This won’t affect too many people but for those of you who thought Copa ConnectMiles was a good alternative to United’s MileagePlus program, this won’t be good news. Back when Copa decided to break off from United’s MileagePlus program and start their own frequent flier program, Copa promised “one mile flown will be one mile earned.” Well, they kept that promise for almost two years.
Starting in 2018, miles earning on Copa Airlines flights will be based on the fare class of the ticket purchased. It was only a matter of time until Copa changed their program and I’m surprised their promise actually lasted this long.
This is what your mileage earning will look like on Copa Airlines operated flights.
Mileage accrual on partner flights have always been based on the fare class purchased and it looks like they are staying the same at the moment. Each partner airline has their own mileage earnings chart so make sure to look at the specific chart for the operating airline. Here’s the one for United flights when credited to Copa ConnectMiles. Their least expensive fares earn 50% mileage and their most expensive fares only earn 100% mileage. Not great for big spenders.
There are three other changes; one will benefit higher tier elites, Platinum and Presidential Platinum, and two of them will negatively affect their lowest elite level, Silver Elite.
First off, let’s look at the one positive. Platinum and Presidential Platinum Elites will now be able to use their Connect Regional and Connect Global upgrade certificates on all fare classes, including on award flights. Previously, upgrade certificates could not be used on award tickets or Economy Promo fare class tickets so this is a win for higher tier elites.
Okay, now for the bad news. Silver Elites will have reduced baggage allowance on Copa operated flights. Starting in 2018, Silver Elites will be entitled to two checked bags at 50 lbs each (reduced from 70 lbs). This new rule does not affect Gold, Platinum or Presidential Platinum members.
And lastly, Copa will be changing the complimentary upgrade window for all elites. Silver Elites currently receive complimentary upgrades 24 hours prior to departure. Starting in 2018, that upgrade window will be reduced to the day of departure. Additionally, all elites (Silver to Presidential Platinum) will only receive complimentary upgrades on the day of departure when their ticket is purchased in Economy Promo. Tickets purchased in other fare classes will still continue to be upgraded per their elite tier status window.
Overall, these are not horrible changes but Copa ConnectMiles was not that great a program to begin with. It’s not a bad program for those traveling up and down the Americas but for everyone else, this program doesn’t really make sense. And if you were even remotely considering switching to Copa ConnectMiles, this should be reason not to anymore.
More information about the new Copa ConnectMiles changes can be found here.
What do you guys think? Does this affect any of you? If so, please let me know in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!