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badice.com ~ travel musings for the masses

Apparently, yesterday’s post on what Continental can do to be competitive was a hit. A large increase in traffic registered in my statistics and caused the site a bit of a hiccup late last night.

Driving to work this morning I continued to think of things Continental can do to keep their business strong and make it even stronger. I have created another list below that outlines my thoughts on a variety of different things Continental can improve on.

President's Club - IAH C Terminal South

  • President’s Club experience
    • Overall, the President’s Club is a great way to get away from the terminal and relax in a much calmer atmosphere.
    • The internet access in most of the clubs is awful. I am not sure if it is due to leechers sitting outside of the club’s doors or if the network connections are just that bad, whatever it is, it needs to be fixed. Continental has a huge advantage over other clubs by simply providing internet access for free, now do us one better and make it really usable.
    • Increased space/seating should be a priority. After visiting the President’s Club in the E terminal at IAH, I was taken aback by the fact that people had turned four seats by the windows into their personal offices, leaving very little seating for those of us who just wanted to get off of our feet. If Continental can increase club size, or add more clubs to airports where they know it gets crowded, things would be much more enjoyable.
  • Legroom in coach
    • The legroom in coach class on Continental’s flights is laughable. Sitting in it for four hours is almost unbearable, let alone a transatlantic or worse, transpacific flight. Continental needs to seriously consider expanding the fleet to increase frequency to make up for a slight seat reduction to add the legroom. I can guarantee that customers in the back will be much happier.
  • Fleet aircraft
    • Continental still has a large number of 737-300s and 737-500s in their fleet. These planes are older, even less comfortable, and used on routes that make them teeter on the brink of unbearable. Flying from Houston to Newark on one of these is right up there on the list of least favorite things to do, right below going to the dentist. Update the fleet and/or pull these planes off of longer haul routes and have them relegated to short hops.
    • The ERJ situation has to be fixed. Newark is clogged to the brink of collapse with these little birds taking up gates, landing and takeoff slots, and overall airspace. Reduce the number of these planes and customers will see a vast improvement in on-time performance and comfort at both Newark and Houston Intercontinental. This goes for the CRJ-200 as well, which are even less comfortable than the ERJs.
  • Hub locations
    • Continental’s hub situation is slowly getting better. With the recent announcement that the operation at Cleveland would receive $50 million in renovations there is a glimmer of hope.
    • The west coast needs some sort of “base of operations” for Continental. It used to be LAX but that has been all but abandoned. An increased presence on the west coast will definitely boost business customers traveling back and forth between New York and LAX or SFO.
    • A hub on the west coast could also improve flight options for those of us looking to get to China, Japan, and Southeast Asia faster and for less money. It is in Continental’s best interest to look into what it would take to get a full scale hub built on the west coast.

That’s all that really struck me this morning driving into work. I am sure I left something off and will more than likely end up editing this article to fix it. If you would like to contact me with your suggestions/ideas for Continental, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at ssegraves@gmail.com.

*This article will be republished at http://stephan.wordpress.com and http://stephan.newsvine.com

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