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

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  #1  
Old Dec 10, 2009, 5:01 PM
notahappycamper notahappycamper is offline
 
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Default “let them eat cake (pretzels)”

On December 6, 2009 I purchased a first class ticket from Brownsville Texas to Merida Mexico. I usually take this flight twice each month. As a platinum one pass member I usually get upgraded but this time I stupidly paid full fare for a fist class ticket as it was only a couple of hundred dollars more than coach. Shortly after takeoff the flight attendant in first class brought mini pretzel sticks and asked for our drink order. I asked what about dinner? She said the catering employee informed them that as of Dec 1, 2009 they no longer provide meals. I took out my computer and showed the in-flight coordinator that my receipt for my ticket purchased within the last 16 hours states very plainly “dinner”. This flight has offered a meal for the last three years. She couldn’t explain but offered me a comment card and more pretzels. I could have brought food, but I was never told. In fact I purchased a ticket that states that I am to receive dinner. The best part was when the flight attendant sat at her chair and ate her tuna sandwich from Subway. I remember when Continental had great reviews and received awards for customer service. Those days are long gone and this I’m sure is just the beginning of the new management. This “let them eat cake (pretzels)” mentality shows the lack of understanding in consumer loyalty and will lead to certain death of a once great airline.
  #2  
Old Dec 10, 2009, 5:55 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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The difference between 1st Class and Economy on US based airlines has become so small, it barely justifies the price. I am convinced it is because of frequent flyer programmes. Essentially the airlines charge outrageous prices to companies, and offer free flights to the employees to encourage them to use them. The incentive to offer better quality service is diminished as a result.
  #3  
Old Dec 10, 2009, 9:05 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notahappycamper View Post
The best part was when the flight attendant sat at her chair and ate her tuna sandwich from Subway.


Flight attendants aren't allowed to eat? Or are you saying she should have bought a Subway sandwich for everyone in first class?

You seem to be taking some of this out on her. The flight crews don't decide what is or is not served on certain routes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by notahappycamper View Post
I remember when Continental had great reviews and received awards for customer service. Those days are long gone and this I’m sure is just the beginning of the new management. This “let them eat cake (pretzels)” mentality shows the lack of understanding in consumer loyalty and will lead to certain death of a once great airline.
They continue to receive awards for high standards of customer service. You are confusing the "hard product" (seat pitch/comfort, cabin cleanliness, food and beverage offerings...) with the "soft product" (friendliness of ground staff and crew, etc.) I can't speak to what Continental offered on that flight in the past but was the departure time of the flight always after 7 PM? Continental promotes "meals at mealtimes" and even in first class doesn't serve full meals at all times of the day especially on shorter flights. The scheduled time for the flight from Houston to Merida, Mexico is just over two hours (2:07) so in actuality when you take into account time to taxi on both ends and ascent/descent the time in the air during which cabin service could take place is well under two hours and closer to an hour and a half. I certainly wouldn't expect a full dinner service on such a short flight even if it were at 5 or 6 in the afternoon. Let's look at a comparable flight. On the Houston to Atlanta route Continental has a flight leaving @705 PM (the flight to Merida leaves at 710 PM) and is 2 hours and 5 minutes in duration. In first class the meal service indicated is: NONE. Even on the mid-day flight the meal service in first class is listed as a "snack" where a longer flight would get lunch.

Last edited by PHXFlyer; Dec 10, 2009 at 9:07 PM.
  #4  
Old Dec 10, 2009, 11:35 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Quote:
On the Houston to Atlanta route Continental has a flight leaving @705 PM (the flight to Merida leaves at 710 PM) and is 2 hours and 5 minutes in duration. In first class the meal service indicated is: NONE.

