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Topic: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: SR 103
Posted 2005-02-18 06:31:23 and read 12317 times.



Continental 1703
Los Angeles - Newark
Boeing 757-200 (N13113) (Originally scheduled for a 767-200)
Seat: 21A
Scheduled Departure Time: 8:30
Actual Departure Time: 8:27
Scheduled Arrival Time: 16:35
Actual Arrival Time: 16:31

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Photo © Michael Arcellana
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Photo © Nathan Zalcman


Check In: Charles (CMK10) and I were dropped off in front of Terminal 6 by the hotel shuttle at around 7:05. Upon entering the crowded terminal we both headed to our designated check in counters. While he turned left towards UA, I headed right in search of boarding passes from CO. I saw an empty e-check-in kiosk and claimed it before anyone else could. After sliding my WorldPerks Elite card through, my reservation popped up on the screen. What’s this? No upgrade! I was relegated to the back of the 757 today. I tried desperately to keep in mind that an Elite upgrade is a “privilege not a right!” though I wish I could say that consoled me as I was selecting seat 21A. This was close to the only window seat left behind the wing today (this flight was originally scheduled to be a 762, but was downgraded in December). To make matters worse, I was not even upgraded on the EWR-MCO segment. What is the point of advertising upgrades three days in advance if you never get them? I should have known better, that perk only exist with NW as CO likes to open up the remaining First Class seats four hours before the flight. At least I was on the ‘upgrade list.’ After the machine had printed both boarding passes, an agent with a frown came up to me and began the following disappointed dialogue:
“Orlando?”
“Yes that’s me.”
“Where is your bag? Put you bag here so I can see it!”
“It’s right there.” (Pointing to the bag on the scale she was standing in front of).
“Why didn’t you say that was your bag? You have your address on it?”
“Yes I do.”
“Well make sure, bags get lost all the time and we don’t want you end up in a bad situation.”
She labeled my bag all the way to Orlando but failed to put the “Priority” tag on. She clearly saw my boarding pass with “Elite Access” and my Gold WorldPerks tag, but it never occurred to her to put the standard “Priority” tags on.
She then thrust the ticket jacket into my face with a “go to TSA to get your bag screened there.” Good morning to you too lady!

I approached TSA to get my bag screened where Charles caught up with me. Both of his legs were upgraded to First or Business so he could not help but harp on the fact that I was in the back while he would sitting up front in the lap of luxury. I should have issued a quick retort that I had just walked off an 18-hour business class flight on Malaysian but I was still too steamed to think of it. I left my bag with the TSA screeners and we both walked towards security. We chatted while standing in line and he just could not help but show me his two Star Alliance Gold boarding passes again. The wait in line was not long and once we passed through, we headed over to Charles’s gate first, as his boarding time was a solid ten minutes before mine.

We chatted a bit at the gate and once boarding was called, we went our separate ways, him to San Francisco, me to Gate 62. I proceeded to my gate which was teaming with people. I approached the podium to check on what the ground staff would like me to do today. Certain ground staffs prefer me to wait outside when I am on the upgrade list, while other would rather come get me from the back of the aircraft. Today I was instructed to board the aircraft, as I would be escorted up if the upgrade cleared. The guy in line behind me had the same question. We both started talking while waiting for boarding to begin. He was telling all about his adventures with Delta and how he opted to switch to Continental last year. He said he was very happy with his Silver Onepass status.

Boarding Boarding was called and both of us proceeded down the jetway when “Elite Access” was called. I was greeted at the door by a friendly female flight attendant who welcomed me onboard today. I walked down and took my seat, which turned out to be the old version with no headrest.

The seat was rather worn out and tattered with no cushioning from so much use. The last time I was in coach on a Continental narrow-body was 2002 and all I can say is it was a rather hard wake up call on just how bad things are getting in the back. At least there was a pillow and blanket on each seat. I sat down and immediately felt the like I was on a bench. The cushion had been so worn, I could feel something protruding out. The plane started to fill up while a female flight attendant was running around helping passengers to store their carry on bags.

