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Departure delay
Posted by Gadge on 07/22/2010
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
1) FIRST announcement plane delay 1/2 hour due to mechanical problem
plane in Erie
2) SECOND announcement plane not ready allow appx another hour
3) THIRD announcement another plane will be flown in for use appx an hour
4) FOURTH announcement plane arrived being fueled will board in 15 minutes
5) FIFTH announcement plane doesn't have a crew
6) SIXTH announcement found a Captain will be appx 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?
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Posted by Ben There on 2010-07-22:
I totally agree that waiting 6 hours for a delayed flight is not fun, but what is the alternative? Taking off on a broken plane or without a crew? These types of delays can and do happen at every airline - its a risk you take whenever you purchase a plane ticket.

As for the communication, chances are the told you what they knew when they knew it. Gate agents are not mechanics, nor do they schedule crews so they only go by what is in the computer, just like your agency that texted you.

As for the delay after a delay, sometimes the mechanics don't know immediately how long a repair will take. Lets say you are giving me a ride somewhere - we go outside and get in your car but for some reason it won't start. Could you tell me on the spot what is wrong with your car and how long it will be till you can give me my ride?
Posted by Buddy01 on 2010-07-22:
I fly to Hong Kong every year and will pay more to fly Continental rather than another airline. The delays must have been frustrating, but it happens with every airline.
Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-07-22:
You probably shouldn't fly at all since delays will keep you away from Continental. All airlines have delays! If a flight doesn't come in and there's no pilot for the "spare" aircraft, then its obvious that the delayed captain was going to pilot your flight to Pittsburgh. It happens!
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-07-22:
I have to admit Continental is probably my least favorite airline. I've had nothing but bad luck with them. I avoid them at all cost.

Flying sucks and it sucks because the flying public just accepts airline's garbage as if it's just the way it has to be. That's horse hockey but eh what can you do.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-07-22:
Stew - I think you should start Stew Air... OKC is ripe for a mid-continent hub.
Posted by goduke on 2010-07-22:
Or would that be Stew Hot Air?
Posted by samlgsk on 2010-09-27:
Wow...I think some of your are actually Continental employees. Or, do you guys get paid by Continental to post these "it's your fault" responses for legitimate complaints?
Posted by Slimjim on 2010-09-27:
samlgsk, I don't see anyone doing what you accuse them of. Where is someone telling the poster it is their fault?
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-09-27:
slim, from the postings samlgsk is making, they must be a disgruntled x-Continental employee
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"Carry On" Traveler Beware
Posted by Suesbrews on 06/22/2010
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 Dontflycontinental on 05/25/2010
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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Posted by 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.
Posted by 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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Imagine the worst customer service ever!!
Posted by J.K on 05/18/2010
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 planed 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.
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Posted by Ben There on 2010-05-18:
Next time buy flexible fares and you won't have to worry about change fees. In all fairness to the rep, the fees are not supposed to be waived. Maybe the original agent also does mission trips, had a daughter the same name as the person or was just about to quit the airline and didn't care about following company policy. Miss Harris was just doing her job.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-05-19:
This is the kind of story that needs to be broadcast on the news. There is no reason for Continental not to waive the fees for all students...especially considering they did it for some, but in reality because it supports a good cause. I guess greed overshadows pretty much everything else these days though.

Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-09-27:
Wait a minute, "and the next person finally understand our situation and waived my fee." You were reimbursed a non-refundable fee, though you had to jump thru some hoops, you should be writing a compliment for the agent that assisted you.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-09-27:
samigsk "___________must be a_______employee" is a standard response from an uniformed person, unwilling to listen to reason.
Posted by PepperElf on 2010-09-27:
JKT ++++

Posted by Ben There on 2010-09-27:
I thought I worked for Priceline and Delta.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2010-09-27:
yea, ya only got 2 stars, Continental takes at least 3
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Avoid Continental Airlines
Posted by JP96 on 05/18/2010
This afternoon at Newark NJ (EWR) terminal C Continental had only 5 agents checking hundreds in line and made people already with boarding passes wait in this line just to check their passport.

