Stay away from Continental Airlines - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 2009, 6:15 pm Thread Starter
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Location: Sharpsburg, MD, USA
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Stay away from Continental Airlines

My wife and I have been traveling to Houston Texas so she can have treatment for a serious type of cancer.
We booked round trip flights with Continental and had to cancel our return flight twice because she was to ill to fly. When we were finally able to fly home Continental charged us 200$ more per ticket for rescheduling the flights. The rescheduling of the flights was not a choice but out of medical need, she was simply too sick to fly.

We did contact customer service at Continental and were refused a refund.

I my view we were treated unfairly and are not going to use C.A. again and am asking the members here to avoid them also, Just another example of corporate greed without conscience
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 2009, 10:03 pm
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Are any of the other airlines any better in this regard??
I don't think so !

Buy refundable tickets may be a better solution and possible cheaper in the long run.

Best wishes for your wife's recovery....

Deep Blue 2009 K1300GT
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2009, 3:51 pm
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I am sorry for your medical problems, but the airlines are in a real hurt. They are and have to to stay competitive, charge less than it actually takes to fly you where you want to go. This is what refundable type tickets are for and yes you do pay a premium at the time which most people don't want to do at the time of purchase. I have been a commercial pilot for 14 years now and the industry has been completely destroyed. You want better service and consideration ask you representative to consider Re-regulating the airlines. Free market in this industry just leads to the cannibalism that you see today between companies.

Continental is a good outfit, one of the best as far as airlines go.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 4th, 2009, 4:32 pm
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Airlines are mismanaged beyond belief. We have too many in this country. I can remember the days when only well to do people could afford to fly, now air travel is the new Greyhound. Bottom line on the above problem, which is horrible by the way, who needs this crap when your sick. I would be willing to bet they filled those seats last two times John had to cancel. If that's the case it's no sweat off their nose, they could ask for documentation from a doctor, and give the refund what's the big deal. For that matter I would like to see all seats refundable, as long as the airline fills your seat you get your money back or credited to another flight.Hope all is well Jim God Bless

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2009, 5:30 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the good wishes, we did fly back to Houston on Southwest and got one way tickets, non-refundable for 200$ each, we will be buying refundable tickets for our return for 380$ we may be better off just buying the cheap seats from SW.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 2009, 5:32 pm Thread Starter
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BTW I agree 100% on the re-regulate the airlines, along with many other vital industries, the de-regulation has led us to the problems we now have
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 12:12 am
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Re-regulation? No thanks! I'm pretty much fed up with our government anyway, but that's a thread for another day. When you bought your tickets you chose non-refundable ones, so by purchasing them you entered into a contract that stated you would pay for any change fees or fare differences to your itinerary. Sounds like they were nice to you and waived any fare differences. Continental is a very good airline and is doing what they all are doing, and that's just trying to break even. Next time buy the full fare ticket which includes your bags, tv, drinks, etc., it's usually a better deal. Unless you like the SW approach - if you can't take the bus, fly with us!

Deb and Dean Sauer
Golden, CO

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2009, 4:50 pm
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I feel bad with how you were treated and I think there are extenuating circumstances in this case which warranted the fees being dropping or reduced. ANY business can tell you nowadays that bending the rules to retain customers is key to maintain the profits and cash flow needed to survive, especially with the macro economic climate we are all experiencing. I would sure hate to lose my customers to a competitor if I wasn't able to acknowledge the issue and provide some sort of compensation (may not be cash reduction but extra value or reduced fare when booking your next trip) to make the customer "feel" that they were acknowledged and compensated in some way.

I know there are multiple standards on how customers are treated nowadays based on your flight status. With 100's of thousands of miles logged in the tube for business travel, I have slowly elevated my flight status with airlines from “normal Joe” to Executive Platinum and Gold (depending on the airline). I fly AA and Alaska mostly. There is a NIGHT and DAY difference on how you are treated as a customer based on your "status" with the airline. I would define this case as a "humanitarian" issue which also should define how you and your loved one is treated.

I hope you have a better experience with another airline that recognizes you as a person (vs. just a number). Also, best wishes to your wife for a speedy recovery. I had a 2 friends pass recently. One with brain and the other with lung cancer so I know how much pain and suffering that they went through before and after treatment. Also, my Aunt recently went through chemo for breast cancer. Seeing her suffer with the “fire in her veins” tore me up pretty good. For anyone not to be moved by this, they would have to be inhuman (the CSR’s at some of these business being my point). We can only hope they don’t have a similar illness in their family and go through the experience you had to. God bless.

Cheers! - Walt
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