Customer Service

Have you had any problems with Continental's Customer Service? Have Continental employees treated you poorly?

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Customer Service
Worst Flight Experience Ever

 
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  #1  
Old Aug 31, 2010, 3:43 PM
6cardkitty 6cardkitty is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2

Here's my story. My husband's uncle passed away and he was named executor of the estate. We needed to fly to Ireland to take care of arrangements and meet with lawyers. We booked flights CO3439 from Buffalo to Newark (5:45pm - 7:20pm) and then CO 66 Newark to Shannon, Ireland (10:08pm - 9:28am) for August 23. When we checked in we were told that the flight to Newark was delayed until 7:30 due to weather. The previous flight had arrived on time and the plane was sitting at the gate the entire time we were delayed. We finally board the plane around 7:30 for a "wheels up" at 8:00. The flight attendants went through the safety instructions and everything and then the captain announced we'd be delayed another 2 hrs. They had everyone deplane. We spoke with an agent (Paolo) because at that point we knew we wouldn't make our connection. She told us if we went to Newark and didn't make the connection they wouldn't pay for a hotel. We don't live very far from the airport so we rebooked both flights for the next day (and rebooked our returning flight to be a day later as well) and we went home. However she failed to notify us that delays to Newark are a frequent occurrence.

We go back to the airport the following day and again are told that the flight to Newark is delayed, this time the plane was late arriving from its previous destination. The agent, Pam, was helpful. She put me in the very first row so I could be first off the plane and said in the event we didn't make our connection she okayed the airline to pay for a hotel for us this time. We spoke with the agent at the gate (didn't get her name but she was not too tall, heavyset, long curly red hair) and were told "You will make your connection". When the plane finally did arrive they told us once we were boarded we could be up in the air in 10 minutes. However after boarding we sat on the tarmac for at least 30minutes before the plane even taxied out. At this point we knew we were cutting our connection close. Near the end of the flight when I was skeptical about making the connection I spoke with the flight attendant. He made a call and said that the Shannon flight knew there were connectors on board our plane and they would try to hold it. When we landed I was the first off the plane and ran through the terminal (if you know the Newark airport, our gates were no where near each other, it wasn't a short run) and got to the gate. The plane was still there at the gate but the doors were closed and they wouldn't let us board. I told them about how we were going for funeral/executor business and they were not compassionate at all and the gate agent brushed me off and walked away. I followed her asking where I could go to get help but she wouldn't talk to me at all, didn't acknowledge me and kept on walking. I was in tears by then, they made an already bad situation much worse. We finally found someone who would help us, Joanna, who helped us at the customer service desk although they were supposed to be closed by then. She booked us a hotel but we weren't given any food vouchers. From the hotel we called the airline to file a complaint and they told us to wait until all our travel was complete before requesting any compensation or filing a complaint. The next day we finally made it to Shannon, 2 days late.

Our returning flight was delayed 2 hours due to plane maintenance. We were told by the agents we would "most likely" make our connection. And this time we did, however when we got to Buffalo our luggage didn't. 2 bags have since been located and are supposed to arrive later today, but the 3rd is still lost. For a first time over-seas flyer this was an absolutely horrid experience.

When I finally got home I called the airline to request a refund. The refund manager I spoke with, Janet, was not at all helpful or sympathic. She was rude, put me on hold for 20 minutes without even asking first if she could put me on hold. She said "I need to find out why your flight was delayed" and put me on hold unnecessarily when I could have told her why. She refused to acknowledge there was any wrong doing on the part of the airline and would not refund us. We were offered a $175 voucher each for a future flight... but why the hell would I want that? I never want to fly with them again, I want my money back!

So in the end the trip cost us an extra day off work with the rescheduling and 2 wasted vacation days not to mention the emotional stress we endured in an already emotional situation. I've read other forums and I'm going to be following up the DOT and any pursue any other means I can. I just wanted to share my story as a warning to others.. DO NOT FLY WITH CONTINENTAL.
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  #2  
Old Aug 31, 2010, 4:50 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Sorry you had such a bad experience Kitty. As a word of advice, it is almost never the right thing to travel on a US based airline. On your trip, I would have taken a Jetblue flight to Boston and connected to Aer Lingus. It probably would have been cheaper too. US airlines standards have falled so low, their service almost never matches those of foreign airlines.

Newark and JFK are a nightmare and should be avoided if possible. Do you know the name of the gate agent in Newark who treated you so badly? I am on a campaign to name and shame the agents who treat people so badly. It would be great to add their names to the list...

Jim
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  #3  
Old Aug 31, 2010, 5:27 PM
6cardkitty 6cardkitty is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2

Unfortunately I don't know her name. I wasn't really in the frame of mind to pay attention to that or go hunting after her for it. I don't know if she would have given it to me anyway, considering this situation. While I was dealing with Joanna at the customer service counter, a gentlemen from the same flight to Newark who also missed a connection was trying to speak with someone else at the customer service counter. She was rude to him and dismissed him, hid her name tag behind her vest. When he asked her name she wouldn't give it to him, so he took her picture and then she called authorities on him!
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Old Aug 31, 2010, 5:36 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

People seem to have got the idea that it is against the law to take pictures of people in a public place. It is not.. the authorities would not have been able to do anything about it..
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 3:12 AM
Leatherboy2006 Leatherboy2006 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 340

Jim, are you also contacting these people you want to "shame", that seems very unfair to them and in the age of being able to goggle names and get information on them, could not be safe.
Hopefully you don't "shame" anyone who is really innocent.
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Old Sep 1, 2010, 6:05 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

It is just free speech in action. If people act badly, I can see no reason why this shouldn't be discussed and exposed. Speech is not unsafe. I do not advocate anything other than exposing poor conduct.
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  #7  
Old Dec 18, 2013, 6:06 PM
USAirwayssucks USAirwayssucks is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 2

I completely agree with naming employees, who are receiving compensation from the airlines to act, or not act, on their behalf. It actually could lead to some of the policies enacted by the airlines becoming public, and letting the consumer know exactly the abuse they may be paying for. E-mail is a good documentation, but start snapping pictures of rude airport personnel and lets see how quickly things can change.
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