Avoid this airline if you time is worth anything.
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Posted by Ytropious on 2010-05-18:
This is why it's always good to give yourself as much time as possible. There can only be 5 people checking in because likely there are only 5 computers available. This is pretty common I would think, haven't flown in ages.
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DFW International Clerk
Posted by Rentaprogrammer on 05/17/2010
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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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-05-17:
I was on your side until the last paragraph.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-05-17:
Same here yaya.
Posted by 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.
Posted by 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.
Posted by 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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Treated Poorly with a Broken Wrist
Posted by Thewilson4 on 04/18/2010
I was treated poorly with a newly broken wrist. Below is the e-mail I sent to Continental.

Flight #co59 March 27th 9:05 A.M.
Three days before my flight home I slipped and broke my wrist. My husband Rob Wilson tried to move us to first class for the trip home there was no seats available, so we asked to be seated in the front row. We were told you had to request those at the desk before we board. I get to the boarding desk and request the front row seats they tell me they were already assigned and that the flight was full. I said how could they already be assigned when you have to request them here. I was told "They were probably given to someone who Really needed them.", I said Excuse me. He then said "Well to passengers in wheelchairs or traveling with a baby." He then actually looked and said there was one seat available in the front row. I said that would not work, I was traveling with my son and I needed his assistance for my seat-belt, opening packages, etc.. I was then told "Well that was all they had.". I then asked if I could at least have extra pillows to help support my wrist which is in a cast and still swollen. I was then told I would have to stand there and wait so that I could ask a certain cabin member, so I stood there and waited. I was told they would give me an extra pillow. As we boarded the plane the flight attendant who ended up being the one who served our drinks said "Oh your the one with the broken arm I heard about you.". We took our seats and shortly after a woman that works for Continental came on and asked the woman with the baby to move to the back section of the plane. She did this so that a family of four could sit together on the front row all adults in fine physical condition. I stopped her and said I have a problem with this. She said "What you have an aisle seat what more do you want?" I said the seats in the front row are supposed to be for passengers who need the extra room (like for my son fastening and unfastening my seat-belt). She said "they are for passengers.". I then stopped another flight attendant the one we first spoke to when we checked our bags and told her what had just happened how they moved the woman with a baby to give the seats I had requested to a family who needed no assistance. She said "I will have to see what is going on" and never came back. When we got in the air Ed made an announcement and said if you have any problems or concerns to contact him so I did. The guy that came when I pushed the button I told him I had requested extra pillows for my arm (yes after they made me stand there and wait to ask they did not give me one extra pillow)and I needed to talk to Ed he brought me back a used wrinkled pillow. He told me it was ground crew who made the decision to move people and now that we were in the air they could not move people (I did not put quotations because I can not remember exactly how he said it.)I told him I asked his flight attendants while we were on the ground and that I was going to be making a complaint about this. I also told Ed about that I did not appreciate the used pillow the other attendant had brought me and he did bring me a new pillow. They also did not bring the drink cart all the way down so that they were not bumping my arm. The flight attendant that was serving our drinks was rude at first but we were not rude back and her attitude changed and she was pleasant the rest of the flight. I appreciate the little things but the seat situation and how it was handled was inexcusable. For future training with a broken wrist you can not grasp things with your fingers, you can only use one hand. I would love it if all the attendants on the flight had one hand immobilized had to fasten their seat-belt, open the packages such as pillow, headset,& food or how about a simple trip to the restroom. They need to think about that before they treat another passenger the way I was treated.
In comparison my short flight to El Paso the flight was late and it had been a very long day of traveling BUT the flight attendant made my day when she offered to fasten my seat-belt for me.
I am typing with one hand so I hope there are not too many mistakes on here.
Thank You
Linda Wilson

Below is the non acceptable response I received. While reading this response note my husband is a Silver Elite member and our flight was on his account and disappeared after this flight, but we had copied our itinerary the night before the flight so I have proof of this. The family they moved people to seat were adults I took pictures because of the way I was being treated so I also have proof of this. They did not even address the issue of my broken wrist for which I have x-rays from Germany and the USA.

