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 understand 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 DirectTV 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.
My wife, son and daughter in law took a trip to Europe to visit some relatives. The Customer Service Agents did a stellar job to get them to their destination, except for "attitude hell" in Heathrow, they made it to their destination albeit not on time. My wife remained for a longer period, then the following took place, 1) her arrival in the US was changed from Newark to Houston, which we thought was great as it was much closer to her final destination in San Antonio. On the departure date, she went to the overseas airport, checked it and was given a boarding pass for a flight to Houston and then to San Antonio. Life is good, except my sister in law notices that the flight does not go to Houston any more, it terminates in Newark. So an agent had to track my wife down and changes the boarding passes. Then comes the arrival in Newark, the love of Continental's life, a plane change, however, the incoming flight is NOT ON TIME. Ergo another hour in the Newark terminal. I have traveled through Newark several times and have had "Mechanical Delay" every time I have been there, which means schedules are tossed out and delays occur. 2) the alleged incoming arrival delay will cause her to miss another flight and we can only hope she will arrive in San Antonio the same day. Why Continental has a strong bond, yea love affair with Newark is beyond me. Of course the travelers will never know why the plane, which obviously was in good repair as it was in the air, had a schedule changed to land in Newark. Could it be that Continental would have actually met a schedule if they had gone to Houston? Finally 3) as a result of stopping in Newark, having another (although not unusual delay) my wife was removed from Business First to coach for the trip across the US. Way to go Continental!
I have had to wear a neckbrace following an injury and previously booked a non refundable vacation to San Juan PR. They informed us at the gate that the plane we would be departing on would be 40 minutes late boarding. That meant instead of an hour between flights we only had 15 minutes. Because of my recent injury, running to the gate to catch a flight was not an option. The ticket agent said since there were 6 in our family, and obviously I was in no shape to go to the gate which was two concourses away and on the other side of the airport, she would request a golf cart for our family. When we got off the plane in Houston it was a free for all, the agents had my name on their record that the cart would take us to the gate, but it was a free for all of healthy passengers pushing ahead and when I asked the gate agents to please inform the person driving the cart it was for me (still in this awful neck brace), they just said, "guess you'll have to figure this one out," and left. One guy reluctantly got off the cart and my family never made the plane in time, I barely did, they lost my luggage with all my medicines in it, promised to deliver it this morning. It's presently 9:30 pm and my husband had to run around trying to get the prescriptions, pay extra since insurance won't cover it for early refills, and our 5 bags of luggage is no where in sight. If that wasn't bad enough, before boarding, a little man without a name tag behind the counter tried to tag a mini hand made Baby Taylor guitar that fits in the overhead (only thing I was carrying), and when I backed away, saying, please don't touch my things without telling me what you're doing, he started being hostile and threatening, insisting it be thrown in baggage. I ripped off the tag when he was out of sight and there was plenty of room on that plane for storage. What is wrong with the airlines since 911? They don't give a rip about the paying customer and have power trips. I don't ever want to fly again. Take a local trip friends, and dig your heels in against these airlines.
I just got back from a trip to Riviera Maya without my bag but it begins with my short trip there. After leaving Pittsburgh on time, we were delayed about 10 minutes to de-ice. No problem, I was more than happy to be de-iced. However, this 10 minute delay gave us only 30 minutes to connect in Houston. Impossible, especially with the wrong departure gate printed on my ticket. Yes, I should have stopped and looked at the screen to verify the departure gate BUT don't they usually call out gate changes on the plane or at least have an attendant there to help all those late passengers. Everyone missed their connection. I stood at customer service with the other passengers listening to each representative give each one of us different options for getting to Cancun. I was told I had to wait for 5 hours. I insisted on standing by on the next flight, in about 1 hour. I luckily got on this flight, or so I thought. The Captain took us to the tarmac and then thanked us for our patience. We were to wait for a part that he was to deliver to another plane in Cancun. We waited 1 hour. The return trip left us waiting again in Houston because a compartment door was left open and we had to taxi back to get someone to close it. That was another 1 hour delay to get to Pittsburgh. Only to find my baggage missing and a baggage claim attendant that was as rude as could be. It was promised to be delivered to day at 11:00 A.M. It is 1:00 P.M. and no bag. Also, when I make the comment to the attendant that Continental's attitude seems to be “sucks to be you”. She agreed that that was, in fact, there attitude. Never fly Continental!