Subject: Re: Best use of frequent flyer points
I don't know how many of you are members of Continental Airlines One Pass frequent flier program. We have been for many years and have travelled extensively with them with no problems until this year. They have two levels of frequent flier miles for travel award seats: Standard and Easy Pass. A seat using Standard for domestic travel in economy class is 25,000 miles roundtrip. A seat using Easy Pass for domestic economy travel is 50,000 miles roundtrip. We have found from past experience that we need to book flights using frequent flier miles as early as possible ... until this year. We have tried to book flights from New York (any airport near the City) to New Orleans; Sacramento; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco on the earliest days possible and after. BUT, ONLY Easy Pass mile seats are available. There are NO Standard seats available EVER. I have even checked up until a week before our departures, and if there are any Standard seats on flights (mind you there are maybe two flights that have them at that time), they are flights that leave in the early evening. Now, I know that free (relatively speaking) is good, but we are not about to spend 50,000 frequent flier miles to fly domestic economy. Has anyone else had this experience with Continental? Is there any way around it? We would love to use our miles but Continental is making it nearly impossible. What we have wound up doing in some cases is using our Amex Membership Rewards Plus points directly through Amex and paying 35,000 points for roundtrip economy domestic flights which is better than 50,000, but we can't use our frequent flier miles in our Continental account.

Cynthia Pomona, New York