Something I didn’t realize about the CO/NW relationship….

Since I recently status matched to NW, I was looking forward to the reciprocal upgrades on CO, while the relationship between the two carriers still exists. Something I apparently overlooked is that when flying CO on cheap fares and crediting to NW, you only earn 50% EQM’s. The same is true for flying NW and crediting to CO. I have no clue how I overlooked that, but I guess it makes sense. Full reciprocal upgrades and full mileage is just a bit too cozy for an agreement among two competing carriers.

The good news is that apparently the NW Platinum bonus is applied to actual miles flown, so you still earn 125% bonus miles. That being said, it’s probably a moot point pretty soon. Since my status is good through February of 2010, I have no incentive for flying NW over CO this year, since I’d earn the same redeemable miles and I really don’t care about elite qualifying miles, since I’ve already “requalified.” Add to that the fact that the CO/NW reciprocal upgrade program will probably end sometime next year (most likely early in the year), and it’s not a huge loss.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. You don’t get full EQMs crediting cheap fares to CO Onepass, either, unless you book those cheap fares on the Continental website. It isn’t a NW/CO relationship thing, it’s a special web eqm bonus that only applies to continental.com…

  2. The Skyteam world has a bunch of strange policies with regard to EQM/RDM.

    As a NW silver elite:

    1. On CO, you get 50% EQM’s (cheap fares), but the full RDM (50%) bonus. You also get the EUA upgrades.

    2. On DL, you get 100% EQM’s, but only a 25% RDM bonus. And no upgrades.

    So it’s usually a toss-up for me. Fly CO and get a somewhat decent shot at an upgrade to a very good F product and a 50% bonus on RDMs, but only 50% EQM’s? Or fly DL, get full EQM’s, but only 25% RDM’s and no chance of an upgrade…..

    Then of course there are bump opps to consider (which I know are near and dear to your heart Lucky!). In my experience, I’ve seen NW have the most aggressive IM of the three and have been bumped on a good number of flights. I think CO is the only legacy that I’ve never been bumped from ever, despite being on many ‘even’ flights. And DL is somewhere in the middle, with much fewer personal datapoints. Of course, none come anywhere near as close to the UA model of ‘if you want to give us money, we’ll take it regardless of whether there’s any chance we can get you a seat!’. 🙂

    So I’ll be interested to hear your experience.

  3. Interesting stuff, hobo13, thanks.

    Did you say lots of bumps on NW? Sounds like my kind of airline! 😀

  4. In my experience, more bumps on NW than CO or DL.

    I think we’ve had 4 itins this year on NW, and netted 2 bumps. Maybe about the same last year, and a little less the year before. The bump compensation is almost always fixed at a $300 TCV with no negotiation possible or necessary. On the upside, it’s an electronic voucher and it works very easily on-line (unlike the UA model where everything runs through Dearborn or the mail). The downside is that it’s not transferable and the ticket AND travel by date is 1 year. Obviously, there are some ways around the latter, but I’ve yet to figure out how to transfer it. And last I had one, they still gave meal vouchers, which are like pulling teeth to get from UA lately!

    So as compared to UA, you always get $$$ vouchers, but they are more restricted in terms of when and who can use them.

  5. NW is in my experice the best airline when it comes to “bumps”. i have a Gold elite and i get the upgrade almost 80% of the time. I’ve heard of Platium elites who have yet to fly in coach this year. let us know how you do with your platium.

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