Flights Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked

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Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked
Your flight has been delayed so we have to rebook you....

 
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  #1  
Old Dec 28, 2009, 7:51 PM
jdunlap4 jdunlap4 is offline
 
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I have never felt the need to post a comment but after the last 24 hours, someone needs to be aware of what happened. Our flight, from Providence to Newark and then to San Francisco was scheduled to depart at 5:10pm. When we arrived at 3:30 the attendant stated that our flight would not be leaving until 6:40pm and that we would not make our connection. She then booked us for a flight the next day, without asking if we wanted to wait to see if the flight would leave earlier. It turns out the flight was over sold and that people recieved vouchers for giving up there seat which we did not as well. When we checked the flight status later last night we saw that the flight actually left in enough time at 6:18 for us to make our connection to San Francisco last night. So today we have a five hour layover in Newark, had to miss a day of work, and pay for our own hotel. We were very angry to say the least as we were not even told to stick around to see if we can make it as we would have. When I called today to discuss my experience, Ms. M the supervisor in Tampa, said that it was not their fault and offered one option for us....to cancel our flight today and give a full refund. This was not the answer we were looking for. I travel approvimately 2-4 times per month for work and based on this experience you can be guaranteed that I will never travel Contintental and will refer my company to reconsider booking through Continental as well. It is unfortunate that 2 days after the Holidays someone such as Ms. M was so set in her ways that she wouldn't even listen to the situation. Take care Continental.
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  #2  
Old Dec 28, 2009, 10:28 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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The PVD to EWR flight was scheduled to depart 5:10 PM and arrive 6:48 PM to connect to the EWR to SFO flight scheduled to depart @7:40 PM. So you had an original connection time of 52 minutes which isn't ideal but do-able in a pinch. Continental's website shows the PVD flight departed 6:19 PM a full hour and nine minutes late. That delay ate up your connection time. The flight actually arrived in EWR @7:28 PM. Since the SFO flight was scheduled to depart @7:40 they would have closed the flight for boarding @7:25 while the flight from PVD was probably still taxiing to the gate.

So many times we hear of people flying to the hub only to miss the flight and be stuck for hours, overnight or even days before they can get another flight to their destination. For once an agent at the originating airport was proactive, saw that you'd likely mis-connect in Newark and re-booked you to avoid that hassle. But now you are complaining about the agent's actions? What more did you want?

I also don't understand the need for a hotel. Was PVD your starting point or were you returning home from PVD back to SFO? If it was your return then had you flown to Newark and mis-connected you would have paid for a hotel there anyway. I'm sure the hotels in PVD are a bit less expensive than in EWR.
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  #3  
Old Dec 28, 2009, 11:02 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Happy holidays Phx..
I see your ability to read and understand what the customer is complaining about has not improved.

Quote:
But now you are complaining about the agent's actions? What more did you want?
This is the key passage..

Quote:
It turns out the flight was over sold and that people recieved vouchers for giving up there seat which we did not as well.
How did the stand up go?
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  #4  
Old Dec 29, 2009, 12:20 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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Jim that quote you highlighted? It means nothing, because he wasn't even in newark to a) qualify as an oversold passenger and b) to volunteer his seat. That's the reason why airlines oversell their flights to begin with; because of the no show factor. I'm not saying I agree with overbooking, but I understand why they do it.

Second, a flight being oversold still means nothing due to the fact that the agents can ask for volunteers, and given the final tally, subtracting last minute cancellations, late runners, and misconnects, they may not even need them and thus no oversell. Now According to the OP they gave away vouchers to people who volunteered their seats, but unless he/she had friends and or family on that flight and were in communication with them, (a fact sorely missed and much needed in this complaint) how would they know others were given vouchers? I think we can say that the overselling point is rather moot, no?

I would think if the OP had flown on his original itinerary, and they misconnected, this complaint would be very different. Continental: Damned if they do, and damned if they don't.

Phx, did you really do stand up? I thought you were kidding about that.
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  #5  
Old Dec 29, 2009, 12:42 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Bob,
I think the request for volunteers on the over-sold flights was on the Providence to Newark leg.

The point the OP seems to be making is the cynical manipulation of the passenger. The flight was oversold and running late.. it was tight for the connection, but especially at Newark, it is possible the onward flight is also delayed. Rather than waiting to see, the passengers were encouraged to re-book for the following day and re-booked. They must have had other people they knew on the flight, and it turns out the flight was oversold and they had to pay compensation to encourage passengers to give up their seats.

The OP complaint is this: It appears that Continental had a cynical, ulterior motive to encourage the passengers to re-book. This was to save themselves money and to relieve the pressure on the flight. Had they not done so, they may have received substantial compensation.

