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 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 ** explaining what had happened. ** 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 ** 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."
I have never had a experience of bad customer service until I came across Continental airlines. I have flown on different carriers - Delta, United Airlines, Us Airways and so on and never had a problem with their customer service. I booked a flight on Continental earlier this month (May of 2009) for my fiance, who was flying in to Virginia from Texas to bring my newborn baby girl home. The flight was schedule for her to leave on the 20th of March. Confirmation of the flight was sent to her email address because she's the one who purchase the ticket - I just bought it.
The email stated the flight she will be on is not yet confirmed but you will receive confirmation later on which was fine but she wasn't able to view her flight confirmation after purchasing that ticket because The computer she was using at the time of the purchase was a local friend's that wasn't available at the time that the final confirmation was sent. So she was going to expect a phone call which is what most carriers do - call you if any updates occur. The 20th of March comes around - my fiance is at the front desk of Continental at 2 in the afternoon checking in, when the customer service representative tells her that she is not in the system.
She then calls me, lets me know what is going on and ask to use my credit card number to pull up her flight info. The representative tells her that her flight was schedule to leave yesterday, may 19th at 4 and arrive in VA at 11:30 at night which was ironic because the same flight leaving on the 20th was supposed to leave and arrive at the exact same times. We then go back and forth back and forth about the flight schedule that we did not create but was pretty much was told that there's no proof so in order for her to fly she has to pay a penalty of 150 dollars for missing the flight that she never created plus the flight cost which went from 256.00 to 783.00.
I was outraged that she was sitting here on the phone calling me and my fiance a liar and was giving me an attitude when I told her we had it set for the 20th. At this time I looked up my fiance's information off her email and it showed 2 different emails sent by Continental. One saying that her flight will leave on the 19th which was sent on the 14th of May and the other one stating that she will be leaving on the 20th of May which was received on the 19th of May which by the way both had the same confirmation numbers. I call Continental telling them this information and still get the same response "you schedule your flight on the 19th."
So this by far has been the worst experience and I want everybody to know that this airline is not interested in a safe fun relaxing and enjoyable flight but more about getting all the money they can out of you. I will get this resolved tomorrow 21st of may because they made a mistake and can not understand the fact that they made the mistake and fix it. Instead call the customer a liar and will most certainly lose business with any of my friends and family and the cooperation I work for whom are all frequent fliers. I hate to talk bad about a company cause it's not something that I do but I was really treated like dirt by this airline and I want the nation to know about it.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- The following occurred on my trip to Cancun and back to to San Diego. I was travelling with my boyfriend. We were supposed to leave San Diego at 6:15 am 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 2:15 pm 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 2:15 pm 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 3 pm flight with no problem.
This is where the errors began. Continental entered into their system that my boyfriend 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 3 pm 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 6 pm 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 9 pm at night.
Then on April 5th we went to check in for our 1:30 pm flight to Houston and then our connection to San Diego. At this point the person checking us in by the name of ** 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 cancelled 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 **'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 10:30 pm I called the baggage customer care and spoke with someone by the name of **. 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 4:30 am when I called the baggage customer care again and the woman 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 **. I waited a few minutes and called back. I then spoke with someone who told me my bags wouldn't be delivered until after 8 am. 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 7 am and the person I spoke with someone who told me that my luggage would be delivered on the 11 am 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 11:30 am and couldn't miss it as I would be charged for not cancelling within 24 hours. I was able to get my luggage earlier than the 11 am 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.
I already wrote a letter to complain about the unbelievable bad service I have experienced. The following is an excerpt of this letter...
I booked a flight from Amsterdam-Houston-San Francisco-Houston Monterrey. For personal reasons, I had to rebook my flight spontaneously so that I would go directly from Houston to Monterrey. Unfortunately, however, this was not possible according to Mexican and American Continental Airline hotline. When asked for an explanation I got merely told that ‘you cannot rebook that sort of ticket' which in itself does not occur to me since it is common that you have always the chance to rebook your ticket regardless if you do it weeks or days before you are supposed to fly. To my surprise I got told that I had to buy a new ticket to fly from Houston to Monterrey even though I already paid for it in my initial ticket. So I bought a new ticket, after touching base with the hotline again if that was combinable with my ticket. According to the employee it would have been no problem.
