Craig Ferguson Badmouths Continental Airlines

I just assume that celebrities get better treatment from airlines, but this story from Craig Ferguson proves otherwise. Here’s a tip for gate agents: if you’ve just told a TV personality who volunteered to get off a flight that his reward is a 6 hour layover, it’s probably not a good idea to add, “Don’t badmouth us on TV!”

My favorite part:

Craig: “You overbooked your flight, you know that right?”

Gate Agent: “Yeah, we’re doing that all the time.”

Craig Ferguson [YouTube] (Thanks to Rick and Shaun!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. bonzombiekitty says:

    Can’t see the video, but as for over booking, yeah, it’s done all the time. I thought that was common knowledge? Statistically a number of people booked on a flight aren’t going to show up so rather than deny a booking you allow a certain number of overbooks. Most of the time this works well, it sucks when everyone actually shows up.

    Same thing happens in hotels.

    • SkuldChan says:

      Some financial genius I’m sure thought this up – airplane/hotel utilization or something.

      Yeah it sucks when everyone shows up, but how is that my problem?

      • Hil-fish says:

        Actually, it was probably a statistican – it’s based on probability and expected value.

        (Math dork here.)

    • Mr_Human says:

      Yes, that’s what I thought, too. It’s pretty standard practice that can sometimes backfire.

    • dohtem says:

      How do they handle refunds when everyone shows up? Do you get bumped to the next flight without financial restitution?

      • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

        When I was on a flight that was overbooked they first asked for volunteers, then they offered a free ticket to anywhere in the US, then I think they offered two free tickets.

        • whiskykitten says:

          My sister and her fam of 4 have not paid for a flight in years – whenever they fly, they pad their schedule to allow for delays and each time they’ve volunteered for a bump, AirTran has given them EACH two (2) free tickets to anywhere they fly. They’re in Maine, so they like to go to warmer climes whenever possible.

          It’s not hard to do, but you’ve got to plan ahead for all possibilities.

        • FatLynn says:

          Yes, I have seen the incentives get better as they get more desperate, but I have also discreetly gone up to the gate agent and wheedled to get what I wanted. A $300 travel voucher is the usual.

          Be sure, however, that you ask not only when the next flight is, but if you have a CONFIRMED SEAT on that next flight.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i volunteered to get off a 7am flight along with 7 other people. as a customer service veteran who wasn’t in a hurry and brought a book, i saw quietly at the gate for two hours with a cup of coffee and a book while 7 people yelled at the gate agents trying to get more and more stuff for their trouble [they were all volunteers]

        eventually they were sorted out with a flight out at 6pm, a $100 voucher and a meal coupon. and a gate agent whisked me away down a corridor to a private office. she informed me she didn’t want any of the other people waiting to know what was going on –
        i got a first class upgrade for the round trip, a flight out at 2pm, and a $200 voucher. just for being calm and not bitching them out for something i volunteered for.
        be kind to people who get yelled at for a living and often they will reward you if they can get away with it

        • korybing says:

          I’m glad to hear about your experience. It seems so often that the people who yell and complain the loudest get rewarded the most just to shut them up, so it’s nice to see that being calm and accommodating can still be rewarded as well.

    • OletheaEurystheus says:

      See this one bothers me from many angles.

      First, its not like its a CHEAP thing to miss. I am sure people do it but when I drop 80+ dollars on a ticket one way I certainly dont think to myself “ahh its just money.” Especially since when I fly its usually because I HAVE TO GO SOMEWHERE. Certainly people dont just fly to fly on a disgusting smelly crowded commercial airline. Shit if I wanted to just fly Id put that money toward a flight license.

      Second, THEY PENALIZE YOU FOR MISSING YOUR FLIGHT EVEN IF YOU TRY TO GET IT CHANGED! So you make it HARD for people to miss their flight or change their flight, then you wonder why when you overbook them people actually SHOW UP? I dont care if some statistician decided that this made money, IT DOESNT MAKE SENSE. You are penalizing not only the people who are missing the flight (and in return making a shiton of cash in most cases for NOT rendering services) but at the same time penalizing the people who ACTUALLY SHOW UP because you took someones cash and again ARE NOT RENDERING SERVICES.

