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Overbooking flights and "restricting" tickets
Posted by on
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I was very excited about the trip I had planned to LA. I had recently had a baby and it was my first break away from all the hard work that goes with a newborn and to be a part of my best friend’s wedding. I booked a flight on Continental to LAX which departed at 5:55 p.m.

At 4:26 p.m., I checked in online and was issued an eticket boarding pass. When I checked in, my advance seat assignment was no longer available and the Continental system would not allow me to select a new seat assignment. Instead, my boarding pass listed, “check in at gate”. Unfortunately, I left my eticket boarding pass on the printer. Little did I know this would prevent me from attending my best friend’s rehearsal dinner.

At 5:20, I walked up to the Continental skycap with my small roller bag and asked if there was still time to check my bag . He stated it wouldn’t be a problem checking my bag, but that I wouldn’t be getting on the flight because my ticket was “restricted”. I asked why and he said you better talk to an agent.

After unsuccessfully trying to reprint my boarding pass at the kiosk, I waited in line for a Continental ticketing agent who stated that my ticket was “restricted”. When I asked why she said I did not check in properly. I explained that I did, that it would surely be reflected in the system, and that I simply needed a reprint of my eticket boarding pass so I could continue through security to the boarding area for my seat assignment. She restated that no, because I had not been assigned a seat, my check in was incomplete and I was “restricted” from the flight. After a pointless conversation trying to understand why my ticket was “restricted” when I was issued a boarding pass an hour earlier, I implored if there were any other alternatives. She reluctantly picked up the phone, called the gate agent, and asked if they could lift the restriction. I was told no.

I then walked over to a “red coat” supervisor (Kathryn) and explained my frustration with the situation. She looked at her watch and asked me if I thought I could still make it to the gate. I became hopeful. She then tried to reprint a boarding ticket but explained that she was “locked out” because it was 15 minutes prior to departure. After another non-productive discussion trying to understand why I was being penalized for checking in online an hour and a half before the flight, she told me that the next flight at 7:15 was oversold by 15 and that she could put me at the bottom of the list. I asked why I couldn’t be put at the top of the standby list because I was still unclear what terms of my ticket I had not met that they could arbitrarily “restrict” me from flying on the full fare ticket I had paid for . She said no, that it was Continental’s policy not to put passengers ahead on the standby list – that I would be placed on the list according to the current time, approximately 5:50 (versus the original time I had checked in at 4:26). I was finally given a reprint of a boarding pass so I could continue through security.

Instead of interrupting a gate agent with my predicament, I proceeded over to the Continental Customer Service booth. I explained the entire situation to a very unsympathetic woman who reiterated that they could not give me priority on the standby list (or credit for the original 4:26 check in time that I had) and that I would have to go at the bottom of the list. I was on the verge of tears when the woman next to her, Ximena, asked if she could maybe help. She called a Beverly and confirmed for me that all my information was in their system – that I had checked in online at 4:26, that I was not issued a seat because the flight was oversold and that I tried to get a reprint of my boarding pass 30 minutes prior to departure. She then called the gate agent working the 7:15 flight and asked, “Can you squeeze one in on #47?” The answer was no, there was nothing Continental could do for me and I was relegated to missing my best friend’s rehearsal dinner.

By the time I made it over to the gate for the 7:15 flight , I heard a couple of names called on the standby list and the gate was locked down for departure. I waited several minutes and then explained my saga to another “red coat” supervisor who was working gate E20. She admitted that she could not state a specific term or policy I did not meet that justified my ticket being “restricted”. She also stated that she was “surprised” the first agent did not just override the restriction and issue me a boarding pass so I could pass through security and on over to the boarding area. My point exactly. I asked if Continental would issue me a voucher for my horrible travel experience and devastation that I had now missed a very special event in my life. She said that only the people on Continental’s “Customer Care” phone line could do that.

Ironically, my husband (at home with our children and my printed boarding pass in his hand) had already been on the phone for at least an hour with “Customer Care” who told him that Continental was justified in restricting my ticket and that I was not entitled to a voucher or any sort of compensation from them. In complete contradiction with the gate agent, they also stated that only “red coat” supervisors could issue travel vouchers if there was a problem with my travel plans.

Needless to say, the whole experience was horrible and I was devastated I had missed a very important event. When I tell this story at dinner parties and such, people always ask, “So did Continental send you a letter apologizing … a travel voucher … some air miles?” And the answer is no, they never even acknowledged the complaint. What stellar “Customer Care”.

It’s too bad United Airlines does not have a bigger presence in Houston because a few weeks later I went to check in for a United Airlines flight at one of their kiosks and the message was simple and honest, “We cannot give you a seat assignment at this time because this flight is oversold. We are requesting volunteers to make alternate travel arrangements. Please see a gate agent if you are interested.” Besides all the heartache of my travel experience with Continental, I was especially insulted by how dishonest they were with me. If you have a choice to fly, fly with an honest airline.


     
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ejack053824 on 2007-06-09:
What a bunch of BS! I would have been livid.
Anonymous on 2007-06-09:
Ejack053824, yeah but you have your "own" plane...
runaway on 2007-06-09:
Checking in as late as you did isn't wise with any airline, and most allow check in via computer as early as 24 hrs. before flight time. Otherwise you run the risk of other's "beating you to it."
You seem to cut it close; you checked in from home only 1 1/2 hrs. before flight time- you should have at the airport at that time, according to Continental's web site (which states that during the hours your flight was scheduled, it takes an average of 1 1/2 hrs. from airport arrival to security to boarding area.)

