In response to reduced call volumes caused by a customer shift towards Web self-service and the global economic recession, Continental Airlines has decided to eliminate approximately 500 positions in its Reservations department and close its Tampa Reservations Centre. “We must make these changes to adapt to changing customer preferences toward the Web,” said Reservations and eCommerce VP Martin Hand. “Adding to the structural decline in call volumes caused by the Web has been the effect of the global recession, which has resulted in fewer calls into our reservations centers.”
The company is offering a number of voluntary programs to employees, including an early-out severance program and Company Offered Leaves of Absence (COLAs). In addition, Tampa Reservations agents who otherwise would not be furloughed will have the option of transferring to other Reservations centers located in Houston and Salt Lake City.
Continental will also offer outplacement services at all three Reservations centers and relocation assistance to affected employees.