      And they really wonder why people would rather drive now, even across country?

      • Hil-fish says:

        “First, its not like its a CHEAP thing to miss. I am sure people do it but when I drop 80+ dollars on a ticket one way I certainly dont think to myself ‘ahh its just money.'”

        What on earth does that mean? Bully for you if you never miss a flight. Lots of people do, for lots of different reasons – a lot of times they miss it because their connecting flight was late! But regardless of why they miss flights, they do miss them sometimes, and the airlines have (ahem) s**t-tons of data on the probability of a passenger missing a flight, and they use that data to estimate how much they can overbook by without pissing their customers off. And often it works out quite well for them.

        As for penalizing you if you miss a flight – well, if you buy a ticket for a flight, and then you can’t make it, too bad for you. You wouldn’t get a refund from a movie theatre or an opera house, either. I get annoyed too when they won’t let me change a reservation without charging me for it, and I think there should be exceptions for illness (as in, I have the flu, and you don’t want me on your flight today, I promise, so don’t charge me to reschedule), but they are a business, and they can’t afford to let people book reservations and cancel them constantly without some kind of penalty.

        Economically these rules do make sense – even if the airlines have to shell out hotel or free flights or food vouchers to people who get bumped from overbooked flights, it is better to overbook than not to, from a financial standpoint.

        So just simmer down, there.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:

          So just simmer down, there.

          That doesn’t really follow.

          OletheaEurystheus: “They treat customers horribly whether they show up or not! It makes no sense.”
          Hil-fish: “It makes sense to treat customers horribly financially.”

          When people complain that a company treats their customers poorly saying that it does so on purpose for money usually does the opposite of calming them down.

          • Hil-fish says:

            Rectinlinear Propagation, let me try this again.

            My whole point is they’re not TRYING to treat people horribly – they’re trying to run a business. If you get bumped from a flight, generally they are going to compensate you for the inconvenience with flight vouchers, food vouchers, hotel vouchers, etc. (A fact I failed to make before – but I thought everyone knew that.) And I would hazard that on most flights, no one gets bumped. So customers are happy because they get on their flight, or because they got free stuff for getting bumped, and airlines are happy because their aircraft is full. Win-win.

            OletheaEurystheus seemed to be trying to make the point that the business model doesn’t make sense, except the business model DOES make sense. OletheaEurystheus was ignoring the fact that, if the airline bumps you, you do get compensated for it. And frankly, if you miss your flight or have to change it, unless there are extraordinary circumstances (illness/accident/catastrophe/etc.), it shouldn’t be the airline’s problems.

            Bad customer service is an entirely different issue than whether the business model makes sense. Bad customer service (like what Mr. Ferguson experienced – lord, a 6-hour layover? without any warning from the agent? insane) should be punishable by flogging. And I can see getting mad about that. But don’t get mad about the business model.

            • CheritaChen says:

              Actually, I think you are missing the point about the business model. As acknowledged in this thread:

              1. Everyone pays for their seat.
              2. Airline overbooks plane, selling tickets to more seats than they actually have, with presumption based on probability that X people will be no-shows.
              3. Airline keeps money from the no-shows, so they have lost no revenue.

              Now, a decent (read: non-usurious) business model would be for the airline to book exactly the number of available seats, and keep the money from those who do not show up. Why should it be accepted industry practice for them to sell tickets for more space than they have, keep the money from those who didn’t get there on time, and cause the hassle to the people who were responsible enough to get to their pre-paid, pre-booked flight on time?

              I’ll tell you why: because modern society has come to tolerate abusive levels of greed, especially on the part of large corporations.

              • FatLynn says:

                Your statement in bold is not correct. The vast majority of no-shows are either people who paid for a full flexible fare so that they could have that privilege, or people who caught an earlier flight stand-by.

                • CheritaChen says:

                  (Replying to everything above that refers to my comment)

                  Their business model is not “usurious” just because you don’t like it.

