Just a tiny clarification - Coair.com is for CO
employees only. General public is referred to continental.com.
I would not trust any of these travel website's information for many reasons. In the first place, you have a huge system of networks and databases, and it depends how and when communication between them happens to reflect latest changes, provided all changes are supposed to be reflected in what essentially is a travel agents' system.
While these websites offer interfaces and features that would be ideal from a user/pax perspective, often there is only dummy data to be shown, or data that is not current. Also, you have to have in mind that while technology has advanced enormously, any airline can choose what private data to be publicly displayed and made available to outsiders (such as expedia, orbitz, etc.). Some times airlines would not let other airlines to overbook a flight, even when the overbooking is normally at a very good fare - either full fare or at least at what is called a FIM (Flight Interruption Manifest) fare, which is normally pre-negotiated but still higher that sale fares.
In the third place, there is a multitude of players in the reservation/data providers space. You have the Global Distribution Systems providers such as Galileo, Amadeus, etc, and all the other usual suspects such as ISPs, SITA, long distance carriers etc., and they would all charge on a traffic basis, meaning that the more traffic between networks the more expensive it is to process requests for data such as a request from a website to display information on a Continental flight seat map - that request would have to pass at least 3-4 networks before it reaches the CO
SHARES system, and then back to a web browser.
The reason for the not ticketed itenarary could be most likely "miscommunication" between networks. Many times, if not always the CO
system would not transmit the last segment of a trip, when there are more than 3 legs in each way e.g. BOS
-CMB, even though the pax would have the tickets properly issued. In this case the networks of three airlines would be involved (CO, VS
) so it is easy for data to be dropped if it does not comply with communication formats.
If you have a ticket for a flight you are all set to go regardless of what the airline system says. The 005 on the flight coupon indicates that the ticket was issued on a CO
ticket stock, although it does not have to be for a CO
flight. Any airline whose flight number appears on that ticket stock would have to carry you as the ticket is a contract unless the airline says that the ticket stock is blacklisted, meaning invalid due to being either stolen or falsified or any other reason that would make it illegal. Some airlines can still offer you transportation though as they will most likely assume the pax is unaware of the irregularity. Electronic tickets take care of that. Another reason an airline can refuse travel to a pax with a ticket is due to fare evasion but I do not want to go into the intracacies of ticketing, and I am not really that well familiar with it.