ZW on 2007-06-09:
Hey runaway - get paid by Continental do ya? What about my 85 year old Grandmother who doesn't have a computer - should her previously assigned, full fare seat be resold an HOUR and a HALF before the flight too? Funny how all the friends and coworkers I've told this story to seem to think Continental has a nice little scam going.
ejack053824 on 2007-06-09:
Superbowl I might have my own plane but every now and then I like for other people to drive.
familytravel on 2007-06-09:
Yikes! I had an issue with Continental about the "over-sold" flight a few years ago too. They were at least friendly about it and I got a voucher though. I would really write a letter or e-mail to Continental or something. Good luck!
runaway on 2007-06-09:
ZW- I only wish I was paid by Continental to sit around on a computer and point out that ON THEIR WEBSITE they state that for the Houston airports during heavy traffic periods (and hey, your flight period was on there) you should arrive 1 1/2 hours early in order to make your flight- and you were still at home.
When I fly with any airline and don't use website check-in, I am at the airport early with a good book - never been bumped yet. Almost every airline overbooks these days, and seats often end up being first come, first served at check-in, unless people are willing to give up their seats for a later flight and a few perks. It's a sad fact of life, for you, your grandmother, and everyone else.
ZW on 2007-06-10:
Runaway - either you have missed the point or you really do get paid by Continental. When you purchase a full fare ticket, no where does it say you are required to read their website (again, a real shame for those without computers). In fact, my actual TICKET only says that there is a boarding requirement to be in the boarding area 15 minutes before departure and a check in requirement of 30 minutes prior to departure. That's it. Oh and if you are fortunate enough to read their website their contract of carriage says they will compensate you $400 if you are denied boarding after you have properly checked in - not put you at the bottom of a standby list and tell you endless lies. Yes, every airline overbooks, but they also compensate their passengers when they do so - not expect them to "race" everyone to the airport or too bad. Like I said, if you have a choice - fly United - or at least some honest airline. General readers - if you live in the Houston area and have a same or similar experience, one of the local network affiliate TV stations is picking this up as an interest story the week of 6/18 so let me know if you would like to be contacted.
runaway on 2007-06-11:
No, you are not required to check a website, but it, IMO, is common sense to check out an airport as busy as Houston to see if there are suggestions/requirements for arrival times at the airport. I often use DIA- they recommend arriving 2 hrs before your domestic flight. What a ticket says and an airport recommends/requires are two different things.
I'm not denying they should have compensated you, just pointing out that there are plenty of ways you could have helped yourself, and arriving at an airport less than 45 minutes before boarding for such an important flight is not one of them.
CO_Employee on 2007-08-27:
As a Continental Employee that works at the ticket counter at Houston's busiest airport (IAH), here is my advice and “insight,” should it matter…

1. Always show up for your flight at least 1 hour prior to departure...longer if traveling during peek travel periods or traveling to an International Destination. These peek periods are:
---Any and all Friday's, Saturday Morning's, Sunday's, and Monday Mornings.
---Prior to, and during, any holiday period.

You are not “checked-in for you flight” until you have your boarding pass ¬and baggage claim checks in hand. If you get in line to “check-in” 40 minutes prior to your flights scheduled departure…you’ve probably missed your flight.

If you are traveling to an International Destination, in most cases a Skycap will not be able to check you in. Avoid the line and the frustration and go directly inside.

Just remember...you're not the only individual or family that wants to "get away" for the weekend or holiday.

2. The practice of “Overbooking” flights is conducted by all commercial carriers.

In the day and age of consumers wanting the lowest fare, most airlines carriers have to fill the aircraft to at least 80% capacity in order to cover the cost of operating a flight. During peak travel periods (see above), most airlines are operating at at least 90% capacity. If you miss your flight…for any reason…your likelihood of getting on another flight that same day may be highly reduced.

To reduce the chances of being placed on the dreaded “Oversold” list…check in the night before. Most airlines will allow you to check-in online at least 24 hours in advance. DO IT. If you don’t have the internet, reserve seats when making your reservations and then CALL the airline 24 hours prior to your departure time to confirm you flight information and seat reservations.

Airlines confirm passengers on a flight…not in a seat. All seat assignments are subject to change. Seats may be reassigned for a number of reasons, up to, and including…accommodating passengers with disabilities, law enforcement officers traveling with prisoners, mothers traveling with children in their laps, Federal Air Marshal’s, etc..

An airline does not “re-sale” a seat if you have missed a cut-off time. Your seat is generally released by the carrier 20 minutes prior to departure and re-assigned to another passenger who is on “standby” for that flight. That standby passenger is usually a paying passenger who missed their original flight or who is hoping to get on an earlier flight.
stanleyrex on 2007-10-11:
Sometimes you will find a very talented person at continental to help you out in bad situations but I assure they are rare. It is all about money and not customer relations as they are just like any other big company they feel they can lose a few here and there and still get by.
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Don't Fly This Airline
Posted by on
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY -- The following is an account of my recent experience with Continental Airlines.
Dear Continental Airlines:
This charge for the change fee of $100 is the last insult that I will endure from your airline. If appropriate steps are not taken to rectify this situation, I will never utilize your airline again. Let me put in writing for you the events that occurred which led up to the charges that I incurred which I will paste at the end of this email.

I was on a continental flight from San Francisco to Newark connecting to flight 94 to Belfast Ireland on Tuesday April 17th 2007. Due to a tragic medical emergency my flight from San Francisco was diverted to Cleveland Ohio to care for the stricken passenger. I expected that I would miss my flight and that Continental would put me on another flight to Belfast. When we finally arrived at Newark International, the flight attendants told me that the Belfast flight had been held for us and that there would be a cart waiting to transport myself and another passenger to the gate. The flight attendants held all passengers from deplaning so that we could exit and there was a cart waiting to transport us. I was so impressed with the service that had been provided to both the stricken passenger and now to myself that I thought I had finally found an airline that cares about its customers. Unfortunately that was not the case.

I arrived at the gate of the Belfast flight to find that the plane was there but that the door to the gate had been closed. I tried to explain to the continental employee that I had been told that the flight had been held for us. She told me that you do not hold flights and that “once I close the door I never open it”. I said the plane has not left, can’t we please get on the flight and she then said “maybe you didn’t hear me, once the door is close it will not be opened”. I watched the plane push back for the gate flabbergasted. The Continental employee then said go to customer service at gate 130 and walked away.