                  No, it’s usurious because it is an abuse of the exchange of the customer’s money for services. Perhaps a better choice of word here would have been exploitative.

                  you seem to be mad because….airlines have a business model that tries to maximize their profits?

                  First, I’m not mad. I’m making an observation. Second, my point is that their method involves being paid for service they are not providing (since there is no guarantee that when the customer shows up at the gate, they will actually be allowed on the plane), all in the name of the greatest possible profit. Profit is reasonable. Profit over everything else is unethical, greedy and socially destructive. I do not need a lesson in Economics 101, by the way. Capitalism is sort of like Communism in the sense that in theory, it sounds wonderful to many people, but in practice, it is subject to the faults of human nature and destined to backfire. Ayn Rand was a nutcase.

                  Get mad about the things worth getting mad about, like sitting on the tarmac waiting for a gate for multiple hours, or having items stolen out of your luggage. But their business model? The same business model used by every airline and hotel in the world, as well as a lot of the restaurants? I think you’re out of line.

                  That’s one of the reasons this country is in its current condition: no one seems to realize what’s important. Getting stuck on the plane for hours sucks, yes, but it is merely a more personally-, immediately-observable symptom of the greater problem that overbooking also indicates; companies are so damn greedy that they promise services they cannot deliver and take our money anyway. Stop being so self-absorbed that all you’re worried about are how long you have to sit around waiting and whether someone is stealing your stuff–step back and look at the bigger picture. Greed has turned this nation into a mass of money-obsessed obnoxious assholes, and the big corporations lead the march. Time to stop pretending it’s okay.

                  Your statement in bold is not correct. The vast majority of no-shows are either people who paid for a full flexible fare so that they could have that privilege, or people who caught an earlier flight stand-by.

                  I don’t fly much, so I’m completely unfamiliar with how standby works. I certainly concede that this could be the case. Actually, then, if they did sell only the number of seats they had available, and gave no refunds, skipping the whole overbooking song-and-dance bullshit, they wouldn’t have all those no-shows in the first place.

                  • Hil-fish says:

                    I’m sure no one is even reading this anymore, but…

                    “my point is that their method involves being paid for service they are not providing (since there is no guarantee that when the customer shows up at the gate, they will actually be allowed on the plane)”

                    THEY ARE PROVIDING THE SERVICE. There may be no complete guarantee that you will get on THAT plane, but the odds are excellent that you will get on A plane. Your premise is faulty. If they bump you, for any reason (weight distribution issues on the aircraft, overbooking, whatever), you will still get to your destination eventually or you will get your money back. And if you miss your flight and it’s your fault, they’ll give you most of your money back as a credit. So it’s not exploitative. It would be exploitative if they couldn’t fly you and refused to refund your money, or if they knew they couldn’t fly you and booked you anyway. But that is NOT what happens.

              • Hil-fish says:

                “Airline keeps the money from the no-shows”: Well, most of it. Someone else in this thread stated that airlines will refund part of your ticket price in some cases if you miss a flight, but I have no first-hand knowledge of this.

                “a decent (read: non-usurious) business model would be for the airline to book exactly the number of available seats, and keep the money from those who do not show up.”: This is baloney. Their business model is not “usurious” just because you don’t like it.

                A business exists to provide services. If a business agrees to provide a service and then reneges on that agreement, it must provide compensation to the customer. The number of customers the business has agreements with is immaterial. If the compensation to the customer or customers for reneging is hefty enough (i.e. if it makes a big enough dent in the business’ profits), the business will reconsider its practices – i.e. it will overbook by fewer people or it will stop overbooking altogether.

                I know a lot of people who volunteer to be bumped, because it gets them free stuff. Airlines can frequently find someone, like Mr. Ferguson above, who is willing to be bumped if the price for being bumped is right. The system works reasonably well, for both passengers and airlines. It’s not perfect, but it’s not terrible.

                OletheaEurystheus was mad because you can’t get your money back if you miss a flight, and I think that’s nonsensical. CheritaChen, you seem to be mad because….airlines have a business model that tries to maximize their profits? This is capitalism at work – if they don’t turn a profit, they should cease to exist. And they’re not making a profit, for reasons that have nothing to do with this business practice. I would not be surprised if this practice keeps ticket prices down some.

