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Old 11-30-2001, 03:50 PM   #1
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November 30, 2001 AUS-IAH (Continental 532, Seat 2A, 737-800, Drink)

I arrived at AUS about 25min prior to departure. I waited in the First Class / Elite line for a while since there was a huge upset between 4 or 5 pax and a couple gate agents. Apparently, a group was going to Nigeria and had too much luggage for their baggage allowance, but didn’t want to pay more. One of the ticket agents was apparently very rattled by this and commented to me that, “Just because they have a ticket on the plane doesn’t meant that they we’ll carry anything they want for free.” This guy was the same GA that noted that I was “wayyyyy down there” in a prior trip report.

Since I was running a bit late, I boarded during the ‘all rows’ general boarding.

Flight completed boarded early and pushed back from the gate early. A few rounds of drink service and we arrived in IAH about 30 minutes early.

I decided to grab something to eat in terminal C rather than relax in the Presidents Club since I hadn’t eaten yet (well, besides coffee) and my flight to ATL didn’t have a meal service. While wandering through the concourse looking for something to eat, I saw a Chase credit card booth that was giving away Continental gear (model planes, hats, etc) if you apply for a Chase Continental Mastercard or Visa. I really wanted a dark blue Continental hat, but already have the credit card and didn’t feel like making up a false application. A bit of chit-chat with the girl and showing my Continental Chase Visa along with my Elite card, luggage tags, and I walked away with a hat less than a minute later.

November 30, 2001 IAH-ATL (Continental 1520, Seat 4B, 737-800, Drink)

The flight was well past boarding time and I started to linger around the gate to figure out what was going on. Apparently, one of the FAs had checked in but not boarded the aircraft. The GAs were pretty desperately searching for the missing FA since we couldn’t begin boarding with a complete crew. Finally, she approaches the gate and explained that she’d been sitting across from the gate, but didn’t think that the aircraft was there yet. The GAs and FA argued for a few minutes, which upset the passengers who were already mad that the flight was boarding late. I wasn’t bothered, since the flight is severely padded and will come in early even if we leave late. Besides, it was a humorous exchange. The GAs checked her ID and she boarded, just as one of them realized that she’d been ‘bumped’ from the flight and that someone else was taking her role and that she was to report to someone. I boarded (wearing my Continental hat) just as she was deplaning to argue with the gate agents some more. Ultimately, she did serve on the flight.

No meal service on the 2h flight, but don’t get me started on that. Flight was uneventful and service was good. The 737-800 was exactly the same as the one that I took from AUS and was very nice and featured Continental’s new-style domestic First Class seats which make the cabin very nice. Surprising as it may seem, but the entertainment system functioned flawlessly on both flights.

Lindsey was caught in traffic meeting me at ATL, so I stayed in the Presidents Club in the D Concourse for about an hour. It was absolutely packed. ATL’s P-Club doesn’t have a bartender; there’s just this machine where you put your drink underneath and type in the code for what drink you want and it shoots out a shot or you can hold down a button to fill a glass. There are two keypads; there’s one for soft drinks and one for liquor. I had always assumed that the soft drinks were disabled since there’s a big black line running through the number codes for all the sodas. I asked the man tending the club about that and he said that they work fine, except you have to count down the list to get the number. He explained that when there were numbers next to the sodas, people would get confused and type the soda number into the alcohol-dispensing keypad and get a huge surprise when they took their first sip.
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Old 11-30-2001, 03:50 PM   #2
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November 30, 2001 AUS-IAH (Continental 532, Seat 2A, 737-800, Drink)

I arrived at AUS about 25min prior to departure. I waited in the First Class / Elite line for a while since there was a huge upset between 4 or 5 pax and a couple gate agents. Apparently, a group was going to Nigeria and had too much luggage for their baggage allowance, but didn’t want to pay more. One of the ticket agents was apparently very rattled by this and commented to me that, “Just because they have a ticket on the plane doesn’t meant that they we’ll carry anything they want for free.” This guy was the same GA that noted that I was “wayyyyy down there” in a prior trip report.

Since I was running a bit late, I boarded during the ‘all rows’ general boarding.

Flight completed boarded early and pushed back from the gate early. A few rounds of drink service and we arrived in IAH about 30 minutes early.

I decided to grab something to eat in terminal C rather than relax in the Presidents Club since I hadn’t eaten yet (well, besides coffee) and my flight to ATL didn’t have a meal service. While wandering through the concourse looking for something to eat, I saw a Chase credit card booth that was giving away Continental gear (model planes, hats, etc) if you apply for a Chase Continental Mastercard or Visa. I really wanted a dark blue Continental hat, but already have the credit card and didn’t feel like making up a false application. A bit of chit-chat with the girl and showing my Continental Chase Visa along with my Elite card, luggage tags, and I walked away with a hat less than a minute later.

