Credit: Larry Johnson.

By Joe Brancatelli

The first details of the merger of United’s Mileage Plus and Continental’s OnePass have been released. A new, combined program will begin in January, 2012, with combined frequent flyer activity on the two airlines during 2011 contributing to a 2012 elite status.

Continental’s Presidential Platinum Elite level disappears after 2011, replaced by United Global Services. And all 2011 Elite status on Continental will end on January 31, 2012, rather than the usual February 28 annual expiration. On a granular level: For 2011, United and Continental will operate four tiers of elite via mileage accrual (25,000; 50,000; 75,000; 100,000) or via segments (30, 60, 90, 120).

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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2010 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.

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