I miss Legacy Continental. I recently flew to CDG from EWR on a legacy United 777 biz class which is 2-4-2. Backward and forward seats- terrible. I made sure my return was on. Legacy Continental flight on a 767 which was comfortable at 2-1-2. No 777 should be 2-4-2 in biz class. I am 1K and am seriously thinking of switching to Delta. Right now I do everything I can to make sure I am flying Legacy C not Legacy U. United is just horrible and on the few occasions I complained I felt ignored- all they do is throw miles at you and hope you go away. Pity the best airline in the US, Continental had to be gobbled up by United.
I'd like to offer some perspective from an insiders point of view. I'm an "ex-CON" who has watched the assembly of this Frankenstein of an airline. The parts should have never been joined. I've seen many comments saying "Continental management has ruined United" and/or "United Management has ruined the new United." Technically speaking, both are true but here are some observations:
1. Jeff Smisek is, in fact, sCO. However, Jeff Smisek is no Larry Kellner and he is certainly no Gordon Bethune. Larry and Gordon were admired and trusted by the vast majority of Continental employees. While Smisek was an officer of the company, he mostly stayed in the background until Larry left the company. So if one wants to say Smisek as CEO is to blame for the current state of the new United, that's fair.
2. Upon announcement of the merger, Smisek as CEO assembled is executive staff. With some exceptions, most of the OPERATIONAL executives were sUA (Pete McDonald, Alex Marren, Scott Dolan) and most of Finance.
I recently booked a flight for my nephew going from Cleveland to Houston and back. Since I fly there all the time I reversed his flight going Houston to Cleveland. I called a few weeks later asking to see if we could reverse it back, I was told $400 more on a $400 flight and an additional $150 change fee. Ticket went from $400 to $950. Decided to use SW air and miles cost me all of $10. I then tried to use the $400 credit for my daughter to fly from Portland to Houston and was told the $400 credit could only be used for my nephew. All calls were routed to India or Taiwan, no one from the US ever talked to me. This is the last straw loved the old Continental service, from now on SW airlines on all domestic flights I do not might the layovers and like the peanuts. I fly at least two times a month. United you have lost a Good Customer.
I am sCO employee who joined the CONTINENTAL AIRLINES 15 years ago solely because of an extreme positive customer service gesture by CAL cargo agent in early 80's who waived a portion of my pet cargo charges when I was a young college student after exploring Australia and buying a pup back in early 80's. Naive and inexperienced as I was, I remembered and respected this person and Continental Airlines for helping me out and I always booked my flights with Continental because of him. Late 90's, I see a recruitment ad and took on a third job, enjoying and planning my life around this part of my life. Only to see the entire company destroyed by some completely, irresponsibly, mismanaged merger process initiated by egos against all common sense. While today the stock price may be high, the numbers however they are manipulated and balanced by accountants, don't benefit the dedicated, hardworking people who worked hard under Continental only to be treated as dispensable assets by this unpopular merger. Most disturbing is the ego and superiority complex old and new UA management have and the ignorance at understanding daily operations and dealing with passengers and employees. Employees live in fear at losing all they have worked for, remaining unprotected..... What government fails to protect it's citizens after allowing such large corporate action, listening to congressional testimony which any lay person would observe was irresponsible and inconclusive (LOOK UP CSPAN TESTIMONEY TO CONGRESS BY CEO OF S'UA AND S'CO PRIOR TO MERGER AND YOU WILL SEE WHAT i MEAN).
I am a Premier Exec with United and I usually don't gripe about the issues of traveling because it really doesn't matter who you fly on these days, every company suffers from similar issues every now and then. However, since the bad decision of merging with a failing airline such as Continental, I have seen a negative impact in customer service, increased delays and general incompetence of employees. From the computer problems last year and the superb timing of rolling it out during the busiest season to travel, to the employees constantly and openly complaining in the gate rooms about the problems with merger, why Continental? Talking about scraping the bottom of the barrel. The common discussion I frequently overhear from employees while waiting to board my flight is usually about the companies decision to take the antiquated Continental computer system instead of keeping United's which was more efficient and up to date in terms of technology. They're probably right.
Prior to adopting the new computer system, a gate agent would literally rebook you and print a boarding pass out for you in 5 seconds. Now it seems like 5 times as more key strokes and if they don't know what they're doing, its a phone call or calling over one of their colleagues for help. The company hasn't been doing well for many years now, and they just made it worst with continuing their business with Continental the crippling airline. No wonder why you're laying off another 600 employees at the UA Headquarters and from what I hear the gate agents are getting a 50 cent raise. Wow, I honestly don't know how you've managed to keep any Union employees after the 3 pay cuts from the bankruptcy (one was in exchange for stock which was promised to employees at retirement but then you depleted their accounts), eliminated the pension program, oh and the latest appalling information I recently heard is that of an employee who took a pre merger company IAM buyout after 24 years of service for a measly 1200.00? The gate agent said it was a friend of hers who is still looking for employment, but is happy about the prospects of working for a normal company.
CO was the best airline in the USA. While I understand the biz logic that drove this merger, it sickens me to the core to see an AMAZING company like Continental Airlines vanish into the black hole that is Untied. If only CO had held out logner, let United sink and buy the pieces not the problems.
But here we find ourselves, every flight being told about the ;wonders of the "the new UA" the 787, the 739 with Boeing Sky interior, The new flight operated on Bio-fuels. The awesome new app for your smart phone. The tons of new planes pouring in. NONE of that comes from old United. UA had nothing to do with any of that! That was all Continental. To see all that work, effort and pride hijacked by a lost and broken company and brand is just sickening, UA just needed to join PA, TW,EA, and all the others. But alas now poor CO has them on our backs. Worse yet we are suppose to pretend we like it.
I am a 1K Continental/United flyer. During 2011, I spent more time trying to resolve problems than in the previous 10 years combined -- lost reservations, reassigned seats (always worse), no credit for segments or miles, etc. 2012 has been only slightly better with regard to number of problems, and much worse with regard to finding a way to get them corrected. Service on the 1K Elite phone line is a cross-your-fingers exercise, as I've been told it is so overwhelmed that my call may be routed anywhere. Example: checked in for flight, and double-checked (as I've sadly learned is absolutely necessary to confirm our seats on return flight. Two days later, when I went to print boarding passes, we were moved from front of plane, seats together, to back of plane/seats apart, and "supervisor" told me that "United does not guarantee seats and we should be grateful we had seats at all on such a full flight"! Tell me again about the benefits of being a 1K customer!. Anybody else enjoy listening to Smisek extolling the virtues of the Dreamliner and international service, when I am paying lots of $$ to fly mostly short domestic flights, often on the dba United Express subsidiaries? What a I getting for 1K status? Certainly not priority boarding or luggage handling, or "meals at mealtime", even in First Class,. There have been many more delayed flights, often because of maintenance. I fly out of a smaller airport and know most of the counter and gate agents, who were all with Continental. They seem beat down, as if they've lost their incentive/enthusiasm/pride in being part of a fine team. Can anyone give me a good reason not to donate my miles to some worthy cause, and move my travel to Delta or Southwest?
For United segment 1k fliers who spend tons of money flying from remote airports, we were rewarded with a 20% increase in segment requirements and a 50% decrease in service including upgrades and being pushed to the "premier lines" Now I am "way down the list". Why should I invest in making United 1k this year? I won't. They will lose a lot of money from me and others who just change airlines. No incentive anymore to stay.