November 30, 2001 IAH-ATL (Continental 1520, Seat 4B, 737-800, Drink)

The flight was well past boarding time and I started to linger around the gate to figure out what was going on. Apparently, one of the FAs had checked in but not boarded the aircraft. The GAs were pretty desperately searching for the missing FA since we couldn’t begin boarding with a complete crew. Finally, she approaches the gate and explained that she’d been sitting across from the gate, but didn’t think that the aircraft was there yet. The GAs and FA argued for a few minutes, which upset the passengers who were already mad that the flight was boarding late. I wasn’t bothered, since the flight is severely padded and will come in early even if we leave late. Besides, it was a humorous exchange. The GAs checked her ID and she boarded, just as one of them realized that she’d been ‘bumped’ from the flight and that someone else was taking her role and that she was to report to someone. I boarded (wearing my Continental hat) just as she was deplaning to argue with the gate agents some more. Ultimately, she did serve on the flight.

No meal service on the 2h flight, but don’t get me started on that. Flight was uneventful and service was good. The 737-800 was exactly the same as the one that I took from AUS and was very nice and featured Continental’s new-style domestic First Class seats which make the cabin very nice. Surprising as it may seem, but the entertainment system functioned flawlessly on both flights.

Lindsey was caught in traffic meeting me at ATL, so I stayed in the Presidents Club in the D Concourse for about an hour. It was absolutely packed. ATL’s P-Club doesn’t have a bartender; there’s just this machine where you put your drink underneath and type in the code for what drink you want and it shoots out a shot or you can hold down a button to fill a glass. There are two keypads; there’s one for soft drinks and one for liquor. I had always assumed that the soft drinks were disabled since there’s a big black line running through the number codes for all the sodas. I asked the man tending the club about that and he said that they work fine, except you have to count down the list to get the number. He explained that when there were numbers next to the sodas, people would get confused and type the soda number into the alcohol-dispensing keypad and get a huge surprise when they took their first sip.
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Old 12-02-2001, 04:14 PM   #3
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December 02, 2001 ATL-IAH (Continental 1820, Seat 2B, MD-80, Snack)

The drive to the airport from Madison was about 45 minutes shorter than expected, so I was at the Continental ticket counter almost two hours prior to departure. I waited at the First Class / Elite line for a bit for less than a moment until one of the agents shouted, “You E-ticket?” at me. The agent was wearing a do-rag that must be a new aspect of the Continental uniform. I said that I did have an E-Ticket and she shouted at me, “Use the E-Ticket(sic) machine.” I had yet to step off the “First Class and Onepass Elite” carpet and reach the counter before she was waving me away.

I was the only customer at the ticket counter, so I wanted to check in with an agent; it’s faster (no matter what the eService machine ads say) and when they check your ID at the ticket counter, they won’t necessarily need to check it again at the gate. Additionally, the boarding passes that the eService machine fits out are bigger than the regular airline paper stock boarding passes and are softer, so it’s difficult to slide them into my Continental leather travel wallet.

I asked if she could check me in and she sighed, and very rudely said, “No, you’re an E-Ticket, you use the E-ticket(sic) machine." I clearly was not thrilled with this solution, yet preceded back to the eService machines that she was pointing at. Truly First Class service so far. Then again, I’m not one of their best customers – I’m an e-ticket.

I swiped my Gold Elite card in the machine and while I waited for it to pull up my reservation, the surly ticket agent that I had interacted with before came over to the woman monitoring the machines and mocked customers who don’t know to use the eService machines and how tough it is for her to have to redirect all the stupid (implied) passengers.

I was only annoyed before. Now, when she mocks me while I stand there, I was very tempted to cancel the transaction and ask her to convert my e-ticket to a paper ticket and check-in at the gate.

I commented rather loudly to Lindsey that it must be tough for her to have to not do her job and have to deal with all the customers that are keeping her facing-bankruptcy-just-a-couple-months-ago company in business. Lindsey, of course, was embarrassed and the ticket agent returned to her post behind the ticket counter.

I found it most humorous that she invented her own policy that encouraged the use of a machine that was poised to put her out of a job. Not my problem.

I checked the seat maps before printing my boarding passes to see if any other seats were available (just for curiosity sake, and to possibly move forward on my AUS leg). There are three or four eService machines at ATL and I was the only person using any of them, but there was the woman watching over my shoulder from a few feet away that shouted, “There aren’t any other seats! It’s all full!” at me while I browsed through the seatmaps of the two flights. It was great to have a translator there to explain to me what was on the screen once the seat selection page came up.

I printed out my boarding passes, passed by the ticket counter, thanked the do-rag gate agent (who clearly avoided looking at me), and was on my way.

The flight boarded about ten minutes late and took off about twenty minutes late, but it’s not a problem since the flight is so adequately padded and I had ~35min to kill in IAH before my AUS flight began boarding, anyway.

