Flights Canceled / Delayed / Overbooked Were you on a flight that was delayed, canceled, or overbooked?

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  #1  
Old Aug 21, 2009, 4:03 PM
ht4jpc ht4jpc is offline
 
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Default Continental as a company won't take responsibility for employee action

points I sent as documented for compensation to Continental & they stated it was my fault that I needed to take responsbility for all of the below.
1. The weather may have been a delay factor on the East coast for a short time on August 2nd. It did not affect the rest of the country. I was in contact with family and friends, multiple other cities including St. Louis had no weather issues per the internet.
2. Lack of planning/scheduling on the part Continental not having pilots and crew are not the passenger’s fault.
3. Abrasive customer service, flight cancellation, & Continental’s complete unprofessionalism caused immeasurable stress. Your company acted in bad faith.
4. After our six hour drive to St. Louis August 3rd from Kansas City we were told by a Continental staff person Jeff, when we picked up our luggage in St. Louis, the delays were due to someone trying to bring bomb making items on board at LaGuardia. So this confirmed that we had been lied to in Newark and proved accommodations should have been provided. He wholeheartedly agreed and told us to write a letter.
5. Your company is responsible discrimination of the elderly. Cost of 2 hotel rooms, cost for fuel of the drive from St. Louis to Kansas City and back. As, well as the loss of my birthday on August 2nd would all be your responsibility.
  #2  
Old Aug 21, 2009, 5:17 PM
ht4jpc ht4jpc is offline
 
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Default extremely bad customer service

The return flight through Newark NWR on August 2nd, with connecting flight to St. Louis arrived in Newark EWR approximately 10:35am with connecting flight to St. Louis departure at 2:25pm. At 2pm when boarding was to begin, no plane, 2:15pm, no plane. At 2:30 the announcement stated that the flight was delayed due to weather for approximately an hour. We were told the plane had not made it from another destination to arrive at Newark NWR. At 3:30pm, no plane. The announcement changed to no pilot or crew, with no time frame for their arrival. At 4:30pm I got in line for customer service knowing that it was possible with two delays that the flight could be cancelled. With previous travel experience there are certain expectations on how “most” airlines handle issues. At 5:15pm the flight was cancelled. I was in line already and I had called customer service earlier. There were two other flights to St. Louis that evening that an in airport customer service person should be able to put us on. When reaching the desk, Phyllis stated “If your flight is cancelled you will be put on the next available flight.” How did she know what I needed? She pushed a piece of paper across the counter, stating that Continental doesn’t pay for accommodations due to weather. I was puzzled, since I hadn’t said anything yet. I informed her of my situation and inquired about the other flights. She didn’t bother looking in the computer, just a flat “NO.” I asked about routing with another airline, other cities, etc. NO! Phyllis stated, “You either stay here at the airport until 3pm tomorrow August 3rd for the next available flight to St. Louis or pay for your own accommodations.” With that she put her hand up and dismissed me with a back handed wave, Next! I was appalled. Stunned I said, “What?” Her actions and tone of voice were unbelievable. My parents 79 and 80 years old, can’t sleep in the airport, the weather is clear, it’s not our fault that there isn’t a crew, Continental needs to provide accommodations for us or find a flight to get us home, please. Phyllis’s response, “Loose the attitude, you can take it or leave it, get out of line, next.” I pleaded with her; please find a flight to St. Louis? I had to help my parents. They couldn’t take much more. Finally Phyllis after I begged could get us to Kansas City. However, there was no connecting flight to St. Louis from Kansas City. I took it. Phyllis’s severe unreasonable uncaring attitude had us at her mercy.
  #3  
Old Aug 21, 2009, 5:18 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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It's difficult to piece together what happened from the few details you posted. Could you please be more detailed as to what happened, where, and when. All I can put together is that you were in Newark, somehow wound up in Kansas City, then drove to St. Louis to pick up your bags which somehow were flown there. Was St. Louis your final destination and you were somehow diverted to Kansas City?

