qf74
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:35 am

CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:16 pm

I am 5000 miles shy of becoming Silver Elite on CO and can't decide whether or not to fly a few extra trips before the end of the year.

I fly frequently but not on a regular basis and usually pick my carrier on price alone. Next year, I expect to be taking at least one big overseas trip and probably several shorter jaunts.

I will be mainly flying out of MSY (for which CO is as good an option as any) with my wife who would not have any status.

Is Silver Elite worth it? Will upgrades be forthcoming if I am flying with someone without Elite status? Do Silver Elites get regular upgrades anyway? Any feedback from CO insiders or frequent flier would be appreciated.
 
Airstud
Posts: 3106
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:57 am

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:57 pm

First question is, do you know which carrier you'll be taking on your big overseas trip next year?

If it's not a Star Alliance carrier, then I wouldn't bother with pursuing status on CO.
Pancakes are delicious.
 
planeguy727
Posts: 1054
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:58 am

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:10 pm

I have reached silver preferred status with US for several years now. I find that upgrades are fine (fairly consistent - though I usually only have short hops on the east coast so it's less of an issue). One of the best benefits these days of silver status is no baggage fees on star carriers. I also appreciate access to the preferred security lines and the earlier boarding options. I will pay more to fly star carriers and keep my money and allegiance within the alliance. I find the rewards to be worth it over time.
I want to live in an old and converted 727...
 
deltairlines
Posts: 6877
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:19 am

Upgrades are tough for Continental Silvers - a high number of paid F traffic, generous upgrades for full Ys and a good number of Plats/Golds as well. CO Silver upgrades are more often than not few and far between (especially compared to other carriers).

What it does get you is EliteAccess (priority check-in, boarding, security), free bags and seats at the front of coach (no exit rows until check in though) and 25% bonus miles. Out of MSY, a mileage run to a city like SEA could be done for about $200 as a turn around, and I'd say is probably worth it - having any sort of elite status is a lot better than not being elite.
 
citation501sp
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu May 25, 2000 10:19 pm

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Thu Sep 10, 2009 3:33 am

I'm Silver Elite here, I've actually have been upgraded about once every 3 flights with CO Mainline this year. I like the Elite access part mostly, being able to board first, Elite Lines for Check in, No baggage fee. I've even used priority standby.

I'd say if you are planning on going overseas on CO, go for the Elite status. It won't get you an upgrade going international, but it won't hurt, the other benefits of being Elite are more than worth it.

501sp
Smoke and Thunder! Stage 2 FOREVER!!!
 
planeguy727
Posts: 1054
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 2:58 am

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:40 pm

The other thing I forgot to add is having elite status gives you a dedicated phone line that is most helpful when a flight is cxl or you need to re-book/re-route. I've found that I save much time over non-elite passengers (though being a frequent traveler it might be that I know to call rather than rush to stand in a line).
I want to live in an old and converted 727...
 
exFATboy
Posts: 1887
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 11:15 am

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:16 pm

The free bags on CO might make it worth it, although you can also get one free bag by getting a Chase credit or debit card. You also get access to more seats for selection at time of purchase, which is pretty nice too.

OTOH, as a Silver you're not going to see that many free domestic upgrades these days - I've been Silver three years running and haven't seen one since mid-2008, but I'm flying in and out of EWR, where a huge chunk of the population is at least Silver.
 
Airstud
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Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:57 am

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:33 am

Wait a minute, go on about the Chase debit card...

I have a Chase debit/credit card and in fact that's what I used to pay my $15.00 bag fee on my last CO flight...wha happen?
Pancakes are delicious.
 
exFATboy
Posts: 1887
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 11:15 am

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:18 pm

Sorry, may have misled you there - just to clarify, it has to be a Chase Continental debit card. Here's the info. There's an annual fee on this card, $25 for the basic card or $65 for the Preferred Card (which earns miles at a $1=1 mile rate rather than the $2=1 mile of the basic card.)

A regular Chase debit card doesn't offer the free bag - but is free.

But you can earn back more than the additional fee by not having to pay for one checked bag on one round trip, so if you're sure you're going to fly CO at least once a year and don't get free bags from Elite status or a Chase CO credit card, it's a great deal.
 
