Ugly Experience with Continental - Need Your Help :-(

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by MadameConcorde, May 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. MadameConcorde
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    MadameConcorde Silver Member

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    Gawd... I hate Continental...

    I am really not pleased with my experience flying with that mucker of an airline. This is why.

    Had an awful transatlantic last week no premium section, economy section full of ugly grumpy stewardesses, unpleasant like hell, never seen it like this. Plus a diversion to Boston - EWR was closed - stayed on the ground for a good while, more grumpiness from the stewardesses, refueling and finally off to EWR after a long while on the ground, flying low and slow and doing the round and round before landing at EWR.

    I had missed my connecting flight to Orlando but so did everybody miss their connecting flights. I am here for the Space Shuttle. I got rebooked got on the plane and landed in Orlando past 11.00 PM got to airport hotel about midnight with 6.00 AM pickup for KSC and Shuttle launch (scrubbed).

    With the Shuttle launch being scrubbed and the uncertainty as to the next launch (always the case) I had to change my return flight to Europe - second time around - original launch date was 19 April. Had booked these flights long in advance. Fare was not cheap at all. I wanted United flights. System always pushed me to Continental filghts. [​IMG]

    This is where the question comes. I was charged 100 Euros - second time with second dates change - which is a true ripoff considering Elite status and all the trouble I had on the way over.

    I may need another date change - third time - because Shuttle launch news still not firmed.


    Is there a way I can get the 100 Euros rip off date change fee waived this time around???

    Who should I call for this? What number (toll free would be better)?
    How shall I proceed? What would you recommend?

    I suppose if I call the United desk they will not be able to take care of this as I have got a Continental reservation.

    Your suggestions and comments will be most appreciated.
    Thank you very much in advance.

    Been United Elite since 1990, have Millions of flown miles with several programs/airlines in the last 50 years, and a Concorde multi-passenger. Now I feel I am treated by Continental as Passenger Lambda as if I had never set foot on an airplane and a total newbie.

    Grumpy Stewardess on diverted FRA-EWR flight: Have you ever been on a flight before???
    Not only she was aggressive but also insulting. :(

    I hate this merger!!

    Muck the Smisek!!

    Muck Continental!!!!!! :mad:
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You booked a ticket that has change fees. The shuttle didn't launch and now you want the change for free??? How is that CO's fault? UA (nor any other airline, save AS if you're MVP Gold) wouldn't give you the date change for free either.

    Sure, a diversion sucks, but the airport was closed. How is CO supposed to land a plane at an airport that was closed?
     
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  3. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    Booking a non-changeable trip to see the space shuttle launch was not a smart move. A slight breeze will cause the launch to be scrubbed.
     
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  4. MadameConcorde
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    MadameConcorde Silver Member

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    It wasn't a non -changeable ticket.

    I have a United Gold card as a UA Million Miler. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    So it was a fully flexible fare and you still paid a change fee? What was the fare basis?

    Which means precisely ZERO when it comes to change fees on a revenue ticket. Please do not confuse what you think you should get with what the rules actually say you should.
     
  6. MadameConcorde
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    MadameConcorde Silver Member

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    Ticket was refundable with date change possibilities.
    It is just the cost of date changes that is horrifying especially being Elite with the now merged airline over 20 years.

    I find it so un-enticing to an old loyal customer.

    Of course I have choices... in Europe for sure... but not in the U.S. being with Star Alliance...

    Friend had exact same problem, also here from Norway for the Shuttle launch, came on same day with Delta and KLM. They gave him a free date change when his ticket was non-changeable because of delays due to weather.

    Some airlines do understand and are good to their customers while some others aren't. Even to their most loyal flyers.

    :mad:
     
  7. secretsea18
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    secretsea18 Gold Member

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    What transatlantic Continental flight does not have a premium section??? I believe all CO TATL flights have a BF section (the premium cabin).... or are you complaining that there was not "premium economy" on CO (remember it was a CO flight, not a United flight with Economy Plus)?

    Sorry you had a difficult flight, but please understand that weather was the problem you had and while you were delayed getting to EWR, here in the US you do not get usually get compensation because of weather delays.
     
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  8. MadameConcorde
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    MadameConcorde Silver Member

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    This was about no Premium Economy.

    I requested an upgrade at the gate in Frankfurt using miles - gate agent answer was: "we cannot upgrade you at the gate with your miles you need to see with United for that".

    I did not use Continental before so how would I know? I was always on non-merger United flights. Always got what I wanted.

    I thought now it was all one and the same since they had merged.
     
  9. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    As was suggested to you on FT, -- did you status match to CO Gold?:confused: That might help with your interactions with CO. Unfortunately CO has no control over the shuttle launch changes!
     
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  10. IDGflygirl
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    IDGflygirl Gold Member

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    The boards here & on FT have been very forthcoming with all the details of the merger & what is & is not 'possible' at this point in time. Sadly, you've chosen not to avail yourself of these helpful resources!:rolleyes:
     
  11. MadameConcorde
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    MadameConcorde Silver Member

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    Not all of us have got all that time to spend reading forums.
    Everything was so much simpler before the merger.

    I will now stay away from the merged airline and their fugly old grumpy stewardesses for as much as can be. Seems that I will not be the only one.

    I can't care less about earning double miles for as long as I can keep my status by using other star alliance airlines. We have got plenty to chose from in Europe.
     
