© 2010 Josh continental

Continental Sucks

Since this is my soapbox, I might as well use it.

Before I started writing this post, I called the ”Customer Care” line to see if there was a human somewhere at the airline who could at least give some account for the way I was treated by the airline… 34 minutes on hold to speak with a woman who’s grasp of the english language was as poor as her understanding of the concept of customer care.   No surprise there, but I wanted to be thorough before immortalizing my discontent in the immutable, permanent, and ultimately respectable form of a post on a blog that has, at most, 7 readers.

I should begin by  saying thanks to Bogface, I don’t know her real name, but, do you know how sometimes you can just look at someone and guess what there name is; well, it’s like that with Bogface.  In fact, it’s pretty easy, so just assume all names I write in this tirade are ascribed in the same way.

Bogface, thank you for helping me check in to my 12:30PM flight to Houston, even though I had arrived at the airport with hours to spare, you helped the most by keeping me waiting, with constant reassurances that you were ‘doing everything you could’ as you chatted with co-workers, talked on the phone, disappeared for long stretches of time, and helped another customer miss his flight; your constant reminders to ‘please wait off to the side’ and reassurances that you’d ‘be right with me’ helped me deal with the fact that I was going to miss my flight due to absolutely no fault of my own, I was able to enjoy this feeling for about 50 minutes, putting the entire experience on par with watching a new episode of my favorite TV show (which, coincidentally is called “Waiting at the Airport while being ignored by Customer Service”). I was impressed most by the fact that even though you were provided with my confirmation number, my ticket number, my flight number, and my ID, you still maintained an intellectual skepticism regarding my existence.


While Bogface was the primary contributor to the sum of my Continental experience, I would be remiss in my gratitude if I failed to mention Scurvy.  Scurvy is one of those women who, and you’d realize this if you spent some time with her, enjoys using her available resources to ensure that the people around her really feel appreciated and important.  Case in point, after I reached the threshold of enjoyment I could tolerate through my attempted communication with bogface, I changed tactics and presented my travel documentation to Scurvy, who informed me that check in for my flight had ended two minutes ago and there was nothing she could do for me.  Of course, being the terrible person that I am, I attempted to recap for her the experience I’d enjoyed for the last hour.

Luckily , Bogface was nearby and had the opportunity to confirm the details of my story, she did so enthusiastically by claiming to have never seen me before and suggested that I was clearly just trying to blame my problems on her.  To her credit, Scurvy immediately found a resolution to the situation, which was telling me repeatedly in the friendliest imaginable tone to “Go stand in line over there with the other people who missed their flights.”  I did foolishly attempt to protest, pleading the facts of my situation, reiterating that I hadn’t missed my flight… yet, but I certainly would If I had to stand on another line.   Scurvy happily responded by having her uniformed friend Bigfoot escort me to the line of other happy and satisfied Continental customers.


After sharing stories with a few other people on the line, I learned that I was not just a unique, lucky, individual who had the good fortune of dealing with bogface, that several of the other customers who had dealt with her had, like me, decided to spend some extra time hanging around the check in desk, so that they too could earn the distinguished status of ‘People who missed their flights”.

After forty minutes on this line, I was greeted at the customer service counter by none other than Scurvy, who was now in a position to help me.  Strangely, she didn’t seem to recognize me from our previous encounter, nearly an hour earlier.  Having the pleasure of being able to recount my experience yet again to Scurvy, she informed me that I would, unfortunately, not be getting a seat on the 1:05 PM flight, citing that I had ‘missed the cut off by a few minutes, and there was nothing she could do.” Strangely, this sounded familiar, but I couldn’t really remember where I had heard it before.   I bid Scurvy a good day and found another ‘Customer Service’ representative to help me.


Slowgo McMumbles was the next rep to help me, comically at the same terminal as Scurvy, and despite the fact that he was obviously preoccupied with the taste of his lips and cheeks, he was able to get me ticketed for Standby on the 1:05PM flight which Scurvy had assured me I would not be getting on.  He must have been a wizard or a genius, or a wizard genius.   After getting through security, I reached the gate just as the plane started boarding.  Being standby meant I had the luxury of relaxing at the gate until all the non-priority customers who hadn’t been inconvenienced by the airline yet found their seats.   Slowgo gave me his assurance that my luggage would in fact make it onto the plane.

I made sure to present myself in a timely fashion to the agent at the gate, trying my best to explain the circumstances of my standby status without sounding bitter or accusatory; and I was met with a modicum of sympathy.  Mr. Salaryman Tanaka, the japanese businessman who was also waiting for his standby seat, had the exquisite pleasure of being in the terminal for 7 hours due to a fortuitous mishandling of his papers by continental’s crack LAX team.  We shared a moment of relief as we were led to the plane to take our seats.  Last ones on the plane, the flight attendants guided us to our seats, smiling at their full plane, eager to meet all their new friends.

Home free, no doubt, as I stowed my carry on and settled into seat 14D.  I enjoyed the aisle seat for nearly four whole minutes before I was approached by a flight attendant, Mrs. Laserhair, who informed me that unfortunately, since I was the last standby to board the plane, I would have to give up my seat to the ticketed customer who was just now hurrying down the corridor towards his plane.   Strange, I thought, as I voiced my delight, how I had found an ingenious way to spend even more time at LAX than I had intended.  I was clearly meant to be here.

After a brief conversation with Mrs. Laserhair regarding the priorities by which customers were handled, I was escorted off the plane and back to the gate counter, just feeling like the luckiest person in the world.  But just when I thought it was impossible to be any more satisfied with my experience, I was informed that the next available flight that would get me to my destination didn’t leave for another 10 hours!  WOW! Ten Extra Hours in Los Angeles, in my favorite airport, at my new favorite terminal!

Thank you Continental!  I can’t wait to see what happens tonight at 11:55PM when my flight is scheduled to depart. I really hope I get to have another exciting adventure with your customer service staff.


5 Comments

  1. Philip
    Posted August 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm | #

    I love bogfaces

  2. Steve
    Posted October 16, 2010 at 7:12 am | #

    Continental is the absolute worst to deal with REGARDING ANYTHING. Where can I post how absolutely horrible they’ve been to try to work with, including the specifics of my instances? Phone, email, and fax messages go unresponded to, and when you do call, you can literally be kept on hold for in excess of an hour. And they absolutely refuse to budge regarding ANYTHING.

  3. Alesya
    Posted December 21, 2010 at 1:35 am | #

    You have a great blog here! I love the content! I totally agree with you, Continental sucks fat hairy balls.

  4. Posted December 24, 2010 at 8:38 am | #

    Great blog it’s not often that I comment but I felt you deserve it. This airline is bullshit and I hate them.

  5. Posted February 5, 2011 at 9:46 am | #

    This is wonderful blog. I love it.

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