                Get mad about the things worth getting mad about, like sitting on the tarmac waiting for a gate for multiple hours, or having items stolen out of your luggage. But their business model? The same business model used by every airline and hotel in the world, as well as a lot of the restaurants? I think you’re out of line.

              • friday3 says:

                Are you really that stupid? The airline does not keep the money for no-shows. They end up on other flights. Maybe you are not an experienced flier, but it is very common for me to travel for work. When I have a meeting scheduled and am coming back that same day, many times I will book a late flight. If I get out of my meeting and see an open time on an earlier flight I will change to the earlier flight. You do not understand their business, and the posts would be that Continental didnt get me home, even though I missed my flight by 2 minutes. You would bitch they made you buy a whole new ticket, and did not refund the money for the flight you missed. NOBODY wants that, and if you do, then start an airline doing it or CHARTER a plane.

        • sponica says:

          actually you do get a refund if you don’t make it to the movie theater after purchasing a ticket….at least at the one i used to work at. if it was a ticket returned unused, you usually got passes because you can’t void a sale from a previous day.

      • friday3 says:

        You have an option to pay for guaranteed flights. It is called chartering a jet.
        The other option which no airline would ever do is make it like a ticket to a sporting event. You buy for that day, seat and time ONLY, and if you do not show up, too bad so sad, and if you want an earlier flight, you can pay for that one and lose the one you do not use. Imagine being an airline and a guy says I missed my flight, so the airline puts them on the next flight. The next flight ends up being oversold. Then another flyer misses his connection due to weather, and they book him on the next flight. Now multiply that times how many flights are flown daily throughout the system.
        Oh and by the way, please check out the price you paid for that ticket and compare it to 1975 and tell me the difference. You will likely find it is actually CHEAPER today in actual dollars, and certainly way below when accounting for inflation.
        The American people voted forthis when they demanded cheap airfare over anything else.

        • jamar0303 says:

          So isn’t the solution to make air tickets resellable? Say something comes up and you can’t make the flight. Someone else can but there are no more tickets directly from the airline. Why should a name be attached at purchase? Why isn’t such a person-to-person transaction possible?

          And as for air ticket prices- I priced out Shanghai-Nashville, my usual route. 2 stops on JAL (Tokyo and Chicago, last segment operated by American) and about US$3000-something on economy), or also 2 stops on Cathay Pacific for about US$4000 (Hong Kong and New York- did I mention that the Nashville segment leaves from LGA while the Hong Kong segment leaves from JFK? And it costs MORE than the one that doesn’t make you leave the airport?). Granted, United was US$1880 last time, but after their horrible record on this and similar issues (seriously, 2 out of 3 trips end with a misconnect that leaves us stranded in Chicago overnight?) I find this to be very much a “get what you pay for” thing. Now what were you saying about cheaper tickets? Your words would have held true a couple of years ago when fares on this route were in the 3-digits, but now? No way.

  2. tbax929 says:

    It’s nice to know they’re equal opportunity shitty service givers. Hilarious.

  3. GyroMight says:

    Hooray, B-List celebrities are just like us.

  4. tmed says:

    Too bad for the Scottish Conan Guy

  5. moore850 says:

    My favorite is that assigning a seat is no guarantee. So basically, when you have a ticket on any flight, you may not actually have a ticket. Becuase the airlines can’t figure out how to deal with if someone doesn’t show for a flight. How about NO REFUNDS for no-shows without a doctor’s note or something? You don’t have to take 2 people’s money to take 1 person’s money.

    • floraposte says:

      They don’t give refunds. They give credit, minus quite a substantial fee.

    • friday3 says:

      So if you are flying multiple airlines, have a weather related delay, or the airport is so busy a connection is missed then what? You can not afford the prices that would be charged if utilization was not the norm.
      I suggest all those who think they know how to run an airline or any other business can vote with their dollars. There are private jets, or charter companies. There are already solutions to the problem, you are just too cheap to want to pay for them. That is your decision to make

  6. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    I’d like to know how their profit model works when they’re constantly giving out $200 vouchers and free connections when they boot you off your flights.

