Copa Airlines has officially laid the groundwork for the launch of their own Frequent Flyer Program. Copa ConnectMiles will be the new frequent flyer program and is scheduled to launch July 2015. The new frequent flyer program will operate like a traditional program where members will earn 1 mile for every mile flown and is instantly rewarding new members with 1000 free miles for signing up! As Copa Airlines and Continental United have become more distant since the megamerger between United and Continental, Copa has decided to spin off their own frequent flyer program to instill loyalty in their home market.
Copa ConnectMiles Guide – Start Earning Miles
Copa ConnectMiles will open enrollment in May, 2015 and new members will be able to start earning miles in the Copa ConnectMiles Frequent Flyer in July 2015. Copa ConnectMiles is set up like traditional frequent flyer programs and members will earn 1 mile for every mile flown on Copa Airlines. Moving away from UnitedPlus terrible revenue based program, Copa returns to giving members 1 point for every mile flown, even on promotional fares! In addition to earning 1 mile per flight mile, Copa has an extremely generous bonus structure for bonus miles, elite miles, and qualifying segments.
With ConnectMiles, you don’t need to worry about receiving less mileage than you traveled. You also have many opportunities to earn more miles based on the type of ticket you purchase. Plus, you always get at least 500 miles for every flight segment that you fly.
Use Copa ConnectMiles Miles Guide – Award Travel
Copa ConnectMiles’s award chart is actually decent for being brand new, most prices are priced between United’s newly inflated levels and American Airlines untouched levels. Partner awards for trips outside North, Central, and South America have not been published, but thus far I am liking what I see. In addition, the airline allows for one way travel, not requiring customers to travel round trip. There is not a lot of information about routing rules yet, but overall the price of tickets are very competitive.
Copa ConnectMiles Preferred/Elite Program Guide
Copa Airlines Frequent Flyer program rewards flyers for flying less! The new program has four levels, similar to MileagePlus, but the requirements have been reduced for each tier and the naming convention has returned to the good ol’ days of Continental: Silver, Gold, Platinum, Presidential Platinum. In the new program the easiest way to earn status is via segment flying as Copa requires fewer segments than any other airline that I’ve seen in a long time! Their top tier only requires 95 segments verses United’s 120! Or for those who fly long haul often, top tier now only requires 95,000 miles!
Copa is also bringing back a lot of the benefits that United and Continental have stripped away from Elite flyers over the years. Although all rules of the program have not been released, Copa has told us the following about the elite program benefits:
- Courtesy upgrades (only for ConnectMiles PreferMembers)
- Priority check-in using our PreferAccess lines
- Priority boarding
- Access to Copa Clubs and Star Alliance Lounges (only Star Gold status)
- Coupons or courtesy upgrade certificates based on the member’s status (Platinum and Presidential Platinum)
- Extra baggage allowance
- Enhanced availability for award tickets
- Recognition when flying with all Star Alliance member airlines
Unlimited Elite Upgrades to the business/first class cabin will be complimentary and will start clearing 120 hours prior to departure for Presidential Platinum, 72 hours for Platinum, 48 hours for gold, and 24 hours prior for Silver. In addition to complimentary upgrades on Copa, Platinum and Presidential Platinum elites will earn upgrade certificates each year, Platinum Elites will receive 3 and Presidential Platinum Elites will earn 6. These appear to work similarly to current United regional upgrade certificates and fare restrictions will apply.
Copa ConnectMiles Summary
There is still a lot of unknowns about Copa’s new frequent flyer program, as today we only received the framework of what is to come. Despite this, I am liking what I am reading about Copa ConnectMiles. More information can be found on Copa ConnectMiles website that offers a FAQ section and explains in more details what I have shared with you above. I am excited what news may come! As it’s looking like Copa ConnectMiles will be a great alternative to United’s MileagePlus–especially for Panama and Colombia’s residents and Frequent Flyers! Also, the best part of the new Copa ConnectMiles Frequent Flyer program is that because the program is launching midyear, Copa is giving flyers 18 months to earn status! Miles will be combined from 2015 and 2016 to determine 2017 status!