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About ten minutes before departure an agent came through the cabin to see how many empty seats were left on the aircraft. She retuned a short while later with a piece of paper in her hand. Could this be what I was hoping for? What happened next was a little surprising to me. She stopped short a few rows ahead of me, told the gentleman seated in the aisle that he was upgraded and escorted him to his seat in First. The gentleman was none other than the Silver OnePass member who was chatting with me in the gate area. I would really like to know how a Silver member gets upgraded ahead of a Gold member? Upgrades on Continental have been becoming harder and harder over the last couple months and this was an interesting twist to the musical chair dance I have been performing on my last couple of trips with the airline.

The cabin door was closed at 8:25 and the TV screens flipped down. I was almost ready to hear good old Gordon, but alas, it was not to be. Larry welcomed us onboard Continental and assured us that despite management changes, Continental would remain as customer focused as always. We pushed back three minutes later with the new safety video playing. After a quick five-minute taxi to the runway, we took off almost instantaneously due to the lack of traffic. Something I have never really experienced at LAX. As a side note, Charles’s aircraft had to wait until 8:45 to take off due to flow control issues in San Francisco, score one for Continental.

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The Flight: We lifted off into clouds, big black wet turbulent clouds. Everytime we shook, the overhead panel above the row in front of mine squeaked loudly. This caused a number of strange looks from passengers surrounding us. The sound became more powerful with every bump, and the turbulence was getting rather armrest grabbing white knuckled at this point.

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After 30 minutes we broke out of the clouds and the seatbelt sign was turned off. A cabin-crew member actually came towards us trying to find the source of the noise. We pointed and she noted something down on a piece of paper. Shortly thereafter, the see-through curtains were pulled and two carts were rolled up the aisle to the front of the aircraft. At this point in time I was looking forward to something to eat, even if it was powdered eggs. While I was waiting “Taxi” was fired up on the tiny screens above and I plugged in my headphones and entertained myself while waiting. Unfortunately, my audio system was a bit messed up with a rather shrill scream coming from one of the earpieces. I checked by flipping the prong around, and the source of the unrest was the armrest, not the headphones.

20 minutes went by and the first cart appeared near our row. A tray was handed to old lady sitting in the middle to give to me. I placed it down on my tray table and was in immediate shock.

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As you can see in the picture, “quantity” was not the word of the day. The tiny croissant was filled with some egg square and melted cheese. I dumped the entire pepper packet on it so that my taste buds could get some exercise, but even that barely registered a tickle. The fruits consisted of two small pieces of orange, one grapefruit and a small square piece of pineapple. The yogurt was standard fare and hard to really mess up, thank God for small favors. The highlight of this entire culinary experience was the “cupcake” or “muffin.” My entire row could not come to a conclusion as to what this thing consisted of. My guess was carrot cake, while my neighbor stated something about a bran muffin and the girl across the aisle went so far as to say corn. All we know is, it did not taste good and mine had the misfortune of being a little on the crispy side. I can’t believe I am going to say this, but I miss the meatloaf sandwich with carrot sticks! All you frequent CO flyers know what that is. Continental, I think it is time to start contemplating “Buy On Board,” especially if this is what you are serving on coast-to-coast legs.

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About 15 minutes after receiving the tray, the drink cart approached us and the flight attendant asked for my drink request. I asked for a coke and the entire can was handed to me, but strangely enough, no other passenger in my row got a can with his or her drink. As this was going to be a lengthy flight, I asked for a glass of water to go with it, to which he said “sure” with a resounding smile.

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The trays were collected about 30 minutes later while I sat glued to the TV out of boredom. Once the movie was over, the standard “Continental Visions” was played. The comedy of the month was “Will & Grace.” I don’t normally watch the show but it kept me from staring at the back of a seat. A flight attendant came around with a tray full of glasses of water midway through the flight, which I thought was a nice touch, especially for domestic coach. I eventually stated talking to my neighbors, as they were thoroughly bored as well by this point. The old lady sitting next me was non revving her way back to Ohio after visiting Hawaii with her son, a LAX ground staff member for CO. The guy next to her was coming back from Hawaii as well with his family. They both were complaining about how long the flight was across the Pacific. Their reaction was one of shock when I explained told them I had just flown in last night all the way from India.
“Oh my gosh! You must be one exhausted guy.”
“I am, but I had a good nights sleep in Los Angeles.”
“How long was the flight from India?”
“I spent about 21 hours in the air and about 30 total traveling.”
The look on their faces was one to behold, a Kodak moment if you will.

