Continental is rolling out a couple of solid new programs that, while I’m sure some will have some nitpicky issues with, should make very frequent flyers of the airline quite happy. In short:
— Platinums (100,000 miles annually) get 4 systemwide upgrades to be used on any fare, any flight, with no co-pay. Yes, it’s fewer than American’s 8, but deal with it — it’s a great perk, considering Continental has not been particularly generous with the international upgrades in the past.
— They’re rolling out “Presidential Platinum” status for people who spend $30,000 annually on the airline. That didn’t strike me as that much until I started doing the math and realized that it would be nearly impossible to hit that with only domestic travel (one r/t a week at $600 each would just hit the threshold), and that even a pretty frequent international business class traveler would be hard-pressed to hit that without some serious butt-in-seat time. Anyway, it’s supposed to be reserved for those who spend a lot — and it is. Benefits? Upgrades clear 6 days in advance, and you get free President’s Club membership through the free Presidential Plus Mastercard you’ll get. Oh, if you fly 4 million miles lifetime you’ll also earn Presidential Platinum for life.
All good news for Continental flyers…Actually, it’s been a great year for Continental frequent flyers between this and the Star move.