MASSACHUSETTS -- Flight originated in Honolulu, HI with a destination of Newark, NJ. Departed HI at 9:35 pm Hawaii time and flight was 9.5 hours. I was seated in 35F. A young girl in seat 35E and her mother in seat 35D. Flight was 9 hours and I repeatedly was awakened by the thrashing of the sleeping girl. She would hit and kick me in her sleep. Several times I would wake with her face buried in my left arm, her face on my lap or both her feet on my lap. I had woken her mother twice to have her daughter sit up but this was of no help.
I contacted a flight attendant and explained to her the problem. I then asked her if she could please ask the mother to switch seats with her daughter. The flight attendant looked at the mother and daughter and very sarcastically said, "They're sleeping. I'm not waking them up!" and walked off. I was both shocked and very frustrated as I had not gotten very much sleep sitting next to someone who continually hit and kicked me while I tried to sleep! I tried to get the flight attendant's name so that I could include it here in my complaint but her hair was covering her name badge. She was of Asian descent and wore no glasses.
I submitted my complaint to CA asking for the company to address this situation with the attendant so that this isn't repeated. The flight attendant was both rude and unprofessional to me and this behavior towards passengers is not appropriate. A 4 weeks later I received the following email (in quotations):
"Thank you for contacting Continental Airlines. I apologize for the delay in responding to you. Our email volume has been heavy and we are catching up as quickly as possible. I was very sorry to read that you had such an unpleasant experience on your return flight from Honolulu to Newark Liberty on September 18, 2007. I understand your frustration and I apologize."
"While your request of the flight attendant was not part of her required duties, certainly she could have handled the situation better, as there is no excuse for rudeness from any Continental employee. Our employees are expected to treat passengers with dignity and respect at all times. I regret that this was not your experience. I have forwarded an internal Customer Care report regarding this, to the management personnel responsible for review and corrective action. I am confident that every effort will be made to identify the flight attendant and address the issue with her."
"For future reference, if you ever have situation like this occur again, you are more than welcome to change seats as long as the seat belt sign is not let. I did check flight 14 and found that there were empty seats on the flight. Thank you for choosing Continental Airlines. You are a valued customer and your business is appreciated."
I replied to the email stating that I appreciated forwarding the Customer Care report regarding this matter and that I would appreciate a follow up as to the corrective action and identification of the flight attendant in this matter. A few days later I received the following email (quotations):
"Unfortunately due to privacy laws we do not disclosed any corrective actions taken with our employees and we will not be able to get back with you concerning this matter. The corrective action taken will depend upon the service record of the employee, and it is up to her supervisor as to what will be done. Again, thank you for writing. Please accept our sincere apology for the circumstances you described. Your comments are appreciated since this is one of the best ways we have of knowing which areas need additional attention. We hope you will continue to make Continental your airline of choice."
To cap, I don't know if I'd fly Continental Airlines again. I'm not sure if it's not worth flying with an airline who just emails their customers an apology and where there is no way for the customer to know if anything has been really done to correct the matter. What assurances can a customer expect that this employee will be addressed regarding the matter? I really have no way of knowing when told that I would not have anyone to get back to me on this matter.
It would be nice to receive an apology from the flight attendant who was rude to me to begin with, but I know that won't ever happen. Which is why I wish more airlines would consider hiring people not only qualified to do their job but folks who also have a friendly personality. I can assure you that this flight attendant was in no way friendly to me.
I do hope that this employee is told to behave more appropriately. Also, if this type of situation occurs, the flight attendant could've suggested a move instead of being rude. I didn't know I could've requested another seat. If the flight attendant had told me I could have changed seats, I would've done so immediately! Instead, I had to deal with her rude behavior.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA -- I have frequently visited this page and felt the need to share my horrible experience with Continental that ended today. I am a recent college grad and moved from Cleveland to South Florida. I wanted to go home for Thanksgiving, so I bought a ticket a couple of months before Thanksgiving to avoid a high price. I have a small dog that I wanted to bring home so I called Continental to bring him as an in-cabin pet. I had purchased a travel bag for him that was the exact dimensions that Continental had on their website that pets must be in. When I called on 11/15 and they said it would be a $190 dollar charge, which was fine.
