If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Mercury News)   Thanks to United-Continental merger, you can now spend less time flying to Hawaii and back than you do on hold waiting to make your reservations   (mercurynews.com) divider line 34
    More: Obvious  
•       •       •

1244 clicks; posted to Business » on 14 Mar 2012 at 7:24 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



34 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread
 
2012-03-14 07:36:27 AM
Or just book online in 5 minutes?

/Who books flights over the phone anymore?
 
2012-03-14 07:50:06 AM

Creoena: /Who books flights over the phone anymore?


I'm guessing you didn't read the article. Their systems are a mess post-merger and the only way to get help is to pick up the phone.

I'm also guessing you're not a frequent flyer, but there's a lot of bookings (especially using miles) that can't be done online and require a phone call.
 
2012-03-14 08:00:03 AM
I remember cashing in Northworst Northwest points for free tix to Lihue. Because the jumper from Honolulu was operated by a code-share airline (Aloha) you couldn't book online. Also, you got ACTUAL, old school, printed tickets.

Which was great, until at LAX they made us switch planes and because I had surrendered my ticket to get on the first plane, a stewardess wasn't going to let me on the next plane. Luckily another stewardess recognized me from the first plane is crisis was averted.

Long story short, Northwest sucks, United sucks, and flying, in general, sucks.
 
2012-03-14 08:01:10 AM
I have had a similar experience, I spent one hour on hold trying to get a reservation changed that was hampered because of the merger. I was trying to change a flight and looked online and found several options. I called Continental and, after getting through, the customer service rep told me that the flight I found didn't exist. After a bit of back on forth she went to the actual Continental website and found the flight I was talking about. Well, the problem was it was showing up on the internal web page so she couldn't do anything. It was another 45 min of being on hold and talking to website tech support and so forth before the glitch was finally fixed. This poor customer service rep worked her butt off to make the situation right. Also, God bless the patience of the person helping me who was obviously embarrassed and frustrated about the entire process. She told me that it had been nothing but a nightmare since the merger was announced and the software merge had been a disaster.
 
2012-03-14 08:08:01 AM
I'll go with the "is impressed that things are going as well as they are" line. Seriously - systems integration nightmare, and planes are still flying, full of passengers whose reservations were fine.

/new United 1K
//former Continental Platinum
///different complaint: goodbye to good everyday customer service
 
2012-03-14 08:08:34 AM

ImpendingCynic: Creoena: /Who books flights over the phone anymore?

I'm guessing you didn't read the article. Their systems are a mess post-merger and the only way to get help is to pick up the phone.

I'm also guessing you're not a frequent flyer, but there's a lot of bookings (especially using miles) that can't be done online and require a phone call.


I fly 75,000 miles per year. I have never had a problem booking a trip using miles on continental's website.
 
2012-03-14 08:12:02 AM

ImpendingCynic: I'm also guessing you're not a frequent flyer, but there's a lot of bookings (especially using miles) that can't be done online and require a phone call.


Quite true. Of course, an 18-hour hold time sounds like this person is not flying very frequently. Put in more than 25,000 miles a year on an airline, and you'll be calling an entirely different 1-800 number than Ma and Pa Kettle, and suddenly your hold time is 18 minutes instead of 18 hours. Put in more than 50,000 miles a year, and you're probably looking at 18 seconds instead of 18 minutes. And there are other benefits, too. ;)

mekkab: I remember cashing in Northworst Northwest points for free tix to Lihue. Because the jumper from Honolulu was operated by a code-share airline (Aloha) you couldn't book online.


Wow, NWA (Straight Outta Eagan) had code-shares with Aloha? I mean, ever? By the time I encountered them, they were code-sharing with Hawaiian, which was much nicer (and also didn't go out of business like Aloha did).
 
2012-03-14 08:15:18 AM

BiffDangler: I fly 75,000 miles per year. I have never had a problem booking a trip using miles on continental's website.


That's great, you're very lucky. Some people's needs aren't that simple.

Saying that some trips can't be booked online doesn't mean "I don't understand this dang nabit technogobble so I'm going to use the phone." There really are some things you can't do on the website.
 
2012-03-14 08:17:00 AM

ImpendingCynic: Saying that some trips can't be booked online doesn't mean "I don't understand this dang nabit technogobble so I'm going to use the phone." There really are some things you can't do on the website.


Such as being a special precious little snowflake?
 
2012-03-14 08:25:45 AM

BiffDangler: I fly 75,000 miles per year. I have never had a problem booking a trip using miles on continental's website.