Congratulations! You just destroyed the best airline in America in the name of corporate greed and shareholder profits. Nice job. Thanks for dragging Continental down to Uniteds level. You did it in record time too! Continental should have bought United and then shut it down.
Other that the airline I work for Continental was my first choice, but now, twice that I have used UA to travel international to SJO I will never use them again. Other than the stop over in IAH all had been great with CO but under UA it is so sad to know that CO got the raw deal in this. CO employees were nice, overworked but nice and the on board crew now do not seem to care and do not greet you like OAL do or have. everyone is overwork and underpaid but leave your personal lives at home and care for those how pay your wages.
After the merger with continental my 1k status means nothing. I am just another flyer. 1k is the bread and butter for united, why do you make us feel like we are a silver member. Do you think we are important or not? If things do not change, i will start looking at other airlines for my future travel.
It is sad that Continental was bought by United. They were a company that always strived for the customer and their well-being. Not so United. United personnel should be trained by the Continental personnel on how to treat customers. WE NEED CONTINENTAL BACK!!!
I'm not normally the one to make complaints. I own my own practice and know that I cannot please everyone. I have to say I am very disappointed since the acquisition of Continental. We are (or were) loyal Continental customers. I used all my business expenses on an AMEX card in order to use our points to fly. I have even changed my business card to the new United mileage plus rewards card after being with AMEX since 1998. I have a conference schedule in November to go to Cancun, MX and when we went to book our flights I was floored at the prices United is charging! We've been to Mexico multiple times never paying more than $300 or using about 35,000 points. There is no way a 2 1/2 hour flight out of Houston (the #4 largest city) should cost as much as taking an 8 hour flight to Hawaii. I really think $657 to $1352 is outrageous, again for a 2 1/2 hour flight. Especially booking it 3 months out. I will not be attending my conference not because I can afford it, but I refuse to be price gouged. I know not being a Southwest fan, look forward to other options of flying.
I want Continental BACK!!! United is awful. The culture is totally changed and customer service is the last thing on staff's mind. On flight from Newark to Seattle: Flight totally full the stupid Zone, 1, 2 and 3 thing stinks just let first class go first and then Elite members and yes it is elite not premier! Navigation system not working staff said we will have to find another plane or wait for part from Washington DC. Staff told us 10 minutes later that pilot was ok using the left side navigation system for the right side of the plane???? If the mechanics oked. Left 2 hours late! (my other "united" flight in February 2012 was also 2 hours late!). Got to Seattle - no ground crew had to wait another 10 minutes on tarmac. Back in Newark waiting to get on plane staff was observed being very unhelpful to customers not answering questions or just saying "flight is full" then staff member stated out loud, "I don't get paid enough for this." Then stated to a customer who joked about getting a seat in the cockpit - "You don't want to sit in the cockpit with this captain on this flight... not a nice guy." On flight - no flight crew welcomed us or informed us about the flight or thanked us for our business. I flew Continental for over 25 years and the flight crew always welcomed us onboard and thanked us for choosing Continental. I will be checking Alaska Airlines to fly between Seattle and Newark... I am done! Signed a long, long time Frequent Flyer Member looking for a new airline... BIG MISTAKE CONTINENTAL - YOU SHOULD HAVE STAYED ON YOUR OWN!
To all the passengers who are complaining about the merger-I thought UAL was bad until CAL came into the mix. I'm not sure what the problem is (I suspect CAL management's lack of regard for the FAA or maintenance) but I have been totally shocked ad the how bad the operation has become. It is truly abysmal. While L-UAL had issues with the management (with good reason) things are becoming much worse at the "new United" Be assured that most of the management running the show is from CAL, and they seem hell-bent on making us at UAL suffer while they drive a once proud airline into the ground. I won't even begin to start on what I have witnessed but if it continues, United will be back in bankruptcy soon. Very sad. . .
Where to begin. I have been loyal to Continental since 1972. What a joke. The merger did Continental no good and, yes, I will fly another airline if I can. Most of my business travel this year has been any airline other than Continental/United.. Your routes and aircraft are no longer customer friendly and you (Continental) have no loyalty to your roots. I have had no more issues with United crews/representatives than with Continental employees - it is ALL downhill. But,really, United? On top of everything else, why was the United name chosen? Maybe I am the only one that remembers the obscene logos for United in the 70's
I for one hate the merger. I have flown continental my whole adult life and have never had a problem, staff always nice and flights always on time. United STINKS. Their employess are rude, they don't care about the customers and I've flown them 3 times now and 2 flights were delayed, one making the other connecting flight international missed and couldn't rebook me until next day. Get rid of all the old United staff and maybe you'll return to better standard that continental had.
I have so many reportable incidents since the merger that after 20 years with UAL and patiently worked through 2 large changes within this time frame, I quit!!! To even spend more time writing to someone that doesn't recognize my biggest contribution to UAL for the past 22 years; revenue and loyalty, doesnt deserve my business. The only way I can act is by moving my loyal business, along with the 28 people that work 'for' me and actively travel throughout the World. I wish all the people of UAL the best after working hard through the good and bad times. I hope your airline can financially survive through this.
I am a million mile flyer. Platinum every year for the past 3. I used to get upgraded most of the time. Now, I see open seats in first class the day of the flight and do not get upgraded much. United is selling those seats to others who pay upgrade fees. The frequent flyer program that Continental has has been destroyed by United. I am starting to use other airlines since I see no point in sticking with a company that does not honor its promises with fliers like me.
Let's look at the numbers plain and simple. In a decade of flying Continental almost exclusively, I had a 2 flights delayed. Since the merger in March, every United Flight I have been on has been delayed. I have noitced that it is United Policy to blame it on the weather. Even though folks with smart phones can check the weather where the flight originates and it's destination. I believe this takes the responsibility off of United to pay any refunds or put you up for the night. On a flight to Denver we were told it was weather yet they had to change the plane and gates. Smells mechanical to me! Actually said they had to fly a smaller plane to Denver because of the weather which was 42 degrees with 7 miles visibility! The most noticable thing is customer service. All the former friendly Continental folks have taken on the "screw you, you're lucky you aren't driving" philosophy of United. They must have had a retraining program that said no more being nice, strive to piss off the customer. On top of that, I was Elite Access with Continental, now I don't know what I am. Twice in the last few months, I was a Priority Customer in the morning and on the return flight they tried to charge me for my bag and told me I had no status. In Boston it forced me to stand in an hour and a half security line, when my Elite status would have gotten me through in minutes. Then when I got on board I had to see Smisek telling me how great the new airline would be. Yes bottom in customer service UAL would be running tops in Customer Service Continental. Perfect! I just signed up for the Southwest credit card, and I'm happy to hear they will be flying more out of Akron Canton. A connecting flight on Southwest will get me there quicker than a delayed United Flight. I would bet my 401K United will also pull out of Cleveland as a hub since they are currently charging up to $250 per flight more out of their Cleveland hub than the same United Flight out of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is a U.S. Air Hub! How's that work Jeff! Trust an Ivy League educated lawyer to bend you over and tell you it's good for you. Maybe he can run for President next! Ruining a great airline is a great feather in your cap!
