Continental Airlines

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The debacle known as Continental Airlines
Posted by on
Continental Airlines

Our Flight from Austin to Jacksonville, Fl on 6/22/11 was delayed due to weather. My business colleague and I had to spend the night in Houston. All flights to Florida ended at 7 pm even though the weather had been clear for hours prior to that.

All voucher accepting hotels were full, so we had to incur $30 in cab fare, $82 in hotel and $50 in meals for 2 breakfasts and two dinners, total of $162. The next morning, our flight to Jax, Fl was delayed three times and had three gate changes. The stewardess on the flight to Jax, Fl was rude and seemed bothered by her job.

Upon arriving in Jax, Fl one of our bags was lost. The value of the bag was $5000. The baggage clerk in Jax, Fl – Denise – was rude and unsympathetic. She told us that “…It is only common sense”, (implying we had none), to make sure we label every bag we hand over to Continental Airlines. She told us that the bar codes on the bags are not scanned. We later found out that this is not true. She finally offered a strained apology after I became more upset with her lack of professionalism and downright rude behavior toward your customer. She needs to be fired immediately.

We reported the lost bag. I called baggage tracking and they also seemed equally ill informed as to how bags are identified when Continental airlines takes possession of them. I was told that bags are scanned only to “clear’ them, not to identify them. I could not get a straight answer to a most simple question of “ How do you identify your baggage?” I was then told that all bags end up in a warehouse in Houston, TX, whereby they are opened and the contents matched with my description of them. I was then informed that I have to fill out your lost baggage form, which I am doing; fax it to your system tracking center and wait. Typing this letter, filling out the form and faxing it has taken 2 hours of my time. My time is worth $42 per hour, total = $84. Added to the above total, it is now $244 lost due to the inefficiency of Continental Airlines, not counting the time lost due to an overnight stay in Houston, TX and my lost bag, worth $5000.

I need Continental Airlines to compensate me for the $244 I have lost and I need my bag returned to me within the next 45 days. I need either a voucher for the amount or a free, roundtrip ticket to the destination of my choosing that equates to the $244 I have lost. I will post this letter all over every social media outlet I can find, every blog and everyone I know if I am not compensated in some manner. The President of your airline does a little speech during pre flight, does he mean what he says or is it all smoke and mirrors and just another shallow airline scam? He will be my next point of contact if this issue is not resolved.
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CDJ on 07/05/2011:
It can only get worse now that Continental has merged with United, which has even worse service than Continental. We're doomed!
Anonymous on 07/05/2011:
No airline will compensate for weather related issues.
Lisa Wallace on 07/05/2011:
I just flew with United/Continental to Manchester England from Eugene, Oregon and back. On the flight over all over-sized carry on baggage was green tagged on every flight at the gate. On the way back it wasn't. I spent time to make sure my baggage was within the correct size so it would fit in the overhead compartments. From Newark to Denver I had to put my small carry on and personal belonging under my seat and had no leg room what so ever. I was not allowed to use the overhead compartments because people had larger bags and needed to use the space. These bags where huge, and should have been checked.
My other complaint about Continental and this has happened before, when I sit in the back of the plane I have to listen to the attendants talk very loudly about there personal life's. On top of that they are all very rude.
Ben There on 07/05/2011:
If your bag is not found, you will get compensation for the bag, but I think there is a cap around $1K. Be prepared to provide receipts for what was in the bag, especially since it seems high ticket. Most bags don't cost that much so they will probably ask questions.

As for compensation for the hotels and taxi's, since the flights were cancelled because of weather you are due nothing unfortunately. This is the case with all airlines in the USA.

As for getting paid for the time it took you to fill out a form, I have never heard of an airline compensate any one for that.
kinthenorthwest on 07/05/2011:
Dealing with the airlines can be so much fun.
about 10 years ago I was on a plane that fell. Nah we didn't crash but I got banged up a bit and so did another lady who went flying out of her seat. Yes she had on her seat belt.
When we finally landed they made all the uninjured get off.
They made the old lady walk off. She had flown through the air at least 4 rows of seats and went unconscious for a bit. She spoke no English and I never did find out what happened to her.
They threatened that if I didn't sign a release they weren't letting me off to see my husband who was waiting for me. I refused to sign the release cause I felt like crap and already had a big ole lump growing on my hand.
Long story short I finally got to my hubby at the ER where he had been told to meet me. Turns out he had been told to go there and not to the airport prior to them asking me to sign the release. I was quite sore for several weeks and yes I had my seat belt on, but was in the very back seat of a 40 seater.
They paid the medical and my 3 days of loss wages..But got ticked when a lawyer friend said we were going to sue if I didn't get a full refund..Their lawyer called me and when he found out I wanted was a total ticket refund he was floored. I got my money within 3 days of that call. Hey I wasn't going to pay for a roundtrip ticket that did that to me. LOL
For some reason it seems all major companies want to pay as little as they can.
I will make a bet that old lady who flew through the air was rushed to her connection without a word to anyone.
Anonymous on 07/05/2011:
Hmm I wonder how much an hour my time is worth.
Anonymous on 07/05/2011:
I'm calling BUNK to the story about injury on an aircraft, or at least it didn't happen to a part 121 carrier in the US. No station manager or aircrew have injury releases nor are authorized to have a passenger sign one. In the event of inflight upset where injuries occur the highest designated member of management is called who then contacts the company attorney's and the retained law firm. Further, the FAA investigates all incidents were injuries occur, including interviews of parties injured.
Finally, if a lawyer is retained no airline will speak to the plaintiff, only your designee - ie your attorney.
Anonymous on 07/05/2011:
Great review! very helpful!

Welcome to my3cents
leet60 on 07/05/2011:
+10 Beenthere. Unfortunately, in the U.S. aside from baggage there is absolutely no legal requirement that an Airline compensate you for delays, missed flights, lodging, meals etc.
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Continental Airlines. Poor Customer Service
Posted by on
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- We were supposed to return to Pittsburgh on a round trip ticket on Jan. 2 from Newark on Continental Flight 3205 leaving 5:29 PM. We got to gate 111, C terminal early and all was well until about 5:15 when they announced a gate change to 114 where we were told our plane was coming in from Montreal. At 6:30 PM, we were told it was 15 minutes from the airport and would board shortly. At 7:00 PM we were told to go to gate 70 on another concourse were the plane would arrive and then board us. We arrived at the gate and the passengers and crew were disembarking. At 7:30 PM we were told the crew had timed out and they were getting another crew. At 7:45 PM we were told they couldn't find a crew and CO 3205 was cancelled. We were told to report to the Customer Service Desk were vouchers would be provided for lodging and food and we would be put on a morning flight for Pittsburgh. When I arrived at the desk around 8 PM and got through to the Representative I asked for vouchers for the night, what we needed to do about our luggage and tickets for the next available flight. He looked me in the eye and stated that I would not get any vouchers since it was the fault of the FAA and Air Traffic Control that our flight was cancelled. I said it was Continental's fault since they, not the FAA & Air Traffic made the schedule for their crews. He then countered that we were "Local" and therefore wouldn't get any vouchers (local meaning were beginning our flight in Newark and not part of a continuing flight). I countered that I didn't live in Newark, it was a round trip ticket, and we wanted vouchers since the other agents were giving them out to all customers from our flight (I had been checking with my fellow passengers leaving the desk prior to my turn. He called his "boss" who apparently approved our vouchers. I didn't appreciate his sullen attitude so I requested his name. He said nothing so I just waited while he worked on his computer getting our boarding passes and vouchers. Neither of us had raised our voices during this exchange. We regarded each other silently for the few minutes it took to get our paper work. A hostile, but quiet atmosphere. I would not have bothered with a complaint at all except for the poor attitude of the customer service agent. Situations like this occur in air travel these days and I, like many others, just accept it. The frowning and defiant customer service agent angered me, however. He didn't have to be friendly, but he could have been minimally civil. I've never had a big problem with Continental, but thanks to this one person I have very negative feelings about them at present. I will be contacting Continental using website feedback, a phone call and snail mail. I will be interested in their response. We may be using them again considering that all their other personnel on this day (and most other times we've flown Continental) have always been fairly pleasant. Much will depend on how they handle my complaint to them.
Resolution Update 01/29/2011:
Continental's response was deemed adequate by consumer.
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Anonymous on 01/06/2011:
Good review, Alain. I'm glad you stood your ground.
Alain on 01/06/2011:
It's hard to get a complaint out of me, but this guy and I really didn't like each other. It's odd for me to feel that way about a complete stranger.
jktshff1 on 01/06/2011:
Good review, no rant.
MDSasquatch on 01/06/2011:
Good review and good luck getting any satisfaction from Continental. I had a brand new metal gun case on a trip from Texas to Maryland. When it arrived, it looked as if it had been run over; it was semi-crushed and covered in black rubber. Luckily the gun inside was not damaged, but Continental basically told me to stick my complaint where the sun don't shine after a lengthy round of phone transfers, "that's not my departments", and a few failures to understand what I was saying.
Ben There on 01/06/2011:
I suggest you give Continental another try - I find them to have some of the best customer service of US carriers. I would fly them more, but service is limited from Dallas compared to other airlines.