Dear Mrs. Wilson:

Thank you for contacting Continental Airlines.

I am sorry to learn of your disappointment with our services. The bulkhead seats are assigned by the gate agent on the day of departure to meet seating requests for customers with special needs.

If there are not passengers with special needs, our premium passengers can be assigned those seats, however, we cannot tell at this point exactly what occurred that the passenger with the baby was asked to move to another seat. Please know that flight attendants may work with passenger's request to reseat those with younger children together. Unfortunately, I cannot comment on what happened, however, I am glad to report your comments in detail to the appropriate management division so that we can revisit our procedures on seating.

Mrs. Wilson, I thank you for providing us with your feedback as it is always important and valuable for us. I do appreciate your business, and I regret any situation that leaves you disappointed in our service. We will be working hard to earn reports that are more favorable from you on your future Continental Airlines flights.


Customer Care Manager
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Posted by Ben There on 2010-04-18:
I have flown with a cast on my right hand, and I don't recall needing extra room. It was not a whole lot of fun, but neither was driving, eating, using the bathroom, etc... I guess I was more used to having it on and getting by by that point.

I don't touch the pillows in coach because they are rarely cleaned, so I propped my hand up on my jacket.
Posted by MRM on 2010-04-18:
Im sorry but airline industry is not a hospitality service.
Posted by Inat on 2010-04-18:
my canned response for anyone not liking the services, seating, etc. in coach - spring for first class.
Posted by Always on 2010-04-19:
I too have had a broken wrist and know what a pain it can be. You are right those airline seat-belts would be a nightmare to try to do with one hand. I can believe how rudely you were treated Continental has really gone down hill in their service.
Posted by thewilson4 on 2010-04-19:
At the point of the flight it was still too swollen for for a full cast I received that once I got home. Yes I am getting by fine now but I was not at that point. As for "airline industry is not a hospitality service" that is exactly what they are especially on international flights you eat and sleep if you can and pay very good money for that service.
Posted by alreadygone on 2010-04-24:
There is not enough room between the seats to move around they should have taken that into consideration. Does not surprise me though that they did not.
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Used to be great, but has turned bad
Posted by Flying10xpy on 04/06/2010
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.
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Posted by Carlme on 04/04/2010
I came late to the gate. My stupid. No hassles. They just put me on the next flite
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Posted by Alain on 2010-04-04:
I always had good experiences with Continental, too.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-04-04:
Short and to the point. Thanks for letting people know that this is not an impossibility!
Posted by stephenm on 2010-04-04:
And you are to be commended too because, unlike so many who post complaints online, you knew you were at fault for being late and did not expect them to let you on the flight anyway ("But it's only 10 minutes past the cut-off time" " I am on the way to see my dying mother/my son coming home from Iraq", etc., etc.) and you gratefully accepted their help in getting you on the next flight.
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Is Continental a large Non-schedule airline?
Posted by Sunbird on 03/27/2010
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 thru 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!
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Posted by Ben There on 2010-03-27:
Continental has a strong "love affair" with Newark because it serves the biggest metropolitan area in the USA. Lots of people want to fly to and from New York City.

Geographically it also makes an idea connection point to Europe from almost anywhere in the USA and the Americas. Even though Houston is their home it is not an ideal place to change planes for many people cause it is too far south and west.

That said, airlines normally don't move you between flights like you described and they don't normally downgrade you. Did your wife happen to be flying on an airline employee buddy pass or other type of standby ticket?
Posted by alreadygone on 2010-04-24:
Continental has a lack of service and concern when it come to their passengers. Does not surprise me in the least.
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