I believe I understand the reason United purchased Continental Airlines, it was to destroy the best U.S based American Airline. I have flown United both domestically and International and I have nothing good to say about the continual downgrades in services. For example, I flew to and from Kuwait in Busness Class. The seats were smaller, the food was absolutely horrible, and many First Class seats were taken by United crew members. I am sure that the merger was good for the old Continental CEO, who is now the new United CEO, as he probably lined his pockets because of the merger. I was a million miler with Continental, and I have since cancelled my frequent flyer program with United. I will fly other Airlines in the future, as I can only do better since United is ranked the worst U.S. Airline.
I wish the very best to all active employees of UAL and CO, now that you have been merged into the airline many are calling "CON U." Yes. You rightly feel conned out of of your corporate pride, self esteem, pensions, wages, benefits and much more. Co employees and UA employees, please, pull together to make the best you can out of your merged work place. Try to help each other. Upper Management is doing enough to hinder you. I was an employee of UAL in it's prime as a world respected legacy airline. There was a shared sense of FAMILY and of corporate pride. No one job category was respected more than another. We were all part of what made UAL work properly. There was no tolerance for lazy employees. We were hard working employees always going the extra mile to grow the respect of UAL. We took pride in doing our best work. The last decent upper management served under Patterson! It has been a roller coaster ride of problems since we lost the good man. Active employees still have a chance to ride out the recent changes and to help to promote future changes for the better. Retirees have no hope at all to recover any losses. I do not understand the venom voiced in many comments about retirees being upset about the loss of their EARNED boarding priorities for pleasure pass travel. Retirees should be upset. The priority was stated and understood as a benefit that an employee had to work for decades to earn! Retirees did earn the promised benefit of that retiree priority boarding status. I worked for over thirty four years to earn the benefit. Other retirees worked for more decades than I did. Our current senior F/A is in his eighties with over 63 years of seniority. He WAS looking forward to enjoying pass travel with his wife. Now he has to stay an active employee just to use a pass. Shame on United for allowing Continental to destroy earned benefits that were already in place. Shame on Continental for kicking the retirees in the gut. United should keep and honor the boarding prioity that they retirees have already earned. It should be GRANDFATHERED in to the pass program and not violated. We retirees are dying off as fast as we can so we won't be a burden to the pass system for too many more years. Active employees have INCOMES and get incentive passes and many other perks that do not come to retirees. Retirees are older and in worse health than active employees. They can't afford to get bumped for three days in a row as they try to travel on a fixed income. If that is too difficult to comprehend then use logic. IF AN EMPTY SEAT EXISTS it should go to the senior person retired or active. I do not know is there is any support to correct the DESTROYED pass travel boarding priority for retirees. There should be. At the very least the pass system should go by seniority of date of hire. Active and retired employees would find that fair. Meanwhile Co and UA active employees, may work conditions improve for you. May better pay and benefits be restored. May you have happy years building the new United. With effort United will become an airline of choice by passengers again.
I have been an elite flier with CO since 2002 and I must say that I hate the merger. Ever since you got a new CEO things have started to head south (and not to Mexico)! You stopped offering "meals at meal time" and some perks that were a given before and that signaled that you were different. Now I can't see any difference among any legacy carriers. I must say that I also hate that as an elite I still have to pay for my checked bags. You know a benefit must mean something in order to be a benefit. for example if I check 2 bags from the US to Mexico I have to pay for 1 bag, just like non-elites (both silver elites and non elites get 1 free bag on this markets). THE PERK SHOULD BE ONE EXTRA FREE BAG FROM THE NORMAL ALLOWANCE, not 1 free bag regardless of where you fly! To tell you the truth being from Mexico and loving Continental, I don't see much future for me there. I can no longer earn miles on any credit card down here (before AMEX could do the trick), you don't have any l ocal partner for my domestic flights in MX (before you had Aeromexico), you used to be on the nicest terminals, now you are on the ugliest ones, I used to get upgraded regularly, now it happens once a year at best. I don't understand how you plan to keep all the MX traffic and routes if you are no longer the most attractive airline down here. (Delta has a significant advantage with SkyTeam and even AA offers great perks with their Citi Alliance down here, and CO has nothing, sorry United). Furthermore, the new name is awful, Continental meant the same in both English and Spanish, whereas United does not mean anything in Spanish. "Los Cielos Amistosos de Unidos"?
How do you plan to keep being the number 1 airline to serve MX? Your executives in CHICAGO need to think about this one and trust me that the answer is not boycotting the airport expansion at Hobby (which I am looking forward to)! The answer is:
I was wonder why the change. I wish it would've stay continentall they the best and always wil be united you need to go back how you was. but thats not going to change, and no need to complain it will never be the same again united you suck. continental I LOVE YOU
Continental was an amazing airline! I have been flying with them for over 15 years. It sickens me to see them merged with the mess that is Untied. This was a terrible idea, Continental should have just left United to die and buy the pieces they want. United is a broken and toxic company, and now the infection will spread to what *WAS* the best airline in the US, Continental. I guess we are left with Delta now......
I have been a United 1K for 5 years with over $150k spend/yr. My last six flights have been refundable business and yet I have not been able to apply or redeem systemwide or whatever it is now called. Wasn't the case before. To make matters worse I just got a call about my upgrade to a segment this weekend. It is invalid despite been allowed to apply the upgrade to First because it is a around the world ticket. I was told that website allowed the upgrade and shouldn't have. They will put me back in business or worse reservation could be canceled was the threat. Way to listen that I have lost my aisle seat in four seat middle business row. It's not June and I have flow 100k with business fares. Shopping my 1K for with other airlines. So long friendly skies.
I am really trying to find any value in maintaining 1K status with United airlines. I have talked to DOZENS of people who are EXTREMELY IRATE regarding the processing of upgrades within the last several months. From what I have been able to piece together via several United staff and other 1k/GS members is that complementary upgrades and confirmed upgrades are processed after all miles upgrades regardless of status. And what ever remaining upgrades are available, are cleared AFTER any (ANY) passenger has the opportunity to buy the heavily discounted upgrades at the kiosk. So basically, flying 10's (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars with the airline, is not worth the $100 kiosk upgrade opportunity that a one time flyer presents to the airline. In addition, if there is ANY hope after all those situations that an upgrade IS available - it seems that a premier passenger that paid a few dollars more for their ticket - will still trump a 1K passenger who happened to have a lower fare-class. I am just confounded at the logic in today's treatment of the 1K passengers. It SEEMS that the only benefit at this point is the opportunity to have over-head space for our luggage.
My company (8K employees) has many who are frequent fliers. Of those, I would say probably a good 120 are 1K or higher on United. None are overly pleased at this point. If United management (or whoever is in charge these days) spent 1 week going to major hubs and talking with passengers in the Club Lounges, they would quickly see that they have a serious user confidence issue with the most dedicated passengers. Many of the seasoned veterans I have talked to are 10 year 1K members, and they are all looking to abandon United; trying to negotiate equivalent FF benefits with other airlines in the hopes of better treatment. I have always been a champion of United, but after TRYING to wait through the merger fiasco (hoping things got better), it is becoming apparent that my united business (or that of my company, who at least I can directly have some influence) isn't valued or appreciated.
