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First Bag Fees & 2009 OnePass Program Changes

First Bag Fees & 2009 OnePass Program Changes

 
Old Sep 5, 08, 8:03 am
  #1  
Company Representative, United Airlines
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First Bag Fees & 2009 OnePass Program Changes

Hi Everyone, today we’re announcing the introduction of a first checked bag fee, as well as our 2009 OnePass program changes. Of course, we would’ve preferred to announce these policy changes along with the changes announced back in July and August, but unfortunately this simply wasn’t possible. Like these other changes, our rationale is the same: we are defraying the high price of fuel, which even at current levels presents a serious challenge for us. While you won’t see us making some of the changes our competitors are making, like the elimination of Elite bonuses or fuel surcharges on rewards, we did have to make some difficult program decisions that could impact you.

Here are the changes we’re announcing today:
  1. First Checked Bag Fee. For travel within the U.S. and between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada, customers will be charged $15 for the first checked bag. This fee will apply to tickets issued effective today, Sep. 5, 2008 for travel on or after Oct. 7, 2008. OnePass Elite members, SkyTeam Elite members, anyone else eligible for EliteAccess (including full-fare Y class and Chase Presidential Plus cardmembers), and avtive military personnel traveling on orders will be exempt.

  2. Elimination of the 500-mile minimum. Continental will discontinue awarding a minimum of 500 base miles and Elite Qualifying Miles for flights operated by Continental, Continental Micronesia, Continental Express, Continental Connection and most OnePass partners that are less 500 miles. This applies to travel booked on or after Nov. 15, 2008 for travel on or after Jan. 1, 2009. The 500-mile minimum will still apply to flights operated by Copa Airlines, Aero República, Hawaiian Air, Island Air, U.S. Helicopter and SNCF Rail. Amtrak minimum earnings will remain the same as well.

  3. Elite Bonus Mile Changes. We will continue to award Elite mileage bonuses, but will be making changes to the bonuses awarded to Silver and Platinum members. Effective for travel on or after Mar. 1, 2009, Platinum Elite members will earn a 100 percent mileage bonus (instead of 125 percent) and Silver Elite members will earn 25 percent (instead of 50 percent).

  4. OnePass Reward Changes. We will be adjusting our reward levels for travel between Tel Aviv and North America (series 10B) and between Tel Aviv and Hawaii (series 10C). For these rewards, the SaverPass rewards for both cabins will increase by 20,000 miles and EasyPass Rewards will increase by 50,000 miles for BusinessFirst tickets.
More information about these changes will be posted on continental.com shortly.

Last edited by UA Insider; Sep 5, 08 at 6:15 pm Reason: clarification re: 500-mile minimums for OnePass partners
UA Insider is offline  
Old Sep 5, 08, 8:04 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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CO To Implement First Checked Bag Fee/ OnePass Changes Announced

Continental Airlines Announces Fee for First Checked Bag on Domestic Flights
EliteAccess customers are exempt; OnePass program changes also announced
HOUSTON, Sept. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today announced a $15 service fee for the first checked bag for certain customers who purchase economy-class tickets.

The service fee will not apply to EliteAccess customers, including those seated in First or BusinessFirst, OnePass Elite and SkyTeam Elite members, customers traveling on full-fare economy (Y) class tickets, or military personnel and their families traveling on official orders.

The policy will apply immediately for tickets purchased for destinations within the U.S., and between the U.S. and Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada for travel commencing on or after Oct. 7, 2008.

Checked bags must meet weight and size restrictions or will be subject to additional fees. Continental's policy for carry-on baggage remains unchanged.

For more details of Continental's baggage policies, go to continental.com.

OnePass Program Changes

Continental also announced changes to its OnePass Elite mileage bonus program where members earn bonus miles based on Elite status in addition to actual flight miles on each flight. Effective for travel on or after March 1, 2009, Platinum Elite members will earn a 100 percent mileage bonus (instead of 125 percent) and Silver Elite members will earn 25 percent (instead of 50 percent) for tickets purchased on or after Nov. 15, 2008. Bonus miles for Gold Elite members will remain unchanged at 100 percent.

In addition, for travel on or after Jan. 1, 2009, Continental will discontinue awarding its OnePass members a minimum of 500 base miles and Elite qualifying miles on flights where the actual mileage between origin and destination is less than 500 miles. Instead, customers will earn the actual flight miles for tickets purchased on or after Nov. 15, 2008, for travel on or after Jan. 1, 2009.

Also effective for reward travel booked on or after Jan. 1, 2009, travel reward mileage requirements will increase for travel between North America and Tel Aviv (Series 10B) and Hawaii and Tel Aviv (Series 10C). SaverPass rewards will increase by 20,000 miles for economy and First/BusinessFirst tickets, and EasyPass rewards will increase by 50,000 miles for First/BusinessFirst tickets.

