Some airlines know how to take care of their passengers :)

The above mail (edited a bit to take out personal and specific flight related info) ticked in recently for a soon-to-happen flight I was going on. Looking through it, it contains everything you need to get ready in one handy collection: Flight details, booking reference, links to online check-in for all the Lufthansa flights in the itinerary (tip: do that – save yourself the queues in the airport!), weather, links to airport information … Nice!

Allow me to contrast that a wee bit:

Not too long ago, I went on a trip to the US of A, flying Continental/United. The online check-in process only went so long – I could reserve a seat but not check in or get a boarding pass – for that, I had to go to the airport and physically get one in a kiosk or at a check-in counter.

Yep, I know that USA is “notorious” for safety check, controls, etc – not that I am debating that  – but my hometurf airline, SAS, does offer Internet check-in for US flights with home-printed boarding cards via sas.dk so it can be done.

Next, I had to hunt high and low for information on what time I needed to be at the airport to do the check-in. Getting that knowledge involved a bit of subtraction – the list on the Continental website does not include all departure airports for Continental flights, so I had to scroll waaaaay down on a page to find out that CPH was not listed and then find the line that said “Processing Times for Airports Outside the United States. For most cities/regions outside the U.S., the approximate airport processing time is three hours.”

That meant being there at 06:00! I did think “At Copenhagen Airport? Monday morning? No way that is required!” but, being a good sport, I was there at the allotted time. Had to wait 15 minutes for Continental to be ready – I’d guess that they don’t like getting up early, either 😉 – and after spending 5 minutes getting through the Priority lane (thanks, Eurobonus Silver card) and 4-5 minutes getting through Security, I had plenty of time for getting breakfast…

Main point here is: Continental, in this case, lets you hunt high and low for information and do a poor job of adapting it to local conditions. So do many other airlines. Makes me wonder about the experience for those travellers who fly once every 5 years or are on their first major flights ever. Dear airlines: You can do that better – look to Lufthansa’s example!

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One Response to Some airlines know how to take care of their passengers :)

  1. Pingback: CFR – Cobblestone Flight Review: Continental CPH-EWR, January 2012 | Cobblestone – a blog

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