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Old 04-03-2002, 01:18 PM   #1
Senior Member
ITYT Captain
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: IAH/HOU
Posts: 2,354
Continental responds about H/K/Y, EUA, and more.

In response to the ITYT Letter Mailing campaign to Gordon about, I've been in touch with a very helpful and knowledgeable executive specialist at Continental that has been doing her best to help resolve our issues and ensure that we're all satisfied customers again.

We've been exchanging email and telephones calls. On Tuesday, I met with her for over an hour at the Continental Headquarters in downtown Houston. I brought some gifts from the ITYT Store to thank her for her time along with a few things for Gordon and a handful of shirts to pass around.

I've taken notes on what I've learned during our conversations:

H/K/Y fares and BusinessFirst upgrades
The 30-day rule exists to save BusinessFirst seats from being assigned before Elite passengers get a chance to confirm them since Elites tend to book travel closer to the date of departure.

The 72-hour rule exists to generate revenue for Continental. It prevents false BF bookings, allows the possibility to exist where a customer can purchase one or more full-fare BF tickets at the last minute, and allows Continental to accommodate BF passengers on their other flights and other airlines flights which suffer flight irregularities.

Clearly the H/K/Y upgrade policy was a way to increase revenue. After 9/11 changed travel patterns and CO had a chance to evaluate customer response to the H/K/Y BF policies, the decision was made to allow B/Q/T fares to upgrade, too, with an additional charge to compensate for the low fare.

The change is non-negotiable. However, I pointed out that it would be more appreciated and accepted by customers for the T/Q/B reversal announcement to be more in the form of an apology than an impro
vement. The suggestion was graciously suggested and the feedback was appreciated.

Clearly they are still tweaking the rules, so it would not be unreasonable to expect the ropes to be further loosened to make it a bit cheaper to ride up front.

Contract of Carriage
An updated contract of carriage will be available on the Continental web site on 4/8/2002. This will combine multiple resources including the domestic and international contracts. In addition, the Customers First policy will be included in the contract.

Domestic west coast coverage
I inquired about CO's future plans for west coast coverage now that the CO/HP partnership is ending. She said that she had spoken with someone senior in scheduling and was told that there no notable changes were going to be made to improve west coast coverage.

It was mentioned that they're taking delivery of many ExpressJets this year and that may slightly change the decision. I did not inquire if that meant that there was going to be IAH-West Coast coverage in these jets or perhaps a smaller hub out west or what.

Domestic elite upgrades
There has been a significant amount of anger and frustration with Continental about EUA lately. The official word:
  • Changes were made to try and hold seats longer for the possibility of selling them
  • Fare basis is not a calculation in EUA (besides the known Y-fare exceptions)

I explained the problems with the 3.5h EUA and people that are currently in transit. I explained my concerns with the airport free for all and so forth and so on. She said that they've been working very hard to make the system completely fair and as reliable as ever and that everything is in place as of 4/2/2002. Please post here or contact me if you've experienced free-for-all or 3.5h EUA problems after 4/2 because she wants to hear about it.

I complained about A9F0 situations on unpopular 6am flights and such. She explained that they've been tweaking the system and expects it to get better, which is what most of us expected. There's absolutely no relation between fare basis and the release of A seats to F.

I was told that on the day of travel, A will not be released to F without running EUA and that agents will not upgrade to available A upon check-in.

The end result is that they're working to improve the system to to allow more seats to be sold as well as make it more fair on the day of travel. I'm willing to accept the risk of someone buying an A ticket on the day of in exchange for not losing an upgrade due to a Silver checking in earlier.

Late Elite Kits
She apologized for the delay and explained various reasons for the it. She recognizes what a huge hassle it is to not have the card and said that everyone should have their kit shortly and that there were vendor issues that resulted in some being shipped just last week.

I provided her with some specific information about Nugget's (ITYT founder) missing Platinum kit and she is checking into it.

Misc
We're also working on some ways to improve customer interaction with Continental via ITYT and getting CO more involved with some ITYT features. Keep an eye out for upcoming announcements!

(Related Links)
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Old 04-03-2002, 01:18 PM   #2
Senior Member
ITYT Captain
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: IAH/HOU
Posts: 2,354
Continental responds about H/K/Y, EUA, and more.

In response to the ITYT Letter Mailing campaign to Gordon about, I've been in touch with a very helpful and knowledgeable executive specialist at Continental that has been doing her best to help resolve our issues and ensure that we're all satisfied customers again.

We've been exchanging email and telephones calls. On Tuesday, I met with her for over an hour at the Continental Headquarters in downtown Houston. I brought some gifts from the ITYT Store to thank her for her time along with a few things for Gordon and a handful of shirts to pass around.

I've taken notes on what I've learned during our conversations:

H/K/Y fares and BusinessFirst upgrades
The 30-day rule exists to save BusinessFirst seats from being assigned before Elite passengers get a chance to confirm them since Elites tend to book travel closer to the date of departure.

The 72-hour rule exists to generate revenue for Continental. It prevents false BF bookings, allows the possibility to exist where a customer can purchase one or more full-fare BF tickets at the last minute, and allows Continental to accommodate BF passengers on their other flights and other airlines flights which suffer flight irregularities.

Clearly the H/K/Y upgrade policy was a way to increase revenue. After 9/11 changed travel patterns and CO had a chance to evaluate customer response to the H/K/Y BF policies, the decision was made to allow B/Q/T fares to upgrade, too, with an additional charge to compensate for the low fare.

The change is non-negotiable. However, I pointed out that it would be more appreciated and accepted by customers for the T/Q/B reversal announcement to be more in the form of an apology than an impro
vement. The suggestion was graciously suggested and the feedback was appreciated.