While this guy could have been much nicer, take into consideration he works at an airport that had seen 1000s of cancelled flights between Christmas and New Years and had probably been yelled at by hundreds of angry people about something he could not control.

While that is not an excuse to be snippy with you, I wouldn't write of an entire airline based on the attitude of one person at the end of the worst week that particular airport had seen in years.
Anonymous on 01/06/2011:
Bear in mind that CO32xx flights op by Colgan D.b.a. Continental Airlines. Overworked, underpaid express operations employees not always the best representation of Continental. Continental historically has been rated the best network carrier in N. America.
trmn8r on 01/06/2011:
Newark is beautiful in the Springtime, it's a shame this didn't happen a few months from now.

I hasten to mention that Colgan Air is the company that had the snafu in Buffalo last year. I saw a segment on CNBC on these carriers Bete Noir points out - I would hesitate to fly with them.

I am impressed that you got the voucher. I though he had you when he pointed out you originated in Newark. You trumped him nicely.
Anonymous on 01/06/2011:
The flight crew can't fly over 16 hours in a shift. This includes ground time and delays. Sounds like the flight crew had been dealing with delays all day and timed out. It can be hard to find another crew. My bf is actually the manager of the crew-scheduling department for another airline. He tells me stories on how pilots and flight attendants purposely ignore phone calls on their days off to avoid being called in to work. Sometimes they have to arrange to fly in extra crew members from other cities. Crew timeouts suck and I'm sure the employees at the airport hate it too. But, they are being paid to help accommodate disrupted passengers. At least you were able to get a voucher. Persistence can pay off
Ben There on 01/06/2011:
I was once on a flight that was delayed over 6 hours because of storms at DFW. The gate agents informed us that the inbound crew was approaching their legal limit of hours and that it was in everyone's best interest to board as quickly as possible so the plane could leave before they timed out. They also followed up that all hotels in the area were sold out, and even the crew would not be able to get rooms if the flight was cancelled.

All of the ground crew was in place as soon as the plane reached the gate, and even though the plane was a regional jet all the gate-checked carry on bags from the inbound passengers were sent to the carousel to keep them from hanging around the door of the plane.

They had already lined all of us up against the wall and had scanned our boarding passes so as soon as the last passenger got off the plane, we immediately started boarding... We were told to forget our seat assignments because sitting next to a stranger for 50 minutes is better than sitting next to your loved ones for 10 hours on an airport floor.

We all appreciated the urgency and humor, and we literally were leaving within 15 minutes from the time the plane got there.
trmn8r on 01/06/2011:
There is a silver lining in this cloud. Imagine if New Jersey's REALLY dirty secret, Camden, had an airport. The thought of being stuck there might almost cause me a heart attack.
DebtorBasher on 01/06/2011:
I try to prevent people from going to Pittsburg all the time and I don't even work for an airline :)
Anonymous on 01/06/2011:
That's because they keep going without you, Basher
Alain on 01/10/2011:
Update: An article describing a similar recent problem at Newark Airport appeared in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and is available at
Thank you for all the comments! Much appreciated!
Alain on 01/28/2011:
Update: A response came from Diane Cummings, Customer Care Manager for Continental, on Jan. 22. She apologized for the incorrect information given at the airport and, more importantly, said that the negative attitude of the Continental Customer Service Agent was not what was expected of their employees. The behaviour and incident would be included in the monthly Customer Care Report that is distributed to senior management. She also requested that I continue to use Continental. I find this response adequate and it did address my primary concerns about this event. Since my overall experiences with Continental have been good ones I shall continue to travel with them. This complaint is resolved to my satisfaction.
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Treated Poorly with a Broken Wrist
Posted by on
I was treated poorly with a newly broken wrist. Below is the e-mail I sent to Continental.

Flight #co59 March 27th 9:05 A.M.
Three days before my flight home I slipped and broke my wrist. My husband Rob Wilson tried to move us to first class for the trip home there was no seats available, so we asked to be seated in the front row. We were told you had to request those at the desk before we board. I get to the boarding desk and request the front row seats they tell me they were already assigned and that the flight was full. I said how could they already be assigned when you have to request them here. I was told "They were probably given to someone who Really needed them.", I said Excuse me. He then said "Well to passengers in wheelchairs or traveling with a baby." He then actually looked and said there was one seat available in the front row. I said that would not work, I was traveling with my son and I needed his assistance for my seat-belt, opening packages, etc.. I was then told "Well that was all they had.". I then asked if I could at least have extra pillows to help support my wrist which is in a cast and still swollen. I was then told I would have to stand there and wait so that I could ask a certain cabin member, so I stood there and waited. I was told they would give me an extra pillow. As we boarded the plane the flight attendant who ended up being the one who served our drinks said "Oh your the one with the broken arm I heard about you.". We took our seats and shortly after a woman that works for Continental came on and asked the woman with the baby to move to the back section of the plane. She did this so that a family of four could sit together on the front row all adults in fine physical condition. I stopped her and said I have a problem with this. She said "What you have an aisle seat what more do you want?" I said the seats in the front row are supposed to be for passengers who need the extra room (like for my son fastening and unfastening my seat-belt). She said "they are for passengers.". I then stopped another flight attendant the one we first spoke to when we checked our bags and told her what had just happened how they moved the woman with a baby to give the seats I had requested to a family who needed no assistance. She said "I will have to see what is going on" and never came back. When we got in the air Ed made an announcement and said if you have any problems or concerns to contact him so I did. The guy that came when I pushed the button I told him I had requested extra pillows for my arm (yes after they made me stand there and wait to ask they did not give me one extra pillow)and I needed to talk to Ed he brought me back a used wrinkled pillow. He told me it was ground crew who made the decision to move people and now that we were in the air they could not move people (I did not put quotations because I can not remember exactly how he said it.)I told him I asked his flight attendants while we were on the ground and that I was going to be making a complaint about this. I also told Ed about that I did not appreciate the used pillow the other attendant had brought me and he did bring me a new pillow. They also did not bring the drink cart all the way down so that they were not bumping my arm. The flight attendant that was serving our drinks was rude at first but we were not rude back and her attitude changed and she was pleasant the rest of the flight. I appreciate the little things but the seat situation and how it was handled was inexcusable. For future training with a broken wrist you can not grasp things with your fingers, you can only use one hand. I would love it if all the attendants on the flight had one hand immobilized had to fasten their seat-belt, open the packages such as pillow, headset,& food or how about a simple trip to the restroom. They need to think about that before they treat another passenger the way I was treated.
In comparison my short flight to El Paso the flight was late and it had been a very long day of traveling BUT the flight attendant made my day when she offered to fasten my seat-belt for me.
I am typing with one hand so I hope there are not too many mistakes on here.
Thank You
Linda Wilson

Below is the non acceptable response I received. While reading this response note my husband is a Silver Elite member and our flight was on his account and disappeared after this flight, but we had copied our itinerary the night before the flight so I have proof of this. The family they moved people to seat were adults I took pictures because of the way I was being treated so I also have proof of this. They did not even address the issue of my broken wrist for which I have x-rays from Germany and the USA.

Dear Mrs. Wilson:

Thank you for contacting Continental Airlines.

I am sorry to learn of your disappointment with our services. The bulkhead seats are assigned by the gate agent on the day of departure to meet seating requests for customers with special needs.

If there are not passengers with special needs, our premium passengers can be assigned those seats, however, we cannot tell at this point exactly what occurred that the passenger with the baby was asked to move to another seat. Please know that flight attendants may work with passenger's request to reseat those with younger children together. Unfortunately, I cannot comment on what happened, however, I am glad to report your comments in detail to the appropriate management division so that we can revisit our procedures on seating.

Mrs. Wilson, I thank you for providing us with your feedback as it is always important and valuable for us. I do appreciate your business, and I regret any situation that leaves you disappointed in our service. We will be working hard to earn reports that are more favorable from you on your future Continental Airlines flights.


Customer Care Manager
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Ben There on 04/18/2010:
I have flown with a cast on my right hand, and I don't recall needing extra room. It was not a whole lot of fun, but neither was driving, eating, using the bathroom, etc... I guess I was more used to having it on and getting by by that point.