As someone who also flies 75,000-135,000 miles most year (but slacked off big time last year due to my wife having a high-risk pregnancy), you should have no trouble doing just about anything you damn well please. Oh, sure, you're not UGS (try harder!) and maybe you aren't 1K, but you're still elite enough to get good treatment. I could probably rattle off a half-dozen different ways airlines have bent or broken their own rules to my benefit, flying that much.

I hope I can get back to that level soon - I've only got about 40,000 miles for work between now and July, and hopefully another 25,000 or so for leisure in August. Have to wait and see how the latter half of the year pans out.
 
2012-03-14 08:32:23 AM
had to fly United last week - the systems were f'd and all the counter reps were feeling the pressure (the self serve kisoks were all messed up too). but what really got me were the stewardess (errr...flight attendants). it was like the other parts of the company were going through this clusterfark so they saw it as an excuse to act like total biatches. I have no idea of what is going to happen with my miles from that (long) set of flights, but keeping my eye on it
 
2012-03-14 08:34:26 AM

dbirchall: BiffDangler: I fly 75,000 miles per year. I have never had a problem booking a trip using miles on continental's website.

As someone who also flies 75,000-135,000 miles most year (but slacked off big time last year due to my wife having a high-risk pregnancy), you should have no trouble doing just about anything you damn well please. Oh, sure, you're not UGS (try harder!) and maybe you aren't 1K, but you're still elite enough to get good treatment. I could probably rattle off a half-dozen different ways airlines have bent or broken their own rules to my benefit, flying that much.

I hope I can get back to that level soon - I've only got about 40,000 miles for work between now and July, and hopefully another 25,000 or so for leisure in August. Have to wait and see how the latter half of the year pans out.


I'm hoping to hit 100K this year. I am at 37 so far. I will be roughly 40 at the end of march. In april I have 10,000. So being at 50 for the end of april would be quite good, although I suspect to slow down a little bit over the summer.

I have never done the "mileage run" thing before, but am thinking that if I am off the pace at the end of 3Q I just might have to do that.
 
2012-03-14 08:37:40 AM

swankywanky: had to fly United last week - the systems were f'd and all the counter reps were feeling the pressure (the self serve kisoks were all messed up too). but what really got me were the stewardess (errr...flight attendants). it was like the other parts of the company were going through this clusterfark so they saw it as an excuse to act like total biatches. I have no idea of what is going to happen with my miles from that (long) set of flights, but keeping my eye on it


My one big worry is that the united stewardess culture will come to continental. I have found continental stewardess's to be the best in the US, and united near the worst. Of course they all suck compared to most non-US airlines.

As an example, two years ago I had a flight from Nairobi to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Airline was called precision air. Anyway, I figured, wow, this is going to be god-awful. Turns out it was all nice leather seats, totally clean plane, and friendly stewards with free alcohol. Of course, you are not sitting next to a bunch of fat tubs of shiat like I do in and out of the midwest US.
 
2012-03-14 08:40:23 AM
I was flying back from Uganda a couple weeks ago via United (codeshare with Brussels Air). They lost 3 of our 4 bags. Customer service in Washington Dulles was horrible, and this was right when they "switched systems," so phone help was useless too. One bag arrived two days later, and the last two bags arrived 3 days later.

We could have flown there via Emirates through Dubai for less money, but our bosses made us use United...
 
2012-03-14 08:54:10 AM
Flew United to Europe and back at the end of February. The check-in agent herself told me "Good thing you're not flying next week. It's going to be a mess."

I do hate that United requires you to call the 800 number to acknowledge schedule changes (my change on this flight involved, for real, a three-minute change in departure time).
It's annoying, and you get the worst hacky '80s comedian version of the person picking up the phone speaking with a massively thick Indian accent saying "Hello, thank you for calling United, how may I help you, my name is John." Look, it's 2012. I know your customer service phone bank is in Bangalore. I won't suddenly tear up my tickets and demand to fly Lee Greenwood Airlines if these people answer their phones with their real names.
 
2012-03-14 08:58:33 AM
I flew United/Continental recently back from Taiwan via Tokyo on a codeshare flight with ANA. Checking in online was one hell of a pain in the ass.

The bigger question is how in the hell can restaurant service in the US be some of the best in the world, yet US airline service is some of the worst?
 