Cabin crew popped down aisle about an hour before landing with another cart. What is this? Another meal? Could it be? Take a look yourself.

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Unfortunately this was far from a meal, it was just a packet of peanuts with a drink of your choice. At least they came around with something before landing, I was happy with this. Descent started shortly after the trash was picked up.

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Arrival & Transit After the usual cloudy approach into Newark, we touched down and spent the usual ten minutes taxing past Terminal B towards the CO gates located in Terminal C. We docked at C94 around 16:35; about five minutes before boarding was supposed to begin for my Orlando flight. I managed to run out of the aircraft and straight to gate C86, which thankfully was not a far run today.

I approached the gate agents and asked if my upgrade had cleared. She took my boarding pass, checked the computer, smiles and said, “it sure has.” She then took a pen, scribbled my 17F out for a 3F. I guess this is a new cost cutting measure as Continental used to issue new boarding passes when your seat was changed. I sat down, turned on my phone and answered a voicemail from my roommate who was now on his way to the airport to pick me up.




Continental 1292
Newark - Orlando
Boeing 757-224 (N41135)
Seat: 3F
Scheduled Departure Time: 17:30
Actual Departure Time: 17:35
Scheduled Arrival Time: 20:15
Actual Arrival Time: 20:20

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Boarding: The boarding announcement was made at 16:50 for “First Class and Elite Access.” The machine refused to read my boarding pass so the agent had to type my information into the computer manually. Once she was done, I was handed my boarding pass with a “have a nice flight.” I approached the aircraft and was welcomed onboard by another smiling flight attendant with a, “how are you doing today?” I placed my laptop case in the overhead bin and settled into my BusinessFirst seat. The cabin filled up rather fast and the crew was out in no time taking drink orders. My glass of water was brought out immediately and placed on my armrest gently with a smile. Now the true test.
“Thank you.”
“Oh, you’re more than welcome dear.”
I have found that if a flight attendant acknowledges you with a “you’re welcome” after a “thank you”, you are going to get some great service.

The crew was constantly up and about the cabin checking up on everyone making sure they did not need anything. They even asked if we wanted refills on our drinks, which has never happened to me on Continental. One of the flight attendants struck up a conversation with my seatmate who I honestly think was trying to hit on her, but that is another story. Turns out it was her colleague’s birthday which explained the crew’s high spirits. As the sun was setting outside, I snapped a few pictures of the plane parked next to us, one of only three 737-800 fitted with winglets at Continental. A standard 737-700 pulled in after the winglet aircraft pushed back for its El Paso departure.

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The doors were closed and the cabin crew welcomed us onboard.
“Folks, our flying time today will be two hours and four minutes. We do however have a movie scheduled for the flight today, ‘The Bourne Supremacy.’ Due to the lack of time, we shall be showing you a preview here on the ground and starting it almost immediately after take off. If you wish to purchase headphones, please do so now as we come around the cabin.” The preview was shown a minute later and the crew went down the aisle with a big bag handing out headphones to each of us followed by the coach cabin to sell them. A flight attendant came around shortly thereafter to take dinner orders for after take off.
“Hey there, what would you like to drink after take off?”
“A coke please.”
“All right. Would you like to have dinner today? We have a smoked salmon salad with clam-chowder.”

The screens were left down and soon enough Larry’s message began playing. I have a recorded video of it, but have not had the chance to put it up yet.

We pushed back about five minutes late from the gate and taxied to the runway where we were number three for take off.

The Flight: After take off, I could not help but marvel at the city outside my window. Less than a month ago I was sitting on my KL 777 getting the exact same view from my window after take off from JFK, the view was still as mesmerizing as ever. About ten minutes after take off, even before the seatbelt sign was off, the TV screens were lowered and the movie was started.