Quote:
I took out my computer and showed the in-flight coordinator that my receipt for my ticket purchased within the last 16 hours states very plainly “dinner”.
If they say they are going to provide dinner on the schedule, and this is what you think you are paying for... surely it is not unreasonable to expect them to provide it. I am guessing the first class customers on the Houston to Atlanta route were not disappointed, on the grounds they were not promised it.
  #5  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 12:10 AM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
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Agree with PHX, she is intitled to eat, the OP even states that it was a tuna sandwich from Subway. Do you think they gave it to her for free? No telling what kinda of flights she had to work that day, that might have been her only chance to eat.
  #6  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 12:22 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I don't know where it is implied she was not allowed to eat or should have bought everyone else a Subway sandwich.

I think his point was simply this: he was promised a meal, so did not eat or take anything on the plane in anticipation of what was on his confirmation. He was not given a meal, so was hungry. The FA shrugged and said there is nothing she can do about it sorry, write to the airline. Then ate her subway in front of him while he starved.

What is wrong with that observation? He is not saying she shouldn't eat it, nor that she should buy him one. Just that he was hungry, anticipated a meal and instead of getting one, he had to sit and watch the FA chow down on hers.
  #7  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 1:45 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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Where to begin? First, if it says dinner then a dinner should have been served. Airline screwed up and that is certainly not a first.

Now, that we're inflight and a meal cannot be whipped up out of pretzels and vodka (it could for me but that's another story) let's examine the other comments made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by notahappycamper
paid full fare for a fist class ticket as it was only a couple of hundred dollars more than coach.
Then......

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs
If they say they are going to provide dinner on the schedule, and this is what you think you are paying for... surely it is not unreasonable to expect them to provide it.
Surely you can't believe a meal on a U.S. domestic aircraft is worth a couple hundred dollars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by notahappycamper
The best part was when the flight attendant sat at her chair and ate her tuna sandwich from Subway
Then again......

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs
I don't know where it is implied she was not allowed to eat or should have bought everyone else a Subway sandwich.
I don't know what you perceived from the OP's statement but my perception is that he/she was indeed upset the flight attendant was eating and he wasn't.

Bottom line for me is I agree it's wrong to publish that a meal will be served, especially in First Class and that's one of the main reasons for buying the ticket, and then not have it. Borders on false adverstising. But once you've been given the bad news, don't take it out on an employee who has no control whatsoever over the catering habits of their employer.
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  #8  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 3:15 AM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
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Kinda of curious if the OP bought the ticket directly from the airline or from another source? If from another source (like expedia or other on line source) maybe they get an update on meal change.
  #9  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 4:51 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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They still promote a dinner on their website, but considering the flight is so short I wouldn't bother worrying or complaining about it much because you still get the luxury of not being cramped in the back, you don't have to pay for your drinks, and..... that's pretty much it.

Quote:
The best part was when the flight attendant sat at her chair and ate her tuna sandwich from Subway.
The gall!!! For her to sit there and eat a tuna sandwich in front of you, that she paid for, and doesn't even offer you a bite? I hope you got her name and reported her!!!

But seriously, I had the similar experience on a continental flight from newark to vegas, I was rushing to meet the plane, hadn't a bite to eat but I thought, oh I'm sitting in first I will get a meal no sweat. Imagine my surprise when we were only served shrimp cocktails, cheese and crackers. I usually carry on small snacks to sustain me, but to wait to get something filling.... whooo what a long flight that was.
  #10  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 5:14 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Default The glass is half FULL (not empty)

By my standards this sounds like a GREAT flight!

My idea of a perfect flight is arriving at my final destination within 2 hours of the scheduled time; all of my baggage arrives with me; the flight attendant has ignored me (my preference), and the airline has kept their microwaved first class slop to themselves. I'll buy some food, airside, to bring on board.
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  #11  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 5:23 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
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I am in pretty much complete agreement with BCSH other than the tongue-in-cheek (I hope) comment about arriving within 2 hours of scheduled time. But if an airline is advertising a meal and the passenger didn't bring something with him for this reason alone, the airline has failed.

I'm surprised DL hasn't been blamed for this yet.
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  #12  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 11:22 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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I blame Delta for lowering standards... now everyones at it...
  #13  
Old Dec 11, 2009, 11:41 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
I blame Delta for lowering standards... now everyones at it...
Actually, Jim, US Airways started it. When America West took over the legacy US Airways (before Delta's latest bankruptcy) they were the first to charge for the second checked bag, the first to put advertisements on the overhead bins and tray tables, and they tore out seats in first class and started serving first class beverages in plastic and seved "meals" (if you call and sandwich and crisps a first class meal) in plastic baskets with paper napkins.

