Miles now fungible between Continental and United


Continental Airlines and United Airlines will not fully merge their loyalty programs until the end of the year but they are taking steps to ease the transition for their members along the way. One of the first major milestones in that transition was realized today with the release of an interface to move points back and forth between accounts in the two programs.

 

There are a few restrictions on the mileage migration, but they are pretty reasonable:

  • You can transfer miles only once per day, in 1,000-mile increments with a limit of 200,000 miles per transfer.
  • You can transfer miles only between accounts in your name.
  • If you change your mind, you can wait 24 hours and move the miles back into their original account.
  • Transferring miles won’t affect your elite status in either program.
  • Transferring miles does not consolidate your accounts.

If you’re looking to combine your accounts to get a particular award or some other benefit just head here: united.com/transfermymiles. Couldn’t be easier!

Combined with some of the other recent announcements, including EconomyPlus being added to the Continental fleet, it looks like they are moving quite rapidly towards Customer Day One (May 17, 2011 is the target date) and we can expect more alignments like this in the meantime.

Oh, and the choice of the domain name that is hosting this stuff – unitedmileageplus.com – is just another in the long string of hints as to what the surviving frequent flier program for the combined carrier will be named.

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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.

7 Comments

  1. Nice feature in the meantime before things really move to one program. Is this how Delta/Northwest proceeded at this stage as well?

  2. It is similar to the NW/DL approach, Steve, but with a couple notable differences.

    Most significantly different is that CO/UA are providing a status match to their customers. Because of the differences between the levels in the two programs the upgrade hierarchy is a bit wonky when you fly the “other” carrier. This match policy, combined with the credits being combined, means that you just use the status of the airline you’re flying on and get the best possible benefits.

    The other very generous move they’ve made is that they are going to be combining the miles earnt last year to see if that will get you a higher status level. If you were 70K on UA and 30K on CO you’ll move up from 1P/Silver to 1K/Platinum. That’s pretty awesome.

    DL/NW didn’t do the status match/combination bit at all, though they did have a similar linking of reward miles accounts.

  3. I guess it is a personal thing, but I favor the staus match and EQM earning combination BY FAR over 1,000 RDMs. The miles are cheap compared to the status match value that comes from this benefit.

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