Checking in at the Amsterdam' airport I told the representative of Continental Airlines that I would skip Houston-San Francisco and would directly go to Monterrey. He did not mention any difficulties, let alone informed me that it was not possible to do so and that my ticket would lose its validity. In fact, he handed me over boarding passes for both the Amsterdam-Houston and the Houston-Monterrey flight without any further comment.
I went to another employee to reserve my seat for the flight back to Amsterdam. She told me that if I traveled like I intended to my ticket would lose its validity. Of course, I asked her what options I had and what she would recommend me to do. She stated that my only two options were basically to either fly to San Francisco or buy a new ticket back.
Having arrived in Monterrey I consulted the Continental Airlines' office and illustrated my situation to get a general overview of my options. And again I got surprised by what I got told this time: according to the employee working in the Mexican office there would have been the opportunity to buy a new ticket at the airport in Amsterdam and getting a refund for my actual ticket; none of this was mentioned at any point during the conversation with the employee at the Amsterdam' airport.
Besides that, she also informed me that the new ticket I bought from Houston to Monterrey would have been more than 100Euros cheaper if I cancelled my ticket entirely and booked the flight entirely new.
Another very interesting aspect has been that according to the information in the computer the Dutch employees adverted to me the possibility of a refund which is simply not true. Before consulting the Mexican office in Monterrey nobody ever mentioned any such a possibility. At the end, it turned out I will have to pay additional 250Euros for fees.
To sum everything up, in total I paid 480Euros extra besides the ticket I already purchased. In addition to the extra money I had to spend for complete non-comprehensible reasons, the entire situation was very stressful, worrisome and frustrating and thus exactly what you try to avoid by booking everything in advance and touch base with supposedly informed employees.
As you can see, all this is very exasperating, bewildering and portrays clearly the incompetence of the great majority of staff I had to deal with. I think it is quite astonishing how a simple rebooking of a flight can cause so much frustration on the customer's side and demonstrate complete ignorance on your employee's side.
BANGOR, MAINE -- CONTINENTAL AIRLINES from Bangor to Orlando with stop in Detroit and return with stop in Newark... Return flight was CO 2238Y departing from Gate A20 at 11:30 am on 08/18/2008. This was absolutely the worse service I have ever been subjected to in my life. They over-booked our flight and told me I "probably" wouldn't be able to sit with my 8 year old son as they only had one seat left and gave me the one boarding pass and told me to try to get seats when we landed in Newark. The agent in Newark offered us a flight on US Airways, which I had no choice to take so we could stay together, and then they proceeded to lose our luggage.
When I got to US Airways I was informed by the ticket agent that CONTINENTAL AIRLINES did NOT reserve us seats and he had to make the arrangements for us! When I got into the Bangor terminal the Continental agent told me that my bags "probably" would come in on a later flight at 11:30 pm and that my bags would get to me the following day. They did NOT inform me of customs documents and I was only notified when I crossed the border by the border agent coming into Canada.
The 4 customer service reps I dealt with afterwards to locate my missing luggage were some of the rudest people I have ever had to deal with and constantly gave me misinformation. Each call I was told something differently. The person I spoke within the morning told me to leave a note on my door and they'd deliver it today through "Rich's Courier Service" and then when I called back this extremely rude agent told me CO only opened up a case "to be nice and... it wasn't our responsibility" to locate my luggage...
Unbelievable!!! I was finally notified that US Airways had my luggage and ended up having to make my own arrangements to get my luggage from them. I was more satisfied with the assistance I received from US Airways and will probably travel with them on my next trip as there was no "passing the buck" when I spoke to their agents. I was informed upfront as to what was going on and what needed to be done. There has been absolutely no accountability on the part of CONTINENTAL AIRLINES, and It was EXTREMELY disappointing from start to finish!
I would never travel by CO again in my life. I absolutely cannot get over the rudeness, lack of professionalism, and constant mis-information. I can't believe our flight was over-booked to begin with and that a mother would have potentially been separated from an 8 year old child...
Just ridiculous... and then to be told that it was basically my fault because I flew with US Airways when I didn't really have another option? They should be ashamed of themselves. When I tried to ask for a supervisor and get the last telephone agent's name she told me she wasn't going to do that and hung up on me. I just can't get over the constant poor treatment.