A flight attendant came around a short while later with our drink choices and the standard packet of mixed nuts.

The meal trays were brought out almost instantly after the drinks. The portion was on the rather large side tonight and I was pleased to see there was no “Pecan Delight.”

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The soup was nice and warm and tasted great especially after the oyster crackers were added. The bread was hot and the ‘Land-O-Lakes’ butter were standard Continental fare. The salmon was likewise great and did not have an over-powering fishy taste or smell. The salad was fresh and crunchy and went nicely with the Caesar dressing. The trays were eventually collected when everyone was done and the flight attendant approached each person individually and asked if we would like some chocolate cheesecake today. Naturally I said “yes.”

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With the exception of the pecan pieces on top, the cheesecake was great. The slice contained pieces of chocolate chips inside and was an excellent way to round off a great meal. As my empty plate was collected, I requested a glass of water that was brought over immediately on placed on my armrest.

Throughout the flight, the crew were walking around the cabin checking up on passengers to see if they desired anything else. The crew did not congregate in the galley and had no problem showing a smile or two as they walked past. Descent started just as the movie was finishing.

Arrival: Touchdown was smooth, and after a quick taxi to the appointed Continental gate area this 757’s work was done, at least for now. After a quick goodbye to the crew, I was in the ever so familiar CO terminal. I swear I have used every gate multiple times. I could walk around this area blindfolded. The grabbed the next train to the main terminal with the ever so familiar, “welcome to Orlando” announcement in the background. I walked past security where both my roommates were waiting for me.

We took the escalator towards baggage claim along with the standard walk to carousel two. After a quick five minutes my bag appeared, before any of the other passengers in First Class. My bag is normally one of the last ones to appear when it has the “Priority” tag. I guess this proves my theory that the tag is of no use at Orlando. I grabbed the bag and all three of us headed out towards the parking lot for the long drive on I-4 towards Daytona Beach. Thus ending my around the world trip on four airlines across three continents.

Verdict: These two sets of flights were rather unique for different reasons. The first one was the fact that I got to fly economy on a narrow body Continental aircraft for the first time in years. I was shocked at the product offered, especially the meal. What was served for a Trans-Con was abysmal. I have had a few gripes about cabin crew in the past, but the ones I encountered on these two sets of flights were outstanding and I have already written to Continental commending the service they provided. These flight attendants reminded me why Continental was one of my favorite domestic carriers. Sadly, with the deterioration of the product and the surly ground staff at both ends of the country coupled with the lack of respect for partner airline elites, I am throwing in my towel. I cannot continuously pay more to fly Continental when there are so many cheaper alternatives. I have discontinued my WorldPerks account and opted for a non-US airline Frequent Flyer program, one that gives me a wider range of benefits. Unfortunately one of the new benefits is no more upgrades when flying Continental and I refuse to fork out more money to fly Continental’s coach product.

I have been through a lot with Continental in the last three years. I have seen the service standards slip, yet I have continuously paid more to fly them. I have seen cabin crew go out of their way to make passengers feel at home, but I have also seen a growing number of rather ornery staff in the air and especially on the ground treat passengers like a disease. I have seen the meals go from some of the best in the US industry to something that I would expect from a charter airline. Continental is a great airline when it wants to be. I have to thank the Continental staff that has done their best over the years to make my flights as pleasant as possible; you truly are an asset to the airline. Continental, thank you for some great hours spent in the air and I wish you all luck in the future, mostly for the sake of your hard working employees.

Continental 1292
Check In: 2 (Rude agent with no smiles and a missing “Priority” tag do not make a good combination)
Boarding: 10 (Boarded when “Elite Access” was called)
Seat: 5 (No headrest and rather uncomfortable as the padding was worn out on the seat)
Aircraft: 6 (Standard run down domestic 752 on CO)
Crew: 10 (For economy, they were excellent)
Meal: 3 (Meager and rather bland. A bit more quantity and quality would have been nice)
Entertainment: 8 (Quality was rather bad)

Continental 1703
Boarding: 10 (Orderly and calm with other F passengers)
Seat: 10 (For a domestic flight, BusinessFirst is great)
Aircraft: 10 (Perfect condition today)
Crew: 10 (Nice cheery bunch tonight)
Meal: 8 (A choice would have been nice but at least they served something which tasted good)
Entertainment: 10 (Everything worked without a glitch including the movie)
Arrival: 9 (No complaints here as my bag was out rather fast without the “Priority” tag)

111/140 = 79%


SR 103

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: Paul
Posted 2005-02-18 09:08:04 and read 12003 times.

