United & Continental Merger Update and the Last Chance to Buy EQM’s for 2011

Both United and Continental have been emailing in the past few days their merger update email. The new Mileage Plus program will start on March 3rd, 2012 and you can now check your combined EQM balance, if you have already linked your Continental OnePass and United Mileage Plus accounts.

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United and Continental had been using different methods to come up with the lifetime program miles figure. To come up with the measurable number, hopefully fair for both United and Continental members, United fliers got an onetime boost to include what Continental had been counting all along. This was calculated back to when you joined the program. My personal lifetime miles increased about 30%. The website now shows the combined lifetime activity once the programs are merged. Even without the 30% bump to my lifetime United figures, my combined balance would have been comfortably excess of 1 million lifetime miles, the thresh hold for lifetime Premier Gold status.

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There is also a last chance offer to buy up to 15K EQM’s that you can apply to your 2011 activity. Your status after the EQM’s is eligible for CR1’s (confirmed regional upgrades) and SWU’s (systenwide upgrades), if you passed the required EQM thresholds.  I wasn’t offered this one, because I had passed the EQM requirement for 1K status. If you are close to Platinum or 1K, you should consider your individual situation, and whether it would make sense to buy the EQM’s or not. I probably wouldn’t for a Platinum, but if I would be less than a $2K away from 1K, then it would be entirely different matter. You would get six systemwide upgrades that are easily more valuable than $2K, if used correctly. At other times, it might make sense to follow my earlier instructions how to use the Elite Maximizer to buy EQM’s.

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Price of the EQM’s if bought through this offer applied to 2011 balance.

There is also lots of other useful information on this website for both United and Continental flyers. The date for the new combined program is March 3rd, and it probably would be useful to familiarize oneself to the new status levels and procedures that will take place on that date.

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