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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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Continental Airlines. Poor Customer Service
Posted by Alain on 01/06/2011
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.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-06:
Good review, Alain. I'm glad you stood your ground.
Posted by Alain on 2011-01-06:
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.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-01-06:
Good review, no rant.
Posted by MDSasquatch on 2011-01-06:
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.
Posted by Ben There on 2011-01-06:
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.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-06:
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.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-01-06:
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.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-06:
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 time outs suck and I'm sure the employees at the airport hate it too. But, they are being paid to help accomodate disrupted passengers. At least you were able to get a voucher. Persistance can pay off
Posted by Ben There on 2011-01-06:
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.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-01-06:
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.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2011-01-06:
I try to prevent people from going to Pittsburg all the time and I don't even work for an airline :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-01-06:
That's because they keep going without you, Basher
Posted by Alain on 2011-01-10:
Update: An article describing a similar recent problem at Newark Airport appeared in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and is availible at http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11009/1116167-37.stm
Thank you for all the comments! Much appreciated!
Posted by Alain on 2011-01-28:
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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Continental treatment of customers is horrible and beyond explanation BAD!
Posted by Chrissiann on 12/13/2010
My boyfriend and I missed our flight 222 at 5:25 am 11/19/10 from New Orleans to Houston. We were supposed to make connecting flight to Las Vegas. I have flown for years, but this is the ONLY time in my life I missed a flight, and for that, Continental staff dragged us through hell!
First, since I never missed a flight, I did not know protocol. I was told "stand in that line." I stood in that line, and when I got to the counter I was told, "No, stand in that line over there." After standing in that line for a while and got to counter, I was told," stand in that line over there (the first line.) I replied, "I was already standing in that line, then I was told to stand in this line. Why do I have to go back to the other line?" They said that is where I should be. Staff was very snappy and acted like customers are a bother. We are the reason they have jobs. I noticed I was not the only customer they were nasty and snappy with.

So I stood in the first line (again) then they issued two "standby" tickets and said we could take the next flight with open seats. That sounded fair. We went through security and waited for the next flight, 6:40 am. After everybody boarded, they said they had seats available, so they gave it to customers who were ahead of me, which was fair. Staff member (female) told us we would have to go on next flight around 7:35 am. That did not seem bad. So we waited. The next flight came around for 7:35 departure, but customers who had a flight at 8:30 wanted to get on the 7:35 flight, so we got bumped off. The next flight for 8:30 came. Customers who were early for their flights wanted to get on 8:30 flights, so we went from being next on the list to being 3rd and 4th on the list. We waited for the next flight, and the next. We went from 3rd and 4th, to 5th and 6th on the list. We waited for the next flight. We went from 5th and 6th in line to 7th and 8th. I told the staff that we are not making progress, but that we are being pushed later and later. She kept telling me "It doesn't matter. If a platinum customer or anyone who spent more money on their ticket arrives before their flight, if they want that seat on the earlier flight, they get it first." I asked, "it doesn't matter if we stay here all day? "She said that "they come first."

For 1:30 pm flight, a young man ran up, missed his flight, a the staff girl put him on next flight and bumped us again! We waited over 11 hours stressed exhausted and hungry. I was ready to burst into tears. When I asked the other lady who came up to work why was that guy let on on the very next flight that he missed when we've been here all day? She looked at me and snapped "I did not clear anybody for standby!" I said, but the other girl did, and I don't understand why one person can get on next flight, and we have to be here all day. I finally begged is there any way we can get a flight another day and not be put through this? I had to beg to get someone to issue me a flight for another day. I never want to deal with Continental again.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2010-12-13:
I think the main problem with flying standby today is that the flights are going out mostly full. Therefore, it is understandable that you didn't make it, other than whatever happened with the one fellow who was placed ahead of you.