That is one of the best reports I have read so far, informative, funny and with decent pics. Good job. Shame CO send those old dogs over the Atlantic to make Newark- LHR runs. God it must be murder in economy for more than three hours on one of those things!

Well done

regards

Paul

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: Mrniji
Posted 2005-02-18 14:08:27 and read 11901 times.

Reading your other report on MH, just to point out the conclusion I posted there about Asian airlines vs the rest

Quoting SR 103 (reply 0):
After the machine had printed both boarding passes, an agent with a frown came up to me and began the following disappointed dialogue:


What a b---h.. this is something I hate with Airlines in the states, you are ften treated like a terrorist, and no sole effort to be friendly

Quoting SR 103 (reply 0):
As you can see in the picture, “quantity” was not the word of the day. The tiny croissant was filled with some egg square and melted cheese


I think about food: no need to argue.. maybe it is a smart move by American careers not to serve food anymore Big grin

Keep on posting your reports, they are great!  Smile

By the way, I can never see the pics of Myaviation, will go to the site to see your talent being a photographer  Big grin

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: INNflight
Posted 2005-02-18 18:22:46 and read 11607 times.

Thanks for the great report, really enjoyed reading it, and the images are great, too!
What a shame on your first flight the other guy was upgraded instead of you  Big grin

Hope to read more in the future!

Florian

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: ANCFlyer
Posted 2005-02-19 03:00:03 and read 11355 times.

Good report.

Remember, everyone has bad days, even CSAs. Is she was excessively rude, write a letter.

Don't complain about the Quantity of the CO Coach meal . . . it cost you nothing. CO hasn't gone low rent like the other carrier with the BOB BS.

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: PanAm330
Posted 2005-02-19 05:14:58 and read 11266 times.

Quoting Paul (reply 1):
That is one of the best reports I have read so far, informative, funny and with decent pics. Good job. Shame CO send those old dogs over the Atlantic to make Newark- LHR runs. God it must be murder in economy for more than three hours on one of those things!


Sorry, chief. CO can't fly to LHR. And the only 757s they fly to London are the seasonal ones from CLE. They ought to make that flight year-round. I love transitting through CLE, and would love to take that flight one day.

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: TACAA320
Posted 2005-02-19 07:45:13 and read 11186 times.

Quoting ANCFlyer (reply 4):
Don't complain about the Quantity of the CO Coach meal . . . it cost you nothing. CO hasn't gone low rent like the other carrier with the BOB BS.



Nothing is for free. Not even CO meals.

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: Undehoulli
Posted 2005-02-19 18:43:20 and read 11018 times.

Hey, nice trip report. I love anyone that has CO in it (maybe because I worked there and will be back as a pilot someday!!!). When I jumpseated EWR-LAX on the 762, we got a very similar meal. One of those croissants, some friut, but I think they gave us tabasco sauce too. Also the Captain, F/O, and I each got 2 (TWO!!!!) of those delicious sandwiches. When I was in the back talking to the flight attendants in the middle of the flight, they opened the oven and offered me about 20 more sandwiches. It might be worth your while, if you're still hungry, to ask about any extra. If the flight isn't full (or is sometimes) you can always ask, it just gets thrown out on the ground anyway. On a full 772 flight from IAH-EWR they had like 50 BBQ turkey sandwiches left...and the flight was packed to the gills. Keep flying CO!

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: SR 103
Posted 2005-02-20 08:08:45 and read 10758 times.

Thanks for all the kind comments, glad all of you are enjoying it.

