United, Continental Merger Causes Confusion, Long Lines At SFO

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— United Airlines took over operations of Continental Airlines Saturday, including a new computer system.

That spelled trouble, confusion and missed flights for many commuters at San Francisco International Airport.

SFO spokesman Mike McCarron said the computer system is one of the last steps in a merger of the two airlines initiated in 2010.

KCBS’ Bob Butler Reports:

The Continental reservation and booking system is disappearing and United’s will be the only one as the companies’ combine according to McCarron.

“If it’s done properly the passengers shouldn’t know any difference at all,”

Don Porterman didn’t think it was done properly as he was worried about the likelihood of catching his flight to Shanghai.

“I’ve been here for 50 minutes and you can see how far I’ve got to go,” he said referring to the line that stretched back to the BART station.

Another passenger, who said he flies 100,000 miles a year, wondered if United did enough training. He said his job is in software and that every time for the last 40 years that airlines change systems that the same mistakes keep getting made.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Bob Butler
  • billyboy

    Northwest did not make any mistakes when combining with Republic back in the day, the United folks did not use common sense. My guess is that they outsourced the problem to the lowest bidder. Idiots.

  • Robert J Harlow Jr

    SFO spokesman Mike McCarron is incorrect in stating that Continental’s reservation and booking system is going away and they’ll be using United’s. It’s the other way around. Bad bit of reporting!

    • RT

      The reporting is correct. The spokesman gave the wrong information.

  • Frustrated United flier

    Correct on the reservation and booking system being Continental’s. Sunday I couldn’t log into my account, and when I finally got in, my itinerary numbers had changed and seats selected February 4th have disappeared. That will be fun at the airport with my old confirmed itinerary and confirmed seats and thenew itinerary for a long international flight.
    I just renewed my United Club membership. My (old) United number is on that new card, which is not the Continental number which will appear on my tickets and frequent flier card. That will be fun trying to explain to a United Club door guard that it really is me with a ticket and a club card with different membership numbers. The new club card is good until mid 2013 so I anticipate hassles, expecially at Star Alliance Lounges overseas – if I get there on my current tickets.

  • Frank Oswalt

    I saw this coming — oh gee, before the merger actualy happened.
    What a mess.

    Continental should have been left alone.

    • tn

      If Continental was left alone, it would only be a matter of time before you (and I) would bail them out in a form of another governmental funded financial aid package (probably taken from the Education Department or Department of Transportation. At least most were able to keep their jobs. 25 years ago, Continental & United were arch enemies. Now? Now they’re their own enemy and it shows.

  • http://www.akg.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=497528 Mica Santigo

    Really nice post, thank you. I will follow your web log.

  • http://travel2sanfrancisco.us/updates-headlines-and-news-in-the-middle-of-san-francisco-formar-04-2012/ Updates headlines and News in the middle of San Francisco for Mar 04 2012 : Travel tips, hotels, restaurants, jobs and news | Travel 2 San Francisco

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