And as far as getting pushed back and forth between lines - that stinks. It isn't clear what the cause of that was. Flying today sounds like a nightmare, what with full flights, security procedures and concerns. Good luck.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-12-13:
If the single traveler who missed his 1:30pm flight held elite status, or if he was on a full fare ticket, he too would be ahead of you. Also, if there is only one seat left for three people, it would make sense to send the single traveler unless you had mentioned you were willing to be separated and possibly arrive in Vegas on different dates.
Posted by rockfishing on 2010-12-14:
If you show up early and make the flight then you won.'t have these issues. Simple.
Posted by Ytropious on 2010-12-14:
I don't think you understand how STANDBY works. You are always last in line for every flight because they're doing you a favor in trying to get you out on another flight. It isn't their fault you missed the flight you were scheduled for (you never mention why you missed in the first place..). You only go on the plane as soon as NO ONE ELSE wants to get on it, and there are 2 open seats. It's not going to be easy. As for the other guy getting on before you, ever think maybe they had only 1 seat available? I doubt you'd fly separate.
Posted by chrissiann on 2010-12-15:
silly. :) I missed flight bc i decided to take a relaxing smoke for an hour b4 i boarded... :) Thanks, RF, but now tell me some more common sense stuff. LOL Reason I never missed a flight in my life before is I get there hours early by any means necessary. This time, however, a family member said he'd bring us, and we were waiting and waiting. So for the first time ever, I missed a flight. (BTW i don't smoke. :) So that is why we missed it. Thanks to all who replied. Still Continental could have shown a little more care. I saw them snapping at customers all over. They could have kept me up to date also. I had to beg to find out what was going on. Other than that, they largely ignored people.
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Flight attendant was out of control
Posted by Terrified passenger on 11/08/2010
I was bullied, harassed and subjected to anti-semitism by the head flight attendant on a recent flight from Houston to Orange County, CA. It started when she was pouring drinks and hit me with an ice cube that had popped away from her. The ice cube popped up and hit me, and then fell by my feet. I reached down to pick it up. I had taken off my shoes, because my feet were swollen. I did not want the ice cube to melt by my feet. So as I was picking it up, I heard her saying something, but didn't hear her until I had the ice cube in my hand. Apparently she was saying to leave it on the floor (by my feet). I realized what she said when I sat up, but said I didn't want to leave it there, because I didn't want to step on it. The cart was right beside me. She said to throw it toward her, which I did. I then tried to explain to her that I didn't want the melted water by my feet since I wasn't wearing shoes. She refused to talk to me, and stared at me for at least a minute. I asked her why she was staring at me. In in a very loud voice, said, "You really have a problem. It's just an ice cube. You must be having a bad day. You need to pray. No, I'm going to pray to the Lord Jesus for you." I said, "I'm Jewish." At that point, she pushed the cart away, and as she progressed down the aisle, she kept talking about me in a very loud voice, something to the effect of 'it was just an ice cube."

20 minutes later, I went to the rest room. As I was waiting to go in, she was still talking about the ice cube to the other flight attendants. She saw me, stopped and said, "You, I am talking about you." I said, "I'd really appreciate it if you'd stop." She said, "I can talk to my co-workers about anything I want." I said, "This is very unprofessional, I'd like to talk to the head flight attendant." She said, "I'm the head flight attendant, and at this point, you're interfering with the duties of a flight attendant, so you just go do your business in the ladies room and then sit down and be quiet." I was scared about what she was going to do since she was using her position of authority to mock me and harass me. I sat down, and was terrified for the rest of the trip. Please bear in mind that the entire time I spoke to her I spoke quietly, but she was yelling at me. It was humiliating, degrading, and an experience I hope I never have again.

This actually reminds me of the person who suddenly cuts you off and then gets mad because you’re too close to them.

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Posted by trmn8r on 2010-11-08:
I don't fully understand what happened here, or why. For example, the flight attendant saying "you really need to pray" in the context of the reported conversation makes no sense.