It has been absolutely tragic to see what a complete hash United Airlines has made of what was once a great airline, Continental. Since the merger, the common experience shared by most passengers with the utter misfortune of having to fly the new Untied Airlines are: rude gate agents; lost/damaged luggage (for which you now must PAY extra to simply put on board); 60 minute wait times on their "customer circus" lines; zero follow-up from even their CS Management team (a sure sign that the seams are coming apart there); ridiculously inchoate rules for the new Premier/Whateverournewfrequentflyerprogramiscalled; and, finally, (and perhaps what should be the most troubling if the Untied management has anyone monitoring these message boards...which I doubt) an apparent resignation on the part of everyone at the airline. They all appear defeated, despondent and resigned to the fact that Continental and United was a terrible idea from the beginning. People are smart and they can see what is going on around them. And they can sense when the ship of state has struck an object below the water line (aplogies for the nautical metaphor there but I just thoguht that using an aeronautic one would be piling on). Sad.
NOT World Class. Despite years of working on merger UAL is mediocre. Phones do not recognize my new Mileage Plus number, although it is my decades old Continental number. Flight cancellations require HOURS of work to regain seat upgrades that you have already paid for. Only by politely pleading with Indian Customer Service reps can this be accomplished. I can't count the number of seat bumps/re-assignments after having carefully having made them early and having paid a PREMIUM for them. I am finished with United.
Ever since the merger, the 1K service has been very bad. From almost instantaneous rep answering, the wait went to anywhere between 10 to 60 minutes! And initially the wait was close to 60 minutes. I've also noticed that the 1K personnel are not as professional as they used to be and I often need to get a supervisor, which is even more waiting time. I have a slew of issues since the beginning of the year and it been a very frustrating experience from initial reservation to the actual flying experience at the airport... Almost every flight I had since the beginning of the year has its own story. I am based in Chicago and generally United has the cheapest flights, but I am fed up. I will start to look at other choices. We are in May and I am not seeing any improvements.
The two things I really hate about the merger are the changes to the elite flyers program. I've been a loyal premier or higher member for over 15 years always choosing united for business and leisure travel. Now when I board a flight there are so many "premier" members that priority boarding no longer really feels like a benefit as it's not really. The last and most frustrating change is that if you're just a premier member, you can't select economy plus when you book your flights anymore. That's terrible and no other airline does that to any of its members. I'm seriously considering a change to Frontier or Southwest for that reason alone.
We started our trip to Las Vegas, supposed to fly out of Des Moines at 1:54pm. We had heard that the lines had been long at the airport, so we arrived two hours early. Check in was slow. People were already getting word of flight cancellations due to the merger of United and Continental. We were told all systems at this time are down, but be calm and we will get everyone checked in. Flight left late and of course, we missed our connection to Las Vegas. The kicker? United told us that was all weather related, so no compensation. After an hour of arguing with the lady at the desk we called around for a motel. Our companions in the shuttle van were all pilots and flight attendants. They told us some 800 flights had been canceled, because of this merger. More to the point, they assured us that the cancellations were not weather related. Indeed, at the hotel, we checked the weather reports: No bad weather in Des Moines, Chicago or Denver. These things happen, but at least give us the courtesy by telling us the truth.
I haven't flown United for years since I went to Japan. United's tickets are always so much more than the competition. Although, I am a united frequent flyer member, maybe it's time I looked around a little. I pay $60.00 a year to get this treatment. Not good business.
Resident of Houston. Continental was a great airline, sorry to see it go. United has ruined it. Employees are all rude. Airline has a "I'm the biggest airline" mentality. I travel on business once a month, and only use United when there are no other options. I also plan on canceling explorer card.
From poorly trained reservation staff using your new system. To hour long waits on the phone for customer service and all the shenanigans using award miles for upgrades, extra fees, inconsistencies with star Alliance partners. I think this will be the year that our company finaly stops using United for overseas travel. Poorly done United, I am sure you are losing top customers daily
I've been flying Continental Airlines... never had a problem. Since united took over 3 problems in 3 months. I'm flying tomorrow with you, using up my mileage and I will fly anybody but United that includes my family also and I will complain to all my Facebook friends to stay off United. I tried to straighten this out for hours on the phone with you and I get treated like crap and get hung up on.
What good are the bonus regional and system wide upgrades if you cannot use them on a flight with tons of open seats...and you cannot even use miles to upgrade..I have flown 1.5 million miles on Continental, and now get these useless so called "benefits" for being a loyal customer..if they keep this up, I might as well fly SW Air......easier, quicker, and cheaper.
I am now a "paranoid" 1K member due to many hours to 1K Desk/Web support and many issues have not been corrected. On the March 3, 2012 merger. My families flight (7) passengers and my web site became corrupted. Imagine having a family vacation and everyone seated properly and with this merger, your seat assignments are tossed around where only 5 members are shown on the plane. In fact two adults were listed on the same seats. With this effect, the 1K desk and also web support could not change this "Glitch?" I have been on the 1K and web support telephone almost daily and on hold (hearing) How proud United is on this merger etc. Which now makes me more angry listening. I have been on hold so long that I have been disconnected many times also.
Finally there was on 1K agent that was intelligent that suggested that i go to the airport ticket office to have the ticket agent over-ride this fault. I went to the airport ticket office, only to be informed that the ticket office was at the Ala Moana Mall (re-located), so I had to go there.
The agent did over-ride the ticket and got my family seated better although not the original seats that I wanted/Being paranoid, I asked for a printed paper which was given me.
Today, there was a flight change where flight UA781 changed to UA 556. Being paranoid and web site still not fixed/I was afraid to press the acceptance button. Instead, I called the 1K desk and explained my paranoia. The agent said that he would do it for me and did so. He said that all seven person were on the flight and there was no problem . Only then after asking him to read the seats off to me, it was found that all my famiiy was again scattered around and two was in the economy seats instead of the Economy Plus seating. He said that they were back in the original seating but being "paranoid" and not being able to view it on my corrupted web site/I again will travel to the ticket office to get a printed seat assignment. After three weeks and many complaints/United has not responed to my issues and I have to call to try and correct these almost daily. I had 7 issues and five have been corrected but my main concern being a family vacation is still an "issue".
I have been a frequent flyer on Continental for a long time, but since it has merged with United, I have dealt with one of the worst customer service ever. It has been a nightmare trying to use a credit to book a flight. I have been on the phone with a rep that left me on hold for over 40 mins before I even got a chance to tell her my flight info. She never came back on the phone. I called back again and spoke to a different rep. She claims that she is not able to book the flight due to some issue but yet it's the booking hotline that I called. She placed me on hold to call someone else to book my flight. I have been on the phone for over an hour. How long does it actually take to book a flight over the phone. The rep that booked my flight was helpful, but overall I spent almost 2 hrs to book one simple flight which is unacceptable. Because of this horrible experience, I will probable stop flying on United or Continental from now on. I will also make sure my peers be aware of this horrible service that you call customer service.
I have been a loyal premier executive customers for years, and I am extremely frustrated. I STILL haven't received my new card. I called about 3 weeks ago and asked that the card be sent to my Canadian address - as I also have an American address on file - I was told no problem. I am now traveling without my card as it still has the MARCH 2nd sticker on it and it is March 22nd. I have emailed you and have tried to call, but each time I am left on the telephone for over 30 mins with no answer?
