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-   -   Newly Minted Platinum Elite - What to Expect? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/continental-onepass-pre-merger/1063709-newly-minted-platinum-elite-what-expect.html)

family friend Mar 16, 10 12:04 pm

Newly Minted Platinum Elite - What to Expect?
 
Hello All,

I am a newly minted Platinum Elite member on Continental. I have only flown Continental once in the past year (and that was on a RJ) so am unsure what to expect. What is the upgrade process like? What are upgrade odds on domestic? Is there any lounge access with this status? I will be flying out of EWR often, are there elite lines? Many thanks

Rupesh

channa Mar 16, 10 12:08 pm

I see you're also an AA EXP.

You're in for a shock.

FT Lurker Mar 16, 10 12:08 pm


Originally Posted by family friend (Post 13587130)
Hello All,

I am a newly minted Platinum Elite member on Continental. I have only flown Continental once in the past year (and that was on a RJ) so am unsure what to expect. What is the upgrade process like? What are upgrade odds on domestic? Is there any lounge access with this status? I will be flying out of EWR often, are there elite lines? Many thanks

Rupesh

1. EUA hierarchy: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/6719620-post18.html
2. Depends on the route, time of days, phase of the moon, etc. YMMV.
3. Only when travelling internationally. This is a :-: Gold benefit
4. Yes, the lines in the EliteAccess lane can be very long!

Welcome over from the dAArk side, family friend.

Flyer_70 Mar 16, 10 12:12 pm

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/conti...mysteries.html

The stickies have lots of answers. :)

We'll see you back at AA in a few. ;)

cova Mar 16, 10 12:34 pm

I assume you got a status match?

family friend Mar 16, 10 1:01 pm


Originally Posted by Flyer_70 (Post 13587197)
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/conti...mysteries.html

The stickies have lots of answers. :)

We'll see you back at AA in a few. ;)


Originally Posted by cova (Post 13587341)
I assume you got a status match?


Originally Posted by channa (Post 13587164)
I see you're also an AA EXP.

You're in for a shock.

Yes, I am an AA EXP. I did receive a status match to Platinum Elite on CO. I will be flying both AA and CO for the foreseeable future. By everyone's comments I take it that upgrades are not as common on CO as AA for domestic itineraries?



Originally Posted by FT Lurker (Post 13587167)
1. EUA hierarchy: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/6719620-post18.html
2. Depends on the route, time of days, phase of the moon, etc. YMMV.
3. Only when travelling internationally. This is a :-: Gold benefit
4. Yes, the lines in the EliteAccess lane can be very long!

Welcome over from the dAArk side, family friend.

Many thanks, that is very helpful.

aacharya Mar 16, 10 1:05 pm


Originally Posted by family friend (Post 13587502)
By everyone's comments I take it that upgrades are not as common on CO as AA for domestic itineraries?

.

To caveat, the answer is "Yes" out of EWR, as it is a major hub and elite-heavy. Upgrades are rare for EWR-LAX, SFO, and SEA. I've gotten upgrades easily for PDX or flights from PHL-IAH.

Laughable Mar 16, 10 1:06 pm

Nothing

J.Edward Mar 16, 10 1:37 pm

I think you'll find the CO operation to generally run slightly smoother than the AA one, barring any irregular events.

On CO it's generally easier to buy up to an F fare (Plats can auto-up on the three highest fares, Y, B and M) however if you can't immediately confirm the upgrade, expect to sit in the back.

And while we're on the subject of sitting in the back -- no free drinks or snack for top-tiers in Y (the free meals are going away) and CO still has a way to go to catch up to AA in terms of offering IFP on their flights. However it should be noted that on the planes that have been reconfigured for IFP/AVOD no empower adapter is required and CO does plan on eventually putting power into almost every mainline plane.

Furthermore CO has not been able to negotiate a way to operate the larger regional jets (CR7/9 EMB175-195) so no first class product on the regional markets, just a whole lotta love from the 145s.

If you're in the front of the plane, CO's catering is a notch above AA (and UA too, FWIW) and their new J seats are superior to AA's NGBC, but again CO's in the early stages of rolling out this product so not every flight will have it.

When something does go awry, expect more inertia from CO in finding a suitable reroute. Say what you want about AA (or UA) but as an EXP and 1K both airlines' agents seem to be far more empowered then their peers over at CO.

