OnePass Changes Effective Aug. 17, 2008

 
Old Jul 16, 08, 10:24 pm
  #1  
Company Representative, United Airlines
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OnePass Changes Effective Aug. 17, 2008

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to give you a heads-up about some upcoming changes to our OnePass program. As Iím sure you know, the record-high price of fuel is having a direct impact on our fares and fees, and the OnePass program is no exception. While I canít guarantee there wonít be more announcements this year, these are the changes thatíll be taking effect in the next 30 days:
  1. New instant ticketing requirement for continental.com and phone bookings. Effective Aug. 17, 2008, all customers booking travel at continental.com or over the phone with Continental Reservations will be required to purchase tickets at the time they make their reservations. In these cases, we will allow the flexibility to make changes to reservations within 24 hours without incurring change fees. This includes canceling your reservation and requesting a refund to the original form of payment. For the majority of you who are already accustomed to instant ticketing, our new 24-hour window for fee-waived changes and refunds will be an improvement. This policy will also include OnePass Reward Travel. Customers redeeming OnePass rewards will be given a three-day ticketing time limit if there are not enough miles in their OnePass account, allowing time for mileage transfer requests or to purchase miles through the Mileage Purchase Option. Here are the additional terms and conditions:

    • The 24-hour timeframe is defined as the 24-hour period starting at the time the reservation is completed.
    • There are no exceptions to this policy for OnePass Elite members.
    • Tickets exempt from this policy include group tickets and tickets purchased using Western Union, cash or eCertificates. These reservations will be placed on a courtesy hold to allow the required ticketing arrangements to be made.

  2. Reward change fee and redeposit fee increases. Effective August 17, 2008, our fee for OnePass reward changes and reward redeposit fees will increase to $150, bringing them more in line with the change fees we have for most restricted fares. Currently, these fees are $35-$50. Our Platinum Elite members will continue to be exempt from all reward change and redeposit fees.

  3. Close-in ticket fee increases. Effective August 17, 2008, our fees for close-in reward bookings will increase to $75 for all reward ticketing within 21 days of departure. Currently, these fees are $35-$75 for travel within 14 days. For our Platinum Elite members, the fees will remain unchanged ($0 for ticketing 15 days or more or in advance, $35 for travel within 4 to 14 days, and $50 for travel within 3 days).

  4. BusinessFirst upgrade reward copay increases. Effective August 17, 2008, we will be raising the upgrade service fees for our BusinessFirst mileage upgrade rewards. Most increases are $50, some are $100, and some are unchanged. Below are the new BusinessFirst upgrade service fees by fare class:

    • Y:$0
    • H: $100 ($200 for Hawaii)
    • K/M: $250
    • N/B: $350
    • O/V: $400
    • U/Q: $450
    • All other fares: $500
More information about these changes will be posted on continental.com shortly.
UA Insider is offline  
Old Jul 16, 08, 10:27 pm
  #2  
 
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hmm, posted in the middle of the night. Nice surprise for the morning.

In any event, CO runs a tight ship so do what you gotta do, ya.
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Old Jul 16, 08, 10:31 pm
  #3  
 
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Wow...some of those fees sound like UA fees --the high 'close in fee' and the even higher redeposit/change fees on reward tickets....the alignment has begun
Renard is offline  
Old Jul 16, 08, 10:38 pm
  #4  
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Scott,

Thanks for the heads up. I don't see anything scary in what you're doing. We all understand the challenges that airlines face right now. I for one support any reasonable actions that CO takes to generate more revenues. These changes are more than reasonable!
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Old Jul 16, 08, 10:45 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by CO Insider View Post
BusinessFirst upgrade reward copay increases.
This one will probably hurt me the most.

I must agree with the other posters - overall these do not look all that bad. It could be much worse (let's not hope it does get any worse)!

<rant>
The airline industry as a whole is (obviously) in trouble and I don't think that pushing all sorts of fees on to customers is going to produce a positive end result. Many of these additional fees will impact CO's most frequent flyers which really is a shame - some of the Plat discounts are obvious exceptions to this.

I would love to see CO explore alternative (and more innovative) revenue streams rather then just follow all other major carriers by adding a bunch of fees. Finding these alternative revenue streams could really set CO apart from the other carriers! It's time to really start thinking outside the box.
</rant>
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Old Jul 16, 08, 10:46 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by CO Insider View Post
BusinessFirst upgrade reward copay increases. Effective August 17, 2008,
  • H: $100 ($200 for Hawaii)
Oh, Scott, you are so mean to me... you know where I get most of mileage value and earn EQM.

