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Don't use Continental AirlinesL....

Kansas
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Don't use Continental AirlinesL....

Had a great trip to Puerta Vallarta except for the travel there and back. Continental airlines has got the be the worst airline ever. I will never use them again. On the way down to PV from Kansas City they changed our first flight to Houston. In doing so they did not contact use and let us know that we needed to change flight times. So we only had 26 minutes between flights. Not enough time to get on the other plane. So we had to take a latter flight that night from Houston to PV. Instead of getting there at 4 we got there at 10. A waste of $500. As we stayed all inclusive. On the way home the nightmare got even worse. We got to Houston on time but sat on the runway for 40 minutes so we had about 5 min. to catch our flight to KC. Not enough time so we tried to get on the 9:30 flight but it was full and stand by did not work out. So my wife and another couple went to complain and they did not want to give us hotel rooms or anything. They first of all said it was our fault. Well we argued for quit a while and they ended up giving us a free room and comps for meals. But what a mess. So we returned the next morning.

Anyways on the way to the hotel we had a full short bus with people from continental with the same story from different flights. The bus driver said he had taken 80 people that night to the hotel from continental with the same story. Then he went on to say that he had been doing that for 4 months now. I was thinking maybe we just had bad luck but I guess its continental. I mean there were people who missed flights that came in from PV, Cayman Islands, Mexico City. You name it. Oh yeah he said at least you guys missed it returning home-I had a group of 4 traveling to PV that missed there flight going there.

Sorry for the long posts but want to spread the info. As Continental does not want to own up to it. We called and complained to the main office and all the kept doing was saying why are you calling us. I could not believe that response. And they did not feel they should comp us, so I said why should I use you again. Their reply you have other options. I said yes I do and you run a horrible business.

Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Don't use Continental AirlinesL....

Sorry you had such crummy flights. I've heard it isn't necessary to confirm flights anymore, but because of this kind of situation, I *always* confirm my flights the night before I leave. I have read too many posts on this forum and others from people who didn't have a clue their flights had changed until they arrived at the airport. It only takes a few minutes to either call or check online, and it's so worth the peace of mind. In fact, I'm so paranoid, I check weekly!

Why did you sit on the runway? And why did you only have a 45 minute connection in Houston? Fights run late all the time for a multitude of different reasons, including stuff that makes the plane sit around either before takeoff or after landing; hence, you need more connection time. Again, this should have been caught earlier; it's not nearly enough time in most instances to make a connection, and most airlines won't even allow it.

London, United...
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2. Re: Don't use Continental AirlinesL....

Sitting on the runway isn't the fault of the airline, planes don't leave gates, don't take off or land and taxi into the gate unless air traffic control gives the ok to do so. Large airports like Houson can get backed up, thus delaying flights departing and/or landing. If there were storms in any major cities in the US the dates you were flying, there's a knock on effect that affects all major airports and planes are late, again that is no fault of the airline. If the problems were weather related at all, if your planes were late because of weather issues elsewhere, the airline is not liable, they don't have to give you a room, a meal or a coke to drink. It's in the fine print.

I'm sorry you had bad experiences, it happens to everyone now and again and it can happen with any airline, not just with Continental. Actually, Continental is one of the highest rated US airlines year after year so they must be doing an awfully lot of things right. What I'm saying is, what happened to you could have happened on most any airline, so don't just knock Continental. If you travel alot, this sort of thing happens. Like it? Nope, no one does, but just the way it is.

San Diego
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for San Diego
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3. Re: Don't use Continental AirlinesL....

I have never flown internationally with Continental BUT I really lik ethem for internal USA flights. I fly often from SanDiego across the country to NYC and use Continetal to land in Newark ,NJ because it is easy to get into the city from there. They always remind me by e-mail when to check in and have been very reliable.

I am sorry you had such a bad time .

Milwaukee
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for Milwaukee
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4. Re: Don't use Continental AirlinesL....

Here we go again. If I were to follow the advice of posts on this forum I would not fly Continental, United, Delta or American. Surprisingly I don't recall reading any Northwest horror stories here. Maybe because Northwest is in the news almost daily about cancelled flights, everyone expects it from them.

I guess I will just have to drive everywhere.