That said, I don't see how this rates as anti-semitism. Maybe I am wrong, I'm sure someone will clarify if I am. If the FA knew you are Jewish, would it be anti-semetic? I am now reminded of a girlfriend who got wrapped up in a church and told me my religion (Methodist) was bogus...
Posted by unhappy999 on 2010-11-08:
All this over a dropped ice cube? I think we are only getting one side of this story.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2010-11-08:
If I heard her telling her co-worker, 'It was just an ice cube'...I would have said, 'YES, it was JUST an ice cube, I've gotten over it and I'd suggest YOU get over it too, don't let it spoil your day or cause you to lose sleep over it tonight.' She's the one that was making a big issue over it, not you.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-08:
Ugh.....Why is it that flight attendants can purposely be rude, and never get in trouble or fired over it? I mean how hard is it to replace them? Rediculous. This is the reason why air travel is so screwed up.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-11-08:
IF she would have kept harrassing me, i could have pulled out my phone ands started recording her with my camera, then been sure to show it to someone when I landed.
Posted by Ytropious on 2010-11-08:
We talk all day long about customers and situations that rub us the wrong way. It wouldn't have mattered if it was you or another passenger, it's something to talk about. Also I don't advocate taking video of anyone, THAT is just rude.
Posted by chrissiann on 2010-12-13:
I totally believe this. From my own experience, Continental staff are unhappy with their jobs for whatever reason. I have not met one nice staff member there yet. Not only did they snap at me and act like i was a bother, i saw them doing the same thing to other customers, and none of us deserved that kind of treatment.
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Incredible service
Posted by Ryan84 on 10/26/2010
I had booked a trip from Boston, MA to Shannon, Ireland for November for a family wedding. I booked my flights on different days due to work constrictions, so I would not be traveling with my family. Eventually I had decided I would take the extra time off and travel with my family, to my amazement, Continental waved the change fee and all I had to pay was the $200 difference in airfare! Recently I had been tracking the flights to get an idea of on time performance and noticed my flight from Boston to Newark was continuosly arriving 50-60 minutes late, leaving us only about 10 minutes to connect if our flight happened to be that late. I contacted Continental by e-mail to see if Continental holds flights for connecting international passengers. I received an e-mail from Denise Epstein explaining it was not their policy to hold flights for connecting passengers and she offered to switch us to a flight that left 1 hour and 20 minutes earlier from Boston-Newark. I immediately called Continental and the customer service representative I talked to was able to contact Denise and get us switched to the earlier flight at no charge! Thanks to the staff at Continental for working hard to make a stressful situation a little less stressful! Hopefully United keeps employees like Denise Epstein when the merger is complete!
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Posted by Alain on 2010-10-26:
Thanks for the review, Ryan! I've always had pretty good service with Continental, too. I always use them when I fly to Newark and, aside from problems associated with the airport (which are beyond Continental's or anyone else's control), they've been just fine.
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Continental Flatbed Seats
Posted by Creativepipeline on 09/27/2010
Continental does something so unethical, it's almost remarkable in this day and age:
Your select a flight, confirm on the seating chart that they offer flatbed seats, purchase your ticket, and then at some point prior to the flight, Continental removes the flatbed seating chart and gives you their old, tired business class seats. This has happened to me twice now on trips to the Middle East. In one case, the seating chart remained as flatbed until less than 24 hours prior to the flight.

And guess what? If you complain via email to Continental, before, during or after your flights, they will not respond under any circumstances. One phone ticking agent told me, "You have contracted with us to fly you from point A to point B. We have the right to change our equipment at anytime without compensation." And this was just after I had had kidney problems and REALLY needed the flatbed seat. "Customer First" is Continental's motto. What hogwash.

I'm curious to know if there are others out there who have had the same rug pulled out from them, in some cases, less than 24 hours prior to the flight? Does anyone know if we have a class action here for failure of services?

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Posted by Ben There on 2010-09-27:
Whenever an airline is updating its fleet with a new product, there is always a chance that you will get the old version... It takes months for the fleet to be completely updated. I think Continental is only dedicating those planes is to to London, but they always have the right to change it if need be.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-27:
When customer service tells you that they reserve the right to change equipment, they're not just making that up on the spot to toy with you. It's in the contract you agreed to when you purchased the tickets.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-09-27:
Continental is very upfront that you might not get a plane with the new seats. Below is a link from their site showing the installation updates. Only 64% of the 777s are complete, but considering that some 777s are dedicated to London, your chances are more likely 1 in 2 that you will get the new seat. http://www.continental.com/web/en-us/content/travel/inflight/businessfirst/fleetstatus.aspx
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-27:
United is updating their business class seats to flatbed too. As Ben said about Continental, they also tell you on-line how much of the fleet has been completed. Unfortunately for me, on my flights home, they have not completed any of the aircraft I fly on. (Lying down on my flights during some point of the flight would be a dream come true :), but I'm not ready to spring for First Class.

All airlines can and do change their aircraft on some routes, for various reasons. Sorry you were disappointed. I am surprised that Continental will not answer your complaints, but I think the agent you spoke to did tell you the truth. Hopefully your future flights will better meet your expectations.
Posted by James_236 on 2010-09-28:
The OP said he bought his seat after the flat bed was offered on his flight. Whether the airline had not yet finished with the flat bed seats on all the aircraft is not his problem. They offered the flatbed for his flight and he accepted and paid. If they have to change their equipment and he did not get what was offered an action in the small claims court is an option. Courts find ways of assessing damages all the time and if his position is that he only bought a business class seat because of the incentive of the flat bed, then his damages would be the difference between the business class and the economy class seat.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-09-28:
Continental never told the OP he would have the lay flat seat, so I don't see what he can sue over. The OP made a wrong assumption based on an online seat map that he would be on a particular aircraft, and that simply is not the case.

Had the OP actually asked instead of making an assumption, he might find out that the new business class seat is simply the default seat map which will change based on what aircraft actually get assigned to the route closer to departure.