I don't touch the pillows in coach because they are rarely cleaned, so I propped my hand up on my jacket.
MRM on 04/18/2010:
I'm sorry but airline industry is not a hospitality service.
Inat on 04/18/2010:
my canned response for anyone not liking the services, seating, etc. in coach - spring for first class.
Always on 04/19/2010:
I too have had a broken wrist and know what a pain it can be. You are right those airline seat-belts would be a nightmare to try to do with one hand. I can believe how rudely you were treated Continental has really gone down hill in their service.
thewilson4 on 04/19/2010:
At the point of the flight it was still too swollen for for a full cast I received that once I got home. Yes I am getting by fine now but I was not at that point. As for "airline industry is not a hospitality service" that is exactly what they are especially on international flights you eat and sleep if you can and pay very good money for that service.
alreadygone on 04/24/2010:
There is not enough room between the seats to move around they should have taken that into consideration. Does not surprise me though that they did not.
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Rude, offensive flight attendants
Posted by on
On Friday, July 31, 2009, I was a passenger aboard Flight 48- ATL to EWR in seat 20-D on the aisle. I was appalled by the rude treatment I received from the two male flight attendants, one was very tall, and one was short, in comparison. At 10:39 I boarded the flight scheduled to leave at 11:14. The coach cabin was quite hot, and after finding my seat, (I had no carry on except my small handbag) I inquired of the steward (the shorter of the two), whether or not he believed we would indeed be able to take off as scheduled, whereupon he informed me in a very unpleasant tone that he had no idea, and that we sure couldn’t take off until I took my seat, implying that my questioning him would cause a delay in the plane’s leaving. I took my seat.

The flight was not terribly late leaving and the cabin cooled down quickly, so I was pleased and relieved. As the attendants served drinks I asked the shorter one for a can of tomato juice; when he poured a glass for me, I asked again for the whole can. Rather than saying “Sure, here you go,” or “No problem” he merely turned and glared at me and without a word set the can down on my tray table. Later, he came down the aisle shouting “turkey or ham, turkey or ham, turkey or ham….” like a vendor at a baseball game. I had no idea that Continental was still serving food and was surprised when another passenger told me they were handing out sandwiches. I was amazed at this man’s utter lack of civility; he appeared to have resented having to serve the passengers anything and the whole cabin was like the proverbial “cattle car.”

After the 13 year old girl in the middle seat and I had assisted the approximately six year old Asian girl in the window seat who spoke NO English with her snack and drink, we gathered up the refuse and consolidated it all on my tray for ease of collection. When the very tall steward came down the aisle to collect, it was all ready for him. Up to this time I had had absolutely no interaction this man. He said something to me that I did not understand and when I said “what?” he shouted “hand it to me.” I was amazed as it has always been my experience that attendants prefer to pick things up themselves in order to sort them. Incredulous, I shouted back, “You want me to hand it to you?” He replied in a most unpleasant manner, “Yes, you have to hand it to me.” Whereupon, I picked up as much of it as I could at once, and placed it firmly on top of the cart. He then said to me, “That’s assault; you have assaulted me.” I could not believe my ears and informed him at once that I most certainly had not assaulted him. He said it again, in a threatening manner. The man obviously does not understand the meaning of the word “assault.” Indeed, it would have been impossible for me to have assaulted him as I, a 65 year old woman, strapped in my seat and blocked in the seat by the service cart, had no ability to do anything but sit and be threatened by a huge (I would estimate 6’3”) and very intimidating man towering over me. The exchange ended with his threatening me that I would be “dealt with” when we landed. I was terribly frightened that he might indeed have the power to have an Air Marshall detain me.

But I am not one to be intimidated for long, and as I passed him while deplaning, I informed him that I would be waiting for him at the gate and that we would get the matter settled to which he replied, “Yes, we will; see the man in the red coat.” I stayed in the gate area for at least five minutes, but could find no such man at the gate so I went to the adjacent help station and spoke with “Frederico” explaining what had happened. Frederico went over to the gate and was gone for some time. Worried, and concerned about my husband who was waiting for me, I followed him back to the gate, where he was talking to the man in the red coat who had now appeared. They asked me the names of the flight attendants. I did not know them as they wore no name tags I could see, but I felt they would be coming off the plane soon and we could settle the matter easily as there were only two male attendants on the flight and one was short and one was very tall. That is when Frederico and the man in the red coat informed me that the flight crew had already exited the plane and left the premises. So it seems that the steward really was not worried about having been assaulted by me, but merely wanted to intimidate me and make certain that my flight was as miserable as possible. He succeeded.
Flying is difficult enough these days; it would seem to me that the very least a passenger can expect is simple courtesy. A response would be appreciated.

I got a response; a customer service person said "I am sorry for the unprofessional behavior of the flight attendants.

Not assuaged by this, I wrote again:

Mr. Vaughn,
I would like to express to you that I thought long and hard about my original complaint, weighing the inconvenience in time and energy expended in my writing it against my indignation at the way I and others on the flight were treated. Thus, rather than just dropping it as I was inclined to do and can now see I would have been better off doing, I persevered.

I was not asking for an apology from someone who had nothing to do with the situation, but truly thought it my responsibility to let the airline know what had happened and how I (and other passengers) had been treated by its employees.

Judging from you letter, it seems to me that you do not understand the seriousness of this incident. “Demonstrating an unprofessional demeanor,” as you characterized it, is hardly descriptive of the actions of the two flight attendants in question. Is it possible that you missed the part where I explained that one of the men implied that he would have me “dealt with” when we arrived? I could take such a threat to mean nothing less than he would attempt to have me arrested or at least detained for questioning. That, Mr. Vaughn, was an egregious and unwarranted action on his part. He was hostile, offensive, and threatening and succeeded in causing me a great deal of anxiety. In these times of heightened security, I well known that a passenger can be removed from a flight or detained at the end of one if he is said to have been obstreperous or unruly, and judging by the man’s basic hostility and absurd accusation that I had assaulted him, I had no doubt that he might well have accused me again whereupon the security officers would have had no choice but to detain me. I have a background in criminal law and I well known that the mere accusation of assault can, at the very least, result in detention if not criminal action. Of course I would have had no problem defending myself against such a ridiculous accusation, but the inconvenience and embarrassment of such an occurrence happening weighed heavily on me. I was in Newark to meet my husband and some friends for a long week end’s holiday.

That I do not know the names of the men seems irrelevant to me; however as I think of it, don’t flight personnel usually wear ID badges? The employees at the desk outside the gate were clearly identified by their nametags. But then Continental Airlines must surely know which of its employees were working Flight 48- Atlanta to Newark on July 31, 2009. If not I can give you a further description: one was white, about 5’ 9”, medium build, olive complexioned, Mediterranean background with dark, straight hair, brown eyes and appearing to be about 40 to 45 years old. The other man was black, medium complexioned, very tall, I would estimate 6’ 3”, athletically built, with close cropped black hair, brown eyes and I would judge in his mid to late thirties; it was he who threatened me. There was a third attendant, a woman, who was in the First Class section; I had no interaction with her.

It is all well and good for you to assure me that “management will act appropriately” and that “necessary corrective actions” will be taken by your In Flight Management team, but it is of little comfort; indeed, it seems to me to be your way of attempting to assuage my feelings and disposing of my complaint expeditiously.

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i_am_canadian on 09/21/2009:
Wow, did you really need to stretch that out over 2 entire pages?
Ytropious on 09/21/2009:
Somehow I doubt a 6 foot 3 black man called assault on you, a poor 65 year old woman. I'm almost willing to bet you took your tray and slammed it on top of the pile in your anger that you actually had to lift the tray and give it to him. 6 foot 3 is pretty tall and he probably had a hard time bending down to reach it, what's with all the hostility in having to just give it to him? All the other accusations of rudeness are opinion alone. He may have been, he may not have been, we'll never know. Lastly, they apologized for the incident, what more do you want? You're just being rude by insisting they do more for you.
Skye on 09/21/2009:
I applaud IAC and Yt, for reading passed the first page.
Doctor Charlie on 09/21/2009:
This was quite funny reading. Sounds like a pretty normal flight, normal flight attendant - all through the eyes of a 65 year old witch.
Anonymous on 09/21/2009:
ariadne, I, too, have come across rude flight attendants before. But, I wasn't the only one that noticed. The other passengers usually exchange looks and laugh at them. Sometimes they just hate their jobs and take out their aggression on anyone they think won't retaliate in some way. It's a sad fact. I usually just ignore them, as it is doubtful that anyone in customer service will be able to help anyway.

Thankfully, there are many more flight attendants that do a great job and are helpful and friendly. I try to focus on that. Not always easy, but it helps.
Mrs. V on 09/21/2009:
You know, I would think that this was someone blowing something a bit out of proportian except for the fact that it wasn't to long ago that an airline did arrest a older lady for 'Interference with a Flight Crew'. This older woman refused to erase a video of an argument between two passengers.

So, it can happen. I don't know if it did, but I will give the OP the benefit of a doubt.
madconsumer on 09/21/2009:
what does this mean?