They checked to see if there was room (bc only a limited number of animals can fly) and they ran my credit card over the phone. They also assigned me aisle seats on my arriving and departing flights. After they ran my credit card, they told me that pets must be under 10 lbs. Well, my dog is 13 lbs, but he fit well within the specified dimensions. There is also nothing on the website about the weight limit for pets. I asked if he would be OK to fly and they said it was up to me but there was a chance he wouldn't fly. The lady was sort of rude, but I figured whatever, her job sucks so I let it go.
I thought about it for a couple days and I decided to just board my dog instead of risking it on Continental bc if we didn't get on the flight, I was going to miss Thanksgiving with my family. So I called on 11/17 and told them that I was cancelling my pet's ticket bc I thought it was too risky and I wanted to make sure I was not preventing someone else from boarding a pet. The lady was very nice, definitely elderly, and I was happy to learn they would refund the $195, although I thought it was strange they would be mailing it to me instead of putting it back on my VISA. A few more days pass and it is Tuesday 11/20 and I leave the next day.
I am packing and then I think about my reserved aisle seats and hope that I didn't lose those bc I cancelled my pet's reservation. So I call Continental and speak to this nasty woman who tells me my ticket has been cancelled and they are giving me a refund and that is all she will tell me. She is incredibly rude and talks over me when I tell her that I never cancelled my ticket. All she offers to do for me is to rebook my ticket. I keep saying "No, I don't need my ticket rebooked. I need my cancelled ticket to be reinstated". There is no way I was going to pay for another ticket two days before Thanksgiving.
I ask for her manager, she puts me on hold for 15 minutes and hangs up on me. I call back and get a polite man, who tells me that he sees that I had only cancelled my pet's reservation but for some reason, my entire reservation has been cancelled. He puts me on hold to see if he can get me reinstated. After almost half an hour, he tells me the good news that my ticket has been reinstated and the $195 would be going back on my VISA. I was so happy bc I really thought I was going to get screwed by Continental. Fast forward to my flight, I of course get a middle seat bc that is all that was left when my ticket got reinstated, but I can deal.
On the way back to FLorida, I sit in a two-seat section and the seat next to me is empty. This is perfect because I am exhausted. Right before takeoff, a flight attendant tells me that someone's seat is broken and she will need to sit a gentlemen in the seat next to me. I prefer aisle so I get up to let the person in and it is seriously a 400-pound man. I give the attendant a dirty look but I don't want to look like a jerk so I let the guy in. HE can't fit the divider down and he is halfway in my seat. I try to sit down, but the only way I can sit down is if I am fully turned in the aisle and even then I can feel his fat against my back.
It was so uncomfortable and the attendants kept banging the drink cart in to me, but I seriously could not move in. To make it worse, he was sweating and had body odor. I finally land and figure I will just sleep everything off. SO I wait almost two weeks for my refund (I was told I would have it in 3-7 days). I call today to see where it is. The main reservation line says that they will have to transfer me to the refund department. The first lady says she shows it was refunded already and to call my credit card company. I say no, and she abruptly puts me on hold and then hangs up on me.
I call the reservation line again to be transferred (bc I didn't write the refund line # down) and the girl tells me she cannot transfer me bc it is an 800 number and acts like a snot when I tell her I was just transferred. At this point, I am sick of these stupid Continental games so I tell her she's a moron and that it sucks to have her job, and hang up. Not very mature, I know.
I call the reservation line again and am transferred again to a polite girl who sees that there is a refund request in the system as of 11/17, it has just not been processed. Of course not, why would it be? She says she will make sure it is processed today so we will see if I get it back on my visa in the next couple of weeks. But I will definitely never fly Continental again after that headache.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- The vice president of our company was on her way to attend a function with first lady Laura Bush when something very unfortunate happened. I've heard of luggage being lost between flights or searched for security reasons, but never a carry-on being removed without informing the passenger, and then the carry-on seeming to disappear completely. Please read Ms. **'s account of what happened and how Continental Airlines was able to misplace a carry-on filled with valuables so carelessly.
Continental Airlines recently lost a bag of mine filled with irreplaceable possessions. This bag was a carry-on- not checked, a carry-on- bag and was moved without my knowledge or permission from the overhead bin. No one has seen the bag since. This took place on my way to Rhode Island to attend the graduation ceremonies for members of the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women.
Due to the formal nature of the events, I had packed some good clothes and jewelry and decided to take everything in one carry-on. The space in the overhead compartment above my seat was taken so a flight attendant helped me stow my bag a in an overhead compartment a few rows away. After the plane was taxiing on the runway, I was informed that the Continental staff had moved my bag- supposedly to the lower storage area of the plane.
