Continental Rolls Out Systemwide Upgrades for Platinums; Super-Platinum “Presidential Platinum” Status for $30,000 in Spend

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.


  1. So for all of those who killed themselves getting platinum elite for life – THIS NEW PROGRAM DOWNGRADES THEM BY PUTTING A NEW CATEGORY AHEAD OF THEM FOR LIFE!