There were a bunch of couples traveling together that got upgraded separately and ultimately caused significant confusion in the front cabin while they tried to orchestrate things so that they all sat with their respective partners. Once that got cleared up, a woman came to be seated next to me in 2A. I stood in the aisle for her to get in, while she seemingly went through her entire set of bags before sitting down – it took her maybe three or four minutes and both seats, plus the aisle, for organizing things. I just stood there and watched the whole thing while the FA smiled at me about the whole thing.

Service on the flight was very good, as usual. The usual lunch cold plate with chicken and shrimp was served after take-off. There was a new item on the plate – some goulash that I didn’t particularly enjoy, but it didn’t replace anything else.

One interesting note was that the usual metal knife/spoon with a plastic knife utensil set had been replaced with an all plastic set of utensils. The knife was a different color plastic than the fork and spoon, so it could have been a catering anomaly.

It was raining when we arrived in Houston and that seemed to provide for a bit of a snafu on landing. It seemed that our left wheels slipped a bit when the back of the plane touched down. It was a very graceful and gradual touch-down, as usual, until I felt the slip and then – all of a sudden – the front end of the aircraft slammed down. It all happened in about two seconds and I wasn’t paying much attention, but it seems that we slid a bit on the runway and the captain brought down the nose much, much quicker than usual to stabilize. It was perfectly smooth after that and we pulled into to IAH twenty minutes before schedule. Pretty neat.

December 02, 2001 IAH-AUS (Continental 1929, Seat 3E, 737-800, Drink)

This flight was running about twenty minutes late, presumably since IAH was getting some ugly weather throughout the day. I heard an unbelievable amount of gate changes for other flights before boarding.

Some couple traveling together was sitting near me in the terminal when we were supposed to be boarding and I got to hear the male’s incredibly profane perspective on the situation of the flight being ~15 minutes, not to mention that he wasn’t upgraded. Sure, it’s annoying when you don’t get the upgrade, but this guy was insulting the company, then it turned to the gate agent, and then to her appearance, then to her family, and then it kept going. I stood up and went by the door when he started talking when he reached three profane words in a row in a sentence.

Somewhat turbulent flight to Austin and the captain suspended service throughout the flight as a result of the rough weather and low altitude. No big deal and nobody really cared (maybe that guy in the back did), except it was humorous that the FAs were walking through the cabin to chat and mingle with each other, not to mention getting drinks for themselves and eating the snacks fro the flight.

All in all, it was a good travel experience. I had never experienced attitude and poor service from Continental ticket agents before this weekend, but there’s always a first for everything.
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Old 12-02-2001, 04:14 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2001
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December 02, 2001 ATL-IAH (Continental 1820, Seat 2B, MD-80, Snack)

The drive to the airport from Madison was about 45 minutes shorter than expected, so I was at the Continental ticket counter almost two hours prior to departure. I waited at the First Class / Elite line for a bit for less than a moment until one of the agents shouted, “You E-ticket?” at me. The agent was wearing a do-rag that must be a new aspect of the Continental uniform. I said that I did have an E-Ticket and she shouted at me, “Use the E-Ticket(sic) machine.” I had yet to step off the “First Class and Onepass Elite” carpet and reach the counter before she was waving me away.

I was the only customer at the ticket counter, so I wanted to check in with an agent; it’s faster (no matter what the eService machine ads say) and when they check your ID at the ticket counter, they won’t necessarily need to check it again at the gate. Additionally, the boarding passes that the eService machine fits out are bigger than the regular airline paper stock boarding passes and are softer, so it’s difficult to slide them into my Continental leather travel wallet.

I asked if she could check me in and she sighed, and very rudely said, “No, you’re an E-Ticket, you use the E-ticket(sic) machine." I clearly was not thrilled with this solution, yet preceded back to the eService machines that she was pointing at. Truly First Class service so far. Then again, I’m not one of their best customers – I’m an e-ticket.

I swiped my Gold Elite card in the machine and while I waited for it to pull up my reservation, the surly ticket agent that I had interacted with before came over to the woman monitoring the machines and mocked customers who don’t know to use the eService machines and how tough it is for her to have to redirect all the stupid (implied) passengers.

I was only annoyed before. Now, when she mocks me while I stand there, I was very tempted to cancel the transaction and ask her to convert my e-ticket to a paper ticket and check-in at the gate.

I commented rather loudly to Lindsey that it must be tough for her to have to not do her job and have to deal with all the customers that are keeping her facing-bankruptcy-just-a-couple-months-ago company in business. Lindsey, of course, was embarrassed and the ticket agent returned to her post behind the ticket counter.

I found it most humorous that she invented her own policy that encouraged the use of a machine that was poised to put her out of a job. Not my problem.