If you care to fill in the blanks, please do. If not, that's just fine too.
  #4  
Old Aug 21, 2009, 5:21 PM
ht4jpc ht4jpc is offline
 
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Default contintental wont take responsibility for thier actions

During our wait time in Newark EWR we were moved to 4 different gates, told our luggage would be forwarded to Kansas City, lied to a minimum of three times by Continental employees and treated as we were nothing. Adding insult to injury when we arrived in Kansas City our luggage was in St. Louis. The customer service personnel in the Kansas City office at 11:45pm stated that he couldn’t understand if our luggage made it to St. Louis why they couldn’t find a flight for us. I just sighed, there wasn’t anything to say. We had no clothes, toiletries, etc it was all in St. Louis. A staff person with a heart gave us an airline overnight bag, thank goodness. He said you have to write to the main office and let them know about how badly we were treated, they’ll make it right.
  #5  
Old Aug 21, 2009, 8:20 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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I'm sorry you had such a rough trip. I'm usually a pretty staunch defender of Continental, however some of their Newark customer service agents...well, let's just say, it's Newark after all. I spent more than half my life in the New York metro area and service such as you received in Newark is somewhat par for the course. I know "please", "thank you", and "I'm sorry" go a long way when dealing with travel weary customers but you just aren't going to get that from any airline employee at any New York airport including Newark and Continental. It isn't right but it is what it is. If you're familiar with the TV show "Seinfeld" and the "Soup Nazi" character just imagine a whole bunch of "Soup Nazis" only they're airline employees. The "Soup Nazi" was character was based on a real person who owned an actual soup store in New York City!

Now as far as the other part of your complaint, weather was most definitely an issue at Newark on Sunday, August 2nd. If there are any doubts just check some of the posts on FlyerTalk.com about Continental's Newark operations that day. Looks like the weather started to get bad about 10:30 in the morning and was marginal throughout the day. Inbound flights were diverted all over the place and outbound flights weren't taking off. It was indeed a mess and I'm sure the employees and passengers alike were stressed to the max.

I'm not sure why the agent even mentioned the bomb scare at LaGuardia because it occurred the day before, August 1st, and would not have impacted your flight from Newark. Even if it had been the reason for your delay the temporary closure/evacuation of an airport for a suspected security breach comes under those things which are not within the airlines' control and therefore you wouldn't have been compensated for a hotel room anyway. In your case the delay and subsequent cancellation of your flight was clearly weather related and unfortunately the airline will not pay for a hotel under those circumstances nor will they rebook you on another airline.

As for your change in destination again the airline, unfortunately, isn't obligated to compensate you for time or expenses incurred to drive to your original destination. You see when they offer an alternative and you accept it you are agreeing to a change in the contract between you and the airline. Instead of being contractually obligated to fly you to your original destination they are, after you accept the new modified terms (change of destination), not obligated to carry you any further or compensate you for your expense to get there. I realize the option of waiting another day or two in Newark to fly to St. Louis wasn't a pleasant one but when given your choices you chose Kansas City. Had you opted to remain in Newark you could have gone to the airport to stand-by for the sold out flights and very often after a weather disruption people decide not to travel and there are no-shows. Of course sand-by isn't a guarantee and waiting around at the airport with elderly family members isn't a real option either.

If you'd like to pursue a complaint about the general lack of customer service and the attitude of the Newark employees I can provide you with an e-mail address of someone at Continental who will respond to your complaint. Unfortunately you can't expect compensation for any of the other things you list, especially "discrimination of the elderly." About all you can expect is an apology and perhaps a voucher to use on a future Continental flight. If that possibility seems agreeable to you please send me a private message and I will provide you with the e-mail address.
  #6  
Old Aug 21, 2009, 11:25 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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PHX. ..
That post was factual, didn't defend the outrageous actions of the Continental staff, was helpful to the passenger who was clearly upset and in no way hostile to the customer...

I am getting worried about you, are you feeling ok?

Meanwhile, we have the touching faith of the nice helpful Continental employee in Kansas..

