Dear Mr. Smisek,
I have been a loyal customer with Continental Airlines for years having usually had Platinum, Gold, or Silver Elite status in the past years. I do have concerns about the Upgrade policy that has not been fairly communicated (if it has changed significantly) and the way upgrades have been denied until the boarding time of flights. This has been my recent experience. In October I flew round trip from Denver to Sao Paulo and used miles and $500 way in advance of the return flight of which I chose for the upgrade. There were enough seats in Business Class to give me the upgrade well ahead of boarding time, but it was an upgrade not given to me until I had actually boarded the plane in Sao Paulo.
Since October, I have flown Round trip to Costa Rica and to Cleveland from Denver. On every flight after the October flight I have either been omitted from the upgrade standby list or I have never been given an upgrade as per Premier (Elite) Status 3 days in advance because I am Gold Elite. For every flight that I have been upgraded I did not know that until boarding or just before boarding. I do not understand this, especially after rereading the policy for upgrades, and knowing that seating is often plentiful in Business Class 1,3, & 5 days prior to the flight. Why does United/Continental wait until the day of the flight to upgrade its Platinum and Gold Elite members? I see a deviation from the policy! If United and Continental no longer upgrade in advance, then communicate the policy change to customers online or by email.
On my return flight from Costa Rica ( CO1680) on January 19, 2012, my name was omitted from the standby list in IAH and I discussed this with the gate agent. He could not find my name on the list and he did add my name just prior to the flight boarding. Also enclosed is a seating chart copied minutes before boarding for the IAH-DEN flight 1680 on January 19, 2012 showing 9 open seats available in Business Class and, again at the last minute, the remaining 9 seats were assigned to Elite members. I understand my not receiving upgrades because of seat availability, but there is no excuse for Continental or United holding open Business Class seats until the last minute. My experiences with UAL/CON in the past three flights have been stressful and disappointing, and I feel that other Elite members, as well as myself, have been cheated out of knowing clearly upgrade status for those flights. That is, seats are not given to Elite members until the last minute.
I feel disappointed in the handling of good, loyal customers by either deception or lack of communication. I do not want Continental/United to be seen as deceptive in their policies; I still think Continental is the best airline, but I do not want to see the decline of great customer service from either United or Continental.
Please tell me if these are not valid concerns , but leave me with a positive feeling that I have called possible issues to the attention of executives who want to maintain happy customers.
A One Pass Elite passenger who has received 2 inadequate (BS) responses by a company who is dodging honesty.
Last edited by Lou Mazzola; Feb 27, 2012 at 11:04 PM.
Reason: Please delete my full name