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Continental and United Airlines merging their ticketing on Saturday

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  • Continental and United Airlines merging their ticketing on Saturday

    Continental and United Airlines merging their frequent flier program and ticketing on Saturday

    CLEVELAND - The days for Continental Airlines are numbered, as the airline completes its merger with United. Travelers will see changes that impact how you book a flight and how you redeem frequent flier miles.

    Continental and United Airlines have been merging their operations for months slowly making changes. At Cleveland Hopkins, there are signs of both airlines often right next to each other.

    "It can be confusing," traveler Maggie Eich said.

    Sometimes travelers book tickets on Continental, but when they show up at the airport they find out they're actually flying United. It's caused check-in confusion especially at bigger airports where United and Continental are not in the same terminal. Do you check in at the United counter or Continental?

    The merger is also causing problems for frequent fliers.

    "Even if you go online and book the flight with Continental and you show up at the airport, and its magically turned into a United flight all your perks with Continental disappeared," frequent flier Michael Salinger said.

    Perks are a big deal to big time fliers like those in the 100,000 mile club. They say those perks are harder to get.



    Continental flight 1267 is scheduled to depart from Phoenix at 11:59 p.m. PST on Friday. It's set to arrive in Cleveland as United 1267 Saturday morning.

    The airline will stop using Continental's "CO" code. That means no more Continental Airlines tickets, or flights - even though the Continental name is still painted on some planes.
    Last edited by scanhorse; 2012-03-02, 10:13. ...düüüse Im Sauseschritt

  • #2
    Continental drift
    Airline’s merger with United complete; problems might ensue

    CLEVELAND — In the most-visible sign that Continental Airlines has merged with United Airlines, the Continental brand has disappeared for good. United Continental Holdings Inc. converted both airlines to a single reservation system, saying that the process ought to be fairly smooth for passengers. But some travel agents were a bit skeptical, urging travelers to get to the airport early and prepare for headaches this weekend.

    “This is something we’ve been preparing for for more than a year,” United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said from Chicago last week, before the changeover became official yesterday.

    More than 10,000 employees underwent training for the transition, and “we expect no disruptions in operations for services for customers.

    Starting at 2 a.m. yesterday, the company merged to one website, one phone number and one frequent-flier program.


    On Saturday, United and Continental finally merged their computerised reservation systems. The result, as Portfolio's Joe Brancatelli explains, was fairly widespread chaos. Here's his update from mid-afternoon eastern time on Saturday:

    According to, the pre-merger United part of the combined United Airlines has had 50 scheduled departures from its primary hub at Chicago/O'Hare. Only 8 (14 percent) left on time. One was cancelled, 15 were between 15 and 30 minutes late, 13 went out 30-45 minutes late and 14 were delayed by more than 45 minutes. By comparison, American Airlines has had 58 departures from O'Hare today. Five were cancelled (a testament to how poorly American has been running), but 90 percent of the rest departed on time.
    Some of this is unavoidable with any merger, but at the very least United should be working hard to ensure that it makes it up to customers. Flight vouchers, hotel rooms for people with cancelled flights, or even just bottled water passed to waiting passengers can go a long way. On Friday, a United spokesman told USA Today, rather optimistically, that the airline didn't "expect any interruptions in operations or customer service." That didn't quite work out.
    Last edited by scanhorse; 2012-03-04, 14:23. ...düüüse Im Sauseschritt