redeeming the miles, not the status of the flying member. Date changes more than 21 days before the flight are still free. (Eff: 12/15)
-Continental Silver=Star Alliance Silver. (Eff: 10/27)
-Continental Gold and Platinum=Star Alliance Gold for international lounge access and 3 free checked bags. (Eff: 10/27)
-Continental Platinum members get free same day confirmed changes. (Eff: 10/01)
-All fares (even those not purchased on continental.com) will earn full elite miles. Finally every domestic carrier offers full redeemable and elite miles regardless of where you purchase your ticket. (Eff: 10/27)
-Elites will earn their 25%-100% bonus miles based on 500 mile minimum segment miles even on flights under 500 miles. Previously the bonus was based on the actual flight miles. (Eff: 10/27)