What kind of service do you call this? As a premier executive member, we USED to have a designated phone # and I assume this also went the way of the merger. Also PLEASE if we have to wait on the telephone for 30 mins, don't make customers listen to your advertisements 50 times...it is rude and terribly irritating...what about one advert and then just music - it will leave you with less stressed customers at the end of the line...RESEARCH shows this.
I have called on my elite line many times to book or change reservations and have never got through. Wait times of 30minutes, or, being put on hold and the United rep never gets back on the phone. I booked a reward trip to Paris and had to cancel weeks ago and the miilage has not been put back in my account. I am a life time gold member and have always been loyal to Continental, I realize the merger is challenging for you but I think if the service doesn't improve soon you will be losing customers.
As a frequent flyer with Continental for many years (platinum last year), I am appalled by the United policy to grant privileges for security and pre-boarding to anyone who now takes the Chase credit card. Years of loyalty mean nothing.... and I've also had the Chase card for years, so this adds insult to injury since I have paid their fee each year for the card. Their new boarding by "group" has also negated platinum status for pre-boarding... yesterday, I was relegated to "group 5" instead of what would have been the first or second group to board. The Continental employee at the gate apologized for making me wait to board, even though my ticket showed platinum status, and told me "I can't do anything; United is watching us!" So I'm spreading the word to Continental frequent flyers to UNITE and move our business to an airline that rewards loyalty. There's no reason to be loyal to this one any longer.
United AIrlines should face a CLASS ACTION law suit. UA top management did not prepared their employees for their new system merger. Ground employees were introduced three days ago to a new system w/out any basic training. I truly believe that FAA should intervene. There is no organization. It took me 8 hours to fly from LAX to Seattle w/ one stop in San Francisco. Half way in my trip, my reservation from SFO to Seattle was cancelled and I was booked to Los Angeles from where i started. Customer service, United Club and and gate agents have no idea how to use their newly introduced system. I believe that all frequent flier passengers should choose to fly a different airline hoping that UA go bankrupt. I am an 1K passenger and I am in the process of canceling all my flights booked with United as a result for their management lack of respect for their passengers.
Based in Houston I have traveled almost exclusively on Continental for over 25 years and always considered them the best at customer service and performance. When I heard of the merger I dreaded it as I had avoided United like the plague in the past due to poor performance and attitude of the staff. We ll I have tried to keep an open mind hoping some of the old Continental would rub off on the new company. Oh well so much for hope. Continental's service has significantly declined already. Late pilots delaying flights all the time, obviously the new system has problems with that. Of the last 8 reservations I made online I had to call in to the web site because there was something broken and it wouldn't go through. Here I am typing while my latest reservation wouldn't work and I have been on hold for 27 minutes so far....really 27 minutes! I can say without a doubt that in the last 20 years that had never happened on the old continental. Oh well I will definitely take my busi ness elsewhere from now on if possible.......31 minutes now.......42 minutes now....wonder when I will get disconnected...glad I have unlimited minutes.......ok well reached the 1 hour hold mark with no answer and decided that was enough....obviously noone working at united today
What is happening to UA? I flew (Ec-plus and bus,) for 20 years. Now they merge 'FOR EFFICIENCY REASONS' with Continental and the result for passengers like me seems to be misery. The check-in at (still Continental) in Dulles Airport is disgraceful. Electronic checkin does not work for international flights, long line, grumbling passengers, incapable staff (or, as one of my fellow passengers said, "Lagos 1991"). Keep my fingers crossed that things will improve in March (for the time being I'll fly Delta locally).
Then, for the last 10 years, I still do fly UA to Europe a couple of times annually (after I was really helped out by a UA rep. in Amsterdam in the mid nineties). Always Ec-plus or Buss, easy bookings, easy checkin. But now I (and probably other frequent flyers) cannot book E-plus any more? Good lady in India tells me it costs another $ 119. up from a fare that is already $200 more than the last couple of years.
End result of merger: more expensive flying, less legroom, worse service. Time to change airlines. Sorry.
One of my family members has worked for Continental Airlines since 1998 in customer care, reservations management and online support. She has been proud of the top JC Powers Continental customer care ranking they achieved over the years. Continental retained a U.S. based reservation and customer care staff, while other airlines outsource to India, knowing the U.S. custmor base appreciated the domestic COAIR staff. There was pride in making the customer happy.
Since Continental and United merged on paper, they still have separate customer care. However, having the name "United" on the Continental airplanes and mixing United flights into reservations has branded the old Continental structure as "United" to most of the customers. The angry United customers are now overflowing into Continental's customer care systems..
It gets better. According to my family member, her Continental management has put out requests for Continental agents to travel to India and the Phillipines to train reservation agents there. It appears to the Continental staff that even though Continenal reservations isn't unionized, CEO Jeffery A. Smisek is getting ready to outsource all the Continental reservation and customer care staff. This would be foolish by ignoring their potential for improving the new United culture. It takes some piece of work to have an employee train their own replacement, in a foreign country, so they can be let go.
My first post-merger flight experience was a mess. I flew with my son as a lap infant from STL to IAD. My reservation on continental.com reflected my son's name and birth date. When it came time to check in online, I was unable to check in on Continental's website because it said there all passengers were infants and could not be checked in online. United's website did not let me check in either but for an unknown reason as my United reservation did not indicate my lap infant. At the ticket counter at STL, I was checked in by a representative who said that my son's name did not appear in the United reservation. Seeking to avoid trouble in my next flight, I called United to make sure my son's name was on the reservation. However, when I tried to check in online, I was told that there needed to be one adult for each lap infant and there was not an adult. Really?!? After two calls to United customer service, I was eventually able to clear this up. However, the first representative told me that I didn't need a boarding document for the infant because it is a domestic flight. Really? Tell that to the representatives at the airport. In fact, the next customer representative I spoke to on the phone told me that I did need a boarding document and finally did something online that allowed me to print one. The whole process is absolutely ridiculous.
The merger Continental - United is proving a bad deal for customers. Continental used to have a good reliable One Pass loyalty scheme, things use to run very smoothly. Then The merger happened and chaos ensued. For example, I have been trying for 2 months to get miles credited from a flight with Lufthansa. I took a flight to Turkey on October 21 and they credited the miles. then the return flight taken on October 25, same passenger, same airline, has not been credited. I send several emails with copies of the boarding passes, they don't bother to reply and when they reply they say nothing. Nobody has bothered to look at the boarding passes and act upon it. Horrible merger, passengers will suffer - fortunately we have a choice, ie. fly with another airline
I booked a ticket via United to Sao Paulo Brazil. However because I couldn't check into my flight with Continental at the UA counter in Monterey, my seat was given away by the time I reached LAX (United flight was late getting in). The same thing happened in Newark. The Continental staff in Newark were horrified and it was obvious that they are not looking forward to being associated with UAL. I complained about my "adventure" and got the following back:
We are currently experiencing a high volume of emails, and I offer my apology for the delay in response.
We regret your recent experience while flying United and Continental. Along with safety, our priority is to ensure that you receive a positive experience when you arrive at the appropriate check-in counter. United and Continental are coordinating more closely and have provided additional training to our employees to ensure they are able to respond to customer needs during the integration process.
We also recognize there is still some check-in and operational challenges that we need to work on and we are sorry for the impact these have on your travel plans. Our goal is to eventually offer you a seamless travel experience and your feedback helps us identify our shortcomings and gives us an opportunity to make service improvements.