I went to customer service and stood in line for 45 minutes. There were three agents handling many weather delayed passengers. At 10 PM one of the continental agents said you must all go to customer service at gate C1, we are closed. The passenger in front of me became very irate and asked if we would have the same positions in line at the customer service station at the other gate, at which point the continental employee did not respond. We (the 12 passengers still inline) asked to see a supervisor. The three customer service agents closed their kiosks and walked away with no response to us. I was flabbergasted. So I headed off to customer service at gate C1.

When I arrived at customer service there were approximately 45 customers in line. After waiting in line for 10 minutes one of the Continental employees shouted “all passengers standing behind the women holding up the paper (she was about 15 positions ahead of me) will not be helped here. We are closing when we are finished with that customer. The rest of you must go to baggage claim. I am now completely exasperated, but my adventure is just beginning.

I arrive at customer services in baggage claim and wait in line for 20 minutes and finally get to speak one on one with a Continental customer service agent. I begin to tell her how we were diverted, how I missed my flight to Ireland and asked her to assist me with rebooking my flight. She told me that they did not have computers to rebook flights in baggage claim. I then asked her why was I sent there, she told me it was to get my food and hotel voucher. I was beside myself, I have received poor treatment by airlines before, but this was beyond belief. She proceeded to provide me with the vouchers for food and accommodations at the Holiday Inn in Edison NJ. I then took the airport tram to the parking garage to catch a shuttle for the hotel. No shuttle was ever sent, it was now 12:30AM. Two other passenger and I decided to go back to the terminal and take a cab to the hotel. It turns out that Edison NJ was a $50 cab ride from the airport, I could have taken a cab to Manhattan for less money. Once at the Holiday Inn, we were finally treated well and they actually had hot food available for us to purchase with our vouchers. I do not know whether you have ever had a stressful day with only a continental coach seat chicken sandwich as your only food for the entire day, we really appreciated what the Holiday Inn provided. I highly recommend that you said your customer service agents to the Holiday Inn for training.

Now safely in my hotel room I call Continental airlines to see if I can get a flight the next day, the agent states that I am rebooked on the same flight to Belfast the next night. I ask her for my seat assignment. She say I do not have one because the flight is oversold by nine seats and they will need to accommodate those nine passengers first before they can accommodate the 12 passengers who have missed the flight of which I am one. Please keep in mind that my reason to go to Ireland is to see my godson Zack play rugby for the US under 19 national team that next evening. If I do not make that flight then I will miss his game. I ask if they can rebook me on another airline and I am told that I can only do that at customer service at the airport, they cannot rebook me over the phone onto another airline. I am in disbelief at this. I have been turned away twice by the only people that could have helped me. I asked the phone agent if there were any business or first class seats available on the flight. They said that there in only business first and that there is a seat available but that they cannot give it to me. She calls her supervisor and tells me that I can have the seat for an additional $900. Seeing my godson play was the most important thing in the world to me so I gave my credit card and purchased the upgrade. When I returned from Ireland today, I checked my email to find the upgrade charge and a charge for an additional $100 for changing my flight. Are you people out of your minds?

This is the worst experience I have ever had from any airline or service provider of any kind. I insist that you refund me the $100 change flight fee instantly, and if you ever want to have me as a customer again, I highly suggest that you credit the $900 upgrade fee as well. Please see the statement of charges below.



I can be reached at the number below and expect a swift response.

Sincerely,
     
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Pomona Guy on 2007-04-24:
You flew from San Francisco to Ireland just to see your Godson play rugby? And paid $900 extra? I am so impressed. You must really like that guy. I hope he did well in the tournament!
Wazoo on 2007-04-24:
Thank you,
The US team did great finishing third in their division. My godson played extremely well I could not have been prouder.
familytravel on 2007-04-24:
It's awful that Continental didn't tell you about the $100 charge to change. You made the right choice by purchasing a business class seat--you probably wouldn't have gotten on the flight if you hadn't. The only time I've paid that $100 charge is when I have to change the actual dates for my flight. It's wrong that they didn't tell you about it--I hope Continental will pay you for that.
tahiti on 2007-06-20:
It is absolutely ridiculous that you should have to pay a change fee when you didn't even want the change in the first place!
Heart Eternal on 2008-05-14:
This is why I have no trust in this airline, all they doo is seek reasons to take your money.
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Overcharge
Posted by on
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- The Beginning

In late 2005 I booked two tickets from IAH to ORD on Continental using Yahoo Travel. Unfortunately, my father passed and I had to cancel the trip and was issued credits through Yahoo Travel. On June 30, 2006 I called Yahoo to rebook one ticket for my 10-year-old daughter to travel the same route but only this time alone. I told the agent up front it would be a minor child traveling alone and was told it would not be a problem. I was told the price difference would be $58.00 plus $100.00 rebooking fee and I agreed. The Yahoo agent (Jackson) at the time said he was having problems getting a confirmation number but if I would hold he could call Continental directly and obtain one for me. I agreed. After being on hold for a few minutes Jackson came back to inform me that it would be a $50.00 charge each way for the minor child traveling alone. I said that was fine and I would pay when I checked her in. I was put on hold again this time it seemed like a very long time. Since I was at work I decided to check my online banking and if the debit card I gave to buy the ticket was charged I would hang up and just obtain the information later. Much to my surprise there were several pending charges from Continental; one for $158.00, two for $100.00 each and two each for $58.20 so at this point I had no choice but to hold for the agent to return to the phone. When he did before I could relay what I saw Jackson informed me the Continental agent accidentally charged me for the two re-bookings instead of one and a credit would be issued in 24 hours. While I was unhappy about the situation, since the overcharges reduced the available funds in my checking account, I understood.