Anonymous on 09/21/2009:
It's the city code for Newark airport in New Jersey
Anonymous on 09/21/2009:
I believe it is the airport code for Newark.
Anonymous on 09/21/2009:
Too late John! I answered first!
Anonymous on 09/21/2009:
LOL Yaya. Dangit!!
Anonymous on 09/21/2009:
I worked at an airline for three years. I know my city codes!
SGTSAVAGE on 08/11/2010:
Continental Air Sucks - it is the worst of the worse
I was on hold and transferred for the past hour and half. These comments are true. Just let Continental go bankrupted as soon as possible. Let their shareholders suffer since they don't care to supervise those insensitive managers and employees. Write your congressman and Senator not to bail them out and about your complaints if you an active ear.

For certain the company does not listen. Today I have made two (2) round trips that are 142 miles each (71 each way) to get my son off this morning and he did not get off on this beautiful day. Tomorrow, there will be at least one more trip to the airport (the 426th mile) to get one EXIT trip for him to go home. Continental tried to give him to get a $300 credit slip if he would walk along way (all the way to the exit GATE ticket stand while his bags were being returned to him since they could not get him to ABQ today. Their pilot was an hour and half late and thus their schedules slipped which would cause him to miss the next two connections since they were full. They even wanted him to fly to Newark -the next connecting place (where there were no seats then available)in order to get his $300 certificate. Why could Continental have not called us before we left for the airport this morning? They knew that they would be late since last nite since their pilot had major health problems. The first Continental agent was rude and hung up on me. After one hour and half another agent came on the call to only hang up or lose me without returning my call. I have had it with this sorry airline and do not recommend anyone fly with them. Let them go bankrupted like the rest of the terrible service airlines. CONGRESS OBVIOUSLY NEEDS TO TIGHTEN THE REIGNS ON THESE CULPRITS. If there is a way to successfully sue them, we will be in line.
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Mistakes, Lying and Unethical Behavior of Continental Airlines
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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- The following occurred on my trip to Cancun and back to to San Diego. I was traveling with my boyfriend. We were supposed to leave San Diego at 6:15am on April 2nd however, due to weather conditions in Houston we were delayed. By the time we got to Houston we had missed our flight.

We were put on standby for the 2:15pm flight. It was at this time that I emailed Christopherson Travel to let them know the situation and see if they could help. I did receive a call from them once I had made it to Cancun that said that Continental was going to put my boyfriend and I on the priority list for stand by on the 2:15pm flight. This never occurred. I'm not sure who the person was that you Christopherson Travel spoke with at Continental but they did not follow through on what they told them.

My boyfriend and I were number 17 and 18 on the standby list. They called both of our names to board the flight and just as we were walking on to the plane they told us, they actually did not have two seats they only had one. My boyfriend told me to go ahead and he would do standby for the next flight so that I could make it on time to our company event. He was told at that point that he was at the top of the standby list and should be on the 3pm flight with no problem.

This is where the errors began. Continental entered into their system that my bofriend had left for Cancun and I was still in the airport. They then put my name at the bottom of the standby list. Because of this when the 3pm flight was boarding they took other standby passengers over him. They figured out their mistake on the plane manifests and told my boyfriend that if he didn't say anything about the situation they would confirm him on the 6pm flight. This was completely unethical and they said this so that no one would find out about the mistake they had made.
He finally arrived in Cancun at 9pm at night.

Then on April 5th we went to check in for our 1:30pm flight to Houston and then our connection to San Diego. At this point the person checking us in by the name of Carolina V. looked very perplexed. I asked her what the problem was and she said at first she couldn't find me on the flight but then she did and here were my tickets. I looked at my boarding passes and the one from Cancun to Houston was fine but my seat for Houston to San Diego said SBY (Standby). I asked her why I was on Standby and she said that I was going to get my seat in Houston and that I definitely had a seat.

I told her that Standby was not a seat and that my boyfriend's boarding pass had an actual seat assignment and that mine did not. She then told me that everyone who has a contract with Continental was guaranteed a seat and that I was going to be given a seat in Houston. I told her that SBY is not a confirmed seat and I felt like she was being rude to me and asked to speak with a manager. She told me there were no managers working that day. Finally I found a supervisor who was very nice and probably the most helpful out of all the Continental employees I encountered during my flights.

She explained to me that they didn't have me listed as having arrived in Cancun and that because of that my flight was canceled and she said "Yes, you are on Standby and not guaranteed a seat at all." I did let her know that the other employee had lied to me. My best guess is that she didn't want to deal with the situation and was telling me I had a seat in order to get me off her back. I think she was hoping to pass the situation off to the people in Houston to deal with. The supervisor tried to get me on another airline but everything was booked so I stayed on standby. We then called Brendan's sister who used to work for Continental and she stayed on the phone for 90 minutes to get me a seat on the flight from Houston to San Diego. She as an outside source was able to do what Continental was not willing to do for me.

We finally were on our initial descent into San Diego and one of the flight attendants walks by and I ask her if she can take my trash. She looks at me and says "I already came through with the trash bag and need to take my seat so I can't take your trash." The trash can and bags are right where the flight attendants sit, so I'm not sure what the issue was but felt that this was another negative customer service experience that occurred.

Finally we arrive in San Diego and my bag has been delayed. The person who works at the baggage claim desk told me my suitcase would be in at 9:30 and delivered around 10:30. At 10:30pm I called the baggage customer care and spoke with someone by the name of Sue. She said my bag had arrived and that it would be delivered within the next four hour window. I was up on and off waiting for my luggage until 4:30am when I called the baggage customer care again and the women that I spoke with told me that she called the delivery person and left him a message and that he would call me back. I asked the service agent if I should call back in five minutes if I don't hear from him and she said no it could take a while because he could be dropping off bags. I said that shouldn't take very long maybe a minute or two at the most.

I then told her that I had had an awful experience so far and I really needed some help getting this situation resolved. She told me at that point "It could take him a while to deliver the bags if he encounters someone like you, who isn't happy with their service." This was again another employee who was rude to me. Her name was Holly. I waited a few minutes and called back. I then spoke with someone who told me my bags wouldn't be delivered until after 8am. I asked her why I hadn't been told this information before in fact, I had been told by three separate people that my bags would be delivered last night. She had no explanation for this. I then called back at 7am and the person I spoke with someone who told me that my luggage would be delivered on the 11am delivery time and there was a 4 hour window at that point. I explained to the person that I had already been up almost all night waiting for my luggage and that I really needed them to get my luggage to me earlier than that because I had a doctor's appointment at 11:30am and couldn't miss it as I would be charged for not canceling within 24 hours. I was able to get my luggage earlier than the 11am time slot however the delivery person called me asking me to come outside and get my luggage. I went outside and he wasn't there. I called him and found out that he had the incorrect address. I gave him the correct address and received my luggage

We encountered mistake after mistake on our flights. We were also lied to and were treated poorly by several employees. I requested that they reimburse my company for the airfare and address each of these issues. As of right now nothing has been done and I am being told that most likely it won't be. This is unacceptable to me for a company to make this many errors, engage in unethical behavior, lie and treat customers poorly and still not take responsibility for their behavior.
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Ben There on 04/07/2009:
Mistakes like this happen at all airlines. I have had similar situations like this happen to me on American and United, and both were when bad weather had hit a hub. This sounds like simple mistake by a gate agent that snowballed into a bigger problem...

When storms shut down airports you have thousands of people and planes in the wrong place at the wrong time. To get everything where it needs to be, gate agents hussle to clear as many people as quickly as possible and sometimes things get overlooked. When you were both cleared to get on the plane in Houston only to find one seat left, the gate agent probably should have delayed the flight to sort out all the details and make sure both of your reservations were correct. However, this would have caused the 100 people on the plane to arrive into Cancun late, and possibly lead to lots of missed connections on the return flight to Houston.

To fix your boyfriends flight, they probably had to do stuff to your reservation that inadvertently caused your return flight to be cancelled. The agent should have caught it, but they probably had 100 other yelling people waiting for help.

The first agent you encountered in Mexico probably was outsourced, and probably didn't care what happened to you... I suggest always asking for someone that really works for the airline in situations like this.

As for your luggage, I always prefer to pick up my bags if they are late instead of having them delivered. Once the airline hands the bags off to the delivery company it can take hours. I learned this the hard way when it took 6 hours to have a bag delivered to me after it arrived at the airport and I was at an airport hotel five minutes away from the terminal!!!

