Continental Airlines Launches Industry`s First Spanish-Language Speech-Activated Flight Information

Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) has
launched the first Spanish-language speech-activated flight information
service in the airline industry.  Spanish-speaking customers can call toll-
free to 1-800-579-3938 to receive up-to-the minute automated flight arrival,
departure or gate information for any of Continental`s 2,200 daily flights—
yesterday, today or tomorrow.  English-speaking customers can call
1-800-784-4444 for the same information.

“Spanish-speaking passengers constitute an increasing segment of
Continental`s customer base, both because of our role as the Number 2 U.S. air
carrier to Latin America and our flights between major U.S. Hispanic
population centers,” said Donna Schiffert, Project Manager, Speech Solutions,
Continental Airlines.  “Our new bilingual flight information system, another
example of our `Latinization` initiative, enables Continental to offer
accurate, efficient and user-friendly customer service both to Spanish- and
English-speaking passengers.”

Callers to the new voice-activated system do not have to remember option
numbers (such as, “Press 2 for arrival times”) to receive information.  They
also can interrupt prompts, resulting in faster response.  Mobile phone users
who check flight information from the road or an airport do not have to move
the phone away from their ears to access a touch-tone menu.  Instead, callers
who need flight information just say the flight number or the name of the
arrival and departure city, and they will get an immediate response.
 
Continental`s Latinization effort, initiated in 1997, includes Spanish-
speaking flight attendants, regional cuisine and Spanish-language reading
materials, TV programs and music on board.  Airport service enhancements
include bilingual customer service representatives and Spanish-language
signage and flight information.

“Helpful and fast speech recognition systems, such as those we deployed
for Continental, are more than a component of customer service—they are a
necessary tool to keep customers coming back,” said Stuart R. Patterson, CEO
of SpeechWorks.

As the No. 2 U.S. carrier to Latin America and the Caribbean, Continental
Airlines offers more than 600 weekly flights to 20 countries and 47 cities in
the region.  Continental is the fifth largest airline in the U.S., offering
more than 2,200 departures daily to 133 domestic and 92 international
destinations.  Operating hubs in Newark, Houston, Cleveland and Guam,
Continental (http://www.continental.com) serves more international cities than any
other U.S. carrier, including extensive service throughout the Americas,
Europe and Asia.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.  Continental is in the top quarter of Fortune
magazine`s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America,” 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).

——-