Elite travelers with United Airlines and Continental Airlines now have reciprocal access to preferred seating on both carriers. The announcement from United comes just days after the merger of the two legacy carriers was completed. In addition, automatic space-available upgrades will now be provided to members of both Continental’s OnePass and United’s Mileage Plus frequent flyer programs, regardless of which program the travelers membership is with. This is just the beginning of the melding of the two carriers into one, much larger, United Airlines. The combined airline is now the largest in the world, bypassing Delta Air Lines which claimed the position after its acquisition of Northwest Airlines in 2008.
Upgraded seating for elite travelers isn’t limited to first-class upgrades from economy. Travelers will also have the space-available opportunity to ride in United’s Economy Plus section which features more leg-room than the standard coach section. More synergies will be announced over time, with the two carriers expected to be fully integrated sometime in 2012.
For complete details about the frequent flyer program enhancements now available to elite customers of both airlines, go to www.mileageplus.com for United Airlines information or www.continental.com/onepass for Continental Airlines details.
Both United and Continental reported superb on-time performance numbers in August, and judging by frequent flier comments on-line about the merger it is generally hoped that United’s service both in the air and on the ground will improve to the level enjoyed by Continental’s passengers for many years. Both airlines serve Minneapolis/St. Paul with non-stops to their hub operations at Chicago O’Hare, Houston, Denver, Cleveland, Washington Dulles and Newark.