Elite Member Benefits

 
Old Jun 10, 05, 10:09 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Elite Member Benefits

I am a grad student doing research on the way CO tries to keep its elite members happy. If any of you have examples that I could use, I would really appreciate it. For example, do you receive gifts, letters, special privileges, etc. Thanks for your time and help!!!
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Old Jun 10, 05, 11:43 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Kansas City, MO
Programs: UA 1K, CO One Pass Nothing, SPG Gold
Posts: 580
I have noticed many small differences in addition to the advertised perks.

I had a delayed flight in Houston last week and recieved a letter apologizing for the delay (I had not complained either). I've also found that the Elite desk is much more willing to make things happen for you than calling the regular lines.

It seems like they understand that odds are you are a regular customer if you have status and they'll go a little bit extra to keep you flying them.

Matt
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Old Jun 11, 05, 9:04 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Wayne, NJ USA
Programs: UA Million Miler, Lifetime United Club member
Posts: 1,960
They sent me a big CO golf umbrella years ago. I think they were apologizing for some service issue (don't recall).
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Old Jun 12, 05, 12:37 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by sarahssky
I am a grad student doing research on the way CO tries to keep its elite members happy. If any of you have examples that I could use, I would really appreciate it. For example, do you receive gifts, letters, special privileges, etc. Thanks for your time and help!!!

If something goes wrong with an Elite member and he(s) informs Continental, the airline often awards extra miles for their trouble.
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Old Jun 12, 05, 8:20 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: New York, NY, USA
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I have twice sent an email to Larry Kellner. One resulted in Mr. Kellner calling me within an hour, the other he replied to my email within an hour.

The stated benefits are meaningless. It's the comittment and results that count.

Contrast my CO experience with my experience as a 1K on UA, where I'm lucky if I can get an unhelpful reply from some dimwitted rep within 24 hours. With CO, I know the CEO cares about me. At UA, i'm just a number. Therefore, I feel secure knowing that if I run into a problem on CO, it will get resolved. On UA, I can only hope. This is the source of my loyalty -- not any benefits attached to OP Platinum.
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Old Jun 12, 05, 8:58 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: NYC
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Originally Posted by Dudster
With CO, I know the CEO cares about me. At UA, i'm just a number. Therefore, I feel secure knowing that if I run into a problem on CO, it will get resolved. On UA, I can only hope. This is the source of my loyalty -- not any benefits attached to OP Platinum.
I can't agree more. The attention to detail is what distinguishes CO.
As an example, last year I was headed to SJU for business. The trip (a scheduled 7 PM departure) was cancelled due to weather, but until 1AM.
The gate agent made sure I had their last F seat for the 6:45 AM flight before I left the airport. I received a letter of apology a few days later.
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Old Jun 12, 05, 9:29 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by sarahssky
I am a grad student doing research on the way CO tries to keep its elite members happy. If any of you have examples that I could use, I would really appreciate it. For example, do you receive gifts, letters, special privileges, etc. Thanks for your time and help!!!
what kind of research?
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Old Jun 12, 05, 10:59 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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Originally Posted by elitefreak
They sent me a big CO golf umbrella years ago. I think they were apologizing for some service issue (don't recall).
I got several hundred dollars worth of Omaha Steaks... I'd say you drew the short straw!
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Old Jun 14, 05, 8:50 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by cptlflyer
I got several hundred dollars worth of Omaha Steaks... I'd say you drew the short straw!
Damn you aint kidding.
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Old Jun 14, 05, 9:33 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Originally Posted by Dudster
I have twice sent an email to Larry Kellner. One resulted in Mr. Kellner calling me within an hour, the other he replied to my email within an hour.

The stated benefits are meaningless. It's the comittment and results that count.

Contrast my CO experience with my experience as a 1K on UA, where I'm lucky if I can get an unhelpful reply from some dimwitted rep within 24 hours. With CO, I know the CEO cares about me. At UA, i'm just a number. Therefore, I feel secure knowing that if I run into a problem on CO, it will get resolved. On UA, I can only hope. This is the source of my loyalty -- not any benefits attached to OP Platinum.
Very well said...
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Old Jun 14, 05, 9:50 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by sarahssky
I am a grad student doing research on the way CO tries to keep its elite members happy. If any of you have examples that I could use, I would really appreciate it. For example, do you receive gifts, letters, special privileges, etc. Thanks for your time and help!!!
Here is the link to the desrcibed benefits we get...

http://www.continental.com/onepass/elite/default.asp

Those are the offical bebefits... of those I really appreciate the Elite Desk, they are some of the best and most helpful. Elite Access boarding and security also really hekp to make out travel easier. We also get discounted membership to the President's Club.

There are also some unoffical benefits - like getting an apology letter with nothing be said on the flyer's part. Also the nice agent who waves a change fee or little things like that ...

-Vincent
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Old Jun 14, 05, 2:19 pm
  #12  
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I don't really complain very often, but I will say that when I complain, I am practically ignored. I may get an apologetic letter, but never any miles. No compensation of any kind has ever been offered.

And for the record, I have never had ANY change fees waived. In my experience, Continental has never missed an opportunity to collect every dime that falls within the program rules.

(Platinum two years running, Gold before that, on pace for Platinum this year but may be my last)
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Old Jun 14, 05, 2:41 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by hreamer
I don't really complain very often, but I will say that when I complain, I am practically ignored. I may get an apologetic letter, but never any miles. No compensation of any kind has ever been offered.

And for the record, I have never had ANY change fees waived. In my experience, Continental has never missed an opportunity to collect every dime that falls within the program rules.

(Platinum two years running, Gold before that, on pace for Platinum this year but may be my last)
I'm sorry to hear that.

For the record I never "complain" I calmly "voice my concern over a situation" and find this yields much better results.

I've recieved stuff over the year from CO... a 777 model, $50 dollar travel cert for non operating empower, co currency for non operating IFE, and letters from customer service...

-Vincent
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Old Jun 14, 05, 2:42 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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IMO, Continental is in no postition to ever waive stated fees, platinum or otherwise.
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Old Jun 14, 05, 3:08 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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"No Waivers, No Favors"

Originally Posted by BigPoppaCO
IMO, Continental is in no postition to ever waive stated fees, platinum or otherwise.
True that. In September 2003, my wife and I had a Thurs-Sun IAH/CUN long weekend planned. Sure enough, the previous weekend a Cat 1 hurricane made its way into the Gulf. We watched carefully.

We woke up Wednesday morning to see that the storm had become a Cat 4 hurricane and had taken a direct bead on the Yucatan.

I called the Plat Line and requested a change since the predictions were a direct hit on Cancun on the weekend. Airport likely closed and our Sunday return (not to metion our safety) could be jeopardized. Also, beyond that, we had a babysitter that couldn't stay beyond Sunday wherever we went.

Through three layers of Plat Line heirarchy, all I got was "since your outbound flight has not been cancelled, we cannot waive a change fee." I stayed very calm through these discussions (probably because I was so stunned) and finally acquiesed to a change to SAT (literally all that was available on short notice) and $200 in change fees!!!

Sure enough, CUN was closed Saturday through Monday. So, I thought I'd try to call the Plat Line on Tuesday and ask for a refund of the $200. Totally denied again.

That was maybe the single most outrageous incident of customer service I have experienced in 22 years of heavy travel. I was smart enough to see ahead in a bad situation and save both me and CO major rebooking headaches, but they still extracted their once of flesh.

I have to fly CO for business, but they lost my complete respect that weekend.

And, yes, I wrote a dispassionate letter detailing the experience, and no, I never received a response.

I still shake my head when I think of this.
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