I assume the initial delay was weather related... if not, then they have indeed been royally screwed.
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  #6  
Old Dec 29, 2009, 7:03 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by jdunlap4 View Post
When we arrived at 3:30 the attendant stated that our flight would not be leaving until 6:40pm and that we would not make our connection.
At 3:30 they most likely did not yet know if they would be in an oversold situation. The scheduled departure of the flight was still an hour and forty minutes away. They don't even start a volunteer list until an hour or less before the departure and then only at the gate. Volunteers are notified if their seats are needed with less than 30 minutes and usually closer to the 15 minute cutoff time for boarding to close.

Originally Posted by jdunlap4 View Post
She then booked us for a flight the next day, without asking if we wanted to wait to see if the flight would leave earlier.
The OP didn't have to accept this. The gate agent, however, made a good call because indeed it looks like they would have missed that flight in Newark. The flight to SFO did indeed depart a bit late but not enough that the OP would have made it.
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  #7  
Old Dec 29, 2009, 9:51 PM
jdunlap4 jdunlap4 is offline
 
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The screen said when we checked in...at 3:30 that we were eligible for a $150 voucher if we wanted to rebook. Because we did not select at that time they would not give it to us...even though we were forced to rebook.

The connection time would have been close, and I'm not debating that. We have all been on flights were the connection flight would have held and the flight got into SFO EARLY! My only point is this:

The woman made a judgement call at the gate to rebook us. Her judgement call was wrong. It wasn't the weather that made us miss the flight it was her. We would have rather tried to make the SFO and get rebooked for the the next day then and stayed over night in Newark. This way we could have slept in, in NYC, and hung out in the city all day instead of having a five hour layover in Newark.

I don't think anyone would disagree with that.
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  #8  
Old Dec 29, 2009, 10:14 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by jdunlap4 View Post
The screen said when we checked in...at 3:30 that we were eligible for a $150 voucher if we wanted to rebook. Because we did not select at that time they would not give it to us...even though we were forced to rebook.

The connection time would have been close, and I'm not debating that. We have all been on flights were the connection flight would have held and the flight got into SFO EARLY! My only point is this:

The woman made a judgement call at the gate to rebook us. Her judgement call was wrong. It wasn't the weather that made us miss the flight it was her. We would have rather tried to make the SFO and get rebooked for the the next day then and stayed over night in Newark. This way we could have slept in, in NYC, and hung out in the city all day instead of having a five hour layover in Newark.

I don't think anyone would disagree with that.
So then why didn't you just tell her, "No thank you, we'll take our chances in Newark." I'm not buying that she gave you no choice but to re-book. What would be her motivation to do so? Besides your above statement shows that you were not interested in volunteering your seats for compensation (which would have left you in PVD anyway) so why did you even bring that point up?

I'm starting to smell a rat here.
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  #9  
Old Dec 29, 2009, 11:17 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Phx,
Why is it, if the passenger says that they were given no opportunity but to re-book you question it?

I admit that it is a little confusing as to exactly what happened.. for example, if they were offered $150 to volunteer and they declined, why were they rebooked anyway for no compensation? I would like to understand more about the sequence of events..

Quote:
At 3:30 they most likely did not yet know if they would be in an oversold situation. The scheduled departure of the flight was still an hour and forty minutes away.
An airline knows perfectly well if a flight has been significantly overbooked. It is also now able to tell much earlier than in the past if the flight is likely to be full because of online check it.. it is simply outdated to suggest that airlines are not aware of the likelihood of being "oversold" 1h40 before departure.
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  #10  
Old Dec 29, 2009, 11:22 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
Phx,
Why is it, if the passenger says that they were given no opportunity but to re-book you question it?

I admit that it is a little confusing as to exactly what happened.. for example, if they were offered $150 to volunteer and they declined, why were they rebooked anyway for no compensation? I would like to understand more about the sequence of events..



An airline knows perfectly well if a flight has been significantly overbooked. It is also now able to tell much earlier than in the past if the flight is likely to be full because of online check it.. it is simply outdated to suggest that airlines are not aware of the likelihood of being "oversold" 1h40 before departure.
People miss flights for all different reasons. Flat tires or traffic on the way to the airport or just sitting at the bar and losing track of time. The OP never said how many people received vouchers on that flight. Perhaps it was just one or two. I've had my name on a volunteer list an hour before a flight when it was overbooked by ten or more. When it cane down to departure time they didn't need my seat any more. With online check-in available up to 24 hours before the flight any number of people who are shown as "checked-in" may turn out to be "no-shows" for any number of reasons.

