Continental Airlines Sweeps Frequent Flyer / J.D. Power And Associates Awards, Taking Top Spots For

Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL and CAL.A) today was ranked as the nation’s No. 1 airline in customer satisfaction for both short-distance (less than 500 miles) and long-distance (500 or more miles) flights in an independent study conducted by Frequent Flyer magazine in conjunction with J.D. Power and Associates.

“For the past five years, Continental has won more awards for customer satisfaction than any other airline,” said Continental Chairman and CEO Gordon Bethune. “By taking both top honors this year, frequent flyers show they appreciate our top quality service.”

Continental Airlines has placed first or second in the Frequent Flyer magazine and J.D. Power and Associates Airline Customer Satisfaction Study for the past five years. For the fourth year, the airline ranked as the No. 1 carrier for frequent traveler satisfaction for long-distance flights. In the short-distance category, Continental jumped to No. 1 from 1999’s No. 3 ranking.

This is the only independent study of major U.S. airlines based on the actual experiences of frequent flyers. More than 6,000 Frequent Flyer respondents evaluated airlines in nine areas:

* Gate Factors * Flight Attendants * On-time Performance
* Airport Check-in * Food Service * Seating Area
* Aircraft Interior * Frequent Flyer Programs * Flight Availability/Scheduling


“Continental’s efforts to provide excellent service to customers have paid off once again,” said President and COO Greg Brenneman. “Employees should be proud of these awards that we’ve earned.”

Continental continuously monitors the competitiveness of its services and can act quickly to improve features that matter most to customers. Recent actions that have a direct effect on customer service include:

* A new all-Boeing fleet, America’s youngest, for higher reliability and better passenger comfort. Continental has fewer flight cancellations than any other U.S. airline.

* Expansion of overhead bins and aggressive opposition to baggage-sizing templates.

* Mid-cabin lavatories will be added to all new Boeing 737-800 and 900 aircraft, and the carrier will retrofit all 737-800 aircraft currently in its fleet.

* Installation of special height-adjustable coach-seat headrests.

* 180 new state-of-the-art eService Centers, which replaced older-model E-Ticket kiosks.

* Installation of joggled cabin dividers to give customers more leg room when seated behind a bulkhead.

* Ratification of a new flight attendant agreement.