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Lost Luggage - lack of accurate information or help
Posted by Chrissie on 05/10/2007

On April 30, 2007 after returning from our honeymoon from Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic to Pittsburgh, PA, we discovered after waiting at the baggage claim area that our luggage was missing. When we went to the Continental Desk the lady said that it never left Newark and that we will get it the next day, Tuesday. I called Tuesday at around 10:30a.m. the person I talked to said they just got my bag at 10:00 and they will be delivering it within 5-6 hours. 4:00 p.m. 6 hours later, it still never came, so I called again. The person I talked to said that the delivery service is behind but we will be getting it soon. 8:30 p.m. 4 and a 1/2 hours later, still no bag, so we called again, we were told that we will be getting the bag that night. 10:30 a.m.,still no bag, so we called again, this time to our dismay the lady, Alyce, said that our bag isn't in Pittsburgh its in Newark, that someone in Pittsburgh closed our file by mistake.

Wednesday. I called around 9:00 a.m. now I was told that the bag is still not yet in Pittsburgh and to call back later in the day since there are flights still coming in. 3:00 p.m. I called back, still no sign of my bag.
Thursday. I called around 10:30 a.m. Now I am told that the bag may of never left Puerta Plata and to call back in the afternoon. I called back around 3:30 p.m. I was told that they have no idea where my bag is. That it might be to another unknown destination.

Friday. I called around 10:30a.m. Now I am told that our file number that the counter gave us as a receipt for the luggage is not in the system. The lady I talked to, however was very nice and cooperative, and I actually believe she was trying to help. She couldn't trace my bag, so now I have to wait til Monday to see if they have it at their warehouse where the unclaimed luggage goes.

On a further note, some agent from Continental has called the few days to ask if we got the luggage. When they were told that "no, we didn't" they proceeded to say that they are actively looking for the luggage. Now why would they call and ask if we got it and then tell us they are looking for it? This just goes to say that they have no idea what is going on. How hard is it to move luggage from A to B, especially since we had over a 3 hour layover.

The last call I made was today, at 8:55 a.m. I spoke with an agent, Joyce, I asked her if I could speak to a supervisor, she said I am not allowed to speak to a supervisor. She said that even if I call and ask to speak to one I wouldn't be able to speak one. That she would put my file on their desk and they will call me if they can. This is just ridiculous. I faxed my claim to them 2 days ago and it still isn't in their system and has not been assigned to anyone to find my luggage. She said they will get to it when they can.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-10:
Sometimes you have to pass over the local rep's and call Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic direct, if it's not there call Newark. You can be doing everything the CSR's are not doing.
Posted by Noneill on 2007-05-10:
Wow. Good thing the honeymoon was over and not just starting.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-05-10:
Noneill, why? Are clothes needed on a honeymoon?
Posted by Noneill on 2007-05-10:
Well there could be other "things" in the luggage too!
Posted by familytravel on 2007-05-10:
I would try to call Puerta Plata direct. When you call Continental do you call the direct 800 number, or do you call baggage claim at Newark? Good luck!
Posted by Chrissie on 2007-05-11:
I only called the 1800 number. the number they gave us for our luggage. Do you think it would help to call puerta plata or neward directly? if so, who would i call?
Posted by Chrissie on 2007-05-11:
Who would I ask to talk to if I called Puerta Plata or Newark?
Posted by familytravel on 2007-05-11:
Chrissie, go online to Continental or call the 800 number. I couldn't directly find the baggage claim number on the website, so ask for the direct number when calling Continental direct. I ran into a problem similar to this with American years ago, and when I called the baggage department at the actual airport I was able to get it back. Even try calling the Presidents Club at Newark--they would most likely have access to a number. If you reach someone, explain the situation and ask if they can help you. Just explain that corporate isn't helping and you wanted to check with them direct. Good luck--hope I helped.
Posted by familytravel on 2007-05-11:
I think Newark would be the best place to call--since it's Continental's base
Posted by Chrissie on 2007-05-14:
Thank you, I am going to try that today and I will get back to you as to whether or not it worked!
Posted by familytravel on 2007-05-15:
Chrissie--We're you able to find anything out?
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Worst Tires EVER!
Posted by Vinnie11 on 01/07/2013
I purchased new tires for my car on December 15, 2011. One year and 5 days later, I failed inspection because I needed new tires. I've driven 20,204 miles. In April of 2012, one of my new tires blew and I replaced it. That one was still ok but the rest were shot. I've never had a 20k tire before and I'm extremely disappointed that they would put such a crappy tire on a Mercedes as standard equipment. The dealer wanted $380 EACH to replace these with the same sub-standard tires! I went back to Michelins. I've never had a problem with those. Hopefully they'll last longer than a year.
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Posted by Bill on 2013-01-07:
Continentals are usually put on new cars because they're cheap.
I've purchased new cars in the past with continentals and I was lucky to get 20,000 miles out of them.
You will be much better off with the Michelins.