Clearly they are still tweaking the rules, so it would not be unreasonable to expect the ropes to be further loosened to make it a bit cheaper to ride up front.

Contract of Carriage
An updated contract of carriage will be available on the Continental web site on 4/8/2002. This will combine multiple resources including the domestic and international contracts. In addition, the Customers First policy will be included in the contract.

Domestic west coast coverage
I inquired about CO's future plans for west coast coverage now that the CO/HP partnership is ending. She said that she had spoken with someone senior in scheduling and was told that there no notable changes were going to be made to improve west coast coverage.

It was mentioned that they're taking delivery of many ExpressJets this year and that may slightly change the decision. I did not inquire if that meant that there was going to be IAH-West Coast coverage in these jets or perhaps a smaller hub out west or what.

Domestic elite upgrades
There has been a significant amount of anger and frustration with Continental about EUA lately. The official word:
  • Changes were made to try and hold seats longer for the possibility of selling them
  • Fare basis is not a calculation in EUA (besides the known Y-fare exceptions)

I explained the problems with the 3.5h EUA and people that are currently in transit. I explained my concerns with the airport free for all and so forth and so on. She said that they've been working very hard to make the system completely fair and as reliable as ever and that everything is in place as of 4/2/2002. Please post here or contact me if you've experienced free-for-all or 3.5h EUA problems after 4/2 because she wants to hear about it.

I complained about A9F0 situations on unpopular 6am flights and such. She explained that they've been tweaking the system and expects it to get better, which is what most of us expected. There's absolutely no relation between fare basis and the release of A seats to F.

I was told that on the day of travel, A will not be released to F without running EUA and that agents will not upgrade to available A upon check-in.

The end result is that they're working to improve the system to to allow more seats to be sold as well as make it more fair on the day of travel. I'm willing to accept the risk of someone buying an A ticket on the day of in exchange for not losing an upgrade due to a Silver checking in earlier.

Late Elite Kits
She apologized for the delay and explained various reasons for the it. She recognizes what a huge hassle it is to not have the card and said that everyone should have their kit shortly and that there were vendor issues that resulted in some being shipped just last week.

I provided her with some specific information about Nugget's (ITYT founder) missing Platinum kit and she is checking into it.

Misc
We're also working on some ways to improve customer interaction with Continental via ITYT and getting CO more involved with some ITYT features. Keep an eye out for upcoming announcements!

(Related Links)
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Old 04-03-2002, 01:54 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: DFW
Posts: 13
Wow !
Thanks for the effort !!!

I've holding off on griping too much since I figured they are probably in a tweaking phase. The whole industry has changed so all airlines do need to maximze revenue potential.

I have a similar "upgrade" gripe: Holding off "E" seats while there's "F" availability within the elite upgrade windows. I've no problem with keeping E at zero to hopefully sell the seats. But I'm travelling on flt 50 this weekend IAH to EWR with my parents, all on award tickets. This is the PCAF award... I spent 200,000 miles times 3 to fly on the Air France Concorde. Only DFW-IAH was confirmed in First Class, all other CO segments are waitlisted (connecting AF segments CDG to/from Italy) were confirmed in 1st right away.
The gripe ??? I've been watching flt 50 (a 777) in particular. Before the 5 day Platinum window, ITN showed A9 F9 E0.
The next day it was A9 F5 E0, so some Platinums appear to have been upgraded.
After the gold window it's now A7 F1 E0 so some Golds have been moved up.
I'm a Platinum and love my upgrades, but since I'm on a 1st class award wouldn't I be the first in line for upgrades?
I at least "paid" something to ride up front. While CO didn't get any revenue from me, I did remove 600,000 miles from my account which removes some liability from their balance sheet.

Steve
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Old 04-03-2002, 01:54 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: DFW
Posts: 13
Wow !
Thanks for the effort !!!

I've holding off on griping too much since I figured they are probably in a tweaking phase. The whole industry has changed so all airlines do need to maximze revenue potential.

I have a similar "upgrade" gripe: Holding off "E" seats while there's "F" availability within the elite upgrade windows. I've no problem with keeping E at zero to hopefully sell the seats. But I'm travelling on flt 50 this weekend IAH to EWR with my parents, all on award tickets. This is the PCAF award... I spent 200,000 miles times 3 to fly on the Air France Concorde. Only DFW-IAH was confirmed in First Class, all other CO segments are waitlisted (connecting AF segments CDG to/from Italy) were confirmed in 1st right away.
The gripe ??? I've been watching flt 50 (a 777) in particular. Before the 5 day Platinum window, ITN showed A9 F9 E0.
The next day it was A9 F5 E0, so some Platinums appear to have been upgraded.
After the gold window it's now A7 F1 E0 so some Golds have been moved up.
I'm a Platinum and love my upgrades, but since I'm on a 1st class award wouldn't I be the first in line for upgrades?
I at least "paid" something to ride up front. While CO didn't get any revenue from me, I did remove 600,000 miles from my account which removes some liability from their balance sheet.

Steve
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Old 04-21-2002, 10:35 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: IAH
Posts: 1
HoKeY TurQey EUA

Geeting pretty frustrated with all of the enhancements this year

EUA- Everythings Under Analysis, just not coming in the mail any more, yet the inventory has not changed.


HoKeY - When we palyed baseball in the streets the rules were more stable and understandable

TurQey - The exclusion of the fares we buy from all promotions, it's only time before there enhanced out of consideration for upgrades AKA Delta's LUsers

May have to vote with my butt rather than my pen or keyboard
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