2012-03-14 09:02:13 AM

jimb213: I was flying back from Uganda a couple weeks ago via United (codeshare with Brussels Air). They lost 3 of our 4 bags. Customer service in Washington Dulles was horrible, and this was right when they "switched systems," so phone help was useless too. One bag arrived two days later, and the last two bags arrived 3 days later.

We could have flown there via Emirates through Dubai for less money, but our bosses made us use United...


Brussels Air is pretty bad, but I have done that Uganda to Brussels flight many times (and it's sister flight from Nairobi). Every time I have done the flight it is pretty empty so you can get a seat in the middle in coach, and lay down across four seats and sleep the whole time, waking up fresh in Brussels.

Flying coach then from Brussels to the US on either United or American is awful. Fortunetly I generally am able to fly business class now as long as it is a discounted ticketed (i.e. 4K round trip instead of 7 or 8). Flying on Lot to warsaw is just fine and is half the price of other business class fares so that is what i do to europe. Ethiopian business class is cheap as well and there is a direct flight (that stops to refuel in rome) to addis.
 
2012-03-14 09:05:19 AM
I love this comment quoted in the article. Gave me the giggles:

"I wish the phone was a person so I could punch it in the face."


Thank you random (ex-)United customer. You've just brightened my day.
 
2012-03-14 09:12:19 AM

BiffDangler: jimb213: I was flying back from Uganda a couple weeks ago via United (codeshare with Brussels Air). They lost 3 of our 4 bags. Customer service in Washington Dulles was horrible, and this was right when they "switched systems," so phone help was useless too. One bag arrived two days later, and the last two bags arrived 3 days later.

We could have flown there via Emirates through Dubai for less money, but our bosses made us use United...

Brussels Air is pretty bad, but I have done that Uganda to Brussels flight many times (and it's sister flight from Nairobi). Every time I have done the flight it is pretty empty so you can get a seat in the middle in coach, and lay down across four seats and sleep the whole time, waking up fresh in Brussels.

Flying coach then from Brussels to the US on either United or American is awful. Fortunetly I generally am able to fly business class now as long as it is a discounted ticketed (i.e. 4K round trip instead of 7 or 8). Flying on Lot to warsaw is just fine and is half the price of other business class fares so that is what i do to europe. Ethiopian business class is cheap as well and there is a direct flight (that stops to refuel in rome) to addis.


Unfortunately our flight from Uganda to Brussels was mostly full. We thought we were in good shape though, 'cause we had a bulkhead in front of us. Turns out lots of people use that extra legroom as a walkway from one aisle to the other... so all in all the flight home was a horrible experience. At least I had a few drinks in Dulles so I slept the entire flight from there to Austin. I think I was awake on that plane less than 30 minutes total, gate to gate.

I did learn something interesting though. If you order a special meal (vegetarian, kosher, etc) you get served before the rest of the cabin. I might start ordering vegetarian meals on long flights just to get food faster...
 
2012-03-14 09:21:50 AM

jimb213: BiffDangler: jimb213: I was flying back from Uganda a couple weeks ago via United (codeshare with Brussels Air). They lost 3 of our 4 bags. Customer service in Washington Dulles was horrible, and this was right when they "switched systems," so phone help was useless too. One bag arrived two days later, and the last two bags arrived 3 days later.

We could have flown there via Emirates through Dubai for less money, but our bosses made us use United...

Brussels Air is pretty bad, but I have done that Uganda to Brussels flight many times (and it's sister flight from Nairobi). Every time I have done the flight it is pretty empty so you can get a seat in the middle in coach, and lay down across four seats and sleep the whole time, waking up fresh in Brussels.

Flying coach then from Brussels to the US on either United or American is awful. Fortunetly I generally am able to fly business class now as long as it is a discounted ticketed (i.e. 4K round trip instead of 7 or 8). Flying on Lot to warsaw is just fine and is half the price of other business class fares so that is what i do to europe. Ethiopian business class is cheap as well and there is a direct flight (that stops to refuel in rome) to addis.

Unfortunately our flight from Uganda to Brussels was mostly full. We thought we were in good shape though, 'cause we had a bulkhead in front of us. Turns out lots of people use that extra legroom as a walkway from one aisle to the other... so all in all the flight home was a horrible experience. At least I had a few drinks in Dulles so I slept the entire flight from there to Austin. I think I was awake on that plane less than 30 minutes total, gate to gate.

I did learn something interesting though. If you order a special meal (vegetarian, kosher, etc) you get served before the rest of the cabin. I might start ordering vegetarian meals on long flights just to get food faster...