The Middle
On the following Monday, I checked my account and saw no credit but decided it would probably post at the end of the business day. The following day was July 4th so I did not bother to check. On Wednesday, 07/05/06, I checked my account and once again no credit issued and much to my dismay both $100.00 and $58.20 were posted to my checking account, which put me in an overdraft. At this point I called Continental directly to try to resolve the situation. After a series of prompts and 40 minutes of holding I finally got an agent and retold my story. This agent told me only one credit of $100.00 was issued to me since that was the only amount of the overcharge and it could be up to 6 weeks before I could see a credit appear on my account. I said that was totally unacceptable since it took far less time than that to deduct the payments plus I had proof there was more than that taken out of my account since I was looking at a printout, which my bank faxed to me. She restated it was not possible. At that point I asked to speak to a Customer Service Manager. She put me on hold briefly and came back and said the waiting period was 61 minutes. At this point I asked if the Customer Service Manager could resolve the problem or did I need to speak to someone else and I also needed to discuss the overdraft to my account. I told the Continental agent I had called my bank since the overdraft occurred and the bank told me they would fax me over something and the over draft did occur because of the charges. Your Continental Customer Service Representative told me she had been working there for twenty years and in all that time no NFS charges had ever been refunded. I said I did not care; I was pursuing this because it was not my fault. She restated the holding time and said she could not guarantee I would be able to speak to someone even after 61 minutes because of the bad weather delays across the country hence Continental agents being backed up. I then asked when was the best time to call back. She then told me normally in an hour or two but today she would suggest 9p.m. I attempted to ask if I called back at nine would there be a Customer Service Manager on duty to handle my call but before I could she cut me off and said, “Call back at nine”. We went around and round before I could finally finish my question and when I did she reassured me yes because a customer service manager was on duty 24/7. At this point I hung up. OK –I confess, slammed the phone.

The End
I did call back in the evening on Wednesday and got an agent who was polite enough to listen to my tell of woe before she pass me on to a Customer Service Manager who identified himself as Ed Andrews. He was short and very rude from the beginning and said he saw it noted in the records I refused to hold earlier when told it would be 61 minutes before I could speak to a CSM. Before I could finish saying I did not refuse he cut me off by saying the agent earlier noted when told it would be 61 minutes hold time I refused to hold. I once again said I did not refuse to hold but said I was at work and asked when was the best time to call back. Does that seem unreasonable?

Fast forwarding he did some research and discovered all the proper credits HAD NOT been issued and told me he was doing so at that time. At that point I attempted to relay the fact I felt owed a refund for my over drafts because it was Continental’s fault it occurred. However, before I could finish my sentence he cut me off and said no way was Continental responsible and it was Yahoo’s fault. I told him no because Yahoo told the Continental ticket agent it was a minor child flying along. He said no, that was not the case because he was looking at the computer (God knows that is “the” crystal ball). I said I was there and did not agree with the computer. Why would an agent inform me of the additional fee for a minor flying alone if she did not already know only to rebook only one ticket? I said I felt an honest mistake was made on the Continental side and felt the funds were due back to me from Continental. He continued to say no, it was not Continental’s policy to refund NFS charges (where have I heard that before?) and I would just have to suck it up. At that point I have to admit I lost my composure and started to scream. I felt as if I fell into the “WE SCREW U” department and was talking to the commander in charge. Yes I was livid but still tried to reiterate my point, which is: If the original agent failed to issue all proper credits, which she indicated in the computer system she did, then that would be a mistake. If she made one mistake while booking my ticket would it not be too far fetched to consider she made another? Mr. Andrews response was: “How much longer are you going to keep me on the phone talking about this?” I knew at that point I would get nowhere with this “gentleman” and decided to end the call but not before I said that during this entire ordeal not one Continental employee uttered anything similar to “Ms Johnson I am sorry for your ordeal or for the inconvenience to you.” His reply was dead silence and I hung up with the line of: “This is Customer Service? I think not!!”

I sent previously all the supporting documentation I had concerning this matter to your Customer Care department and have had no response. If the credit has been issued in a timely manner I would not incurred any NSF charges or only the first four totaling $128.00. Now I have been charges two more for $64.00 that I was told just to suck it up.

I have another un-booked ticket that I was going to used to in August but now I am seriously thinking of letting it default because I do not want to encounter this ordeal again.

I work in the travel industry and would be justly fired if I treated a client in the manner I was treated. I find the entire episode quite appalling.

UPDATE
Ten days later and I have received one credit of $100.00 only. I'm royally pissed and will start calling and writing again.
     
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cycolbur on 2006-07-11:
Dispute the charges through your bank tell them it was unauthorized charges. Write a letter and send it certified to customer service. good luck
Anonymous on 2006-07-11:

Continental and Yahoo SUCK!
Anonymous on 2006-07-11:

Continental and Yahoo are BAD!
rhondam718732 on 2006-07-11:
I would be spitting mad if I were you - but, the reason that most companies won't cover NSF fees is because it opens the floodgate - what if you were going to be overdrawn regardless? What if that lack of credit plus something else caused your fees? What if it was solely the lack of credit that caused your fees - is it Continental's responsibility to hope that their customers are not doing business with them when they are down to their last dime or else their mistake may cost them refunds of fees back to their customers? It sucks but it can't be expected that companies cover personal finance fees that are a separate issue - since you knew charges were pending you could have put a claim into your bank ASAP, added $ if available to cover it for the time being, etc.
Nece55 on 2006-07-11:
Rhonda - I understand what you are saying and I am sorry if I cannot afford three ticket charges instead of 1 to be on my account. I had enough for the one ticket plus the outstanding charges I had. My bank faxed me a latter stating that fact. I don't see how I could foresee Continental making that mistake and go, "Oops I better have X amount in the hole or I will be using my overdraft." If that is the case I could never use my debit card. Perhaps that is your point?

The only reason I did not ask the bank to reserve the charge because then the ticket would be cancelled.