Its not like the OP didn't get a business class flight... he still got the exact same meal service, its just that his seat reclined 170 degrees instead of 180.
Posted by creativepipeline on 2010-09-29:
I thank everyone for their thoughtful comments. I'm not a very bright person, evidently. It seems I have to read the fine print before buying an airline seat. I went online, I picked my flights, I checked that flatbeds were offered, I paid, and then they removed the flatbed seats. Call me stupid, but here's my point: I order and pay for a Mercedes E350 BlueTEC (Diesel) sedan, which the dealership says they have on order; then when I go to pick it up they take me out to a gas powered model saying, "Here's your car! We couldn't get your model right now. Here. Go home. Be happy." I think that's a breech of contract.

Anyway, it's just money, right? And we should all roll over and play dead for any corporation that claims "Customer First", right? Fly Emirates, Singapore or Qatar. They're infinitely better, AND they actually give you what you pay for.
Posted by creativepipeline on 2010-09-29:
P.S. Mercedes did not do any such thing to me. They delivered exactly the car I ordered.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-29:
I would never accept a car that I didn't order. Airlines change aircraft all the time; even Emirates, Singapore or Qatar. I know many people who fly Singapore Air (since I live in Singapore), and, believe me, I have heard of problems with them too. (Starting with their airfare.) Some things just can't be controlled.

I do hope you are able to find an airline you are satisfied with.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-29:
creative, since you are talking Mercedes, then possibly you should just buy a first class ticket next time. Then you won't have any surprises. That would be your best bet on any of the airlines.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-09-29:
All of those other airlines you mention change planes all the time. When Emirates and Singapore were introducing the new A380, lots of people who thought they were on the new plane ended up on a 777 or 747 instead as the A380 had a lot of teething problems.

Equipment substitutions happen across the board. You are renting space for a few hours in a certain class of service, not an exact seat or plane. Using your Mercedes reference, flying is more like renting a car - not buying one.

Have you considered chartering or purchasing an aircraft instead?

Posted by creativepipeline on 2010-09-30:
Thanks for all your kind words of wisdom. Hey, I just wanted to vent my irritation by writing my comments.

So to address your thoughts: I've been flying Continental faithfully for almost 40 years and have never had a problem with them. Continental does not offer First Class. We did lease a Falcon 900EX for nine years, but we didn't use it enough to make it reasonable.

Posted by airinewiz on 2010-11-28:
The OP definitely has a case. Although the airline's website does an excellent job giving customers factual data pertaining to which aircraft have been updated to the flat bed seating configuration, the airline must take responsibility for their seating charts. Why are they only displaying the flat bed seating chart when they know there's a chance the customer may end up with the old configuration? Why not show both seating charts w/ a disclaimer that Continental isn't responsible for what the customer ends up with? By only displaying the flat bed seating chart, the airline is engaging in false and misleading advertising.
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Bereavement Policy
Posted by Dr. Spock on 09/09/2010
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Despite Continental's apparent customer focused positioning in the market, their bereavement policy leaves much to be desired. Two weeks ago I had flown from Texas to Michigan on Continental to visit family. I was to have flown back to Texas on August 24th, but had been called the night before by a younger sister to tell me that my other sister had been admitted to the hospital and was not expected to live. Continental was good enough to put my return flight on hold but could only offer a 10% discount on a flight to Upstate New York. I called Delta airlines and they offered me a changeable ticket for $371 versus something closer to $600 under the circumstances and based solely on my word. Following my sister's funeral, I went to re-book my return to Texas with Continental. At that point, they charged me their standard $150. The representative told me that I could re-claim $100 of the fee if I submitted my sister's death certificate. I asked if she meant the death notice from the newspaper, but was told it had to be the death certificate. Imagine having to ask my brother-in-law for my sister's death certificate after just losing his wife. Continental's policy with respect to bereavement seems cruel and insensitive and certainly falls far short of the treatment Delta afforded me.
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Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-09-09:
Sorry for the loss of your sister. That being said, Continental has a policy that applies to everyone. If you don't want to ask for the certificate, don't. However their policy has always been in place, it just seems cruel and insensitive because its affecting you this time. People often lie to get out of paying the fees which is why they require a copy of the death certificate. It's not personal.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-09:
I am sorry to hear of your loss. I understand your position, and I know it is hard to swallow the fact that at this time the world around you keeps revolving business as usual, with seemingly no regard or empathy for your, and your family's loss.
Posted by maxinebb on 2010-09-09:
From what I understood this policy has been in effect for decades with airlines. Just think, you can cut an obituary out, claim it a relative and get discounts. Sad but true!
Posted by Dr. Spock on 2010-09-10:
For those who think that this policy can prevent fraud, they should be aware that you can buy copies of death certificates on-line at a number of sites for a nominal fee. And, as I pointed out, not all airlines have such onerous policies. Delta seems to be willing to take a chance that there are a few honest people out there since they took my word for it when offering me a heavily discounted fare. As far as using just any old death notice, it would not be unreasonable for the airline to insist that it substantiate the relationship through having the traveler cited as a surviving relative or at least by reference to the same last name.
Posted by momsey on 2010-09-10:
I'm really sorry for your loss. However, there are ways around every policy that has ever been put in place to prevent fraud. That doesn't mean the original policy is not sound.

