NEVER AGAIN - I'd rather swim! The 13hr flight from Beijing to Newark is long enough without dealing with surly inept cabin crew. On the way over we had one fabulous male crew member (I think his name was Stephen - he was a delight) bit the rest were down right rude and scruffy.
What kind of an airline hires staff that are too short (and too unwilling) to close the above seat luggage compartments? They got passengers up out of their seats to help them, what would happen in an emergency situation!?! The food was appalling (local Chinese carriers do a better job - and that's saying something!). The only thing saving us were the in seat TV's but the touch screens should be labelled thump screens as that is what you get banging on your head rest all the way! Avoid at all costs!
How did Continental turn into such a miserable airline? The seats, especially on one of my recent European flights, are made for people who are 5 ft 2 in, 110 lbs, or smaller - and I supposedly bought an extra leg room seat. Their lack of customer service, and in one case, actual customer abuse, is astounding. They have incorporated all the bad characteristics of United, and then some. My new choice - ABC Airlines (anybody but Continental - or United).
On a flight from Newark to Tampa, I volunteered to give us my seat - big mistake. The gate agent lied to me - gave me a first class ticket on a later flight that was totally booked. Then Continental would not only did not make good on a first class seat, they stranded me in Newark without any possibility of getting to Tampa that day. I had to take a different airline out of Philadelphia the next day - Southwest - but never got a refund from Continental, no apology, nothing. I've had better service in Russia.
I haven't even flown yet, but Continental has shown me miserable customer service. No email confirmation, one of my flight segments disappearing from my record, waiting on hold for almost 30 minutes, being cut off, holding again for over 30 minutes. When a Continental person fixed my reservation, she gave no explanation or apology, but implied that it was my fault, and then disconnected me when I asked to speak to a supervisor. This is the worst treatment I can remember in a long time.
New Orleans (MSY)-San Francisco (SFO) via Houston (IAH), Memorial Day weekend. Came prepared for the worst, and was pleasantly surprised. All flights left and arrived on or even a bit ahead of schedule. Voluntarily bumped off IAH-SFO flight; flew into San Jose (in First Class) four hours later, which didn't conflict with plans too much. Gate agents were very pleasant to deal with. Returned on red-eye flight, which was a bit uncomfortable; couldn't get much sleep even with exit row seat. Cabin crew courteous, but more so in first-class. Good experience overall.
I have noticed that their standards seem to be slipping. Continental baggage handlers at Newark were dreadful. It wasn't that the guy simply flung them onto the belt, rather he had the nerve to lift them up to shoulder height and then throw them down, all the while knowing that we were watching. FAs not longer seem to have a 'can do' attitude, more a 'can't do.' My mother is less-abled and struggles to use standard toilets at the best of times, let alone airline ones. She was abruptly told that she couldn't use the disabled toilet because it was in the First Class cabin. Personally, I feel this is discrimination and is sending out the wrong message: if you are disabled you can only fly with us but only if you pay to travel First Class.