Continental Airlines will be history after tonight

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Continental Airlines will be history after tonight

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Mar 02, 2012 ... nes-merger

Continental Airlines will be history after tonight
By Ellen Creager, Detroit Free Press Travel Writer
March 2, 2012 |

Metro Detroiters who lived through the merger of Delta and Northwest airlines will not be surprised to learn that as of Saturday morning, another airline brand will vanish.

Tonight is the final step in the merger of United and Continental Airlines. The last Continental flight will leave Phoenix for Cleveland at 11:59 p.m. today. Just after that, the reservations systems of the two airlines will merge. The code CO (Continental) will disappear. By Saturday morning, the merged airline will use only the United name and the United website. And Continental will be history.

The airlines merged in 2010 and have been working toward the one airline model since then.

The merged United/Continental will be Detroit Metro Airport's 5th-largest carrier, carrying about 3% of traffic. It serves nonstop markets from Detroit to Chicago, Houston, Newark, Philadelphia and Washington Dulles (and is code-share partners with Air Canada to Toronto and US Airways to Charlotte and Phoenix).

If you are traveling, here are a few things to know:

• Holders of Continental tickets should not worry. Their Continental ticket will be in the United reservations system with the exact same flight number and information. Just check in for the flight at as of Saturday.

• There will be a blackout period from approximately 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. Saturday on both airlines' websites, and the phone system will be unavailable. That is to allow the massive reservations systems to be combined. Those traveling Saturday should print their boarding passes either before or after that time.

• Continental One Pass frequent flier members will lose no miles -- they will be transferred to the new United Mileage Plus program and combined with any United miles travelers already have. Many fliers have already merged their miles, but it will be done automatically for those who have not.

• Continental gates and ticket counters already have been using signage in both airline names, and United kiosks were already appearing at Continental ticket counters at Metro Airport last week. The Continental name will be removed from all signage at airports nationwide quickly.

• Check which terminal is correct. At Metro Airport, United and Continental already both operated out of the North Terminal, so all flights will continue in and out of there. At some airports such as New York LaGuardia and Washington Reagan, passengers should double-check to see which terminal their flights will use.

• Most jets have already been painted with United's name -- but the merged airline has adopted the catchy globe logo of the Continental brand on the tail of its fleet.

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