I would like to share with you my last nightmare trip from Dallas to Madrid on June 23rd, 2008. When I arrived to the DFW airport I was told that due to weather conditions the flight CO1138 was going to be delayed two hours and therefore I will lose my connection since the airline could not find me other connection to Madrid. Therefore I was advise to come back the following date after I was assured that my flight was already reserved for the following date, and that I just will need to show up. When I arrived to my house I called Continental to reconfirm my trip the following date June 24th same flight CO1138 to find out that my entire R/T was canceled.
After I had to argue over the phone with Continental to get a new R/T ticket. The next date on the 24th the fight is again late this time due to Tower Control issues. I am told in spite of the delay I should have enough time to make it to my connection CO62 to Madrid since it departs from the same terminal C.
When we arrive it takes the airplane 20 minutes to the plane to make it to the gate and 10 more minutes to open the gateway. We are told that the international connections in terminal C have a cart waiting to take us to our destination. It was not the case since there was no cart when I exit the plane and the gate to Madrid flight was closed at 10:15pm.
I had to go to passenger assistance and a new ticket to CO62 at 10pm was issued together with a complementary night at Holiday Inn. We are driven over 30 min. away from the airport to a different hotel without notice named Western Inn isolated from the city or restaurants and given the choice at the reception to a pizza for 10$--actually it was half Domino's pizza when I open the box and drinks were not even included. The room was not clean either.
On the 25th when I am ready to get into the flight I am told that the paper part of my ticket was missing and therefore I could not travel and that it will depend on the “generosity” of passenger service issuing me a new ticket.
The fact is that I had the ticket in the same condition as I was given it the night before. I realized that the officer that attended me keep the paper portion of the ticket by mistake. Finally I am able to sit in the plane to my surprise in a seat that does not recline. Also the plane has domestic configuration--three seats in each side, no individual TV screens, and the plane is completely full plus the quality of the dinner offered is a lot worst than what used to be few months ago.
From the last time I travel internationally last December, Continental has going downhill in such manner and fast rate that is scary. Ticket prices have greatly increased but the service and services are a lot worst. I called this deceptive abusive practice and lack of consideration to your customers that I am not going to tolerate and that I am going to publicly report.
USA, TEXAS -- I am seriously very disappointed in the punctuality of flights within the USA. This was brought to my attention on my recent trip there when I had to go through the experience myself. I had taken a flight from Singapore (my original destination) to New York and worked my way down to Dallas, so naturally on my way back had to catch a domestic flight from Dallas back to New York.
I engaged the services of Continental Airlines as the itinerary was perfect (6.15am from Dallas to Houston, due to reach at 7.21am and then 7.55am from Houston to reach New York, JFK airport at 12.43pm). With this itinerary, I would be able to go on straight to my international flight which was scheduled for 4.30pm from JFK. In fact, I had the option of another airlines which would cost me half of what I paid for Continental Airlines (US DOLLARS 327.49). It's just that the itinerary required me to stay overnight which I was not willing to do, so I paid a bit more and decided to go with Continental Airlines.
According to my itinerary and schedule, everything was supposed to go smoothly, even to the extent that my bags were checked all the way from Dallas to Singapore. Little did I know that the very first flight (Dallas to Houston) I took got delayed in landing so naturally I missed my connecting flight from Houston to New York (the 7.55am one). The airlines put me on the next flight out which was due to depart at 10.43am and reach New York by 4pm. Even this flight came late and you guessed it, I reached JFK at the time I was supposed to be on my international flight to Singapore.
After checking out at the respective counters and making sure nothing else could be done, I approached the Continental Airlines counter. After waiting for another half-hour, finally the counter staff helped me. They were definitely very kind, offered me comforting words and arranged for my accommodation as my next international flight would only be the next day at 4.30pm.
The minute I reached the hotel, I called my parents to inform them that I had missed my flight and would be delayed by a day. The next thing I knew, a couple of hours later the reception called me and told me I had a $90 bill to settle. I was beyond words, all I had done was make a 2 minute call to Singapore, how did that come up to US DOLLARS 90. So naturally I refused to pay that kind of money. The reception threatened me that if I did not settle the bill, they would tell the airlines not to board me the next day. You can just imagine how I must have felt.
Firstly, missing my international flight due to Continental Airlines, on top of that all the time wasted waiting and then to receive such treatment in the hotel. Only I know how I spent the night, not at all happy, in fact lonely, miserable, scared and terribly homesick. Of course the next morning at check out, the hotel made me pay a nominal sum before they let me go. At this point, I just wanted to go home so I paid what they asked.
