Continental same day flight change question

Oct 16th, 2007, 11:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 852
Continental same day flight change question

In September, we flew on Continental from O'Hare to Zurich, thru Newark. Outbound, we arrived early enough to get an earlier EWR flight. No problem: they switched us at no extra cost. Cool.

On the way back, we cleared imigration remarkably quickly. So, we inquired about getting on an earlier flight to Chicago. The agent said, "No problem--that'll be $25/person". (Interestingly, due to a computer problem, they changed the tix for the two of us and forgot to ask for payment of my spouse's change).

My questions is:
Is the $25 change fee customary for CO, or did we catch a break on the outbound, no-cost change?
JN is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
There are two ways to change flights same day. And often, the agent may be totally clear about it; and often the agent have trouble explaining it in plain English.

Anyways, the two ways are:

1. Standby. It's done at the gate, or at from the President's Club. Free.

2. Same day confirmed change. You can do it by phone, or at any agent at the airport, within 3 hours of departure time of the new flight. $25.

Coming back on an international flight, if you don't have checked luggage and want to get on an earlier flight for free, just go directly to the gate of that earlier flight and add yourself to the waitlist there.

If you have checked bags, then the agent at the customs exit will offer you the $25 confirmed change.
rkkwan is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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That's interesting. Outbound, we asked for the change at the O'Hare airport check in area and had our baggage with us to be checked--yet no change fee requested.

At EWR, we took our bags to an agent at the general check-in counter (not the departure gate) because we wanted to make sure they were in the earlier flight were we to be able to change, and we were charged.

It sounds from your description that we were in similar situations both times, but that one agent charged us and another didn't. Is that how you read it?
JN is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 409
Rkkwan's explanation is right. i think you might have gotten lucky. I have often had "fees waived" by agents, anything from the "confirmed same day flight change" to excess/overweight baggage fees.
freeman0819 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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What you get on your return is proper.

On your outbound, you are lucky. But probably because that earlier flight is not close to full, so they basically process and confirm your standby right at the check-in counter.
rkkwan is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 12:31 PM
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Posts: 852
Great. We saved $75, then (two no-charges outbound and one return). I think we'll go to dinner tonight!
JN is offline  
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