Continental Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 2,500 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 131 domestic and 131 international destinations. More than 550 additional points are served via SkyTeam alliance airlines. With more than 44,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with Continental Express, carries approximately 69 million passengers per year. For more company information, go to continental.com.

SOURCE Continental Airlines
-0- 09/05/2008
/CONTACT: Continental Airlines Corporate Communications, Houston,
+1-713-324-5080, [email protected]/
/Web site: http://www.continental.com
http://www.continental.com/company/news /
(CAL)

CO: Continental Airlines
ST: Texas
IN: AIR TRA LEI
SU:

CR-EF
-- LAF005A --
4729 09/05/2008 10:00 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com
MBM3 is offline  
Old Sep 5, 08, 8:06 am
  #3  
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Ugh, not good news, but these days, I guess it's what we've come to expect. This just moves OnePass closer in line with UA Mileage Plus.
ssullivan is offline  
Old Sep 5, 08, 8:07 am
  #4  
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A huge to the 500 mile minimum and bonus mile changes.
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Old Sep 5, 08, 8:08 am
  #5  
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I would think with the lowering cost of fuel, though certainly not what it was, things like this would not be as necessary. I also wonder if rolling out these types of changes back when oil prices were at their peak would make this easier to swallow. In any event, a hearty round of bad news all the way around.
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Old Sep 5, 08, 8:09 am
  #6  
 
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So can someone let me know why I should bother trying to reach Platinum? The bag fee doesn't bother me, but why are they reducing benefits for Plats?

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Old Sep 5, 08, 8:09 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Why is CO implementing these policies as the price of oil heads lower? Not having a first checked bag fee was a great way to differentiate CO from it's competitors. Now you're just like them.
DrMaturin is offline  
Old Sep 5, 08, 8:12 am
  #8  
 
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I'm really bummed to hear about the 500 mile minimum and the cut in elite bonuses. I really hope CO isn't taking guidance from their fellow star partners UA and US.
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Old Sep 5, 08, 8:14 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by MBM3 View Post
So can someone let me know why I should bother trying to reach Platinum? The bag fee doesn't bother me, but why are they reducing benefits for Plats?

I was just thinking the same thing. There are some breaks on the fees for Plats, but overall these recent changes are really starting to make it worth less and less.

A big to all of these changes!
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Old Sep 5, 08, 8:14 am
  #10  
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As long as airlines continue to generate revenue off of these reduction in services they will continue to reduce the service.

Seriously, was this necessary? BOOOOOOOOO
colpuck is offline  
Old Sep 5, 08, 8:15 am
  #11  
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seems to me they either should leave the 125% bonus alone or reduce Golds to 50% from 100%

Also the TLV changes affect me very much, funny that PEK,NRT,HKG etc which are much longer flights will require alot less miles.

looks like it may be time to shop around and see what else is out there, a real Pity
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Old Sep 5, 08, 8:15 am
  #12  
 
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CO have must have been watching USAirways customer enhancements and decided to copy some of them. Not good news at all and frankly I wonder how beneficial it will really be to CO.
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Old Sep 5, 08, 8:18 am
  #13  
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I was hoping not to see Continental go this route on the first bag fee, but alas, they have let me down.

The 500-mile minimum change is a little disconcerting, especially for those of us who do a lot of intra-Texas flying. Is it now actual miles flown?

If they start charging for soda I'm outta here.
Hartmann is offline  
Old Sep 5, 08, 8:22 am
  #14  
 
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In the event oil continues to decline, what's going to happen? Are we going to hear that high fuel prices are to blame for all the increases in fees and fares until oil returns to 1998 levels? I'm not a big fan of Delta but they did issue the caveat that the fees would at least be re-evaluated in the future.

I know CO was essentially forced into purchasing fuel contracts that presently run well above market rates (at the time, who knew? Can't blame 'em for that.), but I hope the buck stops here with the nickel-and-diming. Most of the hedges expire by mid-2009, and even now CO is hedged to, what, 60%?

Either that, or we'll continue to see Continental align itself with United in terms of overall product in preparation for a Star Alliance entry, instead of the other way around.

I suppose all things eventually correct to the lowest common denominator...
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Old Sep 5, 08, 8:22 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by OrlandoFlyer View Post
CO have must have been watching USAirways customer enhancements and decided to copy some of them. Not good news at all and frankly I wonder how beneficial it will really be to CO.
Wonder what Scott has to say about the comments. I am thinking the same, will be close to plat again by the end of year and will have to think about some extra trips at my own expense, but would it be worth it?

One of the main reasons I am flying Continental this year versus US was service, bonus miles and no cheating you out of miles. I sure hope they are not following * as their planes, crews and service is terrible--was Chairman over there and this year only 30K on them...

Maybe in the future it won't matter what status you have and just fly whomever.
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