Denver mileage discrepancies between United Airlines & Continental Airlines

Many mileage and points addicts who travel frequently have some sort of spreadsheet or subscribe to a service to track and monitor their airline, hotel & car loyalty accounts. I pride myself on my spreadsheet, and although basic without much aesthetic beauty, it calculates everything I care about and is my tool for determining where I stand throughout the year in reaching elite status.

Well… I logged into my United Airlines Mileage Plus account last night and noticed my numbers didn’t match with United’s. I checked the formulas and everything was in order there, so went down my flights this year and discovered that Continental Airlines uses different mileage amounts for flights to/from Denver. Here’s what posted for my Continental flight from Cleveland to Denver earlier in the year:

a white sheet with blue lines and a couple of gold figures

And here’s the same segment on a United Airlines operated flight:

a close-up of a paper

So, while the 12-mile difference for the flight isn’t earth shattering, it does shed light on a fix needed when the carriers fully integrate. It appears Continental is using the mileage amounts from when Stapleton Airport was in operation. Looking back at my lifetime history on United, I see I used to accrue 901 miles from Chicago to Denver’s Stapleton (Continental’s current amount), but now only 888 miles. Similarly, you’d earn 13 more miles by flying Continental today from Denver to Newark versus United, and a whopping 14 more miles from Denver to Houston.

Continental’s reservations & e-commerce systems have been selected as the technology for the merged carrier, and the higher amounts are loaded therein. Will they win out? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’m going to predict United’s mileage amounts will survive just because they’re lower.

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