In order to find whose bag it was, the Continental staff had gone into my suitcase and from my purse they got my return ticket and my name! Yet they did not have enough sense to at least give me my purse or to see if I needed anything (such as my medication) or wanted anything (such as my jewelry) from the bag. Although they knew from my ticket that I had a connecting flight in New Jersey, they still didn't gate check my bag, which would have allowed me to retrieve it upon exiting the plane to make my connection to Providence. Instead, they told me that they had checked it all the way through to Providence and handed me a handwritten number.
Unsurprisingly, the bag vanished, along with my jewelry. This is the most bizarre action I've ever known an airline to take with respect to a passenger's carry-on luggage, and may well be the most egregious case of airline carelessness you have heard. Still, it doesn't stop here. Now Continental is claiming no responsibility and have retained Fulbright and Jaworski to fight me. They asked for receipts of all items over $100 which I told them I did not have, so- per their request and suggestion- I supplied them with credit card statements and personal letters from store managers who have records of my purchases.
I thought that Continental had agreed to honor this information, but absolutely nothing came of it. They took entirely unnecessary, unapproved, unilateral action over which I had no control and which directly resulted in the loss of my property. There was nothing I could have done to prevent this, and now they choose to pay exorbitant legal fees rather than compensate me for the loss they caused.
I've been looking into the airline regulations behind which Continental is shielding itself, which led me to the folks at the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in Washington, D.C. Unless something like this happens, little do we realize how the airlines have us cornered. I learned the hard way. No one should have to go through this. Please help pass the word around to all you know... many, many thanks!
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA -- BEWARE FLYING CONTINENTAL FROM PITTSBURGH! Yesterday I had the, without a doubt, worst experience of my 20-plus career flying - not just on Continental, but on ANY airline. Upon boarding the 1st flight of the day from Pittsburgh to Houston, a verbal announcement was made (the PA system is faulty), asking if there were any more "confirmed seat holders" yet to board. I approached the check-in desk with my boarding pass and was told to board. Since the line boarding was still all the way out the jet bridge I told the Continental desk check-in person ** (Supervisor #**) that I was going to step across the way and quickly go to the restroom before boarding.
I was told I could not and that my seat would be given away and the door closed, forfeiting my being allowed to board the flight. Upon returning in less than 2 minutes, I was banished from the flight, my seat was given away and the door opened again to allow standby passengers to board. None of this had any bearing on the flight's departure as no baggage was involved, nor did my wishing to utilize the facilities in the airport alter the standard boarding procedure in any way. I know this to be fact because I recently surpassed the half-million mile career mark with Continental and am currently listed as a GOLD member in their frequent flier club.
Since I do fly regularly, I'm well aware of the standard practices. I was shocked at the treatment I received - to the degree several other passengers offered me their contact information in the event they may be of assistance in confirming what transpired. Upon recovering from what happened at the boarding station, I then went back to the gate agent to see what options I would now have to endure. Both the agents working the main gate conveyed having seen similar treatment from ** previously. The original flight was scheduled to depart at 5:50 am.
After not being able to board the next two flights via standby status (8 am & 11:30 am) I was finally granted a seat on a 2:30 pm departing flight. The other agents expressed their sincere apologies, I was offered a meal voucher. I actually felt bad for them to have to work under such tyrannical conditions.
Above my own concerns - I came away from it all thankful I am healthy enough to have only wished to pee before standing another 20 minutes in the jet bridge. I couldn't help think of someone less healthy that may have needed the contend with a more serious medical condition. My advice when travelling out of Pittsburgh would to be to dehydrate yourself or better yet AVOID flying Continental.
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 restroom. 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.
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're inactive here. 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 a long 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 night 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 REINS ON THESE CULPRITS. If there is a way to successfully sue them, we will be in line.
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.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- On 7/20/2010 flew in from Richmond on Flight CO2443 to Cleveland arrived in Cleveland 4:10, departure from Cleveland to Pittsburgh on flight CO8795 5:45 arriving in Pittsburgh 6:34. FIRST announcement plane delay 1/2 hour due to mechanical problem plane in Erie. SECOND announcement plane not ready. Allow approx another hour. THIRD announcement another plane will be flown in for use approx an hour. FOURTH announcement plane arrived being fueled will board in 15 minutes. FIFTH announcement plane doesn't have a crew. SIXTH announcement found a Captain, will be approx 2 hours till he arrives.
