terrible continentinal airline experience

Jan 7th, 2007, 12:35 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 487
terrible continentinal airline experience

I recently flew from SFO to Tel Aviv via Newark and it was probably the worst flying experience I've ever had.
The plane was dirty, the bathrooms were a mess, and the flight attendants were very very rude. On the way back from SFO, on the 12.5 hour flight from Tel Aviv to Newark, my personal TV and the reading light was not working. I couldn't get a hold of the flight attendants because my flight attendant call button was also not working. When I finally got a hold of them, they just shrugged and went away.
I understand they probably cannot fix my personal tv (I was in economy, by the way, but they should have at least tried something, perhaps another seat, or in the end some sympathy for being stuck in a plane for 12.5 hours without any kind of entertainment.
I guess I didn't miss too much from the personal TV because everyone around me was complaining that the movie selection was just terrible. I heard this on the way there and back.
While going to Israel, we saw about 5-6 people (not part of one group) having a fit because Continental had bumped them off the flight because it was overbooked.
Nowadays, the flight being overbooked is given out as such a normal reason... like it is my problem that they sold one seat to 2 or more people.
Anyway, the seat quality was terrible, my husband's back is still hurting.
I will never fly Continental again.
I flew Continental to Newark earlier this fall too, at that time, they took more than an hour for our bags to come out. This is for everyone on the flight, just now us. Everyone just stood around the baggage carousel for an HOUR for their bags... amazing huh?

Just wanted to vent, thanks for listening.
africatravel is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 02:22 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
My parents, cousins, myself fly CO's 777 to Hong Kong and Europe many times a year, and what you described just wasn't our experience, even on very very packed planes.

The seats weren't the best, but we have survived many 15.5-hour flight to Hong Kong, and I just volunteered to sit in a middle seat for a 8.5 hour flight Houston-London without complaint.

Yes, the personal video system malfunctions quite often, but when that happened on my flights, the FAs have always attempted to fix it. Sometimes they'd even switch movies, etc. They're installing newer AVOD system later this year on the 777s.

As for movie selection, one can check their listings on Continental.com. If you don't like them, maybe one can bring their own entertainment.

Bumping happens all the time, and in fact many people love to be bumped. Next time when these people complain about it around you, ask them how much in voucher did they get. Somehow, some travelers only want to tell you the bad stuff and skip the good.

Anyways, I don't work for them and I don't need to defend them; but they are one of the better airlines to fly long distance.

BTW, you may want to complain to them about the non-working TV screen, by calling 1-800-we-care2. They may give you a few hundred Onepass miles or a voucher with small amount. But if you're so determined to never fly them again, then they're of no use to you.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 02:33 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,660
You know, a lot of times the cleanliness of a bathroom depends on the last person that uses it. A lot of times there is stuff in the sink and it looks like the trash bin is full.

A good thing to do would be to drain the sink after you wash your hands, maybe rinse it, and then wipe it with the towels that you dried your hands with. Push the towels into the bin (often there are towels hanging out only because the door closes on the towel before it drops to the bottom of the basket). Push the towels down just a bit to make room, if necessary.

All of the above can be done without catching any cooties.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 02:58 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Just want to add that I've flown CO's 777 to/from Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, London; plus their 767 to Amsterdam and Milan. Never seen a dirty bathroom. My parents have flown to even more destinations, including Rome, Sao Paulo, Rio and Buenos Aires, and they've never complained either.

But I have not flown on their 777 flights to Delhi, Tel Aviv or Beijing. I know some have complained about the lack of cultural sensitivities of the FAs on their DEL flights. Never heard of complains on TLV though. It's a very popular route, and is the most profitable market for CO.
rkkwan is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 06:22 AM
  #5  
LT
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 377
africatravel:

"The plane was dirty, the bathrooms were a mess . . ."

I've found CO to have the cleanest planes of any U.S. carrier. If this is true, there's no excuse, unless the flight was running late and they wanted to make up the time lost.

" . . . the flight attendants were very very rude."

Was this on the EWR - TLV legs of your trip? If so, you probably ended up with CO's most senior FAs. This policy is the same with most other U.S. carriers. Thus, I've found that when you fly on these overseas routes, you end up with a bunch of old bats who are as surly as all get out. IMO, the airlines should award these gigs to the FAs who receive the most customer compliments instead of basing it almost solely on seniority. It just makes sense to put your best people on your most profitable routes. But, I suspect the FA union would howl at this proposal . . .

"On the way back from SFO, on the 12.5 hour flight from Tel Aviv to Newark, my personal TV and the reading light was not working. I couldn't get a hold of the flight attendants because my flight attendant call button was also not working. When I finally got a hold of them, they just shrugged and went away."

Well, I recently took FL for the first time, and I was looking forward to the free XM satellite radio in every seat. But when my companion & I got to our seats, my XM wasn't working, and his reading light wasn't working. Unfortunately, these things happen. I agree -- the FA should have tried to find an empty seat (if available) and offered it to you. But again, I'm sure your flight was staffed by FAs who should have retired a long time ago.

" . . . Continental had bumped them off the flight because it was overbooked."

rkkwan is exactly right -- this happens all the time nowadays. By law, the airlines are supposed to provide adequate compensation. It's just one of the negatives of air travel.

" . . . the seat quality was terrible, my husband's back is still hurting."

Unfortunately, I've found that the European and Asian carriers are far better than the U.S. carriers. Seat quality/pitch is just one reason. Again, I think you'd find the coach seats on most U.S. carriers to be pretty much the same.

" . . . they took more than an hour for our bags to come out."

I don't know about EWR, but at BWI, especially around the holidays, an hour is not uncommon. I've also had several experiences at BWI where we have had to wait around for someone to man the jetway so we could deplane; we've also had to wait for a fuel truck, etc. It could be that EWR (like BWI) is just not one of the better-run airports.

Sorry you feel that way about CO, but I think you'll find that if you travel enough these days, you'll eventually run into bad experiences with just about all of the U.S. carriers.
LT is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 03:42 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
I am shocked!! I flew the same route in March (less then a year ago) and my only complain is the CO representative in Tel Aviv would not say on the phone if the flight will be on time or delayed (it was on time, after all). There was a high wind advisory that day.
FainaAgain is offline  
Jan 12th, 2007, 01:10 PM
  #7  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
Just came back from RT EWR-Aruba on Continental. Plane, bathrooms, and service were fine. Bags took 20 min at EWR.
Jed is offline  
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