I suggest that anyone who encounters any kind of anomaly like a missed connection or you get reprotected on a different airline to log into the airline's website to make sure your return flight is still there. If the gate agent has accidentally done more harm than good to your trip when he or she rebooked you, it is much easier to fix with a quick phone call a couple days ahead than 2 hours before the flight when all seats are full. You will get more support and apologies that way by a reservation agent who can take the time to look at what happened than by the outsourced agent at the airport whose main job is to bag tags from the kiosk check ins.
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Their Employee's Each Have Their Own Standards And Policies
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Continental Airlines, flight 17031 LAX to Newark then to Lisbon-Portugal, on April 20th 2008. My flight was originally going to leave at 10:20am but the plane was late and since we (me, my boyfriend, and my parents) arrived three hours early, our plane was changed to the earliest flight, which leaves at 8:30 am. We intentionally came three hours earlier instead of two because we were bringing with us an Airsoft gun, its a sports gun (not a real one) which uses BBs like paintball guns use paintballs. About 3 days before, we looked online with their luggage policies and other information that can tell us about what's needed, or if it was OK to travel with a sports gun. For real guns the policies said that a hard case with locks, lock combinations known by owner, and let the airlines know you are carrying a gun to sign some papers and so forth.

Since it wasn't a real gun we got the hard case and locks so it can travel in a more appropriate manner, and save us some trouble at check in. We also called customer service to double check on our issue and they told us they don't see any policies about Airshot or BB guns, But that we should carry it in a hard case with our locks and just inform the people at check in. When we checked in our luggage we let them know about the sports gun we were taking (it looks like a real Pistol 9mm Glock 18C, gas). So they called the manager to seek his approval, and the old man helping us with our luggage told us it shouldn't be a problem since its not a REAL gun.

Once the manager laid eyes on it he quickly told us we cannot take the gun. Saying, and I quote, It doesn't matter if it doesn't work like a gun, Its not classified as a toy, It looks like a real gun, So I'm going to treat it like its a real gun. My boyfriend and I tried to explain to him that its not a real gun, and you cannot classify its a gun when it cannot use BULLETS. He insisted that the looks of the gun, made it a real gun, and then he told us we needed to get a permit from Portugal that its all right to travel with it. It made no sense to us, he wasn't making sense of himself either, we asked him How can we get a permit when its not a real gun? Theres no such thing. He was asking for something that didn't even exist. Also his request for a permit wasn't even on their website! even for international travel.

My father tried explaining too but his English is a bit troubled (he speaks Spanish) but the man was stubborn and rude to us, not wanting to hear us anymore and trying to dodge us by getting in the crowd and keeping order. Time was running out for us, while we were trying to think of anything, my mom was calling this number Specifically to Continentals head of customer service. They were telling us we should be able to travel with it, we told the Manager once more that we are allowed to travel with the gun. We even told him that the lady helping us on the phone can talk to him about, He refused to talk to anyone, he was telling us to call this other number which I'm sure would be agreeing with this man. We even saw him go on his computer, most likely looking for policies or anything to back him up in this situation. With short amount of time since our plane time changed to an earlier time, we had to focus on not missing the plane.

Our time was ruined, I was bitter and angry when I just wanted to enjoy the last few minutes we had with my parents. We had to leave them quickly, like 5 minutes, our goodbyes were short. I know its understandable that our airports are more strict from all our incidents in the past, But one thing is keeping the airlines safe, another is asking for something that cannot be done. Once our plane left, my father called their Customer Service and it was a man now. First he was saying that their shouldn't have been a problem, but then he changes his mind once he sees the Managers message about the gun looking real. So now Mr. Jeff M. is trying to cover himself, but why? was he wrong then? He shouldn't have to leave a note if their policies are what he says they are.

In all honesty I had faith and patience with this airline. But if they're going to be sneaky and just cover each others back for their own benefit, I find that untrusting and unreliable. All in all to this date my parents have investigated everything, even contacted the Portugal Embassy and they themselves told my parents that its fine to travel with the Airsoft gun because its not real and looks shouldn't have mattered. Also even if the airlines would insist on such a permit, the Embassy said theirs no such permit or document they can give us. Basically we could have travel with the fake gun, and all that trouble was for nothing. Its all a waste of stress, time, and breath. I wish I could have said goodbye to my parents with a better moment. I hope this comes to better use for all the people out there who have fun with Airsoft, and try to travel with their not so cheap equipment. The Airsoft gun cost us over $100 dollars, not including the magz.

So in all honesty if your traveling CO airlines your going at your own risk. Their Customer Service are unreliable and won't help you, their website is a joke because they brag about being the best when they're the worst and their policies/info doesn't apply to the policy of each their employees. Each of their employees have different info about the Airlines policies, that or CO thought them how to use them only when it benefits them... My parents are still trying to show the error CO and their manager [snip]. made. Hopefully a lawyer can help us, if not were not traveling with CO ever again!

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bargod on 05/14/2008:
I'm not clear. were you trying to take it on the plane or in your checked luggage? If your checking it in your luggage it makes no sense whether it looks real or not as nobody is going to see it. I think you just ran into one of those power tripping type of people.
Hugh_Jorgen on 05/14/2008:
You are going to contact a lawyer - over a $100 TOY? Good luck with that.
Anonymous on 05/14/2008:
As I read it, it appears they were trying to check the item with their checked bags. The OP went far beyond what was required for checking what is, essentially, a very real looking BB gun. The manager is an example of an obviously indoctrinated person who believes 'dangerous looking' is synonymous with 'more dangerous'...therefore, he would likely support 'assault weapons bans' based solely on the appearance of the firearm.
Heart Eternal on 05/14/2008:
Hey guys I'm the one who psted this up. Thx for the comments wether good or bad. I still like to know what you guys think. And yea I was taking the gun in my luggage I know most of the basic airline polocies so its common sense not to take it aboard. The gun was more than just $100, just giving the idea more or less beacause my boyfriend had other things with him Like magz Airsoft supplies which added over $300 but I'm not complaining about everything since the gun and its magz are what was left behind.

Lol and no I'm no looking for a lawyer just hoping one can help us, if not at least to let the damn airlines know about this. Just sharing the dumb big issue I had.
Anonymous on 05/14/2008:
I thought it was an excellent post. It pointed out how absurd airlines personnel have become. Just think how the manager would have reacted if you would have been transporting a real firearm...even with the correct papers! I have concealed carry permits from three weapon is put in checked baggage for every flight. Some airline staffers are pretty knowledgeable...some, like this case, are idiots.
Heart Eternal on 05/14/2008:
Yea but what I've notice about most of CO's complaints is that it seems every time the airline makes poor choices and mistakes for people they take advantage to charge you for any little reason. As if to give you more fo a reason to not "fly with them," and having that chance of losing that customer they'll try and take out what they can from your wallet. On this same day I tried to travel this man at check in had something long to take and this lady was already going to charge him another $50 but I couldn't overhear the reasons.

That's why I'm not leaning to much on a lawyer in my case since others have paid more than hundreds for ridiculous reasons that are not even our problem but the Airlines.... One more thing, I find it weird how you just cannot get a hold of any dicent person in any of their customers service. Wonder why this airline has made it this far. Must be cuse their rats. :/
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Luggage Bumped In Favor Of Stand-by Passengers
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I am a tour co-coordinator for a Canadian tour company and have been traveling by air for over 40 years. I understand in this day and age of high demand, shortage of baggage handlers and increased security that the airlines have a challenging job when it comes to handling luggage. But also, today, we have better means of communication like inexpensive toll free numbers, bar code technology, cell phones, websites and email. I can understand that luggage can be easily misplaced – it happens. What I cannot condone is the appalling lack of communication and training that seems to be the plague of the airline industry. Considering the volume of luggage that is handled by the airlines, misplacing a piece of luggage is understandable – providing no information on its whereabouts is not. I can ship a parcel by almost any carrier and track its progress daily. Airlines for some unknown reason, have not embraced this technology and they should.

On February 13th, 2008 we boarded Continental flight 288, connecting in Houston with flight 590 to Lima Peru along with our guests for this tour. We warned them in advance to ensure that medication, spare glasses and some overnight things should be carried with them on board in the unlikely event that their luggage is delayed. The connecting flight, Continental flight #590 was not full so they took on a number of standby passengers, some of whom they accommodated by moving full-fare passengers around so they could all be seated together. Once we reached Lima, Peru, we were told that some of the luggage had to be removed from the hold because of the “weight and balance” of the aircraft. I can understand this – we all wanted to land safely. What is inexcusable, however, is that the standby passengers got their luggage – a lot of luggage actually – and two members of our tour group did not.

I have been through this many times before with other airlines so we did all of the required paperwork, noted all of the contact information and left for the hotel. As we did this, however, I noted that the baggage claim desk had a clip board with several pages of information related to misplaced luggage. I inquired and they said that luggage had also been removed from three previous flights and they were just arranging for it to be forwarded. What I did not expect is that it would all be forwarded to Miami to be sorted and shipped by freight to its original destination.

Next day I attempted to contact Continental with 1-800 number that they provided for me. This was not a toll-free number from Lima, Peru so I spent a great deal of time and money – mostly on hold – to be told that they were not sure where the luggage was at that moment. I tried the Continental web site as recommended by their representative and they had the luggage registered but had no information on its whereabouts. We had expected the luggage to arrive on the next flight but were told that luggage had been removed and not added to subsequent flights to Lima.

