In-flight Issues Did you experience any problems during an Continental Airlines flight?

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  #1  
Old Oct 5, 2007, 11:43 PM
budrjc budrjc is offline
 
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Default customer service and reliability???

My wife and I were booked on a Continental flight from Richmond, Va to Cleveland, OH to Lexington, KY on 10/05/07 - purpose of trip was to see our granddaughter, whom we have not seen in 6 months. Flight was scheduled to depart at 6:30pm...we arrived at the ticket counter at aprox. 5:15pm and were informed that the flights were delayed ( the 2:45pm had still not arrived yet). The ticket agent explained that we would be booked on that flight when it arrived (standby), and would also be set up on the original flight (standby) just in case that we could not make the originally delayed flight...????. We recieved our boarding passes, proceeded through security and went to gate B2....my wife approached the counter to question the agent on staff and was told that " I can't deal with you right now", so we fall back on what the ticket agent told us and waited until 7:05pm....went back to the agent a gate B2 and was informed that they could not gaurantee any flights out or connecting flights thru Continental airlines, and would be happy to place us on another flight out with United...we would arrive at Lexington, KY at 11:30pm...another promise made by Continental??? If I had known this up front, I would have driven to Lexington and would have arrived at aprox. the same time. It appears that the major problem here is that the ticket agents have to deal with the inability of the airline to make schedule, of which they have no control over, and have no authority to correct other than placing us with another air carrier. Where is the certanty, when this occurs, that we will make connections, arrive on time, or have to book a motel in Cleveland, or just give up, turn in our tickets( thank god we had purchased flight insurance) so...we just gave up, turned in our tickets and came home...I guess my point is...reliabilty, customer service, and how can you remain in business operating under these circumstances?? Why even attempt to book a flight with Continental?? Sorry excuse for an airline....I have been in the aviation industry for over 33 years and have been involved in maintenance the entire time....do you think that I would have return business if I operated my business in this manner?...WAKE UP!!!!!!!!
  #2  
Old Oct 7, 2007, 3:31 PM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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Default re: customer service and reliability??

Your complaint is a bit puzzling (I don't think i will be the only one on this) as you lack a lot of detail that would make this complaint a justly one. First you arrived 5:15 for a 6:30 flight, though you had, i would say about 15 minutes to spare, did you make it on time for your original flight? What was the reason for the delay of the 2:45 pm flight? And why would you be put on standby on your original, confirmed, flight? Also it does not state what happened with your original flight, was that also delayed, what was the reason given? I ask because you say you waited until 7:05, but you don't say if it was for the delayed 2:45 or the 6:30 original. You say they would have put you on a United airlines connection, and call it another Continental promise? What promise? It looks like they gave you an alternative. lastly, because i could go on, you ask what is the certainty when placed on another carrier to make a connection? there is none, even for your original flight. No flight is guaranteed, on any airline so that whole line about "how can they remain in business" is kinda moot. (A person working in aviation 33 years would know this, but what do I know right?) But in the end, you did the right thing as most would have gone on and probably missed the next connection.
  #3  
Old Oct 8, 2007, 6:38 PM
ChrisH ChrisH is offline
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I am puzzled, as well. The only reason they would put you on standby for a flight that you are confirmed on, is if you showd up late for check in. You must be checked in at least 30 mins prior to departure time of your flight, and at some locations, you must be checked in, even before that.

The problem is not Continental scheduling. Continental cannot just go schedule flights, because of delays. No flight is guaranteed, and this is the same for any airline you fly on.

If Continental offered to book you on another airline, you should have taken that deal. What most people don't understand, is that when one airline books a passenger onto another airlines, such as Continental booking you on United, Continental then has to pay United for that fare, the same as if you called United, and purchased the same ticket on them. It isn't done at no cost, like most passengers think. Basically, on this day, Continental offered to pay for, and book you on another airline to get you to your destination, and you turned them down. That is not their problem.
  #4  
Old Dec 10, 2009, 3:42 PM
Jeff Holcomb Jeff Holcomb is offline
 
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Default Poor Customer Service

