HOUSTON, June 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/—Flying this summer? With
Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL), the experience may never have been easier.
Airport customer service: Continental is adding more than 100 summer service ambassadors at its hubs
in Houston, New York/Newark and Cleveland this month to provide customer
assistance with check-in, flight connections and baggage claim and to escort
unaccompanied minors. The ambassadors, who will be stationed at the airports
through Labor Day weekend, can be easily identified in their navy blue polo
shirts with the Continental Airlines logo and khaki pants and skirts.
Airport of the Future: Continental will also complete the Airport of the Future project for
domestic departures at the airline`s largest hub, Houston/George Bush
Intercontinental Airport, in time for the July 4th weekend. With the
project`s completion, domestic check-in facilities at each of Continental`s
U.S. hubs will have been redesigned to offer customer-facing check-in kiosks
(eService Centers) and agents working shoulder-to-shoulder with customers to
create a more customer-friendly environment.
Continental also offers this eService check-in configuration, replacing
traditional ticket counters, at its facilities at Boston`s Logan
International, Chicago`s O`Hare International and Raleigh-Durham International
airports, and will offer similar check-in facilities at Baltimore/Washington
International Airport later this summer.
Baggage services: Continental is installing new scanning technology in the baggage service facilities at the airline`s three domestic hubs and at several other domestic
and international destinations. The multi-million dollar investment will
ensure baggage handling efficiency. “With millions of Americans taking flight this summer, including many
first-time flyers and families, the steps we`re taking—and others that are
ongoing—will make the travel experience more efficient than ever before,”
said Mark Erwin, senior vice president - airport services. “Customers will
find that the entire process has never been more convenient.”
Before departure: Customers will find booking at continental.com to be the fastest, easiest
way from point A to point B. After booking reservations, customers with
pagers or wireless PDAs with email capability can follow the links to “Flight
Status Notification” for instant, real-time updates via email of their flight
status on the day of departure. The Web site also provides curb-to-gate
processing times for more than four dozen Continental airports, and systems
operations status for weather and operations updates. Members of the OnePass frequent flyer program can sign up online for
Continental`s new TripAlert program, through which OnePass members will be
notified via pager or wireless PDA of their flight status for all future
Continental Airlines flights. Members need only sign up once.
At curbside: New technology has been deployed at curbside check-in positions at
Continental`s hubs in Houston, New York/Newark and Cleveland, and at 17 other
airports to speed the curbside check-in process by enabling customers to
receive boarding passes and baggage tags.
In the check-in lobby: Customers with eTickets can check themselves in using eService Centers
located at more than 100 Continental airports, or can be checked in by a
Continental agent. With industry-leading electronic check-in capability,
Continental has significantly reduced the time needed for customer check-in
while providing a higher level of customer service and personal interaction. The eService Center self-check-in devices allow eTicket customers to check
in, check luggage and print boarding passes and receipts using a touchscreen
display. Customers also can select seats using an interactive seat map,
change flights and add their frequent flyer number. Frequent flyers with
elite-level status also can confirm or stand by for first class upgrades when
eligible. Systemwide, about 75 percent of Continental customers use eTickets, of
which more than 50 percent typically use an eService Center to check in.
Continental, which in 1995 was the first airline to offer eTicket self-check-
in, operates more than 630 eService Centers, by far the most extensive network
of self-check-in kiosks in the world. In addition, Continental offers more eService Centers in the New
York/Newark area than any other airline.
At the security checkpoint: Continental has increased the number of security checkpoint positions
available to customers since last fall, with 23 available in New York/Newark,
10 available in Houston, and five available in Cleveland. Continental also
offers expedited checkpoint approach lanes for First Class, BusinessFirst and
Latin Business customers, as well as for OnePass Elite members, reducing their
wait times in security checkpoint lanes where the average customer at
Continental`s largest airports already waits less than seven minutes.
Continental Airlines is the fifth largest airline in the U.S., offering
more than 2,100 departures daily to 120 domestic and 91 international
destinations. Operating hubs in New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam,
Continental serves more international cities than any other U.S. carrier,
including extensive service throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For
more information, visit continental.com.
Continental was named the 2001 Airline of the Year by Air Transport World,
as well as the 1996 Airline of the Year, making it the only carrier to receive
this honor twice in five years. For the fourth consecutive year, Continental
was named one of the 100 Best Places to Work For by FORTUNE magazine, and is
ranked the nation`s No. 1 airline in customer satisfaction for long and short-
haul flights by Frequent Flyer Magazine and J.D. Power and Associates.
Continental has received numerous awards for its BusinessFirst premium cabin
(Conde Nast Traveler, OAG, Entrepreneur and SmartMoney magazines), OnePass
frequent flyer program (InsideFlyer`s Freddie Awards) and overall operations
and management (FORTUNE magazine).