Quote:
A staff person with a heart gave us an airline overnight bag, thank goodness. He said you have to write to the main office and let them know about how badly we were treated, they’ll make it right
He was either:

1. NEW TO THE INDUSTRY
2. LIVING ON ANOTHER PLANET
3. ON DAY RELEASE FROM THE LOCAL CHARTER HOSPITAL or
4. HOPELESSLY NAIVE...

Main office will make it right.... when pigs fly!
  #7  
Old Aug 21, 2009, 11:52 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
Meanwhile, we have the touching faith of the nice helpful Continental employee in Kansas..

He was either:

1. NEW TO THE INDUSTRY
Continental hasn't hired in quite some time. Just the opposite. As you say across the pond many were made redundant and are now "on the dole."

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
2. LIVING ON ANOTHER PLANET
Ding! We have a winner! Have you ever been to Kansas? Compared to Newark it is another planet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
Main office will make it right.... when pigs fly!
She PM'd me and has the email address for my inside contact at Continental. It's in the utmost of capable hands now and I'm sure if she only receives an apology it will be meaningful and not a "form letter."
  #8  
Old Aug 22, 2009, 12:48 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Well, I hope she does, but it is sadly all too rare to get an individual response these days, from any firm let alone an airline..
  #9  
Old Aug 22, 2009, 1:22 AM
getoutthere getoutthere is offline
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It sounds like Continental didn't cause any of this. Weather and the "LaGuardia Bomber" seem to be at fault (if there really was a bomb material incident). You state that you were lied to about the weather and it was really the "bomber" that caused the problem. How is this the fault of Continental that would make them financially responsible for your situation?
  #10  
Old Aug 22, 2009, 1:33 AM
getoutthere getoutthere is offline
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When there is a missing crew it usually means they got stuck somewhere due to the weather. If this was the case, why would Continental pay another airline? As you say it wasn't your fault. Weather can be clear at the time your departure time arrives but there is no saying what havoc it already caused for flights in and out of Newark.
  #11  
Old Aug 22, 2009, 1:10 PM
ht4jpc ht4jpc is offline
 
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If it was weather, a missing crew or a potential bomber why would it be my fault? Why would other flights take off? This gives Continetal airline customer service employees the right to back flip their hands at all their customers? I guess in this day it should be expected that compassion is a thing of the past? Were you raised to treat others the way you would like to be treated? I was trying to get my elderly parents home, maybe I should have been as cold as she was & let them sleep in the airport, wait for 24 hours for the next flight and spend thier social security on delicious airport food. Now does that sound human? Don't think so.
  #12  
Old Aug 22, 2009, 1:14 PM
ht4jpc ht4jpc is offline
 
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I guess those who do have a heart are considered naive? A new employee? I think this person who said that the main office would make it right still was a human and believed that. Maybe I'm the naive one who thinks that treating those like you would like to be treated still exists.
I will thank with whole heartedness those who still feel.
  #13  
Old Aug 22, 2009, 1:21 PM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Thank you for increasing the size of your font...........man, my eyes are getting bad!!
__________________
Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
  #14  
Old Aug 22, 2009, 1:39 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ht4jpc View Post
I guess those who do have a heart are considered naive? A new employee? I think this person who said that the main office would make it right still was a human and believed that. Maybe I'm the naive one who thinks that treating those like you would like to be treated still exists.
I will thank with whole heartedness those who still feel.
Did you include that positive experience in your e-mail? If not when you get your response would you please send a reply including that detail and the name of the person who helped if you have it. I'm sure the employee will receive the positive feedback and appreciate it.
  #15  
Old Aug 22, 2009, 2:26 PM
mars6423 mars6423 is offline
 
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I was at EWR (newark) august 2, flying to LHR (London heathrow) on my way here to Singapore. My flight and most of the international flights out of terminal B were on time. And i remember that the weather was pretty terrible throughout the day but was better at night, and me and my girlfriend were worried about our flight since i kept getting alerts that Newark airport was experiencing some major delays (for all domestic flights)

We were driving home from visiting her grandpa in a nursing home, and had to pull over since the rain was so hard (both the nursing home and our house are within 20mins from newark airport) so we knew that any flight taking off at that time most likely would wait untill the brunt of it was over.