I think my biggest outrage was the lack or remorse and "customer service".
familytravel on 2006-07-11:
I would recommend telling your bank it was un-athorized charges. Otherwise write a letter to the largest cororate person you can think of at Continental. I'm sorry Continental was so rude to you, they are usually very good!
Wade Carl on 2006-07-11:
So if I understand this correctly at one point Continental overcharged you $216.40. This put you in overdraft and your bank carged you $128 plus $64 totaling $192 in overdraft fees. Then ten days later Continenal only credited your bank account $100. Which means Continental still owes you $116.40. So altogether this ordeal has monetarily cost you $308.40. That's ridiculous! Continental should not get away with this!

Since its against Continental's policy to not cover NSF charges, maybe they need to warn their debit or check card customers about having $250 - $300 more in there checking account than the transaction will require JUST IN CASE Continental makes any mistakes, which they seem to do.

Outrageous!
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Continental treatment of customers is horrible and beyond explanation BAD!
Posted by on
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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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.
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.
rockfishing on 2010-12-14:
If you show up early and make the flight then you won.'t have these issues. Simple.
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.
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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"Carry On" Traveler Beware
Posted by on
Last month (May 2010) I was scheduled (had purchased a ticket and checked in online a day prior) to fly from Buffalo to Denver via Newark. This was a return flight and, while not happy with the Newark connection, I booked that flight because of cost and scheduling factors. I arrived at the airport over an hour before departure, noted that the flight was on time (monitor in the ticketing area) and, since I was carrying on and had checked in online, went directly to the gate. I chose a seat near the desk and noted that the gate signage indicated the flight was still "on time"; I noted the time as being @1 hour before departure.

Approximately a half hour before the original departure, an agent announced that the flight was delayed due to weather into Newark but that he'd "checked all connections" and we (scheduled passengers) would be fine. I had about 2 hours in Newark so wasn't concerned - at this point.

20 minutes or so later I overheard a passenger talking to the gate agent (I was sitting close enough to hear the conversation) regarding her concerns about making her connection and thought I'd better check -just to be safe. Imagine my surprise when I approached the gate agent, handed over my boarding pass and was informed that they had "put" me on a US Air flight - that had left 20 minutes before - without notifying me. When I asked why they hadn't (notified me), the gate agent told me (repeatedly) that it was because I hadn't checked in at the airport or the desk. (While I was waiting to be rebooked, I heard several passengers being paged for the flight I no longer had a seat on - they'd given it away when they "adjusted" my itinerary - and witnessed them hold the plane for a passenger they had paged repeatedly, who was sitting 50 feet away but had earphones on and took his time gathering his carry on items...but they couldn't page me when they changed my flight?!?!?)

I was eventually (the next day) booked on a Delta flight that, due to weather and plane safety issues, went from Buffalo to Detroit to Charlotte to Atlanta to Denver. My "next" day of travel started at 8:30 am EDT and ended the next day at 1:15 am MDT.

I eventually spoke with a Continental representative (I: tried using their website but was - conveniently?- foiled by a faulty link that wouldn't let me verify my email address and so couldn't be assigned a case number; called and talked to someone who advised me to send a fax; sent a fax; emailed and got a "canned" response; finally got a case number; got a voice mail from someone whom I played phone tag with for a couple of weeks....) and, after explaining what happened, was told that Continental wasn't "responsible" because I didn't notify them (at the airport) that I was there. It didn't matter that I had checked in and had a boarding pass because "a lot of people make reservations and don't show up" and Continental apparently won't page anyone that hasn't made their presence known. According to the representative I spoke with it specifically states in Continental's Contract of Carriage that passengers have to notify the airline that they are in the airport - or all bets - and reservations - are off! Note: the Contract of Carriage DOES NOT say that; it states that the passenger must have checked in AND have a boarding pass AND be present at the gate (15 minutes before departure).

Moral of the story: it may not be" required" but you'd better make an airline representative aware of your presence - or really enjoy sleeping in an airport!
     
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Ever try to change a reservation with Continental?
Posted by on
HOUSTON TX 77253-3046, TEXAS -- On May 9th I went online to Continental.com to make a reservation for a round trip from Tampa to Austin. I mistakenly made the reservation for first class and promptly went to Continental's refund page to find out what to expect. The following was copied verbatim from the link below:

"Effective Aug. 24, 2008, all customers booking travel at Continental.com or Continental Reservations will be required to purchase tickets at the time they make their reservations. Customers will have the flexibility to make changes to reservations within 24 hours without incurring change fees. This includes canceling your reservation and requesting a refund to the original form of payment."

I then called the reservation 800 231 0856 and spoke with Lori, a very nice lady who was working from home. I know this because I could hear her cat meow in the background. She changed my reservation to coach and that the difference would be refunded to the credit card within 48 hours. This was a big deal since the difference was over $600! I got off the phone only after looking up the reservation number and confirming:

a) the seating change from first class to coach.
b) the corresponding price drop.

Everything looked correct, so I got off the phone.

Fast forward to the end of the credit card billing cycle.
Bad News, Continental was still charging for the first class ticket.
Well there must be some mistake that would be easily handled by Continental's exemplary customer service, and promptly. I called the reservation line and confirmed that the ticket was for coach class. When I asked why the charge was for first class, I was advised that the refund could take up to two billing cycles to appear, and that I would have to contact the Refund Department for more information.

Round One:
I then called the refunds department and spoke with Lois first. It really seemed like she did not want to help customers or even be polite. After putting me on "hold", which was actually mute for over 5 minutes without asking, I hung up and called back.

Round Two:
I called back and spoke with Alice, who was very polite and was the only employee who actually seemed to care. She informed me that the refund had "already been processed". When I asked her why it had not shown up yet, she told me that it could take up to two billing cycles for the refund to process. She also stated that I should have never been charged for the first class ticket "per Continental's policy" since I called literally minutes after mistakenly booking the first reservation. Unsatisfied with this response, I asked to speak to a manager.

