Historically I’ve been a loyal patron of American Airlines. 20 years ago when I started flying a lot American had a hub at Raleigh-Durham International Airport so flying American was easy and made the most sense. I’ve been a AA Platinum Flyer every year since 1993 and passed the 2M lifetime miles a few years ago which (currently but subject to change as their paperwork points out) means I am Platinum for life. This is a nice perk as I don’t have to worry about re-qualifying every year. Even though I haven’t had to re-qualify, I have continued to fly AA primarily with a few flights on other airlines mostly Continental.
This year I have not traveled domestically as much as I normally but I have gone to Europe five times and three of them have been all or partially on Continental so I have accumulated a fair number of miles this year. Enough that I became Silver a few months ago. This was nice because it means I can board in the Elite Access line. Two weeks ago I went to Europe, again on Continental and with their double qualifying miles program, I have now become Gold and have an outside shot at Platinum. I never would have expected this flying from Raleigh where Continental flies to three places – Houston, Cleveland, and Newark.
My experience so far with Continental has been very pleasant. I can’t see making them my preferred carrier, American will always be that but having status on another airline is nice and gives me some more options.