At least they aren't exaggerating here. The word "eventually" in this email makes me laugh. Too bad they don't have the ability to say "Our goal is to improve and consistently offer you...."
I fly over 200,000 miles a year and tried to give UAL a chance (AGAIN) to be part of my travel. Hah!
As a UAL employee, naturally I will remain anonymous. Here's what I think about the UA/CO merger...... (and I speak for many of my coworkers as well). We are very bothered by the fact that we are actually "becoming" Continental and retaining ONLY the United name. Thanks to Mr. Smisek (athough anyone would be better than Glenn Tilton), Continental is top-heavy with Continental executives. Whoever they have retained from United apparently are just puppets who will go along with Smisek's team like lemmings over a cliff. Continental (United ??) has now seen to it that our pass privileges have changed much in the way they (CO) have done things. United, since as far back as we can remember, always put retirees at the top of the non-rev standby list. This may sound unfair as they have retired and are no longer active employees but in reality, very few pass riders are retirees on any given flight - these are the people that worked for 30, 40 or more years prior to retirement. They now fall behind all active employees and their dependents. Also Continental has about ten categories (levels) of employee standby which take in the active employee, spouses and dependents traveling with or without employee, companions, buddy passes, and various levels of non-rev status that make it impossible to decipher it is so confusing. United, in contrast had about five levels which made sense - basically retirees, active employees and dependents, companions of retirees and/or employees and other airline emp loyees (in that order). Once the CO/UA merger became reality, they (I have to keep saying CO management) decided to use Cintas as our supplier of uniforms. In January of 2011 I ordered some extra pieces and I have yet to receive them from Cintas - I have called repeatedly and have been given different dates of receipt - first June and now September 2011. Thankfully I do have enough uniform pieces to carry me over to the NEW UNIFORM coming in 2012 ?..... Originally United was going to use Cynthia Rowley, a high end designer for our new uniforms but when CO/UA merged and CO decided to use Cintas, I guess Cynthia Rowley decided she could not attach her name to anything produced by Cintas. Cintas, by the way, makes uniforms for gas station attendants, fast-food chains, janitors and wait staff. The illustrations given us are a basic black uniform (they'll love that in Hawaii) with white shirts for flight attendants and blue shirts for ground staff. We will all look alike except for the color of the shirts. The pilots get to retain their Navy blue -- talk about contrast -- Navy for the flightdeck crew and black for everyone else - no uniformity.....black and blue -- that's how we feel - beaten up about it. Next, our computer system - Fastair - is exactly that, FAST. It still has Apollo "behind" it but it is menu-driven. Instead of teaching CO employees (both reservations and customer service airports) our FASTAIR system, we have been told that we will be learning their system called "SHARES". Shares is a system that is ten times slower than fastair - totally manual entries. Whereas I need only 2-3 keystrokes to do something (booking, ticketing, etc.), we will now have to type long sentence formats to book segments, ticket the segments, change tickets etc. We will be getting two weeks of training in the near future. This will extend to reservations and airports - training thousands of UAL agents on a system used by a much lower number of CO agents. Employees and Passengers will definitely be affected - and not in a better way. From what I have read over the years on Untied.com, I can only feel sorry for the passengers - they will be ten times more frustrated (time wise) while we blunder through our new, longer processes on the computer. This is just the beginning....as I said we are becoming Continental, they are not becoming United. Keep us updated as much as possible. Regards, UAL employee -- 30 years.
After my experience last friday at Dulles IAD I will do my very best to only fly Delta airlines. I fly 3 weeks out o the month for business and I have never had a smooth flight wi united. So with that said, it can't get any worse service or any later of delayed flights. So basically it'll be crappy business as usual. You guy need a better business model, nicer staff, higher paid staff (which might be related to nicer staff), and more accurate flight schedules.
Sad day for me. I have been a MP member for nearly 30 years - used to fly all the time, always tried to fly united. In the past decade it has become my least favorite airline - Rude staff from the counter to the plane - although pilots are generally nice. The redemption of awards if awful. UA treats loyalty members as freeloaders as opposed to the way Continental treated us - as valued guests who had already shown thier loyalty and deserved respect. Just forced to transfer my CO miles to UA where they become nearly worthless. I long for the United I used to defend and prefer flying out of Denver. The make Southwest look like the luxury airline now. United is the worst of the worst - Continental was so nice. SAD SAD day --- not that anyone at UA cares about these observations. UA cares about nothing.
The merger likely will cause even more chaos with these airlines.. United does not know how to run one airline. The combo will likely be bedlam. No sense in complaining as the mnagement of both airlines apparently wants it the way it is and the flying public be damned. For my part I do all I can to avoid United ( even at increased cost) as I willnot be treated as they treat us. In time I imagine they will get their comeuppance. The invisible hand will rule as it always does.
I went into this merger with an open mind. The service and more importantly the value from Continental was exceptional. That is why I flew so much with them over the last decade (more than a million miles). I have to say that the service quality on Continental has declined since the merger went into effect. This policy of charging for everything has gotten out of hand - we seem to be paying more for less. As a million miler, I had an incentive to stay with Continental. Rumor has it that Continental million milers will have to start over with United. I am still waiting for the official word on this. But, if that is the case, I will use that as my impetus to start shopping around for a new airline. I switched to Continental from Delta about a decade ago; it may be time to go back to Delta. I am also not happy about the break from American Express. It seems that we will no longer be able to move membership miles into United; nor will we be able to access the lounges as a card benefit. Keep going - its becoming a much easier decision!
I have 600K lifetime miles on Continental and have started taking some flights on United Airlines...ARRGH. Continental can kiss a loyal customer goodbye. I've had three cancelled flights (2 on beautiful sunshine days)...even with my gold status, on two occasions its taken 3 days to get out of Chicago. The final straw came on Saturday when a United flight attendant mocked my 2 year old kid, who was strapped in...rude, even to a 2 year old
June 12, I arrived at SFO approximately 45 minutes before the scheduled departure time of Continental #1720. I went to Continental to check in and they said that I had to go to United. I walked to United and went to the Express Automated Check In. I put in all of my information and it said that I had to see the attendant. The agent told me that I had to return to Continental. I returned to Continental where I was again told that I must go to the United gate. Up this point, no airline employee bothered to explain to me why I was bouncing back and forth between Continental and United like a ping pong ball. While this was happening, it was becoming apparent that I would not be able to board my scheduled flight. These unnecessary trips between gates not only robbed me of valuable time, but also resulted in an enormous line at the gate I needed to check in. The Continental agent printed out to cards and directed me to show the agent at United. I rushed back to United where I approached an agent and explained what I had been going through. I politely pointed out the obvious. I would never make my flight if I had to get to the end of that line. I made what I thought was a reasonable request, namely to be allowed to go to the front of the line which would allow me to make my flight. He asked me quite sarcastically "and you're just now getting here?" This after I had just explained to him all of the racing between gates. Not only was he unmoved by my predicament, he told me if I didn't get into the line he was going to have the police come! I was aghast. I've never been spoken to in that manner in my life. I'm a fifty five year old wife, mother and grandmother. I went to speak with a UAL supervisor, who made a couple of calls after which she told me that there was nothing she could do.
