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Old 04-08-2003, 02:45 PM   #1
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New low for www.continental.com

As we all know, www.continental.com lags years behind the state of the art for airline websites. Today I discovered a new low...

I booked a flight this morning through AmEx Platinum Travel Services (they came in $100 cheaper than Orbitz and were able to book the paper tickets this close to the travel date). Planning to apply a reward upgrade to the flight, I called Continental a few hours later and processed the upgrade. Upon loading the itenerary on continental.com, I saw the following:


(Full Detail)

Huh? OSC? Port Alsworth Alaska? wtf?

I called the Continental reservations line back, worrying that the erroneous segment on my PNR might cause trouble down the road. It turns out that "PTA" is how they designate a pre-paid paper ticket and that it was no problem. The reservations agent didn't know why the website couldn't cope with this.

How much more unprofessional and confusing can you get?

Naturally, as you'd expect, the flight shows as "AUS to OSC" on my main page.

To make matters worse, I had to pay $100 to get the upgrade since it is a paper ticket. Grumble.
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Old 04-08-2003, 03:09 PM   #2
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Yay, a trip from Austin to the Onepass Service Center en route to Alaska!

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Old 04-09-2003, 12:27 PM   #3
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Heh. I didn't even make the OSC == Onepass Service Center connection. You're exactly right.
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Old 04-10-2003, 01:52 AM   #4
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If you were booked in Y, H, or K class, it should not have cost you any cash to upgrade. Bet you thought you were saving $100.00 through Amex didn't you?

I've tried all of the different booking sites I could find, including Amex, and discovered that nobody has a lower price on the booking code I want than the Continental WEB site does. Continental even included Northwest flights Newark to Warsaw and Budapest to Newark as part of my itinerary for less than I could get the same code from Northwest.

On the other hand, Continental's site does feature some illogical aspects.

So what do you have against the fourth of July?
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Old 04-10-2003, 11:47 AM   #5
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I did save my client $100 by booking via AmEx. As usual, I tried the continental website first but I couldn't get it to ever admit to being able to fly me to NCE. It was (as expected) unable to include the necessary Air France segments in the itenerary. The $100 I had to pay to upgrade was explained in some vague hand-waving about paper tickets and not enough time to reissue them so I had to pay an "in person" penalty or somesuch. I didn't listen to closely and it might very well be a "pax-is-willing-to-pay-a-fee-without-arguing fee".

Both orbitz and expedia came in about $100 more than AmEx, which surprised me. Usually AmEx is a few tens of dollars more (which I'm inclined to pay just out of brand loyalty).
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Old 04-10-2003, 10:06 PM   #6
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Were you able to get the upgrade on the Air France segment?
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Old 04-10-2003, 10:06 PM   #7
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Were you able to get the upgrade on the Air France segment using OnePass miles?
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Old 04-10-2003, 10:34 PM   #8
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Ah, the old "paper ticket syndrome." Bummer.

Just last week Continental issued me paper tickets because two flight segments were on KLM and Malev Hungarian airlines. They said they would issue me an "upgrade certificate." I hope that means I don't have to go to the CTO to get new tickets when the upgrade clears. Fingers are crossed . . . we'll see.

By the way, I've found there can sometimes be an appreciable savings by breaking up an itinerary. Doesn't sound reasonable but what major airline pricing is? On a recent trip, after getting round trip prices from both Continental and Northwest for GUM-NRT-EWR-CGD-ATH on one airline I found I could do hundreds of dollars better by buying Continental for NRT-EWR-CDG and Northwest for GUM-NRT and CGD-ATH. Is that illogical or what?

Why would I fly eastbound all the way around the world rather then westbound the short way? Easy . . . thousands of dollars difference and lots more ff miles.
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Old 04-21-2003, 11:24 PM   #9
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On the back of my most recent statement under
Quote:
"Paper Reward Ticket and Certificate Fees"
it says,
Quote:
“For International travel on Continental, allow 10 days for processing regular mail and 10 to 14 days for travel on a OnePass airline partner . . . Paper reward tickets and certificates picked up at an Airport Ticket Office or City Ticket Office require a fee of $100 (USD).”
Guess it pays to plan ahead.

You receive a paper ticket for your entire trip if any segment cannot be eTicketed. The lovely thing about paper tickets is that, when you get a segment upgraded, you have to take the tickets back and they reissue every ticket in the whole durn itinerary because the whole story is printed at the bottom of each ticket. (My July trip, with a Malev Hungarian Airline segment, has 11 flights and it took them an hour and twenty-five minutes to reprint the tickets . . . after they got started on it. Said they had to do them one at a time because the computer wouldn't handle that many.) My June trip, on the other hand, is an 10 segment eTicket without a single problem.

Next time I'll try separate itineraries, one with eTicketing for eligible segments and another for the segment(s) that can’t be eTicketed.
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:34 PM   #10
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Yep, that's exactly the $100 fee I got hit with. Since Amex came in $100 under orbitz and expedia it was a wash altogether, but still sucks. Everything should be eticketable! This is the 21st century! The information age!

And no, no upgrades on the AF segments (not that an upgrade on an AF domestic flight is worth anything...)
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Old 04-24-2003, 07:45 AM   #11
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not sure if this is what you're experiencing, but I just bought an int'l ticket on CO which includes segments on KLM. This required the generation of paper tickets. (No matter to me - I actually prefer paper).

I bought a discount coach fare and requested waitlisting for upgrades in both directions. I assumed that since it was a paper ticket, I would be receiving paper upgrade certificates in the mail, as in the past.

It turns out, for the new 'int'l upgrade policy', they deduct the miles electronically. There is a little printed note on the paper ticket which indicates the fact that I am trying to use upgrade reward "XXXX" on this ticket.
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Old 04-24-2003, 03:55 PM   #12
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Now that's interesting. I got my upgrades on Continental right away but Northwest and KLM haven't yet released seats for upgrade. The City Ticket Office in Agana told me that Northwest could not be waitlisted and I would have to keep calling back to get an upgrade when seats because available. They also mentioned reissuing the tickets after they got upgrade certificates.

Oh yes, after they managed to get the whole itinerary printed on each ticket, there wasn't room for any notes anyway.

Your situation sounds reasonable to me.

(Later) I just spoke to Continental's Platinum Elite Priority line and they also told me that they could not waitlist another carrier. How did you manage that?

Even though Guam is a day ahead of the U.S. we are years behind. How are you contacting Continental . . . the CTO?, email?, telephone (what number)?
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Old 04-25-2003, 04:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
HOUSTON, April 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today announced a new service charge for customers using the airline's network of city ticket offices (CTO).

Beginning today, CTOs will assess a $10 service charge per transaction when customers purchase tickets or change reservations for existing tickets where change fees are not assessed. The fee is competitive and in line with those charged by most travel agencies. Service fees will not be assessed to Continental customers who purchase or change tickets via continental.com or at a Continental Airlines airport ticket counter.
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