At the airport on the screens (they show all the terminal departure and arrival schedules in each terminal...at least B) and i saw that continentals flights were delayed and that arriving flights were either majorly delayed or cancled. So that may be a reason why you didnt get on your flight

and yeah there was a bomb threat at La Guardia the day before, some mentally challenged guy who had batteries in his backpack and was acting up before security, but that wouldnt have effected your flight.
  #16  
Old Aug 22, 2009, 3:49 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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When ATC reduces arrival/departure slots due to weather the international flights are almost always the last that are delayed/canceled. Also remember that most of the big birds fly into Newark in the early or mid-morning before the thunderstorms are usually an issue so the planes are there on the ground. Not so for the domestic flights which are either canceled or diverted before they get to the airport.

Of the domestic flights, those on regional aircraft are usually the first to get the axe.
  #17  
Old Aug 22, 2009, 4:32 PM
mars6423 mars6423 is offline
 
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the plane i was on arrived at newark around 7 20ish i believe...delayed a little, so it arrived in the evening before turning around for my flight to LHR
  #18  
Old Aug 13, 2010, 9:21 PM
Gary Kritz Gary Kritz is offline
 
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Default Lack of Communications causes stress & delays

I had been sitting at Gate E21 at Houston Bush Int. Airport for 90 minutes when out of nowhere, the gate agent told us that we had to switch gates, 5 minutes before boarding. The new gate, C30, was all the way at the other far end of the airport. The E21 gate board still said to Philadelphia on-time, scheduled to leave at 7:05PM. We all started running as fast as we could to get to the new gate, which put us in the middle of boarding. It took me 15 minutes to get there walking at a very fast pace since I am a power walker. I felt bad for all of the old people who couldn’t make it. No one was boarding at Gate C30 when I arrived. We sat down and waited. At 6:45PM, we were told there was a mechanical problem with the plane, and the next update was at 7:15PM. We all ran for nothing, sweating and out-of-breadth. The plane had been sitting at Gate E21 since 6;10PM. We were never told of the problem, and we ran for nothing! There is no excuse for that. Continental knew there was a mechanical problem at 6:10PM, long before we were running for our lives to make the flight with the gate change. At 7:16PM we were told it was an air-conditioning problem and that we would leave at 8:15PM because the plane had to be cleaned and serviced. Since when does it take 60 minutes to clean and load the plane?! I’ve seen turnarounds in 15 minutes. There are connections made within 30 minutes. Why couldn’t the plane be loaded and serviced while we boarded like on any other flight? The C30 gate agents were belligerent and bewildered. They were told nothing or why. Even our pilot told us that he did not understand why the plane was switched from E21! No communications to the passengers or agents. We were kept in the dark.

I’ve had these frequent flyers miles since the mid-80’s. I had stopped flying Continental for this exact reason- being manipulated and lied to with omitted communications. Nothing has changed in 20 years. I’m done with Continental. And I know it is the “operations crew on the ground” who are responsible for NOT communicating to the gate agents and for making the gate change. How do I know this? It was these “Lack of communications problems” that led me to stop flying Continental. You should take a look online at all of the customer complaint sites on your airline. It is pathetic.
  #19  
Old Aug 13, 2010, 9:38 PM
ht4jpc ht4jpc is offline
 
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Default Continental isnt taking responsibility

The original post that I wrote ended with a letter from Continental stating that they could not control the weather. I never asked them to do so. I did ask that they control an employee. They need to send them to some basic customer service seminars. I tried Continental one more time going from Pensacola to Sacramento. Flight there no problems. Flight back over booked not once but twice. We were told either volunteer to be moved to the third flight or hope that there are seats on the second flight. Thank goodness within my planning the trip I took another day off. They gave us $200 vouchers for another flight. I think for every delay they should have given way more than that but somethings better than nothing. I gave the vouchers away. Now the kicker. The people who used the vouchers didn't get on the flight out of New Orleans that was scheduled for 5:30am until 10am. They were offered nothing because they used vouchers. I know it wasn't my fault but I apologized profusely as I felt responsible for suggesting Continental.
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