Now I need to buy 2008 year-end and 2009 summer tickets and request mileage upgrade before 8/17...
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Old Jul 16, 08, 11:48 pm
  #7  
 
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Ouch. As a Plat, I'm relatively safe, but some day I may (hopefully) fly less and all these fees aren't likely to disappear when (if?) fuel prices come back down. Hardest of them all in my opinion: $150 to change / cancel a reward ticket - wow.
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Old Jul 17, 08, 12:46 am
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While I understand the need to impose the fees, I am very disappointed by the BF fees, particularly the ones for the H class. I've had no issue buying H fares to experience BF, but now my SWUs on UA are worth a bit more.
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Old Jul 17, 08, 4:15 am
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beginning of the end

This is the beginning of the end of FF programs. I have certainly been expecting their demise or devaluing giving the state of the industry. At least soon we can all rest , forget status, forget mileage runs, and the market will become true competition and we can fly with whoever provides the best for whatever route we need to travel and we stop being tied to airlines and airline groups. Like I am planning a trip to Vietnam and would have been nicer to travel with a proper airline like Singapore or Cathay Pacific rather than travel such a distance with the likes of CO.

Why doesnt CO just disband the program then we can all move to the next step? No point anymore pretending its a loyalty when increasingly there is little to gain from being loyal.
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Old Jul 17, 08, 4:18 am
  #10  
 
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Thumbs down Thanks for the memories

Just last month, I cleaned out the last 100K from my CO account for a Virgin UC reward. I ticketed within 15 days ($35 for being one day off ) and made one change ($35), for a total cost of $70 in CO nuisance fees. Those fees would total $225 ($150+75) if made under the new fee structure -- over three times as much.

I am glad that I got out of OnePass when I did! I am left with exactly 382 miles in my CO account, and given the increasing costs and hassles of discretionary travel, I likely won't be adding to that total very often.

I have enjoyed being a lowly CO Silver Elite -- it's gotten me early boarding on all flights and upgrades on a few -- but I can no longer afford status in multiple FF programs anymore. Being top-tier elite is the only way to avoid Death by Fees! It was really nice while it lasted, though.
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Old Jul 17, 08, 4:21 am
  #11  
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These changes are yet another sign that "free travel" using frequent flyer program miles is going the way of the dodo and the program is headed toward being little more than "somewhat discounted travel" using FFP miles.
GUWonder is online now  
Old Jul 17, 08, 4:26 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by quan98 View Post
hmm, posted in the middle of the night. Nice surprise for the morning.
I'm assuming he's trying to post here before it shows up on co.com and someone here notices. You sort of have to appreciate that effort.

Thanks, Scott.

I'll keep quiet until CO starts with the first-bag-checked fee (I don't even check baggage; I just think it's ridiculous).
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Old Jul 17, 08, 4:31 am
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Originally Posted by ani90 View Post
Why doesnt CO just disband the program then we can all move to the next step? No point anymore pretending its a loyalty when increasingly there is little to gain from being loyal.
Right. We all see the writing on the wall, and I'm pretty sure people are either dumping their miles while they can, or converting them to something else that is actually useful before the ratios there are killed too. This has been a long time coming, which is why I really don't pay attention to mileage levels except for status qualification... which I do think actually has some life to it, as it generally doesn't cost the airline much at all to maintain these elite services (eg, first board, priority baggage, space-available upgrades, even the elite customer service line).
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Old Jul 17, 08, 6:04 am
  #14  
 
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By all accounts CO is one of the best managed airlines and I'm sure all the math was taken into account before these changes. At the same time, I feel that airlines are just using high fuel as an excuse for death by fees. I would rather see FFPs aligned with fares, i.e. getting say 4,000 points for a $400 ticket, than increased fees that everyone (except Southwest) is imposing.
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Old Jul 17, 08, 6:11 am
  #15  
 
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I'm not happy about these at all. There's a permanence to this that bothers me. Impose a fuel surcharge on reward travel if you like, but don't mask it elsewhere or call it by a different name. These are the types of changes CO will "forget" to relax once economic conditions reverse.
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