Continental Airlines is one of the larger airlines in the United States and consistently rated the best traditional carrier by people like Conde Nast and Business Traveler Magazine. That must mean they’re doing something right. As of October 2009, Continental moved out of the Sky Team Global Alliance and is now part of the huge Star Alliance, which includes United, US Airways, and Lufthansa, among others.
Continental offers a carbon offset program to make you feel better about all that yucky pollution you’re causing by flying so frequently.
The biggest standout of the OnePass program is that reward tickets start at 20,000 miles. That’s about 5,000 fewer miles than most of the large carriers.
Continental offers a variety of ways to earn miles, with hoards of airline, car rental and hotel partners. You can earn even more miles with partner retailers, using your debit card and even by buying groceries. OnePass members earn a minimum of 500 miles per flight, which is especially nice if you make frequent trips close to home.
This isn’t an exhaustive list – Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, bmi, Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, Swiss Air, Turkish Airlines, United, US Airways
Car Rental Partners
Advantage Rent-A-Car, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, Sixt and Thrifty.
AmeriHost, AmeriSuites, Best Western, Candlewood, Clarion, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Conrad Hotels, Crowne Plaza, Days Inn, Econo Lodge, Hawthorne Suites, Hilton Properties, Hotel Indigo, Howard Johnson, Hyatt Properties, IC Hotels (Holiday Inn Properties), Knights Inn, LaQuinta, Le Meridien, Luxury Collection, Main Stay, Mariott Properties, Quality, Radisson, Ramada, Renaissance, Rodeway, Shangri-La, Sheraton Properties, Sleep Inn, St. Regis, Staybridge, Summerfield, Super 8, Travel Lodge, Villager, W Hotels, Westin, Wingate and Wyndham.
With the OnePass program, you can redeem your miles to travel to 500 destinations around the globe. In addition, you can use your miles to “purchase” upgrades on available flights, donate your miles, bid for great prizes on the OnePass Auction or redeem miles for a little retail therapy.
Elite Access is the gold and silver membership program offered by Continental. Elite members receive great benefits like mileage bonuses and unlimited complementary upgrades. If you’re gold or platinum, you can get your companion upgraded as well. You’ll receive priority check in, an expedited security line in many locations and priority baggage handling.