Knowing that the Peruvians like to take the weekend off, I started to step up my inquiries making calls to the local agent and other contacts that I had at the airport. No one could tell me what was happening and even the long distance 1-800 information people had no knowledge of where the luggage was. Finally, we got word that it had been shipped to Miami and would be forwarded to Lima the next day – still no information on the web site. Remember, we left Vancouver on Wednesday, it is now Sunday, four days later, and Continental was still unsure about when it would get to the airport in Lima and the local airport didn’t have a clue either. A pallet of luggage finally arrived from Miami just before midnight on Sunday. We were leaving for Cusco, Peru at 7:00am so I had a friend hustle over to the Airport at 4:00am to pull the luggage from the pallet and get it to the hotel in time for our domestic flight to Cusco.
There are two issues here. One is that luggage was removed indiscriminately giving the impression that Continental accommodated paying standby customers at the expense of passengers that had pre-booked and paid full fare. So while the shareholders got a nice bonus this year, the paying customers had their luggage sent to Miami to be shipped five days later by freight to the original destination.

The other issue is with communication. With all the modern technology available in today’s world of electronics, Continental failed to provide information that would have given their paying customers peace of mind. Knowing exactly what was happening with their luggage would have given great comfort to those who have had it misplaced. Every day of our inquiries were met with some vague promise of delivery that afternoon or the next day. For me, as a tour co-coordinator, just having a local number to call for updates would have relieved a lot of stress. For those at Continental’s baggage information center, having information to provide for their passengers would probably have cut the number of follow-up calls in half.

From the in-flight magazine, the smiling face of “Larry”, the CEO, invites your comments and provides three lines on a post card for the detail – hardly an endorsement for any meaningful input. On their website, the Customer First document is full of platitudes like “commitment to service”, “leader in the industry” etc. and looks like it was written by an MBA right out of college. This document claims that Continental strives to return checked bags within 24 hours but neglects to mention that, for international flights, the luggage is forwarded to Miami and then on to its original destination by freight carrier, USUALLY within five day – a bit of a stretch from 24 hours. It also fails to mention that the “toll free” numbers provided are not toll free at all when calling from outside of North America and there is no warning that you could be on hold for as long as ten minutes before getting information or the lack thereof.

In the Customer First document, they talk about full disclosure. If they are serious about full disclosure, they would disclose the possibility that their paying customers could have their luggage removed to accommodate stand-by passengers who pay more than what it costs them to freight misplaced luggage all over the globe. If you examine their Contract of Carriage document, you will discover that the Customer Care toll free at 800.WE.CARE2 is toll free from North America only, presumably they are not interested in the comments of international travelers. Through this number, you will not reach anyone that is equipped to provide information regarding Continental’s policy of dealing with delayed luggage destined for international locations.

If this were an isolated case, I would not have bothered to post this information. Since this experience, however, I have talked to friends and colleagues and discovered to my surprise that other Continental passengers have experienced the same dilemma, even within the U.S.A.
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Heart Eternal on 05/10/2008:
I've seen your complaint in other websites and forums, and I too agree that CO really just don't care what happends to those misfortunate. If by all means, all they do is look for excuses to charge you more for any little reason or incident that comes up.
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Hidden Fees and Tax
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HOUSTON, TEXAS -- This is an email to the I wrote after spending three frustrating days trying to reserve a ticket. The letter explains my serious complaint against Continental Airlines.

To whom it may concern:

I have been attempting to book a ticket using the "Advanced Search" option. I was looking for the lowest fare so I did not need exact dates or the +/- 3 Days option, I was/am "flexible" with my dates. I have used this option many times to review prices and to actually purchase tickets. As you know, the destinations are required and then a beginning date for travel, then a choice for the total number of days desired for the trip. I did this and the familiar grid appeared with dates and fares, noting the lowest fare in green, which were December 25-31 and then again in mid-January...$470. I clicked the price and as usual it took me to a list of flight options but with a price of $710. I spent an hour or so trying to figure out if it was me, my computer, or a rogue cookie...I called customer service and she got the same results and could not explain it but said she would notify the appropriate department. I continued this for two more days, getting a mix of prices, and all considerably higher than what said was the "lowest available fare". Now, I just hung up with a representative in your web support department and after about twenty minutes of her getting the same bizarre results, researched the issue enough to find there is a $240 International Fuel Surcharge Fee. That "fee" is over 50% of the "lowest available fare" and is NEVER mentioned or explained on the website or during the reservation process. I fully understand and expect that the $470 does not include fees and taxes so the final fare is higher...but double your "lowest available fare"? I wasted (yes, I am at fault for being so stupid but that is another email) three days checking your website, expecting the computer glitch to be fixed or frankly, some semblance of logic for the unexplained increased fares. So, now I can use what few miles I have and pay the fees for expediting the OnePass reward ticket (that fee is posted), pay the increased fare or not make the trip. I could also try American Airlines but they do not have good connection times and they have really gone down hill the past few years...(another email). I'm writing this due to two reasons, I decided at the last minute to visit my family in OKC and the price seemed fair enough, considering my timing...and I want someone, somewhere at Continental Airlines to know how disappointed I am with the online services. It has been an extremely frustrating few days that could have been avoided if this YQ tax was noted and explained on the site. I still do not have, what I feel is a logical answer to how a tax could be so much...and a flat $240, not a percentage...and hidden from a loyal flier. Plainly put, it is deception in advertising. Okay, I feel better and now I just need the tax explained to me. I can then move forward with planning my trip.

Thank you,
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Anonymous on 12/16/2009:
When you get to the confirmation page, it will show all of the extra fees. Different countries will charge different fees for travelling internationally. Plus you have to pay fuel surcharges and other airline fees. A reservations agent can break down the fees to you and explain what they are for.
Ben There on 12/16/2009:
You are getting your results like this because you are using the Advanced Search option. Regular searches are more specific so it knows what taxes and fees to add on.
KarenV on 02/17/2010:
I purchased a ticket from Sacramento to El Salvador in December. I ran into the same problem. The fare was $253 so I bought it thinking taxes would be around $100. The fuel surcharge was $240...almost 100% the cost of the ticket!!!! I priced the exact same ticket today and the taxees and fuel surcharge was only $ body at Continental could tell me why nor were they interested in adjustinng my fare.
Ben There on 02/17/2010:
KarenV, fuel surcharges can change frequently and no airline will refund you if they go down unless you are on a refundable ticket. Also, the reservations team won't necessarily know why a price goes up or down - that is not their job. One may assume that the fuel surcharge decreased because the price of fuel for the airline decreased.
PanamaSooner on 02/18/2010:
Karen, I gave up trying to make sense of the fare changes with Continental Airlines. I checked again about two weeks ago and the results were laughable. Within a one hour period, one agent told me that the "fuel surcharge" should be added on to the total fare but that the computer must be "messed up" and not adding it and another agent knew nothing of a fuel surcharge. I then asked again for some explanation to why it is not explained or even mentioned on the response from Alex (total joke) or Customer Service Dept., except another automated response. I decided to avoid them when possible but sadly, they are the main airline here in Panama. You would think if they can afford a person to monitor this site (Yes, you know who you are), they could afford a simple explanation. Feel free to keep me posted if you get any clear response from Continental.
Ben There on 02/18/2010:
Airline prices go up and down all the time, be it through the fuel surcharge or just the regular fare. There are no laws regulating the price of airline tickets, so if Continental wants to change it every hour they can do so without explanation. Airlines are going to maximized the amount of money they can collect on any given route. Getting a cheap plane ticket is not a right.
PanamaSooner on 02/19/2010:
I never said I had a "right" to a cheap ticket, I do however, have a right to an explanation of the specific charges. If the airline industry has the money to lobby and monitor consumer web sites, they can at least explain their pricing structure.
Ben There on 02/19/2010:
I have never booked a Continental ticket on the phone, but I recently did online and I got all the taxes spelled out for me. They are also on my ticket. I don't see how they could be more upfront about this - this is exactly what I got:

U.S. Customs User Fee: 5.50
U.S. Immigration User Fee: 7.00
U.S. APHIS User Fee: 5.00
U.S. Security Service Fee: 2.50
U.K. Air Passenger Duty: 144.90
U.K. Passenger Service Charge: 35.90
Fuel Surcharge: 110.30
U.S. Passenger Facility Charge: 3.00
U.S. Federal Transportation Tax: 16.10
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Worst service ever!!!
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PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA -- BEWARE FLYING CONTINENTAL FROM PITTSBURGH! Yesterday I had the, without a dobut worst experience of my 20-plus career flying- not just on Continental, but on ANY airline. Upon boarding the 1st flight of the day from Pittsburgh to Houston, a verbal announcement was made (the PA system is faulty), asking if there were any more "confirmed seat holders" yet to board. I approached the check-in desk with my boarding pass and was told to board. Since the line boarding was still all the way out the jet bridge I told the Continental desk check-in person CAROLEE (Supervisor #G2530) that I was going to step across the way and quickly go to the restroom before boarding. I was told I could not and that my seat would be given away and the door closed, forfieting my being allowed to board the flight. Upon returning in less than 2 minutes, I was banished from the flight, my seat was given away and the door opened again to allow stand-by passengers to board. None of this had any bearing on the flight's departure as no baggage was involved, nor did my wishing to utilize the facilities in the airport alter the standard boarding procedure in any way.

