|by Jason Steele|
The United/Continental merger has been crawling forward at a snail’s pace. Sure, they have gotten around to repainting some airplanes in the weird, Continental motif with the United name in the Continental font, but up until this week, there has been scant progress otherwise. Now, they have announced that you could move miles back and forth between United and Continental accounts. This is a big deal for people who have some miles in each account. Now, they can merge their miles to achieve an award.
As is typical with these mergers, savvy travelers who have been collecting miles on either program are now able cash in on their strategy. Other perks include merging status miles so that people can get to the next tier. Customers can also match status between the two airlines.
What This Is Not
The airlines have not yet merged their frequent flier programs. That should happen some time next year. You will know it has happened when Continental.com merely directs you to the United site, and all your Continental miles are there, merged with your United account.
Continental is adding Economy Plus seating to their aircraft to match United’s offering. I haven’t seen any definitive statement regarding Continental adding an International first class product as well. In my view, it would be a little superfluous. Continental’s new Business First product is an angled, lie flat bed that is not too far off from United’s first class product. United’s newer business class is a lie flat product as well. If United ditched First Class, or just kept it on a few prestige routes, that wouldn’t surprise me.
Delta and Northwest merged at a very rapid pace. All indications are that United and Continental are moving much more slowly. At least it seems like they are finally making some progress beyond paint.
Related Post – You might want to learn how to take advantage of the United Continental Merger And Rack Up Lots of Miles.