Quoting ANCFlyer (reply 4):
Don't complain about the Quantity of the CO Coach meal . . . it cost you nothing. CO hasn't gone low rent like the other carrier with the BOB BS


Actually, we need a better definition of free. CO's fares were higher than a lot of other airlines flying the route. Considering BOB costs no more than $5 to $10, CO's ticket price was triple that amount of the competition offering BOB. Thus "free" is a very loose term in this case.

Also why do you refer to BOB as "BS?"

SR 103

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: GSPSPOT
Posted 2005-02-20 15:24:04 and read 10701 times.

ANCflyer,

BOB is usually of higher quality than "free" meals. Yes, you have to pay for it, but you get a better product usually.

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: Bravo7e7
Posted 2005-02-20 22:12:55 and read 10584 times.

Awesome detailed report. Great pictures.

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: Cmk10
Posted 2005-02-26 00:10:00 and read 10008 times.

It's about time you sat in the back and got a little reality check, just remember where I sit on American about 60% of the time. The loss of the 767-200 is a real shame though, equipment downgrades aren't laughing matters, just like that awful looking hot breakfast.

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: SR 103
Posted 2005-03-01 06:36:27 and read 9700 times.

Quoting Cmk10 (reply 11):
It's about time you sat in the back and got a little reality check, just remember where I sit on American about 60% of the time.


Weren't you the one constantly flashing your Star Gold Boarding Pass in my face?

Quoting Cmk10 (reply 11):
equipment downgrades aren't laughing matters


Yes, well CO has done it to me more times than I can count with my fingers. They are the kings of swapping aircraft. The best downgrade I have ever had was a LAX-IAH flight, which changed from a 772 to a 752. That was one overbooked plane!

SR 103

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air
Username: Ramprat980
Posted 2005-03-13 02:18:59 and read 9034 times.

Recently I had flown Continental, flight # 1909 EWR to CUN. I flew on a 737, not sure if it was a 300 or 700. The only complaint I had was that there was no entertainment on the plane. When I asked the flight attendant why wasn't there a movie or music playing she said there was no entertainment equipment on the plane. I don't know why a plane without any entertainment was used for a flight of 4(+) hours. The flight was full and the three(3) flight attendants, one in business/first and two in coach did a fantastic job in seeing that all the PAX were comfortable. The thing a PAX remembers most is how they are treated by the employees. And I have to say that Continental has the best.....period.

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: Sabena332
Posted 2005-03-19 21:26:53 and read 8613 times.

Hi Anosh,

This is a fantastic report as always, I enjoyed reading and watching!

Seems that CO is one of the better airlines when it comes to Economy flights within the USA, the service sounds far better than what Lari wrote in his report about his latest AA flights.

Now I am really looking forward to my first flights on CO next month. I am booked in BizElite on the transatlantic flight and in First on the EWR-BDA-EWR flights, I am sure that my girlfriend and I will have a pleasant trip on them.

Patrick

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: UAalltheway
Posted 2005-03-26 03:15:13 and read 8194 times.

Great trip report and pics!  Smile

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: SR 103
Posted 2005-03-31 09:21:43 and read 7723 times.

Quoting Ramprat980 (Reply 13):
The thing a PAX remembers most is how they are treated by the employees.

I totally agree with you!

Quoting Ramprat980 (Reply 13):
And I have to say that Continental has the best.....period.

I think you are partially right here. Lets just say I have flown so much of Continental in the last three years, I have encountered more than my fair share or bad apples (just like any airline). The key difference is when the cabin crew are good (such as this trip) they are fantastic. However when the crew are bad, they take it to a whole new level at CO! Thus I have to say from my experience Continental has some of the worst domestic flight attendants I have ever experienced, while at the same time I can say they have some of the finest in the world! I only wish consistency was more prominent with them.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 14):
I am booked in BizElite on the transatlantic flight and in First on the EWR-BDA-EWR flights, I am sure that my girlfriend and I will have a pleasant trip on them.

I am sure you will have a great trip. Continental certainly is one of the best US airlines to fly especially in BusinessFirst. Look forward to the trip report.

SR 103

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: UAalltheway
Posted 2005-04-01 01:08:14 and read 7553 times.

Talk about a beat up plane (the first flight)!! I bet that a/c is on the decomission list! =P

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: ATLhomeCMH
Posted 2005-04-01 16:47:03 and read 7469 times.