Round Three:
After about five minutes of hold time, I was put on the phone with June. She did not announce her name at the beginning of the call as phone professionals everywhere do. I only found out here name after saying:

"I'm sorry, I didn't get your name."

To which she replied:

"That's because I didn't say it."

At that point I knew I was speaking with a real piece of work. I advised her politely that I had gone through one rude representative already, and that given the circumstances would appreciate patience or at the very least some empathy for the situation, neither of which I received from June the "refund manager". She curtly asked If I was the cardholder. When I replied that I was not, she said that she could not discuss the reservation with me. I asked her why the two previous reps could, and why I could even make the reservation in the first place since I was not the cardholder. The very weak answer she gave was:

"I can't help it if other reps don't follow the rules, but the cardholder would have to call the credit card company."

"Fine, have it your way." I thought. I called the cardholder, a 65 year old retired widow without any immediate family around her. I conferenced the two together and was absolutely appalled at how rude and condescending "June the Refund Manager" was. She told the cardholder that she should call

"the little 800 number on the back of your credit card"

to resolve the issue, after interrupting her numerous times.

I really could not believe how incompetent and lacking the customer "service" was.

I would not fly free on Continental.

     
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Weedwhacked on 2010-05-25:
In the end it was your mistake and not your credit card. Of course you're going to run into problems when they realized it wasn't your credit card. Cancelling the first reservation will actually do nothing at all. The ticket has to be voided for the charge to not go through. They should know this.
yoke on 2010-05-26:
Was the 65 year old widow aware that you were using her credit card to buy a ticket?
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DFW International Clerk
Posted by on
On April 15, 2010, my wife and children were returning from a visit with family and friends in the USA. We were born and lived in the USA until moving to Honduras four years ago to run an orphanage. Our funding is an equal mix of donations and earnings from my computer programming services. I had traded four weeks of work for airline tickets purchased by a client's credit card reward miles. As it turned out, the miles could only be used to purchase first class tickets. It was the first and probably only time my family will ever fly first class; at least on Continental Airlines.

Although the trip to the USA went smoothly, the return trip was traumatic. At the check in counter of Continental Airlines in Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, my wife and children were greeted by a hostile woman of color. The woman accused my wife of kidnapping because she was taking the children out of the country without a note from the father. She then told my wife the passports were not valid because they were not signed.

Next came the luggage. With first class travel your luggage is normally included. Not so on that day. First of all the same woman/clerk told my wife that there was an embargo and they could not bring the luggage. My wife challenged the clerk on that because she had not heard about an embargo. The clerk looked it up and recanted. The clerk then told my wife that she needed to pay for the luggage and of course it was $25/bag. Since we thought luggage was included with first class travel, my wife was returning with medicines, school supplies and books for the children at the orphanage. Most of the items are not available in Honduras and the things that are available are very expensive imports. For that reason, they were bringing back the maximum amount of luggage (8 suitcases). So the total bill was $200 for the luggage that should have been free.

Finally there was a carry-on suitcase. We'd used the suitcase for seven prior round trips and never had a problem putting it in an overhead bin. On this day the clerk would not allow it. She told my wife that it was too big to carry on and would need to check it. Of course since it exceeded the maximum of eight bags for four passengers, it would cost $100. By this time our three children were in tears and the youngest was asking their mother why the woman was so mean. They saw that other people were carrying on larger bags than the one we were forced to check in. They knew that $300 was enough to feed the children for several weeks. They knew that I had worked four weeks to pay for the supposedly first class tickets. My wife knew that at 4:30 AM and without a phone, there was no way to leave the luggage behind because she could not call anyone to pick up the suitcases without missing their flight.

So pay we did. We asked Continental for a refund but again, it appears their web site includes misinformation (lies) about luggage and first class travel. In fact, the clerk asked my wife where she got the information about luggage inclusion with first class. My wife told her that she clicked on the link that she received with her ticket via email. The clerk told her that the link was invalid because they were no longer Continental Airlines. They had changed to "Star Alliance". So both their web site and emails contain misleading information (lies).

It's best to steer clear of Continental Airlines. At the very least beware of the Continental Clerk at DFW Airport. The same woman has harassed other friends of ours in the past. Our friends were also travelling with children. She also harassed an African American Woman while my wife was leaving. Seemed to be trying to force her to buy a ticket for her 16 month old son. She seems to have an affinity for Arab Men. They were allowed to carry on luggage that far exceeded the one we were forced to check in at $100.
     
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Anonymous on 2010-05-17:
I was on your side until the last paragraph.
Ben There on 2010-05-17:
Same here yaya.
Weedwhacked on 2010-05-17:
"So the total bill was $200 for the luggage that should have been free." Nothing is free anymore. I worked for an international airline before and the "clerk" was right, passports need to be signed. If your children can't write their name then you need to do it for them. Medicines? They're actually cheaper in other countries over the U.S.
rentaprogrammer on 2010-05-17:
No, medicines, soaps, shampoos etc are much more expensive in Honduras. Yes, you can buy prescription antibiotics for less here, but only because they do not give you the full dose that you would take in the USA. There is a 30% import tax in Honduras so you really have to take advantage of luggage.

Continental.com states that luggage is included with first class (business class, connoisseur class etc) airfare. Read it.
samlgsk on 2010-09-27:
Luggage is included in First Class ticket. Even Elite status gets to send luggage free. I guess some people never traveled internationally before.
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Didn't even fly yet and already a terrible experience
Posted by on
Didn't even fly yet and I already getting shafted by Continental. Truly amazing. OK so here goes. This review is in regards to not only customer service, but point one pass mileage discrepencys and just plain information discrepency over all.

On 10/11/09 I called up Continental international customer service number for cities in other international locations at the number of 800.231.0856. I had actually called this number a total of 4 different times and each tie I received basically completely different information trying to use onepass miles for international flight. The information discprepency is as follows.