I have travelled for over thirty years. I have never had the horrific experience as I had on my recent flight to Mexico. I was to leave at 12:25 PM with Continental on a flight to Houston to catch at connector to Cancun. The date was 11/19/09 and the flight was out of Cleveland. The plane was coming from Newark and there was a computer problem. The plane was over an hour and one half late which made us late for our connector flight. Actually, we ran to the gate and they would not let us on the plane because our seat were given to standby passengers. So, we had to be on standby to Mexico City to catch a flight with Mexicana airlines which would put us in at 12:30 AM. When my friend and I arrived in Mexico City, again the stand by flight was over an hour late. We went straight to the gate at Mexicana and were there 45 minutes early. Again, we were bumped from the flight. There were no more flights out. I had already paid for that night's lodging in Cancun and had to pay for a night in Mexico City. When I talked to the Continental representative in Mexico City, they blamed us. I was furious because it was totally the airline's fault and nothing was done to compensate. We did EVERYTHING that we were supposed to do. I had to pay for two tickets to Cancun, plus a night in Mexico City. I had already paid for a packet with Continental Vacations. This cost me over 900 dollars exta. I would understand if it were my error, but it was a computer problem which began in Newark. I contacted Continental airlines and I have not heard from them. I may never fly that airlines again if nothing is done about this.
  #5  
Old Dec 10, 2009, 5:50 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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You may want to complain to the DOT if your facts are correct. That is outrageous.
  #6  
Old Dec 10, 2009, 9:36 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Holcomb View Post
I have travelled for over thirty years. I have never had the horrific experience as I had on my recent flight to Mexico. I was to leave at 12:25 PM with Continental on a flight to Houston to catch at connector to Cancun. The date was 11/19/09 and the flight was out of Cleveland. The plane was coming from Newark and there was a computer problem. The plane was over an hour and one half late which made us late for our connector flight. Actually, we ran to the gate and they would not let us on the plane because our seat were given to standby passengers. So, we had to be on standby to Mexico City to catch a flight with Mexicana airlines which would put us in at 12:30 AM. When my friend and I arrived in Mexico City, again the stand by flight was over an hour late. We went straight to the gate at Mexicana and were there 45 minutes early. Again, we were bumped from the flight. There were no more flights out. I had already paid for that night's lodging in Cancun and had to pay for a night in Mexico City. When I talked to the Continental representative in Mexico City, they blamed us. I was furious because it was totally the airline's fault and nothing was done to compensate. We did EVERYTHING that we were supposed to do. I had to pay for two tickets to Cancun, plus a night in Mexico City. I had already paid for a packet with Continental Vacations. This cost me over 900 dollars exta. I would understand if it were my error, but it was a computer problem which began in Newark. I contacted Continental airlines and I have not heard from them. I may never fly that airlines again if nothing is done about this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
You may want to complain to the DOT if your facts are correct. That is outrageous.
Nov. 19 was the date when there was a meltdown due to the FAA computers crashing. Many cancellations and lengthy delays that day. You're lucky to have reached Mexico when you did. If you want to seek compensation sue the US Government.
  #7  
Old Dec 10, 2009, 11:40 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Ok, I thought you meant a computer problem on the plane.. to be honest, if that was the ATC, they are right, what could the airline have done about it? Other than keep you advised and do their best to get you were you needed to be, I can't see what else they can do. However, to say you should have to pay and to blame the customer is still OUTRAGEOUS. How was it the customers fault?
  #8  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 12:04 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
Ok, I thought you meant a computer problem on the plane.. to be honest, if that was the ATC, they are right, what could the airline have done about it? Other than keep you advised and do their best to get you were you needed to be, I can't see what else they can do. However, to say you should have to pay and to blame the customer is still OUTRAGEOUS. How was it the customers fault?
Continental issued waivers for all change fees on the 19th and 20th as a result of the FA computer "glitch." The OP accepted the option of re-routing through Mexico City. The computer problems at the FAA were well publicized and customers were made aware of that. It affected all airlines at most airports and there was a cascading "domino" effect all day on the 19th and into the 20th. The OP should have been aware that a mis-connect on any routing might mean an unexpected hotel stay at he connecting city and a missed night at the destination. Travel insurance should have covered this but in the absence of that he's pretty much out for those expenses.
  #9  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 12:16 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Hotel is fair enough.. but the tickets to Cancun are not. I do not think he should have had to pay extra to get to his destination.
  #10  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 12:31 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
Hotel is fair enough.. but the tickets to Cancun are not. I do not think he should have had to pay extra to get to his destination.
He didn't have to pay anything extra to get to Cancun. Continental re-routed him Houston-Mexico City-Cancun on Mexicana instead of the original Houston-Cancun flight on Continental. He wouldn't have to pay anything extra for that. He is seeking compensation for the one night stay in Mexico City and the missed night in Cancun. Unfortunately since this was a massive breakdown of the FAA's systems which caused all of the delays he's not going to get anything form the airline. If he did indeed purchase this trip as a "package" from Continental Vacations he should contact them to see if there was any insurance included. There is usually travel insurance included with most packages unless the buyer opts-out.
  #11  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 2:25 PM
Jeff Holcomb Jeff Holcomb is offline
 