Great report and pics. However, I must point out that I was a little surprised with how much discomfort you felt over some of the littlest things: i.e., not getting an upgrade, the meal on your LAX-EWR segment (which didn't look half bad to me), etc.

Maybe the "little things" matter the most, but I guess I just don't expect too much from US carriers anymore. They have to downgrade their service in order to survive in the current market, so that sort of criticism is somewhat unjustified. The fact that you even got something more than a muffin and a yogurt on a cross-country flight is good, in and of itself.

I've never flown CO before, but all my colleagues who fly them regularly say that aside from AA, they are the best US domestic carrier around...much better than DL, NW and UA. So I'd stick with them if I were you.

And just because you have Elite status doesn't mean you can't sit in coach with the rest of us slugs occasionally...hehe Big grin

But I agree that the CO agent at LAX was rude, and a letter should be written expressing your disapproval. That is simply unacceptable behavior.

But friendly criticism aside, thanks for the excellent report.  Smile

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: SR 103
Posted 2005-04-14 07:10:48 and read 6997 times.

Quoting ATLhomeCMH (Reply 18):
I was a little surprised with how much discomfort you felt over some of the littlest things: i.e. the meal on your LAX-EWR segment (which didn't look half bad to me), etc.

"Look" is the key word. As they say, don't judge a book by its cover. You may think it looked decent, but it tasted horrible as mentioned in the report, many passengers around me felt the same.

Quoting ATLhomeCMH (Reply 18):
Maybe the "little things" matter the most, but I guess I just don't expect too much from US carriers anymore.

You are absolutely right; it is the little things that matter. Especially when I paid quite a large sum more to fly Continental than the competition, I expect something more than the other airlines. I assure you my expectations were not high at all. I am a CO frequent flyer with quite a large number of flights under my belt with the airline in the last three years. I was not expecting anything more than what they are capable of and have delivered in the past.

Quoting ATLhomeCMH (Reply 18):
They have to downgrade their service in order to survive in the current market, so that sort of criticism is somewhat unjustified.

So is paying close to $60 more to fly CO when the competition would have got me home faster and have buy on board which would have cost me no more than $8 (legacy carrier, not LCC). As an airline management student I have dealt with the "cost cutting" to death. It is sort of like preaching to the choir here. I however still believe Continental needs to justify the higher fares with more than a free soggy sandwich.

Quoting ATLhomeCMH (Reply 18):
I've never flown CO before, but all my colleagues who fly them regularly say that aside from AA, they are the best US domestic carrier around...much better than DL, NW and UA. So I'd stick with them if I were you.

It is a matter of personal opinion. I give Continental a lot of credit, especially their hard working employees, they have not been my number one pick for domestic travel for quite some time now, they were once upon a time. I however still think they are one of the top airlines to fly with, domestically and internationally. Just because I was not 100% satisfied with them, does not mean I think they are a horrible airline to fly with.

Quoting ATLhomeCMH (Reply 18):
And just because you have Elite status doesn't mean you can't sit in coach with the rest of us slugs occasionally...hehe

Trust me, I am fully aware that it is a "benefit" and not a "right" to get upgraded. I however still do not find it correct when a silver elite is upgraded, before a gold elite; do you? I did not take any action beyond mentioning it in this report. I have seen arguments break out almost every time I fly between agents and elites about "why am I not upgraded!" I have done my fair share of coach over the years and know there are many more to come. It is just nice to have the perk when available because I no longer have it with my new FFP, on CO anyway.

Thanks for the friendly criticism and I am glad you enjoyed the report.

SR 103

Topic: RE: Continental: Change Is In The Air (w/pics)
Username: September11
Posted 2005-04-20 18:16:32 and read 6609 times.

nice report ..

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 14):
Now I am really looking forward to my first flights on CO next month. I am booked in BizElite on the transatlantic flight and in First on the EWR-BDA-EWR flights, I am sure that my girlfriend and I will have a pleasant trip on them.

did you fly on CO yet? it's a month now... Just wanted to know your first flight experience on Continental.


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