Come on, Jimmy boy. You're not that ignorant.
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  #11  
Old Dec 29, 2009, 11:27 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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And neither are you.. I am telling you what you know perfectly well. The airlines have considerably more information about the likely "turn up rate" of a flight than in the past.

First, because many more tickets than in the past are flight specific and not changeable or refundable in the event of a no-show. Second because online check-in provides a much more accurate picture of the numbers likely to check-in, notwithstanding the "no shows" for traffic, etc.. and third because people are expected to arrive at the airport considerably earlier than in the past to go through the TSA charade. By 1h40 before departure, the airlines have a pretty good idea of the position they are in vis-a-vis a particular flight and we both know that. It might not be the absolute final number, but it is perfectly possible by this time that they actually have more passengers than seats.
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  #12  
Old Dec 29, 2009, 11:36 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Then why, Jim, do they not give out vouchers an hour and forty minutes before the flight? BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW JUST HOW MANY THEY'LL NEED IF ANY AT THAT POINT. Have you been drinking today?
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  #13  
Old Dec 29, 2009, 11:38 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Quote:
Then why, Jim, do they not give out vouchers an hour and forty minutes before the flight?
Quote:
The screen said when we checked in...at 3:30 that we were eligible for a $150 voucher if we wanted to rebook.
Am I missing something?
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  #14  
Old Dec 30, 2009, 12:32 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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Quote:
The screen said when we checked in...at 3:30 that we were eligible for a $150 voucher if we wanted to rebook. Because we did not select at that time they would not give it to us...even though we were forced to rebook.

I've flown enough to know that no airline gives out travel vouchers so early before a flight closes/departs. It also doesn't say that it will give you a 150 dollar voucher to rebook, it states the flight may be in an oversold situation and they are looking for volunteers. If you had clicked yes, it will go to screen that will tell you what will happen next and then it spits out a form to fill out and give to the gate agent should you decide you want to volunteer. If not you just toss it away, but they don't give out vouchers.

Quote:
The woman made a judgement call at the gate to rebook us. Her judgement call was wrong. It wasn't the weather that made us miss the flight it was her. We would have rather tried to make the SFO and get rebooked for the the next day then and stayed over night in Newark. This way we could have slept in, in NYC, and hung out in the city all day instead of having a five hour layover in Newark.
I would say that's a pretty good call, because I think you'd be more ticked off if you would have gotten to newark, made a sprint to the next gate only to find out the door was closed, plus you weren't getting a hotel? Again this would be a totally different complaint had you stayed on your original itinerary. And asto the second bold statement... how did the agent make you miss your connecting flight? Because you she rebooked you to protect you against misconnecting which is what would have happened had you stayed the course. She saved you the trouble of having to run from gate to gate, which i can tell you from experience and having traveled through Newark, is not very pleasant. If your plane had landed at gate... hmmm... 98, and your SFO flight was departing at gate 127, you would be in for one heck of a run. I'd say you'd got off pretty good compared to most.
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  #15  
Old Mar 12, 2010, 2:44 PM
fine1956 fine1956 is offline
 
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,Your analysis is ridiculous,save it, there was absolutely no "customer"servide here. It was greed, pain and simple.
Originally Posted by PHXFlyer View Post
The PVD to EWR flight was scheduled to depart 5:10 PM and arrive 6:48 PM to connect to the EWR to SFO flight scheduled to depart @7:40 PM. So you had an original connection time of 52 minutes which isn't ideal but do-able in a pinch. Continental's website shows the PVD flight departed 6:19 PM a full hour and nine minutes late. That delay ate up your connection time. The flight actually arrived in EWR @7:28 PM. Since the SFO flight was scheduled to depart @7:40 they would have closed the flight for boarding @7:25 while the flight from PVD was probably still taxiing to the gate.

So many times we hear of people flying to the hub only to miss the flight and be stuck for hours, overnight or even days before they can get another flight to their destination. For once an agent at the originating airport was proactive, saw that you'd likely mis-connect in Newark and re-booked you to avoid that hassle. But now you are complaining about the agent's actions? What more did you want?

I also don't understand the need for a hotel. Was PVD your starting point or were you returning home from PVD back to SFO? If it was your return then had you flown to Newark and mis-connected you would have paid for a hotel there anyway. I'm sure the hotels in PVD are a bit less expensive than in EWR.
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Old Mar 12, 2010, 4:20 PM
Gromit801 Gromit801 is offline
 
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Who's masked? It's right there in a huge red banner which means: I do not agree with all complaints 100% of the time. A good half the complaints on here are the fault of the op, and they don't (or won't) take responsibility. Some are indeed the airlines screw-up, but if you don't slam the airlines ALL the time, you get the big red banner.
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