I would be flying from Los Angeles to Saigon Vietnam. The first call that I made was with a gentleman that after a looooooong time stated that there was a flight available at the price of 110,000 points. I thanked him very much and hung up. Called back again less than a minute latter and spoke to a gentleman named Manual. He found in a short time that there was nothing available at all. After sounding depressed thinking mybe the seat sold out already or what ever, he then ended up finding a seat after all. It would normally cost 70,000 miles round trip in coach however there was only a coach seat there, and a business class seat available on the way back. This would make the total mileage 95,000 round trip. Called back again less than a minute later and spoke to a woman named Jenny. Right off the bat she stated that there looked to be nothing available for the dates mentioned and none that she could forsee in the immediate future. She was VERY dis interested and short in her words as far as wanting to help me. I had mentioned that I had just spoken to someone one and her exact words were "Well let me tell you something. They are looking at the EXACT same thing that I am looking at OK. We have the same exact system and computer set up so I guarantee you what I'm telling you is what is available trust me". I never even heard any computer keys being pushed like I had on all the other operators. On my last call again less than a minute later I got a girl named Mary. She was very nice. She stated that there was availablility and that the round trip was 70,000 miles as well as coach also being available round trip no problem.

Discrepencys every single call. Wow what the hell is going on here. I flew with China airlines before and everything was a complete breeze. Its a shame we get shown up on so many things in life by other countries including in this case flying.

Ps. if you book less than 21 days in advance be prepaired to pay $75.00. Good Luck playing roulette everyone! I'm flying China airlines again. It was beautiful. My ass don't trust discrepencys for the haul of over 30+house round trip and changin planes etc no way. What a crap company really surprised.
     
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Ben There on 2009-10-12:
Continental Airlines is switching alliances from the smaller Skyteam to Star Alliance later this month. While Star Alliance has many more options to and within Asia, I would bet that the reservation agents are not that familiar with them yet as they are still booking Skyteam Airlines like Delta, Air France and Korean. Until they have finally switched over completely in November, I bet a lot of callers are getting inconsistent messages as is common anytime a company makes a big system change.
Anonymous on 2009-10-12:
Just book it the first time you speak to an agent and you won't have to deal with this. Airline prices can change at any time. Yes, even in one minute.
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Totally Disappointed - Pathetic Customer Service
Posted by on
IAH to EWR - Flight 62 2.25pm Oct 9, 2009 (original flight), Flight 50 (actual flight)
EWR to BOM - Flight 48 8.20pm Oct 9, 2009
Onepass No: BC958961

Due to bad weather in Houston, all the flights were delayed by at least 2-3 hours. With that in mind, I changed my flight from 2.20pm to 1.25pm so I have enough room for transfer even if the flight is delayed. After several gate changes and several boarding passes later, I finally landed at gate C14 with a confirmed reservation to EWR. But since that flight was delayed, I was told by one of the reps at the gate that I was protected - which in layman language means I had a hotel reservation for the night since I was going to miss my flight to India. SO assuming that I was going to stay in the hotel at Newark, I was preparing myself to stay there and then try to see if I find any other flight to get to BOmbay ASAP.

Now, the lady at the gate C14 told me that I can talk to a Red Coat professional or go to Customer service once I am in EWR and they can help me go further from there. So, when I landed, I saw a Red Coat professional and she suggested that I go to the Customer service for hotel reservations as well. So, I did. Here too, after waiting in line at different Customer service lines, I landed at the one near gate C133 which, we were told, would be open until midnight. So, I, along with other people from my flight who needed help with connections etc, waited in line until my no. came up. Now, while waiting in the line, I realized to my horror that the boarding pass I had (from IAH to EWR) was actually on some other person's name who unfortunately shared the same last name as me - SHAH. When I was up next, I was told that my reservation had been canceled. Why? Because I TOOK THE WRONG BOARDING PASS, not because I WAS GIVEN A WRONG BOARDING PASS. Oh and it just gets better now.

Besides having a wrong boarding, I was told by the representative (some Ms. Susan G) at 11.30 in the night at C133 that there is NO RECORD of ANY HOTEL BOOKING ON MY RESERVATION. I WAS NOT PROTECTED. And, they do not do any Hotel reservations ANY MORE. They do it only for First Class and Elite members. They do not do it for someone who has been stranded on the airport and missed an international flight for no particular fault of her own. The flight's technical fault is also her personal problem. Finally, after spending about 12 hours on the airports, they say they can not help me. All they could do was tell me that I can book a hotel when I go downstairs and contact Ground Transportation. Oh that is so very helpful. I could not have proceeded with any help from you.

I am a ONEPASS member with Continental for at least 4 yrs now and I have already used one reward reservation flight before and now I took the International flight to Bombay thinking that they were good. Don't think I would like to say that anymore. I have already contacted the customer service by phone and she has documented every detail that I could recollect. But I still thought I should leave an online feedback for some other souls who blindly believe that Continental is still the best to fly with. After I come back from Bombay in 3 weeks, I am going to redeem all my miles from Continental and make sure that I DO NOT FLY WITH "CONTINENTAL" ANY MORE. AND I AM GOING TO POST THIS ON AS MANY FEEDBACK WEBSITES AS I KNOW. AND OF COURSE WARN ALL LIVING SOULS I KNOW.
     
