A bit more on Continental Airlines and IAH: Herding Cattle
Here is what my husband wrote to the site consumer affairs.com about our missed connection in Houston:
June 25, 2009, the departure of our flight from Boston was delayed 1 1/2 hours. The Continental Airlines agent who issued our boarding passes made it clear that if we missed our connection in Houston, which was likely, Continental would pay for our Hotel and meals in Houston. We did miss our connection. Customer Service for Continental Airlines in Houston said that "Air Traffic Control" was the reason and that therefore they would not pay hotel or meals. When I protested that we had been told the opposite by the Continental employee in Boston, they said they could not confirm that and then got rude and said that "customers with attitude" were the least likely to be helped.
You'll notice a lot of other complaints on the same page.
In my experience, the most unpleasant place I've been in my air travels is Houston which of course is Continental's hub. The most unpleasant people have been airline personnel and the folks running the security check. When you arrive in Houston from someplace foreign, you have to go through security all over again, and a meaner bunch of security personnel you haven't met. Not all of course, probably not most. But there is always at least one designated slave driver yelling, "keep it moving, keep it moving, you're holding up the line," and so forth. This time in Houston, a new wrinkle: we couldn't put our shoes in one of the trays so a woman was yelling, put your shoes on the belt, take them outta the trays, outa the trays." When one man paused to put his shoes on on the other side of the belt she screeched, "don't slow the line, don't slow the line, use the tables, did you hear? I said use the tables..."
I suspect that things would be no slower if people tried a little courtesy, a little respect.