Limits on rewards from Continental

When a search for a reward seat comes up a bit short some folks will pony up for the double miles rates to ensure getting a seat on the plane.  In many cases it is not a bad deal, even at the double rate, especially for long-haul flights up front, where the last-minute seat can cost many thousands of dollars, which makes 250,000 miles a pretty reasonable price.  The key to those rewards has always been zero inventory controls, also known as last-seat availability.  If a seat is for sale, the miles can buy it.

Well, that used to be the case.

First Delta and Alaska raised the rates on their last-seat availability rewards.  And now Continental has decided to limit the inventory for some of their customers.  For non-elite passengers this means that getting that elusive seat just got a bit more elusive.  They say that they are only limiting in on flights with “high demand,” but I have a feeling that means any flight where only the EasyPass 2x miles rate is available.  The new booking classes are R for the big seats and M for the small seats in the back.  Neither of those are terrible, but they certainly are way worse than things used to be. 

This is making my likely impending drop from Platinum elite to zero status next year looking a lot worse.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.