I checked the seat maps before printing my boarding passes to see if any other seats were available (just for curiosity sake, and to possibly move forward on my AUS leg). There are three or four eService machines at ATL and I was the only person using any of them, but there was the woman watching over my shoulder from a few feet away that shouted, “There aren’t any other seats! It’s all full!” at me while I browsed through the seatmaps of the two flights. It was great to have a translator there to explain to me what was on the screen once the seat selection page came up.

I printed out my boarding passes, passed by the ticket counter, thanked the do-rag gate agent (who clearly avoided looking at me), and was on my way.

The flight boarded about ten minutes late and took off about twenty minutes late, but it’s not a problem since the flight is so adequately padded and I had ~35min to kill in IAH before my AUS flight began boarding, anyway.

There were a bunch of couples traveling together that got upgraded separately and ultimately caused significant confusion in the front cabin while they tried to orchestrate things so that they all sat with their respective partners. Once that got cleared up, a woman came to be seated next to me in 2A. I stood in the aisle for her to get in, while she seemingly went through her entire set of bags before sitting down – it took her maybe three or four minutes and both seats, plus the aisle, for organizing things. I just stood there and watched the whole thing while the FA smiled at me about the whole thing.

Service on the flight was very good, as usual. The usual lunch cold plate with chicken and shrimp was served after take-off. There was a new item on the plate – some goulash that I didn’t particularly enjoy, but it didn’t replace anything else.

One interesting note was that the usual metal knife/spoon with a plastic knife utensil set had been replaced with an all plastic set of utensils. The knife was a different color plastic than the fork and spoon, so it could have been a catering anomaly.

It was raining when we arrived in Houston and that seemed to provide for a bit of a snafu on landing. It seemed that our left wheels slipped a bit when the back of the plane touched down. It was a very graceful and gradual touch-down, as usual, until I felt the slip and then – all of a sudden – the front end of the aircraft slammed down. It all happened in about two seconds and I wasn’t paying much attention, but it seems that we slid a bit on the runway and the captain brought down the nose much, much quicker than usual to stabilize. It was perfectly smooth after that and we pulled into to IAH twenty minutes before schedule. Pretty neat.

December 02, 2001 IAH-AUS (Continental 1929, Seat 3E, 737-800, Drink)

This flight was running about twenty minutes late, presumably since IAH was getting some ugly weather throughout the day. I heard an unbelievable amount of gate changes for other flights before boarding.

Some couple traveling together was sitting near me in the terminal when we were supposed to be boarding and I got to hear the male’s incredibly profane perspective on the situation of the flight being ~15 minutes, not to mention that he wasn’t upgraded. Sure, it’s annoying when you don’t get the upgrade, but this guy was insulting the company, then it turned to the gate agent, and then to her appearance, then to her family, and then it kept going. I stood up and went by the door when he started talking when he reached three profane words in a row in a sentence.

Somewhat turbulent flight to Austin and the captain suspended service throughout the flight as a result of the rough weather and low altitude. No big deal and nobody really cared (maybe that guy in the back did), except it was humorous that the FAs were walking through the cabin to chat and mingle with each other, not to mention getting drinks for themselves and eating the snacks fro the flight.

All in all, it was a good travel experience. I had never experienced attitude and poor service from Continental ticket agents before this weekend, but there’s always a first for everything.
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Old 12-04-2001, 11:23 AM   #5
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great report... I still have never been on Continental.. except the time I flew to Guam on Continental Micronesia... but even so, I don't remember what that flight was like.. gotta try Continental sometime....
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Old 12-04-2001, 11:23 AM   #6
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great report... I still have never been on Continental.. except the time I flew to Guam on Continental Micronesia... but even so, I don't remember what that flight was like.. gotta try Continental sometime....
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Old 12-04-2001, 04:49 PM   #7
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I've never flown Continental Micronesia. However, Continental's domestic first class product is quite nice, relatively speaking. Most aircraft feature their brand new beautiful seats and meals are more regularly served that on other airlines.

BusinessFirst is a very competitive Business class product and is exceptional -- especially to HNL when compared to the domestic service offered by other airlines.

Athough this trip report does show a bit of attitude and poor service, I can say that such behavior is atypical of Continental and that they usually offer a consistent level of professional and very helpful service.

Daniel

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Old 12-04-2001, 04:49 PM   #8
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I've never flown Continental Micronesia. However, Continental's domestic first class product is quite nice, relatively speaking. Most aircraft feature their brand new beautiful seats and meals are more regularly served that on other airlines.

BusinessFirst is a very competitive Business class product and is exceptional -- especially to HNL when compared to the domestic service offered by other airlines.

Athough this trip report does show a bit of attitude and poor service, I can say that such behavior is atypical of Continental and that they usually offer a consistent level of professional and very helpful service.

Daniel

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