Northwest Airlines, the nation's fourth biggest carrier, and No. 5, Continental Airlines, last week linked their frequent-flier programs, after clearing a U.S. Department of Transportation review.
Northwest customers can, for instance, deposit miles flown on Continental planes into either airline's account, and can claim awards from either account. What they can't do is pool miles from the two accounts to claim a single (and therefore bigger) award, a Continental spokeswoman explained. Members of Northwest and Continental airport lounge clubs can now also use either airline's club. The Northwest-Continental linkup followers similar actions this year by United Airlines and Delta Airlines; and American Airlines and US Airways.