Continental Airlines to drop out of SkyTeam alliance on October 24th

Back last June, Grant first reported the coming alliance between Continental and United Airlines, which also means that Continental will be dropping out of its current SkyTeam alliance network, which includes Delta, Northwest and Air France, and joining up with the Star Alliance network, which includes United and US Airways.

Now there is a little more information available about when this move is actually going to take place.

As a Continental OnePass member, I just received a note that the airline will drop out of SkyTeam after the last scheduled flight on Oct. 24, 2009 and that its participation in Star Alliance will begin “promptly after we leave SkyTeam.”

I’ve heard rumors that Continental is considering allowing OnePass members to carry miles over when the airline makes the alliance switch, but so far all Continental is telling its frequent fliers is that “we continue to work through the details of our planned exit from SkyTeam and entry into Star Alliance…”

Personally, I’m psyched about the change. Not only do I fly Continental often (one of the few American carriers with direct service to and from Berlin) but the Star Alliance network consists of some airlines that I fly pretty regularly, including SAS, Lufthansa, Austrian and, yes, even Poland’s national carrier, LOT.

It’s important to note, as Grant did, that Continental is not merging with United, but pledging a much closer working relationship that will mean cooperation and codeshares and an increased flight network.

We’ll let you know more news on this front as it develops.