My husband is Premier Exec and I am Premier - we always book our flights on United using their website or calling for more involved travel. I am sitting at SFO getting ready to leave on an overseas flight and United gave our seats away AGAIN. It is the second time in the last month! As we fly a great deal , I can only believe something has changed. E.g the Merger? We are very loyal United flyers, but today I learned 2 things- 1) you may as well book that cheaper flight elsewhere if United is going to give away your Economy Plus seat and stick you in row 50 even with Executive Premier. 2 - booking on United versus Orbitz etc, doesn't give you anything at all, including an Economy plus seat. Our son us 1K and we are usually Premier exec. Our company will start changing our flights to other airlines. We make regular trips to Australia and it's just too far in Economy when every other airline offers more amenities (entertainment, food, wine etc.) What a sad day.
It is unbelievable how bad Contintental Airlines has become since its merger with United. Routes are screwed up, prices are through the roof, service absolutely sucks, and I can go on and on and on. I was an elite frequent flyer with Continental up until this year and lost it because they screwed up the Cleveland hub so bad. They make you connect on so many more flights -- they may as well just shut the hub it sucks so bad. I had to fly out of Pittsburgh for this current flight to Philadelphia because Continental wanted over $1,000 for a direct flight. The Pittsburgh--IAD--PHI "United partner" route was a reasonable $250. Once I got to IAD the United flight of course is delayed significantly "due to weather." People talking on the left and right of me say the weather is fine both here and in Philadelphia. It's United that just plain sucks and they have brought the once decent Continental right down with them. I'm not going to chase elite status any more with Continental-United--you can gladly have my seat. I will start driving more or take Southwest when possible. I would have been in Philly hours ago had I driven instead of relying on United to get me somewhere. The merger sucks!
After my horror of an experience with United I'm going to say this is going to hurt Continental considerably. I hate the idea of having to cut another airline out of my list of people I will fly with but, I refuse to fly with people connected with United. I spoke with a customer service agent with continental today and told her it is a shame that they made such a poor decision to do business with those people.
I am sitting in United's San Fran airport after a 13 hour (yup - thirteen!!) flight from Newark to San Fran via Chicago all the while with a destination of Kauai. talk about a round about way to get to paradise. aircraft had mechanical issues, everyone with a connecting flight missed their LA connecting flight, and anyone continuing on UA625 was rescheduled for "tomorrow" as there is only one flight out of LA to Kauai. so we were given hotel vouchers. Stood out in the rain for 30 mins waiting for the shuttle only to be told by the hotel reservationist that there is no room at the inn , and they had called United to tell them to stop sending people as there were no more rooms. so here we are, several different folks from different originations, all sleeping at United in the Subway second floor area. As an aside - when we walked over to the Continental reservationist for some direction and help, their answer:"We are still two different companies and can't help you". The total irony: I booked my reservation using the Continental 800 number.
I think continental has lost their minds. United Airlines is the absolute worst airline of all. I have had nothing but bad experiences with them, one in particular that is beyond belief. After having the worst experience ever I refused to fly them anymore. My husband who was a premier flyer, with over a million miles also refused to fly them. We traveled to Aspen, CO often and United was the only airline that flew into Aspen. We started flying into Vail instead on a different airline and renting a car to drive to Aspen. United is the worst. Continental is making huge mistake.
With the merger with Continental, United has changed the policy about the number of segments required of the customers who fly somewhere every week. The number of required segments to remain 1K has increased to 120 per year--a 20% increase. This is extremely unfair, and gives more credit to people who fly internationally, since their flights have many more miles, and often cost as little as the domestic flights which have many fewer miles awarded. What a way to treat loyal customers.
I just received a note from United including the item: "Economy Plus®: You asked. We listened." It states: "So you'll be happy to know that Economy Plus is here to stay on United. And as part of a multi-year conversion beginning in 2012, we'll be expanding Economy Plus seating to the Continental fleet as well." My concern is that in this process, United will downgrade Continental's first class from near best in the industry to the United configurations, which overall are the worst first class seating levels in the sky. A319s with 8 seats. 737s with 8 seats while Continental has 12-20 seats. This is pathetic! Please check and tell us somehow this will not be happen. Please!
It's bad. Continental has followed in United's footsteps and adopted everyone of their bad policies and practices. They overbook, they don't hesitate to put on stand by and they certainly don't have a problem giving your seat away, they charge for everything and their customer service is non-existent.
I think it stinks. I have been a 100,000 mile flyer with United for years, generally due to segments flown. With the United/Continental merger, the number of required segments increases to 120---a 20% increase. Since I fly out of Denver, there are relatively few choices for the places I need to go, and the merger will make this even more difficult. The cut out the same day change, except within 3 hours, never a remote possibility as far as I have been able to tell. United was not good. The merger looks like it will make everything even more difficult for those of us who have to travel every week to somewhere.
Lets see ... MANY schedule changes or equipment changes with NO coach + seating, many hours trying to then re-book my SEVEN current reservations with United ... getting moved to rotten flights and connection with no effort to replace flights with a comparable itineraries ... getting told to PAY extra for business class seats that I already booked had book when United changed the flights and now will not replace the with business class seats .... happy about the merger - NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;( Premier Executive FF
I've been a long-time Business customer of continental. I have been extremely impressed by their service and Courtesy.
After being rudely treated 2004 by a United gate attendee I pledged to myself never to use United airline again. however, this Holiday season I broke my promise to myself and flew United overseas. On my return flight, Baggage handling was atrociously slow ( Almost 2 hours) resulting in my missing my connecting flight. Attendee at the service desk were rude, inconsiderate and indifferent.
I have major concerns that Continental employees and management will fall into the United abyss. I'll have to review my evaluation of the airline and others.
Our return flights on Dec 28, 2010 were cancelled 8:30 am on Dec 28 by Continental. Their phone support has not been available since then (36 hours later). We rented a car and drove hoome to NJ form St Paul Minn. I want them to refund my return ticket. I see on their site that they have reschedule me and my family for SUn Jan 2 but have not sent us a notice of that. Also their webasite has been change so that it is very easy to confirm this new reservation but impossibvle to change it or cancel it.
I find that the Continental custopmer support has deteriated badly since the merger. And prices are higher. Sort of what you get when you have a monopoly
My wife and I have faithfully flown Continental for years, and have always been more than satisfied with our experience. We recently booked flights to Hawaii, the best deal we could get ended up being on United. Knowing of the merger we decided to book the flight, knowing our elite status would follow us. First impression with United... Website is HORRIFIC!!! Absolutely terrible, slow, and not user friendly. We had some difficulty opening a United frequent flier account and called customer service. Customer service in INDIA, really, cmon now. Awful. Oh well, have to try another airline
Continental wasn't that good to begin with, all of my airline travel horrors have occurred with them. Nonchalant CSA's at Newark check in on Thanksgiving who never bothered to tell us the flight was delayed 8 hours. IES that was glitchy, a Cold turkey sandwich and some crackers from Newark to HNL? Good ridance, but sadly the one carrier I still like to fly (AA) will probably have to buy out US and become as crappy as they are too. :(
Not good especially for the Caribbean, since its monopolized. they have full control of flight times, prices.
As a Continental Platinum Elite, the merger has caused me to do something taht no competitor has...namely fly ither carriers. There is no doubt in my mind that the merger will bring Continentals word class service in the the 3rd world sewer known as United. Sorry but I have already taken my business elsewhere. Continental's board must be completely staffed by morons. Giving control to a weaker partner, with a customer service reputation of the business equivilent of HIV is inconceivable.