The race to the bottom was indeed started by US Airways. Delta was close to follow, though.
  #14  
Old Dec 13, 2009, 12:34 PM
justme justme is offline
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Quote:
I blame Delta for lowering standards... now everyones at it...
Even though I know you are saying this sarcastically, I am offended that you would blame the current state of airline service on Delta. The blame for the current state of service, or lack thereof, rests squarely on the shoulders of 2 entities equally: Southwest and the flying public. Southwest most certainly is the poison that started everyone thinking you can get a flight across the country for less than a bus ticket, and the public then demanded everyone else lower their prices (and service out the window with them) to match SW. Fly the greyhound of the skies if you like to save money, but don't expect everyone else to match the fares and keep the 1980s service.
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  #15  
Old Dec 13, 2009, 6:27 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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It is absolutely the opposite. Southwest offer an honest product.. you know exactly what you will get and they make no pretence otherwise. Their fare structure is transparent and they have a corporate culture which is customer oriented, within the scope of what they offer.

The legacies, of which I find Delta the worst, have developed a culture which is dishonest and hostile to the customer. Their attitude towards customers is apparent simply from reading the Delta threads on here, my3cents and flyertalk. There are significantly more complaints about the legacies than Southwest. Their pricing is not transparent and seeks to exploit customers and their fortress hub monopoly power.

You appear to be blaming Southwest for undermining the legacies. If the legacies would address the problem of their disaffected staff and their attitudes, they may have a chance get better. This is as much about attitude as it is about service. This example, on AA, illustrates perfectly what the attitude problem in the legacies is:

http://consumerist.com/2009/12/askin...deral-law.html
  #16  
Old Dec 15, 2009, 1:36 AM
notahappycamper notahappycamper is offline
 
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I have taken flight 1842 for the last 3 years, the same flight previously leaving at 6:50pm then 7pm and now 7:10pm. For the last three years there has been a meal. First chicken or steak, hamburgers and recently salads. The quality has been great. Please listen to my complaint. I purchased a ticket that said it included dinner, I paid for First Class. My receipt says dinner. The flight attendant is not at fault, on the contrary she was great, very apologetic and sympathetic.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PHXFlyer View Post

Flight attendants aren't allowed to eat? Or are you saying she should have bought a Subway sandwich for everyone in first class?

You seem to be taking some of this out on her. The flight crews don't decide what is or is not served on certain routes.



They continue to receive awards for high standards of customer service. You are confusing the "hard product" (seat pitch/comfort, cabin cleanliness, food and beverage offerings...) with the "soft product" (friendliness of ground staff and crew, etc.) I can't speak to what Continental offered on that flight in the past but was the departure time of the flight always after 7 PM? Continental promotes "meals at mealtimes" and even in first class doesn't serve full meals at all times of the day especially on shorter flights. The scheduled time for the flight from Houston to Merida, Mexico is just over two hours (2:07) so in actuality when you take into account time to taxi on both ends and ascent/descent the time in the air during which cabin service could take place is well under two hours and closer to an hour and a half. I certainly wouldn't expect a full dinner service on such a short flight even if it were at 5 or 6 in the afternoon. Let's look at a comparable flight. On the Houston to Atlanta route Continental has a flight leaving @705 PM (the flight to Merida leaves at 710 PM) and is 2 hours and 5 minutes in duration. In first class the meal service indicated is: NONE. Even on the mid-day flight the meal service in first class is listed as a "snack" where a longer flight would get lunch.
  #17  
Old Dec 15, 2009, 1:39 AM
notahappycamper notahappycamper is offline
 