As if not enough traumas for a trip, I realized my suitcase was lost. This bag contained all my shopping and valuables from my trip. This was the last straw. I got to Singapore and put up a baggage claim as advised. I spent 3 torturous days and sleepless nights of checking up and monitoring before I received my bag which came back intact but with small damages to the trolley and handle (probably rendering it useless for future travelling).
I just want to inform Continental Airlines that it might be a half hour delay here and there for them, but sometimes that can amount to a lot as I have had to experience thanks to their "efficiency". Not only physically draining but mentally and emotionally too. It's really not fun to end such a wonderful trip on such a low and most importantly, it's not like the flight is cheap. US DOLLARS 327 IS A LOT OF MONEY. I just hope that the airline bucks up and in general the other airlines in USA too. If we pay you for a service, it is your duty to deliver. I think that's only fair.
I take two to three trips to Reno from Philadelphia a year to pick up my 2 children for scheduled visitation (they reside in Reno with their mother). I purchased a one-way ticket for myself from PHL to Reno for June 2nd on Delta airlines with a connection in SLC and then purchased three one-way tickets back to Philly from Continental for the next day (Continental had a better schedule than Delta returning to home).
Because of reasons beyond Delta's control (a passenger on my PHL-SLC flight had a panic attack before we could take off and caused us to be 2 1/2 hours delayed). I missed my connection in SLC to Reno, which was the last flight out that night. Delta was very accommodating and put me up in a hotel for the night in SLC. However, this delay teamed with Delta only being able to get me to Reno the next day was also going to cause me and my kids to miss our outbound flight from Reno to PHL on Continental (I typically fly into Reno and back home the next day so that I can spend as much time as I can with my kids in my area).
As soon as I arrived in my hotel at SLC I immediately called Continental to explore my options for my return flight. I spoke with an agent that informed me that they had no flights with available seating from Reno to PHL until Saturday, and that the cost of that flight would far exceed the cost of my original one which means I would have had to pay about $2,000 for the fare difference.
At this point I began to freak out to say the least (not verbally towards the agent, just an overwhelming sense of helplessness). The agent then asked me if there were any other airports in the Philadelphia area that I would be willing to fly into and I told her that Atlantic City or Lehigh Valley were also very close.
The agent searched (for about 25 minutes) and found a flight leaving on Wednesday June 4th (the day after I was originally supposed to leave) going to Baltimore (about an hour and fifteen minutes from my house) which had 3 available seats. I thought that this was perfect...then she told me that the fair difference was going to cost me $1,495 and I again began to freak out because this was very expensive and she had told me this was pretty much the only thing she could do unless I waited until Saturday to leave Reno.
I explained to the woman how I would not be able to afford that price difference and again explained to her why I needed to change the flight (the delay from Philly to Reno). She then placed me on hold so that she could speak with her supervisor and see what could be done.
About 5 minutes later a supervisor came on the phone and asked me to explain my situation, which I did. He then told me that he could do an even exchange for this new Baltimore flight (simply cancelling my Reno to Philly trip and applying the money I spent on that to this new trip and charging me nothing else). The supervisor even waived the $100 per ticket exchange fee! I was elated!!
All he asked me was that I consider Continental for my future travel needs. With airline travel the way it is today (checked baggage fees, rude staff, etc.) there is still some airlines and their employees willing to go that extra mile for a customer and I will definitely be flying Continental again.
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 10:20 am 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. It's 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 it's 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. It's not classified as a toy. It looks like a real gun, So I'm going to treat it like it's a real gun." My boyfriend and I tried to explain to him that it's not a real gun, and you cannot classify it as 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 it's 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?"
There's 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 Continental's 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 there shouldn't have been a problem, but then he changes his mind once he sees the Manager's message about the gun looking real. So now Mr. ** 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 other's 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 it's fine to travel with the Airsoft gun because it's not real and looks shouldn't have mattered. Also even if the airlines would insist on such a permit, the Embassy said there's 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.
It's 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 mags. So in all honesty if you're travelling CO airlines you're 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 taught them how to use them only when it benefits them... My parents are still trying to show the error CO and their manager ** made. Hopefully a lawyer can help us. If not we're not travelling with CO ever again!
I am a tour co-coordinator for a Canadian tour company and have been travelling 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 website 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 website.
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 7:00 am so I had a friend hustle over to the Airport at 4:00 am 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 standby 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 travellers. 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.