I've had good luck with the Goodyear fuel saver line on my Honda.
Posted by Dryer Lint on 2013-01-08:
Cheap? How about they put on a soft compound tire to match the performance profile of the vehicle. Sure you can put on a touring ride tire on your car and it'll last forever but probably not something I'd want on a Mercedes
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Worst service ever!!!
Posted by Spsdircam24 on 11/08/2011
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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Posted by MDSasquatch on 2011-11-08:
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.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-11-08:
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.
Posted by onlooker on 2011-11-08:
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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Posted by Jeffery2010 on 09/05/2011
My first flight to El Paso was delayed for 8 hours and I was given no notice or a reason why that took a half a day with my sister I flew to visit and now I'm 2 hours away from home and had to wait 3 and a half hours for a flight witch just got delayed again for 40 minutes I'm very very unhappy with your air lines are will never fly with them again and the planes smell.
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Posted by BEJ on 2011-09-06:
There are some issues with fires in Texas. Perhaps that had some bearing on the delay of your flight. What was your starting point? Perhaps it was an issue with the city your plane was coming from. There sould be many reasons why a flight is delayed.

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Lost luggage
Posted by Sewmaryk2 on 08/09/2011
On July 12,2011 my husband and I arrived in Newark at 6:30 PM on flight Co1828 our checked bag did not. After a half hour waiting in line I was told the bag probably was on a later flight and would be delivered to our homw before midnight.
The bag never came. I called the number provided and was told I had to wait 5 days before filing a claim because tags fall off. Our bag has our name and address in 3 different places so a lost tag isn't an excuse.
After telling the representative my husband is a diabetic and needs to test his blood they said "he should have a back machine" I told her the bag contains most of our summer clothes.
The reply was "thats a shame"The next phone call I was put on hold for 10 minutes and then cut off.
It has been a month since the bag was lost and still no help from Continental.
The icing on the cake is we paid them to lose our bag.

Needless to say we are not happy with Continental, not just because of loosing the bag but the service and attitude of most of the reps.
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Posted by MissLeopard83 on 2011-08-09:
That's why I hate checking my bags unless absolutely necessary. Did you go all the way to the top on this issue? I would contact corporate if you haven't already. Be the squeaky wheel. You deserve to get your belongings back. Or they should at least reimburse you for the lost items:


Posted by Mrs. V on 2011-08-09:
Sometimes calling is not the best way to handle a complaint. Try email/e-form/snail mail. That way they (and you) have a paper trail.

Here is a extesive contact list for Continental:

(Mailing address)
P.O. Box 4607
Houston, Texas 77210-460

(Physical address)
1600 Smith Street
Houston, Texas 77002

Telephone: (713) 324-2950
Toll-free phone: (800) 932-2732
Fax: (713) 324-2687

Continental Airlines, Inc.
Customer Care
900 Grand Plaza Drive NHCCR
Houston, TX 77067-4323
Telephone: (800) 932-2732 and press 0 twice.
Fax: (713) 652-4997

Continental Airlines
Customer Refund Services
P.O. Box 3046 HQJRF
Houston TX 77253-3046
Refund Request Form
Fax: (713) 324-1431

Note: Please see this Continental Airlines page for specific instructions on how to handle your lost/damaged baggage and missing property claims: Damaged, Delayed, Lost Baggage and Missing Items.