Yes, I always order the vegetarian meal when leaving africa anyway because africa has such wonderful fruits and vegetables, and terrible meat. (cheap meat that they serve on planes anyway, I love me some choma).
 
2012-03-14 09:53:31 AM

jimb213: I was flying back from Uganda a couple weeks ago


BiffDangler: I have done that Uganda to Brussels flight many times (and it's sister flight from Nairobi).


WTF? Why are Farkers other than me going to Uganda all the time? I have a good excuse (Ugandan wife), and I guess jimb213 was either on a church trip or shooting freelance video for #KONY2012, but what about you, BiffDangler?

(Sure is a good way to rack up the miles, though!)
 
2012-03-14 10:11:59 AM

dbirchall: jimb213: I was flying back from Uganda a couple weeks ago

BiffDangler: I have done that Uganda to Brussels flight many times (and it's sister flight from Nairobi).

WTF? Why are Farkers other than me going to Uganda all the time? I have a good excuse (Ugandan wife), and I guess jimb213 was either on a church trip or shooting freelance video for #KONY2012, but what about you, BiffDangler?

(Sure is a good way to rack up the miles, though!)


I'm in construction.
 
2012-03-14 10:18:05 AM

dbirchall: NWA (Straight Outta Eagan)


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA I'm totally using that! ... Somehow.

/works with some peeps out in Eagan, who have major attitude
//And that attitude is Minnesota Mostly-Nice.
///And yes, 99% that it was an Aloha flying bus.
 
2012-03-14 10:19:13 AM

BiffDangler: I'm in construction.


Isn't that code for "mafia?"
 
2012-03-14 10:20:58 AM

mekkab: BiffDangler: I'm in construction.

Isn't that code for "mafia?"


In Africa, it means "willing to make money by going places other people don't want to go and do construction".
 
2012-03-14 10:48:12 AM

dbirchall: jimb213: I was flying back from Uganda a couple weeks ago

BiffDangler: I have done that Uganda to Brussels flight many times (and it's sister flight from Nairobi).

WTF? Why are Farkers other than me going to Uganda all the time? I have a good excuse (Ugandan wife), and I guess jimb213 was either on a church trip or shooting freelance video for #KONY2012, but what about you, BiffDangler?

(Sure is a good way to rack up the miles, though!)


Yeah I wasn't doing any Kony2012 work, but I was there shooting for a non profit (I would love to work with Invisible Children at some point, though!). It was really weird to be back for about a week then see all this stuff about Uganda explode all over my facebook and twitter, though...
 
2012-03-14 11:45:28 AM
Don't forget... United breaks guitars.
 
2012-03-14 12:06:51 PM

BiffDangler: mekkab: BiffDangler: I'm in construction.

Isn't that code for "mafia?"

In Africa, it means "willing to make money by going places other people don't want to go and do construction".


Ooh, sounds like the work that takes me there. Except for the construction part. You don't happen to shoot people too, do you?
 
2012-03-14 12:43:54 PM
No, but I have built infrastructure for people like you.
 
2012-03-14 12:45:50 PM
Oh big whoop - a handful of people had troubles while tens of thousands did not during a merger of logistical proportions beyond the comprehension almost anyone.
 
2012-03-14 03:44:22 PM
I have always been able to book frequent flier tickets through Continental's website.
 
2012-03-14 04:56:32 PM

Contrabulous Flabtraption: Oh big whoop - a handful of people had troubles while tens of thousands did not during a merger of logistical proportions beyond the comprehension almost anyone.


A bombastic simpleton who didn't have any problems with the reservation system (probably because he didn't even use it) during the previous two weeks of reservation hell feels a need to comment on how smoothly it's definitely running and that everyone else's problems are imaginary. How precious.
 
2012-03-15 04:05:55 AM
They took the one airline I like (Continental) and merged it with the airline I hate the most.

I am skeptical. But I will remain hopeful. For now.
 
2012-03-16 07:58:42 AM

jackbooty: They took the one airline I like (Continental) and merged it with the airline I hate the most.


This. Actually, they, whoever they are, took the two airlines I liked - Continental and Northwest - which had a great partnership and great integration, and instead of merging the two of them (which would have made sense in all kinds of ways, route maps and all) married Northwest off to Delta (where the only good thing was how easy it was to take a "bump" and get a voucher that'd pay for my next trip), and United (where I haven't been able to take a trip without something getting all farked up connection-wise in at least 10 years).

Le sigh.
 
Displayed 34 of 34 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »






Report