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Tag: elite status

What’s the point of Continental’s Presidential Platinum status?

by on Dec.10, 2009, under Airlines

Continental Airlines is trying to bring back some prestige to airline status by introducing an invitation only, Presidential Platinum status. To get Presidential Platinum, you will need to get Elite Platinum status with Continental; and you must have spent $30,000 USD on Continental Airlines, excluding partners.

Presidential Platinum does not offer anything more than Elite Platinum, except for being ahead of Elite Platinum for upgrades. Presidential Platinum status members will be prioritized behind United’s Global Services and 1K members, but ahead of Premier Executive members when traveling on eligible UAL flights. Essentially, Presidential Platinum is a junior United 1K status.

One more thing: Presidential Platinum status holders also get their Continental credit card annual fee waived. But who pays for annual fees on credit cards these days?

Continental missed its mark. What’s the point of another status tier when it doesn’t have any added benefits? Continental should have made Presidential Platinum like Delta’s new Diamond status – which requires 125,000 Delta miles to quality, and comes with tangible benefits like six (6) system-wide upgrades.

Since joining Star Alliance, Continental has been creating closer ties with United. Continental has adopted United’s system-wide upgrade this year. I am not sure if Continental’s OnePass program is heading in the right direction.

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Marriott’s offering fast track to Elite status with double nights for every stay

by on Apr.23, 2009, under Hotels

Similar to the airline offers, Marriott launched a fast track to Elite status program that goes from May 11, 2009 to June 26, 2009. You will receive double credit for each night at a Marriott. Here’s the link to register. It is hard to get Elite status at Marriott because Marriott Rewards do not count stays + nights. You can only achieve Elite status with actual nights – so checking in and out of Marriott hotels throughout the week will not get you Elite status faster.

To earn Marriott Platinum status, you will need to have 75 nights. Marriott’s current fast track to Elite status offer goes on for 7 weeks. If you are a weekly traveler with 4 nights per week, you will get 28 to 30 nights during this promotion period. With double nights, you will have 60 Marriott Reward nights — that will leave you 15 short of Platinum status. I don’t think this fast track to Elite status is worth it unless you have already been staying at a Marriott or are committed to staying at Marriott for the rest of the year.

From the promotion link, I also noticed Marriott has implemented Elite Rollover Nights. If I understand the term correctly, every additional night after the 75th night will count toward next year’s status. This would be a huge differentiator against SPG, Hilton and Hyatt. The hardest part is still getting 75 actual nights.

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Best Flaunting of Airline Status

by on Dec.24, 2008, under Airlines

I recently was at London’s Heathrow airport waiting to board my flight to Seoul.  When I arrived at my gate near boarding time there was already a huge line of people.  Then they called boarding for first class, business class, and Star Alliance Gold members.  I bypassed the line to board the plane.  I had my economy class ticket in my hand, which is a different color than first and business class.  One airline employee apparently saw this discrepency and came up to me.  In a somewhat rude tone he said to me, "Will you please wait in line?"  I then proceeded to flash my Star Alliance Gold card and he responded with an apologetic, "Ah… ok."  That’s right, homie.  

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