United is going to ruin one of the few remaining airlines that still has adequate customer service - Continental. You can see the slide beginning already. Every amenity that was once assumed a normal part of customer service is now monetized. Want to sit in the first few rows of coach? Pay for it. Want a snack? Pay for it. Want to visit our airline club? Forget your Amex Platinum entry privilege - pay for a membership. Want to stand by for a flight? Pay for it. Want to get out of that dreaded middle seat. Not a chance. We parked most of our wide body planes in the desert, so we are now overbooked. We would use commuter jets on coast to coast flights to save money on crew and fuel - if only they had the range! Sad! As I related to a United supervisor in Chicago this week - the airlines are all making alot of money right now, but that pendulum will swing back the other way soon, and they will need us gold and platinum customers - United / Continental will no longer have me!
I pray that the Continental/United merger will some how not happen. United is an airline with a terrible reputation that they earned over years of custonmer abuse. The merger will likely bring Continental down to their level of bad behavior. This airline is like rats that wont go away.
United alone is a loser as far as I ma concerned. I am a 1K this year and twice this year I have been denied an upgrade because of United mistakes. Also, after suffering cancer this year my travel has been restricted for several months of the year, and I will not make 1K and perhaps not even Prem exec. as a result. So, it appears, my first introduction to the United-Continental merger is that no double eqm miles are being offered for the first time in several years. That double eqm miles offer would have given me the chance to at least reach prem exec this year. Of course, without prem exec for next year I may take up United-Continental's strong encouragement to just use up my > 300,000 bonus miles on travel on United-Continental and then I will have no incentive to continue traveling on United-Continental and I will certainly look for an alternative travel partner in the future. I have been a faithful customer of United for many years, but my first experience with United-Continental leaves me unimpressed to say the least.
I flew frequently on United between 1994 and 2000 - and was a 100k flier for United in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. But I saw the airline deteriorating quickly with their customer service - to the point where safety was a secondary concern. United employees became frightened of their pensions being taken away, and were more concerned with propping up corporate policy than providing a fair deal for their customers. So, I switched in April of 2000 to Continental. In the past 10 years, I have rarely had any issues with Continental. Certainly, services have been taken away from customers and the airlines as an industry became more concerned about profits - but Continental always treated me well. I was a Platinum flier for Continental every year between 2001 and 2010 except for 2005. Last year, I had to start flying regularly to Chicago - and was forced to start flying with United again. I take 2 flights every week - early morning on Mondays and late evening on Thursdays. Because I am platinum with Continental, I thought I'd be treated correctly by United. Nothing could be farther from the truth. First of all, United provides "economy plus" seating to all tiers of United program fliers. But they do NOT provide "economy plus" seating to Continental Platinums (Star Alliance Gold). So, I decided to pay the $400 for the annual "economy plus". Now, United cannot link the economy plus to my Continental pass number. So I have to pay using my United flier number, and when I get to the airport, I have to then add my continental number every week manually. Ok, not too big of an issue. But, over the past year, I've had to make some changes to my flight schedules. With continental, if I have a change (which is not very often - but out of the 100+ flights each year, I probably have to make 5 or 6 changes), I call up Continental, and after they check my history, they usually make the change without charging me a change fee. United treats all of its fliers exactly the same - ie, if you have a change, you pay as much as if you were having to buy a brand new ticket. This results in the airline "nickel and diming" their customers constantly. I try to explain to the non-responsive and non-apologetic staff that I'm a regular customer - but when I total up how much I've spent with United, I realize that I've actually spent almost $2000 on non flying fees in the past year (including the $400 annual "upgrade" to economy plus). Given the average flight cost of approximately $350 - I've easily spent close to $25,000 with United over the past 12 months. So, over the next couple of months, I plan on switching to American. I've been very happy with Continental, but I'm not going to stand flying with a "merged" airline of Continental and United employees. Between the two programs, I'm a million miler - which will be welcome when they finally merge the program - but I look forward to flying an alternative airline in the future. I strongly believe that United will kill Continental.
I started flying Continental as an alternative to US Airways, as i've long given up on United and only fly them when absolutely necessary. It doesn't need to be this way, when I started flying United they were GREAT, and had my total loyalty. But things changed in the last 5 or so years. As an Air Canada elite (Star Gold) member I felt I was constantly being treated like crap by United. ( I have a number of letters to them to prove it.) The first time they tried to charge me for Economy plus was the last time I willingly bought a United ticket. I showed my Elite card to the check in person and told her, "I'm Star Gold, this has always been free" She told me - "We no longer recognize Air Canada's star alliance status". Right, that was the day I committed to start flying US Airways. When Continental came on board with SA, I started flying them. They were great as well! Clean, new equipment, friendly staff, flying the way it should be, not a "bus with wings". Unfortu antley I can't see a bright future for Contiental in this merger. It will take a monumental shift in United's corporate culture to raise the level of customer service they currently operate at to that of Continental's. I wish them luck, but I don't see it happening.
My husband & I just experienced two awful days of travel from Eagle-Vail Colorado to Houston. Our boarding passes with United in Denver allowed us to board, we were all buckeled in when we were told to get off the plane, no explanation, just "deal with Continental". However, the Continental flight we might have caught had United given us ample warning had already left 10 minutes earlier by the time we reached the gate. We were put on standby on a United flight, but since that was full, we had to spend the night in Denver. We love Coninental and never had issues like this before. Their employees were willing to explain what was happening to passengers. With United, we couldn't even get a mobile cart to drive us over to the gates. We shall never fly United again.
I just returned from a trip where United cancelled my flight after delaying it twice. Then they mishandled my bags and took 28 hours to get them to me. I was extremely dissatisfied with the customer service from United and the fact that they left me stranded. I hope that Continental will bring up the level of service, but nature proves that it is the lowest common denominator that prevails, so I think we know where Continental's good reputation is headed.
I commute between Southern California and Guam. Continental Micronesia rocks. Continental mainland is fair but United simply sucks. Even more so since the Star Alliance merger. Conti ticked passengers can look forward to rude and discriminatory behavior from UA personnel, particularly in the Red Carpet Club. On my last trip in June, I went thru Narita to avoid the Nazi-like treatment in Hawaii. I flew First-Class and arrived to the Star Alliance-Red Carpet Club in a wheelchair due to a broken ankle. Immediately upon entry, I was told "People from Guam are not welcome here". My attendant was given a sharp instruction and I was whisked out before I could receive an answer to my "What did you say to me?" I crutched the 15 minutes back to the Club from the gate the attendant dumped me at. By that time, the greater was off-duty. Every trip, there has been a United-related disaster. This merger is not good for Continental or their customers and I'm certain we will get screwed on the loyalty programs like we did with Delta.
First, my wife is an elite flier with Continental Airlines. In case you wondering, that means flying over 72000 miles/ year for ten years. We frequently upgrade to first class as pricing and availablility dictate. We contact the elite desk of Continental and receive reasonable upgrades often. We recently purchased 3 tickets to Hawaii from United Airlines thinking that United and Continental are the same company. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Continetal elite desk refused to even talk to me concerning an upgrade. The United desk told me they could not help me because it was a Continental flight. Of course, on Wednesday, there is still availability in first class on our flight. This merger is going to cost both airlines because we are sitting in the back.