What if you were a grandkid or niece and weren't mentioned specifically in the death notice? Or had a different last name? Then how would they substantiate it?

As the others said, this is a long-standing policy and it's in place for a reason.
Posted by Skye on 2010-09-10:
I'm very sorry for the loss of your sister. The policy is standard for everyone. You must show the death certificate, in order to receive the discount. It's not personal, it's business.

Again, sorry for your loss.
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Continental Air Sucks as do many others- Consumers Unite! Fire Them.
Posted by SGTSAVAGE on 08/10/2010
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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Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-08-10:
Flights always experience delays. Its not personal!
Posted by SGTSAVAGE on 2010-08-11:
Prince- Caesar you are wrong and probably a COA employee. I did tell them that I was about ready to sue and I am. They don't care. This company should be boycotted. I can take delays but not insensitive incompetent help. There are other airlines and I am already booking on them - no more Continental.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-08-11:
Once you "explained" that you were ready to sue, they had every right to hang up on you with no further comment to jeopardize court proceedings.
Posted by skyrocket on 2010-10-30:
Talk about insensitive you have none for others it is apparant. I'm sure none of your family members have had serious health problems that affected their work. Some things do happen suddenly.
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Don't even attempt standby
Posted by Outrageouspanda on 08/06/2010
It's a little ridiculous for Continental to charge you $100 for a standby ticket when you have no hopes of ever getting home from the west coast. I recently flew standby to the west coast, barely making it due to flights being oversold. The only reason I went standby and with Continental was because I am a buddy of many employees. Usually standby goes smoothly, and waiting one or two flights isn't a problem.

I waited six. Six flights. 14 hours. All because the flights appeared rather empty but then in the last 10 minutes an Elite Pass member decides they want on and you get screwed as they bring 8 kids out of nowhere.

It is good to reward your Elite Pass members, but keep in mind the people that have been waiting for 14 hours! It is unethical to keep people waiting there and then not even staff the counter. I wanted to just upgrade to a regular ticket, but there was no one there to even make this transaction. There were no phone numbers posted. I just wanted a ticket! I had to call people at home, have them call my friend to cancel my Continental flight and then book a flight on a competitor to get home.

I think American only charges $50 for a standby ticket. $100 for nothing is absurd. And if your flights to the west are always oversold by 17 or more, here's an idea SEND MORE FLIGHTS. PEOPLE ARE CLEARLY TRYING TO GET TO AND FROM THIS DESTINATION, YOU COULD GET MORE MONEY WITH MORE FLIGHTS. Seriously, business 101 here. You'd think this airline was run by 3rd graders.

Also, why does it take 4 employees to help one family that can't operate the kiosk to check in? Just check them in! I had registered online and wanted to check my bag and seriously waited 40 minutes to be acknowledged. I'm never flying Continental again. Even my friends that works there rarely want to fly that airline.

Another thing - usually if you snooze you lose. If the plane has boarded already and it's been about 30 minutes since the final call and they're trying to figure out the standby situation, then you're ridiculous and you deserve to lose your seat. I watched a man unwrap an item he purchased for 20 minutes and then go up to the gate and ask to be let in. Really? You couldn't unwrap it on the plane? Your seat should have been mine and I could have only had a 6 hour wait...
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-08-06:
Pay full fare and you stand a better chance of getting the flight you want. Problem solved.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-08-06:
Were you flying on a buddy pass? There is always a huge risk that you will not make it on the plane if you are flying standby, especially in the summer or during the holidays.

You mention the elite passengers getting on ahead of you - why should Continental punish its best customers for someone who was too cheap to purchase a regular ticket like the rest of us?

Also, the fact that the airline sells every last seat does not mean they need to send more planes for people flying standby - it means that their revenue management team has done a perfect job anticipating how many PAYING customers were going to show up.
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