Raspberryfisher's Blog

notes on fishing & travel

Continental to United Merger Failures – Prison Seats

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With high density of wireless (mobile – cell) telephone service, high energy costs and complex access rules, Southern California is a place I frequent. It usually involves about 6 hours in the air and a couple of fligths.  Unfortunately, the service-options to fly to the right airport (SNA – Orange County – John Wayne) has degraded over the past 2 years.

  • Air Canada – stop their direct flights from Toronto.
  • United– Mixing their flights with Continental – and the merger is making it worse.
    • Passenger Information enabling frequent flyer information and seat selection is not properly transferring from system to system. This trip, I spent an hour on the phone to clean up the reservations, another 30 minutes to try and correct the online check-in and then another 30 minutes at each check-in actually completing the fix.
    • Yes, the problems were there before, but it is getting worse and consistently each trip is requiring a lot of time to fix!  I have left messages with Customer Service, but to date, but no response.  It is evident the merger is making it worse.
    • …. Months ago, buying the more leg-room option at initial purchase stopped.
    • …. No longer always accepts my frequent flyer number.  Might, might not.  In this trip, 1 of the 2 flights per leg was correct.
    • Though I waited 30 minutes at the United check-in to fix my flight (which is aggravating), the United Airline staff there were kind. One reason I like John Wayne Airport, the airport has a good vibe to it, from the car rental agencies to the airlines to TSA.
  • Continental – Travelling in the still tube, especially Continental – sitting jammed in a seat, in a full plane, in a seat you could not select, beside a person with bad breadth, with a small screen 12″ in front of face constantly seeing the same advertisement for DirectTV for 4.5 hours is a form of prison – with the only good news, you know you will be released soon! 
    • Practice your zen, consider taking up airplane seat yoga.
    • Share breadth mints with those sitting beside you. Strike up a nice conversation, and when it is going well, offer them a mint.

It is clear to this frequent flyer, the United-Continental merger is failing. From the tool integration or the stewardess who refused to provide coffee – “They took away our serving tray, so I cannot bring you coffee, so leave a message with your customer survey”. Well I have before, but no response and the only changes are worse.

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Southern California Desert

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Written by raspberryfisher

2012/02/12 at 19:58

Posted in Helpdesks, Work Travel

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