I know this to be fact because I recently surpassed the half-million mile career mark with Continental and am currently listed as a GOLD member in their frequent flier club. Since I do fly regularly, I'm well aware of the standard practices. I was shocked at the treatment I received- to the degree several other passengers offered me their contact information in the event they may be of assistance in confirming what transpired.

Upon recovering from what happened at the boarding station, I then went back to the gate agent to see what options I would now have to endure. Both the agents working the main gate conveyed having seen similar treatment from CAROLEE previously.

The original flight was scheduled to depart at 5:50am. After not being able to board the next two flights via stand-by status (8am & 11:30am) I was finally granted a seat on a 2:30pm departing flight. The other agents expressed their sincere apologies, I was offered a meal vouchure. I actually felt bad for them to have to work under such tyrannical conditions.

Above my own concerns- I came away from it all thankful I am healthy enough to have only wished to pee before standing another 20 minutes in the jet bridge. I couldn't help think of someone less healthy that may have needed the contend with a more serious medical condition.

My advice when traveling out of Pittsburgh would to be to dehydrate yourself or better yet AVOID flying Continental.

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User Replies:
MDSasquatch on 11/08/2011:
Whenever I fly, Continental is my last choice. I will pay more to a different airline to avoid these fools. Their customer service is the absolute worst in the industry. Good Review.
Anonymous on 11/08/2011:
CO rated #1 amongst business travelers in the US for as many years as I can remember.
Once your boarding pass is scanned you must board the aircraft unless you are taken off the manifest and thus offloaded from the flight. This is a procedure set forth by the FAA not the airlines beyond the gate is considered planeside.
20 minutes in a jetway? Methinks a bit of embellishment considering no B777's visit PIT and that's about the only equipment. If you are as you claim a OnePass Gold why weren't you in boarding group 1? Never more than 20 people even on mainline equipment - no waiting in jetways for Golds.
onlooker on 11/08/2011:
The person who controlled access to the plane gave you clear instructions regarding what she would allow in the boarding process. You walked away.
Please follow up with the airline.
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Bad customer service / Bad flight / Bad everything!
Posted by on
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA -- I have frequently visited this page and felt the need to share my horrible experience with Continental that ended today. I am a recent college grad and moved from Cleveland to South Florida. I wanted to go home for Thanksgiving, so I bought a ticket a couple of months before Thanksgiving to avoid a high price. I have a small dog that I wanted to bring home so I called Continental to bring him as an in-cabin pet. I had purchased a travel bag for him that was the exact dimensions that Continental had on their website that pets must be in. When I called on 11/15 and they said it would be a $190 dollar charge, which was fine, they checked to see if there was room (bc only a limited number of animals can fly) and they ran my credit card over the phone. They also assigned me aisle seats on my arriving and departing flights. After they ran my credit card, they told me that pets must be under 10 lbs. Well, my dog is 13 lbs, but he fit well within the specified dimensions. There is also nothing on the website about the weight limit for pets. I asked if he would be OK to fly and they said it was up to me but there was a chance he wouldn't fly. The lady was sort of rude, but I figured whatever, her job sucks so I let it go.

I thought about it for a couple days and I decided to just board my dog instead of risking it on Continental bc if we didn't get on the flight, I was going to miss Thanksgiving with my family. So I called on 11/17 and told them that I was cancelling my pet's ticket bc I thought it was too risky and I wanted to make sure I was not preventing someone else from boarding a pet. The lady was very nice, definitely elderly, and I was happy to learn they would receive the $195, although I thought it was strange they would be mailing it to me instead of putting it back on my VISA. a few more days pass and it is Tuesday 11/20 and I leave the next day. I am packing and then I think about my reserved aisle seats and hope that I didn't lose those bc I cancelled my pet's reservation. So I call Continental and speak to this nasty woman who tells me my ticket has been cancelled and they are giving me a refund and that is all she will tell me. She is incredibly rude and talks over me when I tell her that I never cancelled my ticket. All she offers to do for me is to rebook my ticket. I keep saying "No, I don't need my ticket rebooked.

I need my cancelled ticket to be reinstated". There is no way I was going to pay for another ticket two days before Thanksgiving. I ask for her manager, she puts me on hold for 15 minutes and hangs up on me. I call back and get a polite man, who tells me that he sees that I had only cancelled my pet's reservation but for some reason, my entire reservation has been cancelled. He puts me on hold to see if he can get me reinstated. After almost half an hour, he tells me the good news that my ticket has been reinstated and the $195 would be going back on my VISA. I was so happy bc I really thought I was going to get screwed by Continental. Fast forward to my flight, I of course get a middle seat bc that is all that was left when my ticket got reinstated, but I can deal. On the way back to FLorida, I sit in a two seat section and the seat next to me is empty.

This is perfect because I am exhausted. Right before takeoff, a flight attendant tells me that someone's seat is broken and she will need to sit a gentlemen in the seat next to me. I prefer aisle so I get up to let the person in and it is seriously a 400 pound man. I give the attendant a dirty look but I don't want to look like a jerk so I let the guy in. HE can't fit the divider down and he is halfway in my seat. I try to sit down, but the only way I can sit down is if I am fully turned in the aisle and even then I can feel his fat against my back. It was so uncomfortable and the attendants kept banging the drink cart in to me, but I seriously could not move in. Too make it worse, he was sweating and had body odor. I finally land and figure I will just sleep everything off. SO I wait almost two weeks for my refund (I was told I would have it in 3-7 days). I call today to see where it is. The main reservation line says that they will have to transfer me to the refund department.

The first lady says she shows it was refunded already and to call my credit card company. I say no, and she abruptly puts me on hold and then hangs up on me. I call the reservation line again to be transferred (bc I didn't write the refund line # down) and the girl tells me she cannot transfer me bc it is an 800 number and acts like a snot when I tell her I was just transferred. at this point, I am sick of these stupid Continental games so I tell her she's a moron and that it sucks to have her job, and hang up. not very mature, I know. I call the reservation line again and am transferred again to a polite girl who sees that there is a refund request in the system as of 11/17, it has just not been processed.

Of course not, why would it be? She says she will make sure it is processed today so we will see if I get it back on my visa in the next couple of weeks. But I will definitely never fly continental again after that headache.
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User Replies:
MRM on 11/30/2007:
All in all, how was your Thanksgiving day with your family?
bho55 on 11/30/2007:
Welcome to the world of Customer Service, or I should say not Customer Service.
Anonymous on 11/30/2007:
It makes you wonder why the fat guy's seat was broken!
Anonymous on 11/30/2007:
You got to learn to take things in stride here.
familytravel on 11/30/2007:
I understand your frustrations, but the flight attendants needed to find a place for the male passenger to sit. I understand someone that large should buy first class tickets, but lets face it, there will always be people who won't. Were all of the other seats taken? I would have asked the flight attendant if you could have a different seat.
Anonymous on 11/30/2007:
You have a right to insist that the armrest be down. If the other passenger could not fit because of it, it should be the airline's problem, not yours. Assert yourself next time.
ejack053824 on 11/30/2007:
Soon as the flight attendant would have brought Jabba the Hut to the seat next to me..I would have yelled out "HELLLLLL NAH!" She would have found another seat for him. I wouldn't have cared if it was in the cargo section. Lard asses need to be seated in First Class where the seats are bigger.
DebtorBasher on 11/30/2007:'re just spoiled by having your own flight space all to yourself.
ejack053824 on 12/02/2007:
Exactly Basher along with controlling the flight to. :)
jktshff1 on 12/02/2007:
too! lol!
DebtorBasher on 12/02/2007:
Too/To/Two/Tu bad you can't control women as well as you control your flights.
ejack053824 on 12/02/2007:
That's why I'm not married! LOL!! Women are nothing but drama queens and life's too short to put up with that bullshyt! I know there are the "rare" women out there but I sure as hell haven't found them yet.
DebtorBasher on 12/02/2007:
You found ME!
Anonymous on 12/02/2007:
Here is everything you need to know about getting to the top of the food chain at Continental Airlines, raise some he11:
jktshff1 on 12/02/2007:
ejack, better 1/2 & I been together since we were 14 yrs old and that's a loooonnnnngggg time...she's got more class in her little finger than most people have in their whole body...'sides....loves to play golf!!
Principissa on 12/02/2007:
ejack, do I look like a drama queen to you!!!!
kmvbs8 on 12/03/2007:
Hi everyone, this is the person that posted the review. I had a nice time with my family and friends, thanks for asking, the weather was crappy tho! That's one of the reasons I moved. Anyway, I understand that some of you think I was being dramatic and overreacting, I hear ya, but I had three crappy experiences on one flight. if it had been one isolated incident, I could understand. But when I was told that my flight had been cancelled and there was nothing that could be done except to rebook at the current prices, I was seriously crying. I don't have a lot of money saved up and if I would have had to buy another ticket for almost $1000 (which is what the lady was telling me) I would have been screwed. She was so unhelpful and rude. I was trying to explain to her what had happened and that I did not cancel my ticket, she kept interrupting me and all she would say she could do was rebook me another ticket. I'm almost happy she hung up on me bc at least the next person was understanding and helpful. As for my flight problems, I was hungover! my flight was early morning and all I wanted to do was lay back and close my eyes. Sitting next to a fat smelly person was not on my agenda. I am not overexaggerating when I tell you that I was fully turned into the aisle and leaning forward and I could still feel his blubber on my back. I should have said something, but I didn't want to look like an insensitive jerk. and yes, I know that some of you will say I shouldn't have been hungover, but even if I wasn't, it still would have been a very uncomfortable ride. the fact that I had a pounding headache only compounded the unpleasantness. And finally, trying to get me refund was such a hassle and so much back and forth. I cannot even tell you how much time I spent on hold to get my flight reinstated and to get my refund. and I would usually get hung up on. OK, just wanted to clarify a little bit that it was a combination of the situations that really ticked me off.

