SUBMIT A COMPLAINT

Continental Airlines / Overall Bad Customer Service

August 29, 2ØØ9<br />
<br />
Mr. Jeff Smisek, President and CEO<br />
Continental Airlines Inc.<br />
16ØØ Smith St. – HQS<br />
Houston, TX 77ØØ2<br />
<br />
Dear Mr. Smisek, <br />
<br />
This was originally submitted via continental.com on Sat., Aug 22, 2ØØ9. On Fri., Aug 28, 2ØØ9, I called Customer Care to ensure that my email had been received. I gave my One Pass number to the lady on the phone and she was able to check and verify that there was no record yet of receiving my email. She explained that due to the recent furlough, Continental lost 25 Customer Care agents, and that it is taking 3 to 4 weeks to review emails. I am not too sure this is information that a consumer wants to hear. She asked me to tell her what had happened. Her name was Carre Bates (Houston). She assigned me Cust Care ID 41759ØØ. After going through my ordeal, she proceeded to thank me for my time. I asked her what would happen next. She informed me that was all. The information would be forwarded to a monthly report and the case was closed.<br />
<br />
I called back later in the day to verify that my information was taken and spoke with Angela Evans (Houston). She assured me that the report (41759ØØ) was filed and closed. She proceeded to give me a new ID, 4176133, which she also closed during this call. My experience with her was a little “more pleasant” than with Ms. Bates, but not by much. I was informed about the loss of 25 Customer Care agents, which has caused a delay in responding to service failures. Again, from a dissatisfied consumer point of view, this is irrelevant. <br />
I just wanted to share my Continental experience. All in all, it is still hard to believe that given consumer choices and the state of the economy that such poor customer service exists in this <br />
market.<br />
<br />
Aug 15, 2ØØ9, SAT-IAH (CO 178) - No problems<br />
<br />
Aug 15, 2ØØ9, IAH-CUN (CO 1464) - The flight arrived as scheduled at 3:3Ø pm. However, my bag did not. Tracer CUNCO45841 was opened. Cancun baggage agents entered my bag claim number and advised me that my bag was not scanned into the system. No telling where it may be. My bag was finally delivered to Tulum 9 hrs later. Everything was explained to me about baggage tracing. But, I had to practically beg for an amenity kit. Airport personnel seemed a little "bothered" by the fact that the upstairs offices were closed and they had to find the key and then had to search for an amenity kit. It almost seems that this simple act was a bother to them.<br />
<br />
<br />
Aug 21, 2ØØ9, CUN-IAH (CO465) - No problems<br />
<br />
Aug 21, 2ØØ9, IAH-SAT (CO1779) - The nightmare begins. The flight was delayed over 4 hrs. First we were told due to weather, then to crew rest. Complete chaos. Gate agents had no idea what was going on. No reassurance -- kept being told to sit and wait. Gate agents appeared to be "winging it". Gate agents told pax to go to other gates for flights to SAT and see if able to board stand-by. Pax were told they were bringing "carts" (snacks/drinks) to the gate. The carts never came! Flight CO1779 eventually cancelled around 1Ø:ØØ p.m., even though flights had already resumed. Hell broke loose! Gate agents clueless. I kept being told to go to different gates to waitlist for other flights to SAT (which were also delayed). Once I got to the different gates, those gate agents were most unhelpful. I was told I should have gone to the airport Customer Service Centers for resolution, and not directly to the gate. Keep in mind; I know I was not the only pax affected by this. But ALL pax were told the same thing--to go to the "new gates" and standby for the next flight. Everyone appeared to be passing the buck and no one wanted to take ownership of the situation. The rudeness of the gate agents during this chaotic/stressful situation was quite blatant. I would think that airport personnel have received better customer service training on how to deal with this type of situation seeing as how it is becoming more frequent these days with delays/cancellations and overbookings. This is not an isolated incident. Each time I connect through IAH, I notice that CO employees are not the most helpful. Most IAH employees I have encountered seem to take their job as more of a "chore".<br />
<br />
Not once, was I offered a coupon for even a bag of chips or something to drink. I was at wits end. I went back to one of the Cust Srvc Centers and then it happened...ANA YAKAMOTO (Team Leader)...what a blessing! She never faltered or was "short" with any of the customers. When I got up to the counter, of course she was already aware of the situation and worked ever so diligently to seek resolution to the problems. The same time she took with other pax, she took with me. She finally got me a confirmed seat on one of the last flights to SAT on an aircraft that was going to leave (CO245Ø). Of course, I made it to SAT after midnight, but again my bag did not. I checked with the two young ladies who were working as baggage agents (LISA BYRD and ANA GONZALES) in the baggage claim area that night and again my bag was not scanned into the system. I was informed that my bag should arrive on next flight from IAH-SAT, which would be around 1:ØØ a.m. My bag did arrive and I do understand the delay given the situation with flights from IAH on 8/21. Lisa and Ana handled this situation very professionally and courteously…true professionals.<br />
I know I do not travel enough to truly be of any significant value to Continental, but this experience is making me re-evaluate my choice of airlines. Continental has always been by choice of carrier for travel to family and friends in Mexico and Central America, but after the extreme poor leadership and lack of concern for pax comfort at IAH, I will think twice. Funny thing is, my travel companion flew AA from CUN to DFW and encountered delays as well, but upon speaking about our experiences, he stated that yes, it was chaotic as well at DFW, but AA personnel handled it efficiently and professionally (I am only taking his word for his experience). <br />
The only positive and professional personnel I encountered during this trip were Ana Yakamoto, Lisa Byrd, and Ana Gonzales. Please pass my sincere appreciation to them and afford these ladies the recognition they so well deserve.<br />
<br />
I would kindly appreciate a response from Continental. Ana Yakamoto, Lisa Byrd, and Ana Gonzales cannot do it alone, but again what a blessing to have dealt with them. It was the proverbial finding "a needle in a haystack", but these 3 service professionals alone cannot remedy the comedy of errors that I encountered on this trip.<br />
Thank you.<br />
<br />
James A. Trevino<br />
San Antonio TX 78212<br />
<br />
<br />
cc: Bill Meehan, VP Airport Services<br />
Fernie Lopez, Airport Services Corporate Officer

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