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.
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 anymore, 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, yeah 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? 3) Finally 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 neck brace 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 nowhere 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 handmade 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, their attitude. Never fly Continental!
When, oh when, will Continental, or any other airline for that matter, crack down on jumbo travelers? On a recent flight my wife and I were treated to the presence of one of these behemoths. The woman wedged what she could have her girth into the aisle seat and then spewed over into my unfortunate wife's space, bowing the armrest by an honest 3 to 4 inches.
This person was so fat she was unable to lower her tray table and forget about even trying the seat belt, which none of the flight attendants ever mentioned (An FAA violation, I believe). Get to the restroom during 3+ hour flight? Not with this sweetie firmly lodged in the aisle seat!
I'm sure there will be whining from people with "glandular problems" and those that are just plain big. To you I say: take it up with the airlines, not me. I'm not the one that decided to fit their planes with narrow seats. That being said, that amount of space is how much the airlines have decreed they will sell for your fare. Not that space PLUS HALF OF MINE! If you need more, buy two tickets or go first class. "But, that will cost me more money!" Yup. Sure will. Not my problem. At 6 feet tall and 180 pounds I'm not a tiny person, but I don't ooze out of my seat and into someone else's.
Consider this: if I'm in a restaurant and someone plops down at my table and eats half of my entree simply because they feel like it I can have them arrested for theft. Why should I subsidize another's travel costs by donating half of my seat?
What to do? Airlines don't seem to have any trouble weighing bags to charge an extra fee, why not make the passengers, all passengers, step on the scale before the flight? Bought your ticket online and lied about your size to get a cheaper fare? Sorry, you'll have to wait for the next flight when they have that extra seat available. "But I'll miss my connection!" Yup. Sure will. Not my problem. Shouldn't have lied in the first place. I'm guessing you won't do it again. I recognize that Continental is probably as gutless as most companies and won't do anything about this problem, but it does feel better to get it off my chest.
Continental Airlines recently lost a bag of mine filled with irreplaceable possessions. This bag was a carry-on bag –not a checked bag, a carry-on –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. The First Lady, Mrs. Bush, was scheduled to be there and so, due to the nature of the events, I had packed some good clothes and jewelry and decided to take everything in one carry-on. A flight attendant helped meplace my suitcase in the overhead bin a few rows away from my seat as the bin above me was taken.
After the plane was taxiing down 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 out whose bag it was. The Continental staff had gone into my suitcase and, from my purse, theygot 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 at Newark 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 has 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 the store managers who have records of my purchases. I believed 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 have prevent this, and now they choose to pay exorbitant legal fees rather than compensate me for the loss they caused.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I bought a ticket through a travel agency for Continental flights #4, IAH to LHR on 4/7/09 and return #23, DUB to IAH on 4/22/09. Due to changes made by a tour company for my Ireland tour, I was charged a $250 penalty and the ticket was reissued for a Continental return flight on 4/25/09, still from DUB to IAH, Flight #23. Travel to LHR remained the same as before. Continental charged me for two entire tickets- they took about $740 twice from my credit card. They should have taken out only about $740 for the ticket and $250 for the refund.
Immediately upon seeing this on my return, I went to the travel agency. They contacted Continental. I was in the office when the agent was on the phone with Continental. He told me Continental will refund the difference. When the refund did not appear on my credit card statement, I went back to the travel agency. He again called Continental and again assured me that the refund will be given. When I went back the third time, he said that I should contact my credit card company and Continental directly.
The credit card company said that Continental told them that the charges are correct. I then called Continental Refund department and talked to a Ms. ** who told me that, "Yes, Continental should not have charged for 2 tickets." She told me that the penalty to change the ticket is $150. She also said that I should get the difference credited to my credit card. She gave me a case number.
When the next statement came and nothing was credited, my daughter called Continental. She talked to a supervisor named Ms. **. Ms. ** said that the Travel agent filled out something wrong and that we need to go back to the travel agent. She said that the agent should call his sales representative for directions on how to fill out the correct form. I just came back from the travel agent. He called a supervisor today. The supervisor's name is **. He said the supervisor told him that the case is closed and the customer needs to contact Continental.
My credit card company sent me copies of the invoice of Continental taking out $737.50 for TWO tickets for My Name on the same departing flight (#4 on 4/7/09) but different return dates. I also have a copy of the Universal Credit Card Charge Form that I signed for $394.10 ($250 penalty + $144.10 for Aer Lingus LHR-DUB). I also have a copy of the FAX that the travel agency sent to Continental asking for a refund for me. I am in the process of writing to BBB. In the meantime, I searched "where to complain about airlines" and am writing my complaint online to vent my frustrations.