Continental Airlines has introduced a virtual expert named Alex to help customers find the information they need at Continental.com. You can find her at the top right corner of every Web page at Continental.com. For those who are familiar with Jenn, Alaska Airlines’ virtual assistant, the format for asking questions is similar. After typing in your question, Alex will answer your question in the chat window and direct you to the Web site page that has more information.
For example, type in “How do I redeem miles for an upgrade?” and Alex will tell you verbally (if you choose to have the sound on) and in writing “OnePass miles can be used to upgrade to first class, business class or BusinessFirst. Reward tickets and free tickets are not eligible for mileage upgrades” and provide a link to the page about upgrades. You can also choose from links to similar pages, such as first class amenities or waitlisting and standby for upgrade.
While Alex isn’t able to answer every question, she is able to point you in the general direction and she’s designed to get smarter as more people ask questions. She will even answer a few personal questions and tell you her name is derived from the Greek word alexo, which means to defend or help. There is a convenient feedback link at the bottom of Alex’s popup window.
Bottom line: Alex was no doubt born out of the need to fill the space left by departing reservations agents. Continental, like most airlines, has had to make tough decisions to stay in business, including laying off employees. But just as Alex will learn as more people ask questions, so will you learn how Alex can help you. She can sometimes provide a quicker way to find what you’re looking for on the site. For example, when we typed in, “Which terminal does Continental fly out of from SFO?” a page with a map of the San Francisco airport was displayed complete with the information we were looking for.