From a reward standpoint I think CO's a little stronger than AA (no fees for the top tier) and I suspect it's only a matter of time before OnePass allows one-way awards and their new SWUs are a welcome addition to the portfolio of benefits offered to the 100k flyer.

Bottom line: expect upgrades if you're flying on off-peak flights and high fare classes and a generally smooth operation, barring any IRROPs. If not, expect to sit in the back with less amenities then AA and be willing to push agents for assistance when the operation gets hit with irregularities.

aba030 Mar 16, 10 7:07 pm

As an AA EXP, you've probably experienced 90%+ upgrade success, don't expect anything near that on CO. If I flew enough to consistently hit 100K every year, I would switch over to AA in a heartbeat.

Justin7525 Mar 16, 10 7:24 pm

If you are AA EXPlat (and can maintain it) I would stay AA EXPlat. (this coming from a CO flyer). ONLY b/c you get upgraded a bunch. Why? There are much fewer EXP than equal status on other airlines. They also do not fly with a full FC cabin as Star Golds and Sky Team does. Usually always seats available.

If you live near Newark and are not flying AA much anymore to maintain the status, then you made the right decision switching to CO. It's better to fly Plat with CO then a diminished status with AA.

Gold and Platnium on AA is a joke compared to other loyatly programs. I am an advocate of domestic flyers switching to Star Alliance. Your options are virtually endless. (imho)

I am Continental Gold and I find myself getting upgrades consistently. However, I am out of San Diego, which is no HUB. So my area isn't heavily populated with CO elites. I also research my flights FC availablity. If it is high I book it which increases my chance of an upgrade.

Even though the elite line may be long, I have never seen an elite passenger have to check a bag due to overcroweded bins or place their bag many rows away, which is the perk of priority boarding.

Getting upgrades isn't impossible or low as people may publish. You only hear about the few individuals who never get them b/c crying babies are always heard and happy babies aren't noticed. I find myself with about 60 percent of my flights upgraded. Thats good for not paying for FC right? I think so.

You get ther free bags (weight increased for elites also). You get priority handling on those bags which I think AA only does for EXPs?? (i may be wrong, but as AA Plat last year they never put a sticker on my bag).

United (star alliance) has economy plus, CO planes have direct TV in each seat, young fleet, and CO customer service is far superior than any customer service AA provides. As a victim of having to deal with both, CO exceeded my expectations.

BigPoppaCO Mar 16, 10 7:42 pm


Originally Posted by Justin7525 (Post 13589871)
Getting upgrades isn't impossible or low as people may publish. You only hear about the few individuals who never get them b/c crying babies are always heard and happy babies aren't noticed. I find myself with about 60 percent of my flights upgraded. Thats good for not paying for FC right? I think so.

You are absolutely, undeniably, positively delusional. Move to EWR-land and tell us all what happens to your lovely 60% upgrade percentage as a CO Gold. Are you serious?

Steph3n Mar 16, 10 7:46 pm


Originally Posted by BigPoppaCO (Post 13589972)
You are absolutely, undeniably, positively delusional. Move to EWR-land and tell us all what happens to your lovely 60% upgrade percentage as a CO Gold. Are you serious?

:rolleyes: He isn't in EWR so why would he move there? there is a lot of the world outside EWR, the world does NOT revolve around EWR.

BigPoppaCO Mar 16, 10 7:52 pm


Originally Posted by Steph3n (Post 13589996)
:rolleyes: He isn't in EWR so why would he move there? there is a lot of the world outside EWR, the world does NOT revolve around EWR.

Um, what? The OP is based in EWR. Do you think I would have written that if the OP was based in some off-brand city like SAN, MSY or Kileen, TX?

controller1 Mar 16, 10 7:52 pm


Originally Posted by BigPoppaCO (Post 13589972)
You are absolutely, undeniably, positively delusional. Move to EWR-land and tell us all what happens to your lovely 60% upgrade percentage as a CO Gold. Are you serious?

Last year as a Gold I had an upgrade percentage of 50% and when I became a Plat later in the year I had an upgrade percentage of 75% (9/12). Of course, these are only upgrade-eligible flights as most of my flights are on RJs.


Originally Posted by Steph3n (Post 13589996)
:rolleyes: there is a lot of the world outside EWR,

+1

You are correct, and that's probably the reason for my upgrade percentages! :)


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