  12. Ygor
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    Ygor Gold Member

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    Am I missing something? If someone buy a ticket that has a fee for changing the date, and they get charged said fee when the date gets changed, how is this not fair?

    I have been charged date changes fees before, as a CO plat, due to a death in the family and having to return home for a funeral. I didn't expect them to comp me a change fee.

    Refundable? Then refund the ticket and buy a new one on your new date.

    Change fee:
    CO- Yes
    UA- Yes.

    Ability to control weather:
    CO- No
    UA- No.

    Economy +:
    CO- No
    UA- Yes.

    See, the only difference is economy plus. I am curious; How were you forced into CO?
    There are other star alliance partners that fly to Florida. IIRC, You could fly TATL on LH, US, TAP, AC, and others.
     
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  13. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Great point Ygor. And see how flexible LH is for example on any changes to non-flexible tickets (HINT: They are not- in some cases you have to buy a new ticket).
     
  14. mundosurfer
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    mundosurfer Gold Member

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    If I was such a savy passenger as the OP claims to be I would have flown FRA-MCO and not risked any connections, and booked a refundable ticket since the launch was so important.
     
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I booked one-way awards with UA that I just moved forward/canceled as the dates changed (until I ran out of time and had to return to CA). Helps to be 1K, of course, as there are no change/refund fees for award tickets.

    That said, could one of the mods please move this thread over to FT :)
     
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  16. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    I didn't think any refundable tickets had change fees just because you can refund and buy a new one.
     
  17. Phudnik
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    Phudnik Gold Member

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    There are fares that are refundable minus a penalty. Just for grins, I did a search for FRA-MCO on co.com for a "flexible" economy fare, and found one at $1400-ish all in that was refundable for a fee of 150€ and changeable for a fee of 100€. (Co.com showed me mostly codeshares on LH and UA, which is another issue entirely. :D)
     
  18. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    Is your fare basis Y or B??
     
  19. Art234
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    Art234 Milepoint Guide

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    I think under similar circumstances you would have had similar issues with ANY carrier. If a friend had a better time with DL, perhaps his or her fare basis was indeed different and had different rules.

    That said, planning to attend a shuttle launch means you have to be as flexible as possible, and should plan your ticket purchases accordingly. In such a situation I usually budget the cost of at least one change (if unable to afford an unrestricted ticket).

    While I understand your frustration at the situation, perhaps you will reconsider your decision to avoid CO/UA in future--and have more realistic expectations the next time.
     
  20. colpuck
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    colpuck Gold Member

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    I think we are all in agreement that buying a ticket that has a change fee when going to an even that can be rescheduled at random is a marginal idea.
     
  21. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I'd say it's about as marginal of an idea as playing slots or roulette in Vegas. Lots of people do it.
     
  22. MadameConcorde
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    MadameConcorde Silver Member

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    Well me too. If you like low quality onboard service and ugly old FAs then good for you.

    I will ask my Delta pilot friend to get me buddy passes with Delta when I need to fly US domestic. Then I can get the same for a lot cheaper.

    I can fly International with Swiss or Singapore Airlines they also fly from Europe to several airports in the US and then Lufthansa and Austrian do too. Yes they might cost a bit more but what a world of difference they are! Professionalism at its best. I can still get my status miles with no risk of bad surprises.

    :rolleyes:
     
  23. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    First off, I'm really disappointed to read some of the flat-out rude responses to the OP's questions. I thought milepoint was better than that.

    Here's my advice- I can understand the frustration being faced with what, a TRIPLE change fee? I would try calling United or Continental, try to be nice, explain you situation that you are trying to see the shuttle launch, that you think maybe one change fee is fair (sorry, but you're not getting away completely free) and that you would really appreciate anything they can do to try and help you out. Remind them of your status (but not in a rude way), and say that you would appreciate, as one of their most loyal customers, if they would be willing to help you and waive some of the fees. If necessary, ask to talk to a supervisor, and call back a few times if you need to. I'm not sure they owe you anything, but in my experience you'd be amazed with what you can get if you ask nicely.

    As for the ugly grumpy stewardess and their handling of the delay, that is something that can be taken up with customer relations and if the service was really that bad, then you absolutely should complain about it. As it is completely unrelated to your change-fee complaint, keep it that way when you contact them because those really are two separate issues. If you're lucky you'll get an e-cert and that might kind of help offset some of your change fees.

    Next, if you do get stuck on a CO flight on the way home, ask for a bulkhead or exit row seat (their version of E+ ;)). As a MM/1P they should be able to give it to you.

    Finally, enjoy the shuttle launch. I wish I was able to go see it. I keep checking the launch schedule and am very tempted to cash in some miles to try and make it down there myself. Anyway, I hope everything works out for you.
     
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  24. cheepneezy
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    cheepneezy Gold Member

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    Can we dispense with comments on the flight attendants' age/looks? If you have a problem with a service issue, fine, complain about it all you want. But the other comments are really :rolleyes:.
     
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  25. EWR764
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    EWR764 Silver Member

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    I've never found the physical appearance or age of flight attendants to be correlative to the level of service received. That's a pretty immature (not to mention ignorant) point of view, if you asked me.

    Good luck getting on a Delta domestic flight these days with S4 priority... and in most markets, buddy passes aren't that much cheaper than confirmed tickets, if at all.

    Sure... :rolleyes:
     
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