Actually there is much to be learned from the problems of other travelers. I think the lesson here is reconfirm your flights periodically. Also, even if you think you will never fly the airline again join their frequent flyer club and register your e mail address so the airline can notify you easier about schedule changes.

The other lesson, which has been much publicized in this summer of air travel woes is schedule your flights as early in the day as possible to avoid unplanned overnight layovers.

I know this does not help our poster from KC and I do feel for the agony he/she suffered, but my guess is everything Continental did was legal under the contract of carriage one purchases when purchasing an airline ticket.

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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5. Re: Don't use Continental AirlinesL....

"Anyways on the way to the hotel we had a full short bus with people from continental with the same story from different flights. The bus driver said he had taken 80 people that night to the hotel from continental with the same story. Then he went on to say that he had been doing that for 4 months now. "

I'm sure he was telling the truth, as airlines usually contract out with a nearby hotel for crew and stranded passengers. Houston is a hub for Continental, it wouldn't surprise me that 80 people a day are staying overnight when they had hoped to be elsewhere.

Of course, your shuttle bus driver wasn't seeing any of the 20,000 or so who DID make it onto their flights...

Kansas
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6. Re: Don't use Continental AirlinesL....

Weather was fine not a cloud in the sky. We sat on the runway becasue our gate had a plane at it and it took them that long to get another gate for us. The gate we finally used was open the whole 40 minutes we sat there as I could see it out the window. This was all on continental as I am concerned. My wife flys all the time with work and has never had something like this happen. I myself fly only 2 times a year and have never had this happen. Besides that why are they even allowing people to book flights with only an hour layover when they are always screwing up the times they get people off the planes. They should not allow it. Next time I fly I will make sure I have at least 2 hours between connecting flights. But again it should not take that long. I have never had to that before and neither had the older couple who got stuck with us. So it is all on continental.

Travelling The World
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for Alghero
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7. Re: Don't use Continental AirlinesL....

Continental may be the biggest tenant, but it doesn't run the airport.

There are all kinds of reasons why you could have sat next to an empty gate that are not "on Continental". They still have to get permission to use it, move staff and equipment from the other gate etc etc. This can take a while. Running a large airport is a complicated operation, and it's not simply a question of saying "Oh that one's free, park there instead".

These things happen at busy airports. I have sat at Gatwick for 90 minutes waiting for a gate after an 8-hour transatlantic flight. I still use the airline concerned (it wasn't CO) because I know it wasn't their fault.

Connecting is always risky. I rarely accept the shortest time offered for peace of mind. But usually it does work. As another poster says, 80 people is a drop in the ocean. Do you know how many people will have come through HOU that day? Over 100,000! The vast majority made their connections.

My experience with CO is that they always do their best for you. I fly out of San Francisco back to the UK every year in December. I prefer to fly through Newark, but a couple of years ago there were terrible winter storms in the NY area. When we arrived at SFO, the check in clerk immediately said, "Look, the chances of you getting home tonight through EWR are slim to none. Would you like to go through HOU instead and be sure of getting there?" No fuss, no muss, and no extra charge. It's service like that that keeps me coming back. And if I had decided to go via EWR despite the warning, and had not been able to fly out, I would not have insisted that CO provide food and lodging. It was my call not to take the alternative offered.

Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
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8. Re: Don't use Continental AirlinesL....

"My wife flys all the time for work and has never had this happen".

Really! She must be the luckiest flyer in Amercia if she flys all the time and has never encountered a gate delay. Flying out of KC maybe she flys Midwest a lot. That would reduce gate delays as opposed to flying airlines with connecting flights thru O'Hare, Atlanta, etc., but I have even experienced an occcasional gate delay on Midwest.

She should also know that delays in Houston even with clear weather could be the result of bad weather elsewhere, or any other number of factors.

Calgary, Canada
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9. Re: Don't use Continental AirlinesL....

"My wife flys all the time for work and has never had this happen".

Define "all the time". And does she make connections?

My connections are usually spaced far enough apart that I've never had a problem with a missed flight. However, we have had to sit on the runway waiting for a gate, or waiting for our spot to take off.

I've flown about 20,000 miles with CO over the last 2 years and they are still one of my favourites.

10. Re: Don't use Continental AirlinesL....

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