December 29, 2010
Falling Short Of Airline Elite Status As A Frequent Flyer
I've actually written about how Continental treats elite customers versus non elite customers differently. It was upsetting but it taught me to play the game and stick with an airline so you get some perks. So in mid-2008 I earned Elite Access with Continental and ever since then stuck with them to keep that status (yes, I am a pawn).
In August, when I saw I was running short on miles this year, I decided to book a trip that was not urgent but was useful, just to keep my status. For some reason, my math didn't add up and I didn't end up earning elite status. I saw the dreadful scale not pass the Silver line, showing me I was short. How short? 300 miles short!
The reason this happened was because I booked my longest flight completely on miles and thus did not earn miles for flying on miles. But I thought I would be able to take enough domestic flights to fly over the necessary 25,000 miles to earn Elite Status. Like I said, my math was off by 300 miles.
So what did I do? I called and begged. I emailed and begged. I even used my scary flight experience as a method of trying to get them to give me those miles.
Guess what? It worked!
Today a nice lady from Continental called with "good news." They told me they gave me the 300 miles so I can retain Silver Elite Status for 2011. I was very appreciative, so much so that I didn't bother to ask for more details on that scary flight.
Why is Silver so important? Well, I rarely get the upgrades but it does give you priority seating, boarding and baggage. Yes, the Continental Credit Card gives you priority boarding and baggage and access to the lounge, but it does not give you priority seating and getting bulk head seats with extra leg room is likely the most important aspect of the Elite Status.