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Her answer was that the "no meal" decision took place Dec. 1, 2009 therefore any ticket purchased before that date might show a meal. This is why I showed her my receipt.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
If they say they are going to provide dinner on the schedule, and this is what you think you are paying for... surely it is not unreasonable to expect them to provide it. I am guessing the first class customers on the Houston to Atlanta route were not disappointed, on the grounds they were not promised it.
  #18  
Old Dec 15, 2009, 1:42 AM
notahappycamper notahappycamper is offline
 
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She privately offered me half, but the other passengers did comment on it as we left the plane. I was not starving and would never think of taking food away from a flight attendant. They do a lot for the passengers and take a lot of crap from us.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Bob View Post
They still promote a dinner on their website, but considering the flight is so short I wouldn't bother worrying or complaining about it much because you still get the luxury of not being cramped in the back, you don't have to pay for your drinks, and..... that's pretty much it.



The gall!!! For her to sit there and eat a tuna sandwich in front of you, that she paid for, and doesn't even offer you a bite? I hope you got her name and reported her!!!

But seriously, I had the similar experience on a continental flight from newark to vegas, I was rushing to meet the plane, hadn't a bite to eat but I thought, oh I'm sitting in first I will get a meal no sweat. Imagine my surprise when we were only served shrimp cocktails, cheese and crackers. I usually carry on small snacks to sustain me, but to wait to get something filling.... whooo what a long flight that was.
  #19  
Old Dec 15, 2009, 1:45 AM
notahappycamper notahappycamper is offline
 
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Default it did not end well

The return flight ended with my luggage being destroyed. The stand/leg was broken off and now i have a 22 inch upright that falls over.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch Cassidy Slept Here View Post
By my standards this sounds like a GREAT flight!

My idea of a perfect flight is arriving at my final destination within 2 hours of the scheduled time; all of my baggage arrives with me; the flight attendant has ignored me (my preference), and the airline has kept their microwaved first class slop to themselves. I'll buy some food, airside, to bring on board.
  #20  
Old Dec 15, 2009, 1:47 AM
notahappycamper notahappycamper is offline
 
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i buy all tickets direct from continental.com
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leatherboy2006 View Post
Kinda of curious if the OP bought the ticket directly from the airline or from another source? If from another source (like expedia or other on line source) maybe they get an update on meal change.
  #21  
Old Dec 15, 2009, 1:56 AM
notahappycamper notahappycamper is offline
 
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Here’s an example. Let’s say you and your wife have been going to a resort that offers you a decent room with a view. Because you and your wife frequent the resort every two months the manager upgrades you to a better room. This upgraded room always has fresh flowers. You wife loves them as it gives her the illusion that you are romantic. Your anniversary is around the corner, you purposely book the better room and pay twice the price as usual. The amenities on the web site states “fresh cut flowers”. You pay for the room and when you get there the vases are empty. You ask the bell man what happened to the flowers. He says that management decided to stop placing flowers in the rooms last week. You booked a room that said it came with flowers. Now your wife thinks you’re a jerk for not having flowers. You could have brought you own damn flowers if someone had told you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by notahappycamper View Post
On December 6, 2009 I purchased a first class ticket from Brownsville Texas to Merida Mexico. I usually take this flight twice each month. As a platinum one pass member I usually get upgraded but this time I stupidly paid full fare for a fist class ticket as it was only a couple of hundred dollars more than coach. Shortly after takeoff the flight attendant in first class brought mini pretzel sticks and asked for our drink order. I asked what about dinner? She said the catering employee informed them that as of Dec 1, 2009 they no longer provide meals. I took out my computer and showed the in-flight coordinator that my receipt for my ticket purchased within the last 16 hours states very plainly “dinner”. This flight has offered a meal for the last three years. She couldn’t explain but offered me a comment card and more pretzels. I could have brought food, but I was never told. In fact I purchased a ticket that states that I am to receive dinner. The best part was when the flight attendant sat at her chair and ate her tuna sandwich from Subway. I remember when Continental had great reviews and received awards for customer service. Those days are long gone and this I’m sure is just the beginning of the new management. This “let them eat cake (pretzels)” mentality shows the lack of understanding in consumer loyalty and will lead to certain death of a once great airline.
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