Continental Airlines Baggage and Lost and Found
Continental Airlines
Baggage Resolution Service Center
611 Lockhaven Drive
Houston, TX 77073
Telephone: (800) 335-BAGS (800) 335-2247
Online baggage tracking
Lost and Found

How to get through to an operator:
Dial (800) 932-2732. Press 0 followed by 0.
Posted by BEJ on 2011-08-09:
I am sorry you lost your bag with Continental. My husband and I had a similar experience on our flight from Los Angeles to Oslo with a connection through Newark. My bag made it to Oslo but my husband's did not--went to Denver instead of Oslo. We did get our baggage within 36 hours.

My question would be why would you pack in checked luggage your husband's diabetic testing supplies. I always keep my valuables with me in my carry on luggage.
Posted by S.Collins on 2012-03-15:
I was heart broken when my son, who is 20yrs old and was his first trip away alone, called from Missippippi to tell me his luggage was lost. Two days later it was delivered to him, not in the condition it was when he last seen it. There were holes and rips in his new bag, items were missing and his laptop was broken....He felt terribly violated and down-hearted by this, and i being a mother felt helpless.....What was the reason behind such aggressive behaviour on behalf of Contintential Airline....I have yet to find someone who can answer my questions....i will include my e-mail address....maybe someone out there can direct me to finding answers.....shellycollins63@hotmail.com.....thank-you
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The debacle known as Continental Airlines
Posted by Stever871 on 07/05/2011
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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Posted by CDJ on 2011-07-05:
It can only get worse now that Continental has merged with United, which has even worse service than Continental. We're doomed!
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-07-05:
No airline will compensate for weather related issues.
Posted by Lisa Wallace on 2011-07-05:
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.
Posted by Ben There on 2011-07-05:
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.
Posted by kinthenorthwest on 2011-07-05:
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 flew 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.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-07-05:
Hmm I wonder how much an hour my time is worth.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-07-05:
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.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-07-05:
Great review! very helpful!

Welcome to my3cents
Posted by leet60 on 2011-07-05:
+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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Delayed Flight
Posted by Lawrence.wittenberg168 on 05/28/2011
Over 2 hours and counting waiting for a crew member to show. Indifferent ground personnel. Last time I fly this airline.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2011-05-28:
typically "missing" crew members are with the "Express" side of the operation as mainline crews tend not to be split off trips. Nonetheless frustrating. As far as indifferent ground personnel... 2 things to consider. 1. You fly on a plane a couple times a year so this is a big deal, they see thousands of people a week on hundreds of flights. 2nd, there really isn't much they or anyone else can do.
If it makes you feel better unless you have a trip planned in the next few months, no one will be flying them anymore.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-05-28:
Delays like this stink, but there really isn't anything the ground personnel can do except explain the reason and wait.
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Terrible Customer Service
Posted by Senior World Traveller on 05/25/2011
Employees have attitude problems. I have flown world wide over many years (I am over 75 years old) and Continentals "customer be damned" attitude is unacceptable - there are many other good airlines out there.

I recently had a wonderful flight back from Europe on Air France, but my connecting flight out of Houston on Continental was the flight from hell, from check-in to baggage claims.
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Posted by leet60 on 2011-05-25:
Flying was a pleasure in my younger days. Today, most airlines are much less customer oriented, it is all about volume and profit. I rarely fly anymore because of this.