.....oh and as for women being dramatic, some guy on my flight was yelling at someone else for moving his suitcase over a little bit to fit another one in the SAME overhead compartment, he wasn't taking it out or anything, just moving it over a little. it was hilarious.
Anonymous on 12/03/2007:
Kmvbs, thanks for coming back with the follow-up. I would still raise some he11 with the big wigs at Continental Airlines and get the money back that you lost.
Ifly2 on 12/24/2007:
I fly a lot as a business passenger and I see people like you every day. And you proved me right when you stated "so I tell her she's a moron and that it sucks to have her job, and hang up" like you are high powered money making person. Then you say in the comments section "I was seriously crying. I don't have a lot of money saved up and if I would have had to buy another ticket for almost $1000". I would say it sucks to have your job and you seem to be the moron... Take my advice drive yourself the next time and your 13lb dog too.
scott3629 on 12/29/2007:
The reason there is no more Customer Serivce, is because everyone cry's over the little things, like having to to sit next to an overweight man, who happens to sweat and have an odor. You poor "skinny" thing. I am sure he didn't enjoy sitting next to Dorothy who is a spoiled college student who was already upset because she could not bring "Toto" home to see the grandparent's. There are people who are overweight and big deal you could not rest your arm on an armrest. I feel sorry for you, if this is your complaint about an airline, and to full of yourself to think that may be the overweight man was trying to go home and enjoy his Thanksgiving just like you, but I guess since he is overweight he should not be entitled to a seat, because it makes you uncomfortable, one good thing you did that was nice was not make a seen and embarrass the man. Surprised....
kmvbs8 on 12/31/2007:
sorry guess u read it wrong, I was not complaining that I could not bring "toto" home, I was complaining that when they cancelled his reservation, they cancelled mine as well! instead of admitting they were wrong right away, they tried to rebook my ticket at a price that was three times what I originally paid! why should I have to pay for their mistake, please tell me that. I admitted that I was immature for my comment (maybe you missed that too) but when someone does not offer me "customer service" which is their job, then yeah I get mad. So I guess it would suck to have a job in "Customer Service" when the person is very rude and unable to provide it. I'm not sure what my job has anything to do with it, but I am in first-year residency, since you were wondering. The first few years out of school are tight, can you understand that? why should I have to rebook a ticket for three times as much when they made the mistake?

and no, sitting next to a fat person who is halfway in my seat where I cannot sit comfortably is something I don't think I should have to put up with. If someone doesn't fit into a seat, then they need to buy first-class or two seats. Sorry, fair is fair. I could not bring poor little "Toto" bc he was too big to fit under the seat. It was a rule, I understand. People have to board luggage when it will not fit in the overhead. These rules are in place for passangers safety and comfort. Me having to sit halfway in the aisle bc I cannot sit in my seat is neither comfortable nor safe. I paid for a seat, I think I should get to sit in it THANKS! and wow, you're surprised that I didn't embarrass the guy, no I'm not a jerk, I guess I was under the impression that this was a forum where I could share my views and disappointments with customer service. I think I put up with a lot throughout this flight. I used to fly down to Florida every other weekend for 4 months to find a place, get set up, interview, etc. FLights are not perfect, I get that. But when the customer service is so screwed up where they don't listen to you, don't address the problems, put you on hold, say they are going to do something but don't, THAT is where I have a problem, k?
Heart Eternal on 05/10/2008:
I myself have expirience extremely poor quality of Customer Service of Continental, and even though the receptionist have a sucky job it no excuse to be ride and not be doing their JOB. I've worked as a receptionist myself in other jobs, and in all honesty the only times a receptionist should be rude is if the customer is being rude themselves. Its always my view in jobs that the employee should not make another cusomers day stress full when they weren't the cause of it.

As for you guys who can only insult him for him complaining about the overweight man, It is all gawd damn right too. First of all, if the ladies (flight atendants) had any common sense they would have botherd to offer Him to sit in a different seat seeing as the overweight man can almost take up two seets and can be hazardos to the passangers in case of an emergency. But if there weren't any other seat available its right that he didn't make a seen or act as a "jerk".

All in all if you haven't had trouble in airlines or know anything about them and their poor services (especially CO) don't waste your time on ignorant comments.
scott3629 on 07/24/2008:
First Heart Eternal:
Thanks for your "3 cents" I have experience in flying and have been on Continental many, many times. Before you say that my comment or anyone's comment is "ignorant". I feel that your comment is a waste of time, before you post a comment PROOF READ it. Many people will take it more seriously if words are correctly spelled and the English is understandable. If you need examples, let me know and I will edit your comment so you can see what I mean.
Reaganr8 on 01/19/2009:
Scott3629, is the only reason you posted on 7/24 to correct Heart Eternal for their grammar? You are just a rude guy, huh? You had to insult the original poster (who I think made some very reasonable complaints) in a way that was just bizarre and rude (did she secretly kill your cat or something?) There are polite ways of saying that you disagree with someone's opinion. And then to ridicule someone over some spelling and grammar mistakes? It's very jarring. This is not a college thesis. While I agree that improper spelling and grammar can be frustrating, Heart Eternal's point was clear and I can assume a worldly classy traveler as yourself as enough grace to forgive such minor errors? BUT since they seemed to bother you SO MUCH, I thought I would correct a couple that you made so that you don't embarrass yourself going forward:

(Here are just two sentences from one of your little rants)
"The reason there is no more Customer Serivce, is because everyone cry's* over the little things, like having to to sit next to an overweight man, who happens to sweat and have an odor."
I feel sorry for you, if this is your complaint about an airline, and to** full of yourself to think that may be the overweight man was trying to go home and enjoy his Thanksgiving just like you, but I guess since he is overweight he should not be entitled to a seat, because it makes you uncomfortable, one good thing you did that was nice was not make a seen*** and embarrass the man. Surprised....
*should be cries
**should be too
***should be scene
also, the second sentence was a run on.
scott3629 on 02/04/2009:
In response:
*YOU: You are just a rude guy, huh?
*YOU: (who I think made some very reasonable complaints)
**ME: (who “I” think made some very reasonable complaints)
*YOU: There are polite ways of saying that you disagree with someone's opinion.
**ME: Thank you for your's.
*YOU: “And then to ridicule someone over some spelling and grammar mistakes?”
**ME: When do we start a new sentence with AND?
*YOU: “embarass”
**ME: embarrass

DaveVDaveV on 03/20/2009:
haha scott got schooled!! jeez scott, if you're going to dish it out that you better be able to take it. like reaganr8 pointed out, this kind of platform does not require perfect grammar and spelling. I doubt she even cares that you found the need to point out a mistake of hers. she was making fun of YOU for making such a big deal about a customer service message board. who cares? grow up. and if you find the need to point out any of my spelling errors, go right ahead. I will get a big kick out of it. I'm already laughing just thinking about it.
scott3629 on 03/28/2009:
Dear DaveVDaveV,

Thank you for your 3 cents. It made me laugh and I always love reading things from grade school students or those with the grammar of one. I won't waste any of MY time looking over it, I don't have that much time to waste. By the way, I am curious to know if you really think that I could give 3 cents about your opinon? Nope, I really don't care, but I do enjoy the reading. Thanks again for it. I look forward to your next comic strip. Have a wonderful weekend.

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