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Ohreally! on 2009-10-10:
No airline gives hotel rooms, for weather delays, not first class not elite. You even said " I assumed" you would get a hotel room. No one told you would get one. What does in "layman's language" mean? I find the wrong boarding pass hard to believe, you must have passport to leave country and passport is checked with boarding pass. You got on the flight in Houston to Newark but then realized that the name was wrong in Newark? If you had to make a missed connection esp if it is overseas you would have gotten another boarding pass. And there was no "technical problem" weather is not a technical problem, you were too cheap to get a hotel room in Newarrk and thought the airline should change its rules for you.
Anonymous on 2009-10-10:
Erm...yes, airlines do give vouchers for hotels, food, etc for weather delays. granted, they have to be huge delays...but it does happen.
Anonymous on 2009-10-10:
Here you go, from their website. Look under 'right to care" for an explanation of when they provide hotel vouchers:
http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/content/travel/destination/international/co_eu_denied_policy.2007111401.pdf
Ohreally! on 2009-10-10:
You are right raven, but she started in Houston, the delay was not in Newark. No where in her complaint did anyone tell her she would get a room, she assumed, from her complaint the delay looks like it may have been 2 hours. 2 hours is on time nowadays. If she would be weather delayed in Houston they would have just sent her home.
Anonymous on 2009-10-10:
OHreally...your post stated:"No airline gives hotel rooms, for weather delays, not first class not elite."

That statement is incorrect. THAT is what I was responding to.
Ben There on 2009-10-10:
Continental does not give free hotels for weather delays.
Anonymous on 2009-10-10:
They do if it's over four hours and otherwise qualifies, Ben There. See the document I posted. The OP's delay was not long enough to qualify.
PepperElf on 2009-10-10:
ben - ooo if they did it'd be a great way to scam a free room. just book when you know the weather's going to be too unsafe to fly

which of course is why they can't do it
Ben There on 2009-10-10:
Actually they don't do anything for weather regardless of the hours. I have linked the contract of carriage - read rule 24, section F, subsection c. It is on page 35 of the pdf: http://www.continental.com/WEB/EN-US/content/co_contract_of_carriage.2009080101.pdf
Ben There on 2009-10-10:
LOL PepperElf - I have seen some of the hotels by airports, I don't know if I would take that risk:)
Anonymous on 2009-10-10:
Well ben, your document and my document seen to contradict each other. Both from the same airline's webpage. Very interesting.

My only personal experience in this situation is with United,. They DID provide hotel vouchers for a 6-7 hour weather dealy. I didn't have to ask, either, they automatically did it.
Ben There on 2009-10-10:
That is definitely not the norm Raven - you got lucky! Did you happen to be in first class? I know United is one of the few airlines that gives hotels to first class passengers regardless of the reason.
Anonymous on 2009-10-10:
Nope, was business class. Unexpected blizzard. Big fat hairy mess.
Buddy01 on 2009-10-10:
raven, it seems that your document refers to European Union flights on Continental. It is in the first paragraph.
Anonymous on 2009-10-10:
O.ooooo you're right, buddy. All I did was go to their site map/search and type 'voucher". That was the first link I came across.

Shame on me for not performing due diligence.
Anonymous on 2009-10-10:
Being "protected" on a flight means if you don't get on a "tight" flight {loads, connection time} you still have a seat assignment for a later flight.
CO's red coats are a bit different than DL's red coats. CO's are there to ensure ops go smoothly and don't have supervisory decision capacity.
You might want to rethink your decision to not fly with CO to India in the future...the coach product to India with most airlines can be a lot worse.
dan gordon on 2009-10-10:
you can post to your little hearts content but in your first paragraph you talk about a weather delay, so no airline is going to help you when the delay was due to weather.
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Worse Experience I Ever Had
Posted by on
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 there 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 new born 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 friends 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 theres 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 fiances 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 worse 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 an 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 its not something that I do but I was really treated like dirt by this airline and I want the nation to know about it.
     
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Ben There on 2009-05-20:
Do both emails have the same confirmation code? If not, it sounds like she made two reservations. One that included the flight on March 20 which was somehow put on courtesy hold but not purchased (hence the email with a reminder that it is not confirmed), and another which she actually purchased with a flight on March 19.
Anonymous on 2009-05-20:
That could be ben, or the airline made a schedule change, notified by email, and the OP never checked the email until day of travel
Soaring Consumer on 2009-05-21:
Strange, you get an email that your flight is scheduled for the 20th, then another that you are scheduled for the 19th, then a confirmation that you are scheduled on the 20th?

As far as I am concerned, you scheduled the 20th, and got a confirmation for the 20th, and probably assumed the email for the 19th was a computer error.

I suggest you try contacting their higher ups:
http://www.elliott.org/help/continental-airlines/
maverick312 on 2009-05-21:
like I said I was going to do this morning when my fiance arrived at the airport that I was going to call the corporate office letting them know the situation so I can get everything resolved. I explained to them that she received 2 flight schedules for the 19th and the 20th, both flights having the same confirmation number for 2 different days when originally was set for the 20th. once again they told us that we set it for the 19th when we had the proof that it was set for the 20th. while I was discussing my information with corporate my fiance was trying to get her ticket from the front counter at the airport. they told her they have a flight leaving out today but from a airport 30min away but you will still have to pay a penalty charge. by this time corporate had made it clear to me that she pays NOTHING!!!!! she is to get on the plane today and be here by tonight. I get off the phone with corporate and back on with my fiance informing her on what to due to get her on the flight. the customer service rep understood and begin not to fight us anymore and her flight is confirmed to leave today. even though the situation has been resolved, I still believe that all this could have been dodged if continental's customer service could have been more caring then being some butt heads but either way everything is OK now and I will not fly with them again
Ben There on 2009-05-21:
I suggest that the OP checks the confirmation numbers before going on this crusade. If each email has a different number, his fiancee made the mistake. I am familiar with the Continental website and it is possible to put a booking on hold that is not confirmed until paid. If it is the same confirmation number then Continental probably had a schedule change - if that was the case they would probably not have charged fare difference.
rudybjr on 2009-05-21:
It sounds like your own mistake in booking the flight. You mention someone elses computer that didn't immediately give you a confirmation. Nothing is ironic about the same flight the next day (its usually the same flights everyday, with some exceptions.) Although you're not lying this error is not the airline's fault. All fees should apply, be more careful next time.
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