United and Continental will merge frequent flyer programs in 2012

As of next year, Continental Airlines’ OnePass loyalty program will end and those frequent flyers will automatically be enrolled in United Airlines’ Mileage Plus program.

At that time, United also will deposit award miles equal to customers’ OnePass award miles balance. OnePass members’ 2011 OnePass elite qualifying activity will be fully recognized in Mileage Plus elite status. Chase OnePass credit cards will continue to earn miles and benefits in the Mileage Plus program.

Moving to a single loyalty program is part of the integration of United and Continental after their merger. Last year, United agreed to buy Continental for $3.17 billion.

United said it will announce details of its Mileage Plus program, including elite levels, qualifications and benefits, in the coming months. In the meantime, United and Continental customers enrolled in both Mileage Plus and OnePass can link their accounts and combine miles.

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