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Default Cancun trip

Thanks Jim for responding. I have contacted both Continental Airlines and covacations. Both have not returned my complaint. I agree that they should reimburse for at least the flight to Cancun. It was the airline's computer error that caused the delay. The hotel in Cancun was prepaid for that night through covacations.com as well. We shall see if anything comes of my complaint. Thanks for responding.
  #12  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 2:53 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Holcomb View Post
Thanks Jim for responding. I have contacted both Continental Airlines and covacations. Both have not returned my complaint. I agree that they should reimburse for at least the flight to Cancun. It was the airline's computer error that caused the delay. The hotel in Cancun was prepaid for that night through covacations.com as well. We shall see if anything comes of my complaint. Thanks for responding.
I think we've already pointed out that the date you traveled, 11/19, was the date the FAA had a massive system-wide computer failure. Airlines were unable to electronically file flight plans with the FAA resulting in delays and cancellations. Until the computer issue was solved flight plans were being called into the FAA and they were entered manually which is why I said you were lucky to have gotten anywhere at all. It most certainly was not an error with the airline's computer. Read through your travel documents and find out what insurance coverage you might have if any. If you did purchase insurance then contact the insurance company. I'm sure they've handled thousands of claims from 11/19.
  #13  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 3:23 PM
Jeff Holcomb Jeff Holcomb is offline
 
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Default Cancun issue.

Yes, I was aware that that there was a computer crash. My problem is not with the fact that hundreds of people were displaced and I was there only consideration. My issue is that when we got to Mexico City after being rerouted, that the Continental representative blamed me. I was angry at that point because he said that I should have been able to be at the Mexicana gate on time for the Cancun flight. Again, this was not possible due to the flight delay from Houston. We went immediately to the gate when we got off the flight. Mexicana said that Continental bumped us from the Cancun flight and Continental said that Mexicana did. That is my main problem, not just that I lost out on a thousand dollars. POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE.
  #14  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 3:54 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Holcomb View Post
Yes, I was aware that that there was a computer crash. My problem is not with the fact that hundreds of people were displaced and I was there only consideration. My issue is that when we got to Mexico City after being rerouted, that the Continental representative blamed me. I was angry at that point because he said that I should have been able to be at the Mexicana gate on time for the Cancun flight. Again, this was not possible due to the flight delay from Houston. We went immediately to the gate when we got off the flight. Mexicana said that Continental bumped us from the Cancun flight and Continental said that Mexicana did. That is my main problem, not just that I lost out on a thousand dollars. POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE.
Continental can't "bump you off" a Mexicana operated flight. You were obviously booked on the MEX-CUN flight since you were told you were "bumped off" but once booked only the operating carrier can bump you. Continental needs to pursue that with Mexicana since they agreed to accept you as a re-accommodation but then bumped you in Mexico City. If you indeed purchased new tickets to fly from MEX to CUN then it is Mexicana who owes you for those. As for the hotel in ME and the missed night in CUN you'll either have to make a claim against your travel insurance or be prepared to write it off if you didn't purchase any.
  #15  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 5:49 PM
Jeff Holcomb Jeff Holcomb is offline
 
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Default Cancun

Mexicana has a partnership with Continental according to the Continental representative. Regardless, the flight was not rescheduled and it was the Continental representative that SAID that it was Mexicana who decided to cancel our reservation for that flight. At the Mexicana desk, they SAID that Continental cancelled our seats. I am not making this up. So, yes, they did BUMP me off the flight to give to people who were on stand by. There is no other explanation.
  #16  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 11:30 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I don't agree with Phx that you have any issue with Mexicana, even if everything that went wrong was their fault.

This is classic pisspoor customer service, in which each airline blames the other. Your contract was with Continental to get you to Cancun. If they chose to route you via one of their partners, that is their business. You had to buy more tickets to get you to Cancun, and Continental should be on the hook for that. If Continental have an issue with Mexicana and how they dealt with it, let them take it up with Mexicana. I would write out a comprehensive, detailed timeline of everything that happened and provide a copy of the receipt for your tickets. Send it to Continental, signature on receipt, then copy the letter to the DOT.

I would not pursue the lost night at the hotel. Continental have a legitimate defence that there were extraordinary circumstances beyond their control. However, there is no defence to their failure to get you to your ultimate destination without you having to shell out.
  #17  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 11:36 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by Jeff Holcomb View Post
Mexicana has a partnership with Continental according to the Continental representative. Regardless, the flight was not rescheduled and it was the Continental representative that SAID that it was Mexicana who decided to cancel our reservation for that flight. At the Mexicana desk, they SAID that Continental cancelled our seats. I am not making this up. So, yes, they did BUMP me off the flight to give to people who were on stand by. There is no other explanation.
The representative was wrong. Continental was in SkyTeam as was AeroMexico but Mexicana is and has been in the Oneworld Alliance. Continental is now part of Star. They have no partnerships whatsoever however Continental can re-book you Mexicana flights as they have what's known as an interline ticketing agreement. Most major airlines have interline ticketing agreements regardless of their membership in an alliance. The only major US airline that doesn't do interline ticketing is Southwest.
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