Continental changes the terms of their status match program

It seems that as of a few days ago, Continental has changed the terms of their status match program. Previously, Continental was one of the most generous airlines when it came to status matching, granting matches to even their top tier Platinum status with no flying requirements. You needed to prove you had an equivalent status level with another airline, but still, it was incredibly generous.

Well, they’ve now changed the program to somewhat mirror United’s status match program (as they recently started matching to top tier 1K status as well), requiring a certain number of flown miles within 90 days of the status match to maintain the elite tier for the entire year (or if the match is done after July 1, the status is valid for the entire following year as well). For the Silver challenge 10,000 miles or 15 segments are required, for the Gold challenge 17,500 miles or 22 segments are required, and for the Platinum challenge, 35,000 miles or 40 segments are required.

Those are some very steep numbers!

The most interesting thing to note, though, is that historically status matches were once in a lifetime. Now a status match can be done once every five years, though.

I suspect the whole concept of a challenge is a trend we’ll continue to see at other airlines when it comes to status matching, as fewer airlines want to give away elite status.

Comments

  1. Agree the levels are fairly steep. Not a whole lot less than earning the old fashioned way, so depending on your known travel plans, may or may not be optimal to go the match route.

  2. RIght after reading your post on status match I matched AA EXP to CO PLT, because:
    a) I did not have Star Alliance GOld status
    b) With the UA-CO merger I tought it was a good time to use my “once in a life time” status match to CO.
    GLAD I DID!

    ps: I was a little dissapointed when my first interaction with CO was because after waiting for a card to be mailed to me I call the PLT desk to confirm that they has send it to me to which they reply: ” the nest sets of cards will be mailed in march!” now that alon made me realize how spoiled I was by AA.

  3. Hi Ben, a few months ago you posted that it was ‘now or never’ if you wanted an easy status match with Continental. I followed your advice, and they matched me for my AAdvantage status. Am not going to switch that much business to CO, but good to have when my travel dept won’t agree to put me on AA.

  4. in order for status to be given for 18 months, does a mileage status match have to be accomplished after july 1 (ie fly the final miles to meet the goal ) or does the match itself have to start after after july 1?

  5. @ TJ — It would have to start after July 1. That being said, they have a new program since the merger, so this information is outdated.

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