One young lady was visibly upset but not out of control, she had been at the airport six hours and her family have been sitting in Pittsburgh to pick her up. Was told to calm down or security would be called. After all of this there were several empty seats on a flight leaving 8:30 and she along with the other couple with children and the elderly couple were placed on this plane. Why couldn't this had been done earlier?
There were five individuals left waiting. We inquired about renting a car and being reimbursed and driving to Pittsburgh with all five going together. We were told not possible! We were told that if the plane didn't leave the gate we would be put up overnight at a hotel. The plane did take off with only five individuals on. We waited six plus hours for a 24 minute flight. Do you consider this reasonable, I don't.
Also, I booked through an agency who updated me continuously on my cell of delays and they were ahead on times than what we were being told at the gate. If the representative told us 1/2 hour delay, my message was an
hour delay with a departure time. Later the board would announce a time with the one hour delay. Unbelievable. Where is the communication, where is customer consideration? Would I fly this airline again? NO, would you?
Today I talked to Continental airlines reps for good 3 hours (was on hold for about an hour). probably with10 people including supervisors. Here's my story. I'm a dental student who planned to go to Mexico for mission trip this July. Actually my school goes to mission trip every year to help under-served population all over the world. There are about 20 of us for this Mexico trip. When my school planned this trip (early this year), the area we were about to go was not affected by drug cartel violence.
But local contact Dr. recently contacted my school and told us that the area is not safe anymore. So my school had to change the site to Dominican republic. When we first planned Mexico mission trip, almost everyone in my mission trip had to apply for extra student loans to cover the cost. Yes, the cost is 100% out of students' pockets and yes, we borrowed money to help other people.
So, all of us was trying to get at least $150 change fee waived by the Continental airlines. All of us booked our tickets with Continental airlines. Each of us try to contact customer service and get the $150 change fee waived. A few of us got lucky, and had really nice lady reps, and got their fee waived, but A lot of us, including myself, had terribly bad experience with customer service reps.
My classmates told me they talked to the reps and explained the situation. Apparently the nice reps and supervisors in some areas of the U.S. put our situation in the system so that other students can get the fee waived when they call later. Guess what. I explained whole situation by using most polite and nice way, even using my classmates' confirmation numbers to help them understand the situation.
The reply was" the exception was made by error and we can't do anything about it." I just couldn't understand why other people in my program got their fees waived, but not ME. So I called and called hoping "maybe I can talk to someone nice enough to understand the situation and willing to make exception for me too." No. that never happened.
So I asked my friend to call for me. He called and the first representative was EXTREMELY rude, she didn't even tell him her name. She just said, "I'm Miss Harris." When my friend asked for her supervisor, she said she can't transfer his call. The climax of her rudeness was... She even said, "why don't you and other people in the program cheap in 10 dollars for her fee!!!"
What kind of customer service is this? No respect for customers, just terrible service, and Continental airline the ticket price was even more expensive than other airlines. I just can't forget Miss Harris's response. My friend had to call again and the next person finally understands our situation and waived my fee.
I have been flying Continental whenever possible in the last 5+ years, since the service used to be much better than other airlines. They were the last ones to serve real food, were reliable and friendly, and so on. Unfortunately, that is not true anymore -- their service has gotten a lot worse and is now comparable to, or perhaps worse than, other airlines. At the beginning of the year, we made reservations for 4 separate trips. Within 3 months, they canceled or changed flights for 3 of these 4 trips so that we needed to rebook. They notified us only about one of these changes, the others we saw by chance.
All rebooked flights or connections got a lot worse; in one case, they did canceled the only international departure, and we were forced to stay a day longer, or leave a day earlier. There are lots of other changes in the last 12 months, too -- all of them to the worse. Their "meals" have turned to sandwiches, and special meals are not offered anymore. In-flight entertainment, which was never great, is now DirecTV for $6. Baggage fees have gone up to match what other airlines charge. Service has gotten a lot less friendly than it used to be.
Using frequent flier miles for tickets is often impossible, even 6-9 months in advance and with flexible travel dates; when something is available, it's usually not at the lowest (and most advertised) miles, but instead requires about twice as many miles. Overall, Continental has managed to reach the low level of other airlines, with the occasional nasty surprises like multiple canceled flights. For future flights, Continental will be only on my "also consider" list, instead of occupying the preferred spot. If the decline on service quality continues along the current trajectory, Continental will probably soon be on the "only if nobody else flies there" list.