Continental Airlines Says Company Culture, Not New Laws, Is the Key To Aviation Service Excellence

Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today
said it agrees with the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of
Transportation, who said that Customer Service Commitments have “been a plus
for air travelers on a number of important fronts.”  In his report, the DOT
Inspector General found that airlines take customer service more seriously,
and stated, “Over the past year, we also have seen air carriers competing on
the basis of customer service ... .”

Quality service is borne out of competition and the desire of one airline
to excel over another to win business.  Continental, with its new, bigger
overhead bins and award-winning BusinessFirst product, has been in the
forefront of that intense customer service competition.  The traveling public
has been the real winner, because of significant improvements made by all ATA
carriers based on the Customer Service Commitments.
Continental also agreed with the Inspector General`s call for
“comprehensive action to increase system capacity to meet demand.”  As the DOT
pointed out, one of the most frustrating aspects of air travel today is
delays.  Continental looks forward to working with President Bush, the
Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, Congress,
the nation`s airports and its colleagues in the industry to make system
enhancements and infrastructure investments that are essential if the industry
is to meet increased demand by the traveling public.  This work must begin
today if our customers are to avoid the travel headaches of the past two

Continental was pleased that, generally, the Inspector General`s report
put Continental in the top level of the industry in critical customer service
areas, including baggage delivery and timely announcements to passengers about
delays.  Over the past several years, Continental has spent much time and
effort focused on improving its award-winning, quality customer service.
But Continental`s success at customer service depends on its employees.  A
spokesperson for the airline said, “We`re proud of the way Continental`s
employees deliver an industry-leading product.  There is no law in the country
that can legislate whether an employee will come to work happy.  Continental
is proud to be in the top quarter of Fortune magazine`s `100 Best Companies to
Work For in America.`”

Continental`s commitment to customer service will not end with the
issuance of this report.  The Inspector General has pointed out there is
always room for improvement, and the airline recognizes that fact.
Continental said it is pleased that the DOT has recognized, even since the
Interim Report, that “evidence shows significant investment and progress by
the Airlines” in meeting voluntary commitments.
Continental will continue to urge lawmakers to work with the industry, the
aviation labor unions and the aviation community to implement policies to
address the underlying issue that frustrates air travelers—delays.
In the meantime, Continental will carefully review the Inspector General`s
report and use its findings to fine-tune its award-winning customer service

Continental Airlines is the fifth largest airline in the U.S., offering
more than 2,200 departures daily to 136 domestic and 92 international
destinations.  Operating hubs in Newark, Houston, Cleveland and Guam,
Continental ( serves more international cities than any
other U.S. carrier, including extensive service throughout the Americas,
Europe and Asia.


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).