Airstud
Posts: 3106
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:57 am

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:15 pm

Yeah thanks for the link - I already went to continental.com and researched it all and it does sound like a good deal for OnePass members.

Except:

I ain't one. I bank all of my CO miles in my Wo S rl k d y P M er ile s ks account; and for many years I have banked all of my *A miles in my Aeroplan account.

So, how is this Chasetinental thing going to work when CO is in the *A? Can the card earn me Aeroplan miles, or is it, as I suspect, limited to OnePass and OnePass only-type members?
Pancakes are delicious.
 
exFATboy
Posts: 1887
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 11:15 am

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Sat Sep 12, 2009 12:28 am



Quoting Airstud (Reply 9):
So, how is this Chasetinental thing going to work when CO is in the *A? Can the card earn me Aeroplan miles, or is it, as I suspect, limited to OnePass and OnePass only-type members?

The card won't earn you Aeroplan miles, just as it can only earn you OnePass miles right now, but AFAIK you don't have to take your miles for a CO flight on a CO account to get the free bag benefit. You may have to open a OnePass account to get the CO Continental debit card, though, that I'm not sure about.
 
AA737-823
Posts: 4906
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:26 pm

Okay, BACK ON TOPIC:

YES, DO IT.
Here's why:
I'm a gold elite (headed toward plat), but was silver for several years.

UPGRADES DEPEND ON YOUR CHOICES more than on Continental's system. They're predictable. Are you flying IAH-SEA? Then you are NOT going to get upgraded, even as a Gold.
Taking the first flight out on Monday? You'll sit in back. Last flight home? Welcome to coach. But if you intentionally take flights that business travelers won't be on (using sheer logic), you'll find yourself upgraded somewhat regularly.
FREE BAGS. Not sure if that's a big deal to you, but I find it nice.
BONUS MILES. As a silver, you get 1.25 miles for every 1 mile you fly. Free miles are handy, even though they're hard to use these days.
ELITE ACCESS- imitated everywhere, copied nowhere, elite access is great, particularly at airport with elite access security lines. Otherwise, early boarding ensures you have overhead bin space, which in turn ensures that you have foot space!
PRIORITY BAG HANDLING- it's always nice to see my bag be first off the belt at Dallas. Certain outstations (cough, Anchorage) have no idea what a yellow "priority" tag means, but more often than not, you come out ahead.
FREE UPGRADES from Y fares, should you ever find yourself on a Y fare.


Now here's the clincher: for a limited time, Continental is doing DOUBLE EQM's. From now til December the something.... uh... 15? Check their website. YOU HAVE TO REGISTER for it, but you could easily earn status with just a single trip or two, from your 5000 mile deficit.

So, in short, yes... spend a few bucks and get silver. And next year, take CO for your international trip, and earn those free elite bonus miles!
 
IAHFLYR
Posts: 3943
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:20 pm



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 11):
FREE UPGRADES from Y fares, should you ever find yourself on a Y fare.

Also B fares, just as long as the marketing folks allow those seats to be used for upgrades...some flights they don't let the first class seats go for the "B and Y" upgrades, but you are sure able to tell when booking your flight.

Go for the CO Elite.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
deltairlines
Posts: 6877
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:11 am



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 11):
FREE UPGRADES from Y fares, should you ever find yourself on a Y fare.

Every major US airline has free upgrades from full Ys - most are the same as CO (upgrade at time of booking); some like UA are in advance. But even AA/UA (the last two airlines that use 500-mile coupons) give free upgrades on full Ys.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 11):
Free miles are handy, even though they're hard to use these days.

Redemption should be better post Oct. 27, once CO is in Star. CO has said they will not be doing any Starnet filtering (like a certain Star Alliance carrier based out of Chicago), so there will be plenty of options domestically (UA and US plus CO) plus internationally - more than enough to offset the loss of Alaska Airlines as a OnePass partner.
 
qf74
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2006 10:35 am

RE: CO Silver Elite - Worth It?

Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:28 am

Thank you everyone - especially AA737 - for the insights. I think I'll bite the bullet and do it. See y'all in the the priority boarding line!

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