I don't believe it is restricted to one airline. If you search this website you will find just as many complaints about Air France and almost every airline.
Posted by Alain on 2011-05-25:
When I complained about employee attitudes earlier this year, Continental said they really cared about things like that. Looks like they may not have been sincere. It's too bad since I used to enjoy Continental. Leet has a really good point about airlines in general, but Continental seems to be getting worse about this.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-05-25:
Continental will cease to exist in a matter of months. As far as domestic carriers they are always voted one of the best. Flying may not be as "fun" today but much can be blamed on the "security theater" of the TSA. People voted with their wallets and want cheap, airlines responded in kind - premium passengers still enjoy a very good experience but they aren't shopping to save 5 bucks. Comparing foreign carriers isn't a realistic comparison and we aren't going to change cabotage rules any time soon. The OP may have had a hard time checking in on CO because of a botched booking - Skyteam to Star A carrier etc. The OP may have been flying an Expressjet (CO Express) flight and the staff aren't CO.
You will rarely find status or very frequent fliers complain on here. Why? They simple know the drill, what airlines can and won't do - this isn't the pre '78 industry.
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Stolen laptop
Posted by Rtleavy on 04/02/2011
I paid twenty five dollars to check my bag, when I got to my destanation my laptop had been stolen from my bag. Continental has not helped in any way. they just give you more hoops to jump through hoping you will give up. now I am a victim of idenity thief. wonder where they got my info? thanks for turning my trip into a nightmare and destroying my life. apparently one of the perks of working for this company is you get to keep what you steal from the customer. you would think they would have camera's on your baggage but if they do. they do not bother to check it. so they have folks that work for them who will steal your belongings. I will never fly with them or the company (united) who is about to join with them. think twice about flying with them, as you may never see your belongings again, as it was with me. they will not help you in any way. be forwarned.
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Posted by tnchuck100 on 2011-04-02:
NEVER check ANY valuable items in baggage. ALWAYS carry-on items of this nature. Expensive lesson.
Posted by Ben There on 2011-04-02:
It is highly recommended by all airlines that you don't check laptops in checked luggage. While there is always a chance that a Continental employee got your computer, it also could have easily been the TSA.

When you check a bag with any airline in the USA, they must hand it over to the TSA screens your bag and gives it back. Unlike airline employees who just have to make a lucky guess if your bag is one of the few with a laptop, the TSA has a very fancy machine to take the guesswork away from them.
Posted by getoverit on 2011-04-02:
This is truly unfortunate. However, I would ask what the OP thinks the airlines can really do in a case like this. They have the means to track down a baggage item that gets routed to the wrong airport and that kind of thing, but what can you expect them to do in the case of something that was removed from a suitcase?

Good suggestions here about not putting valuable things in a checked bag. Even if Continental is liable in some way (which I doubt), I'm sure you can't hold them accountable for the identity theft, or any ramifications of losing data and information that was on that laptop. I hope you have backups and everything.

Posted by Ytropious on 2011-04-02:
Exactly, GOI. They can ask all the employees "did YOU take the laptop?" But all they have to say is no and that's that. Can't even prove anyone from Continental took it. Was it locked even?
Posted by leet60 on 2011-04-02:
+10tnchuck100. I never put anything of value in checked baggage. The real issue in filing a claim or holding someone liable in this case is that it is impossible to determine which party pilfered the item.

The bags are touched by airline personnel, TSA employees and "ramp agents" that may work for the airport. While some areas may have cameras, the employees are generally aware of where the cameras are located and can easily circumvent the system by moving the bag to an area out of the camera's view.
Posted by Kurizumaru on 2011-04-04:
I'm with the OP on this one. You pay money to check your baggage under the assumption that once the airline takes possesion of it, they are responsible for it. That being the case, I'd contact a lawyer to see if anything can be done about this, but the airlines have teams of lawyers. Good Luck.
Posted by Ben There on 2011-04-04:
The airline has no choice in handing it over to the TSA for inspection... You would need to sue the TSA too. I am sure lawyers for both would point out all the signs all over the airport saying don't check electronics.
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Beware Continental's Bait & Switch Seat Upgrades
Posted by Becket on 02/06/2011
When you check in on Continental, you're offered "better legroom" seats at an extra cost of up to $79. Don't do it! If you do, you'll be told that those seats are now unavailable, but some $19 upgrades are available. Guess what? Take the $19 upgrades and CONTINENTAL WILL KEEP YOUR $79 ANYWAY. They claim that this is explained ahead of time, but it's badly explained and it's still bait & switch. Never again will I fly on this unethical airline.
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