    • thisistobehelpful says:

      Actually it probably works out great. Considering it’s like $300 for an average flight and so many airplanes don’t give refunds for this stuff they still made $300 off the missed/transferred flight and will make another $100 when the customer uses the voucher again as opposed to losing all $300 that they won’t refund anyway and have guaranteed the other $100 because it’s obviously got to be used with that specific airline. And they will have overbooked that flight as well.

    • bonzombiekitty says:

      Because most of the time the don’t need to bump someone. Think of it this way, if a flight has overbooked by 5 seats, and four people don’t show up, that means that 1 person gets a $200 voucher or whatever, which is much less than the money they made off the tickets of the four people that didn’t show up.

    • Hil-fish says:

      Trust me, the airlines have enough data on passenger patterns and habits to make this cost-effective. They probably have terrabytes of data to help them estimate how much to overbook by so they can strike the balance between keeping the flight full and angering their customers.

      I’m drooling thinking about the data they probably have. Mmmmmmmm, data……

    • kaceetheconsumer says:

      Well, they coast along on that for awhile and then when it doesn’t go their way, they hit up the government for a bail out. The airlines have been doing that for ages, long before banks made it fashionable.

    • Tim says:

      They most likely have a very complicated model to predict how many people won’t show for a flight, based on things like the destination, time of day, time of year, etc. They also weigh the benefit of almost always having a full flight vs. the cost of bumping someone (vouchers, reimbursement, booking on another carrier, etc.).

    • nybiker says:

      To me, a voucher is like a rebate. And they are counting on you to not use it. And depending on how much they give you, you’ll probably have to spend more than that to actually fly somewhere.
      On a related note, Jet Blue gives you a credit when you change a ticket (of course they also sock you with a $100 change fee), but the credit stays in their wallet, it’s not a refund to you. And you have only 1 year (from the date of the ticket’s issuance, IIRC, not one year from the day you make the change nor one year from the flight) to use said credit.

  7. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I like Conan and Craig Ferguson out of all the late night hosts. Jimmy Fallon is still an awkward 14 year old who should probably be hiding in a tent in his bedroom, looking at dirty magazines. Leno is just all chin, and I can’t get over that, plus he’s not even on late night anymore. My dramas, crime procedurals, and quirky comedies take precedent over The Chin. And Jimmy Kimmel just isn’t that funny to me. Letterman’s just an old man with jerkish tendencies toward his guests.

    But between Conan and Craig, I have to say that I like both because they’re never mean to people, and they actually have conversations with their guests. I just read Craig Ferguson’s memoir, and I highly recommend it. It’s not another actor/comedian who writes a book. It’s an actual memoir, and it has some pretty hard-hitting stuff. Druggie, alcoholic, punk band drummer, two failed marriages (because of the drugs, alchol, and punk band drummer tendancies), and the lifelong dream of being in America. It was a very, very good book.

    • phixional-ninja says:

      Punk band drumming is the leading cause of divorce in the world.

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      Don’t forget Letterman’s jerkish tendencies towards his female employees, too. ;)

    • ElizabethD says:

      Craig has (IMO) pretty much the most appealing talk-show, comedy host persona on television right now. He’s handsome, charming, quick-witted, capable of both self-deprecating and cleverly mocking humor, an amusing actor, and a very good interviewer who tends to get his guests to play along with him. I would much rather watch him than any of the other late-night (or medium-night in Leno’s case) guys on the air.

    • korybing says:

      Jimmy Fallon has grown on me ever since he realized that the Roots are the only good thing going for his show and have bumped their participation up about 400%.

      What can I say, I love the Roots.

    • jesusofcool says:

      I used to like Conan but lately Craig is really funny.

      Jimmy Fallon does great impressions (he did a great skit recently of Neil Young singing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme), but other than that, meh.

    • kateblack says:

      Jimmy Fallon got JAWBOX back together to play one song. They weren’t promoting an album. They’re not going on a reunion tour. He just got JAWBOX to come on his show to play for the first time since ’97.

      And I was there.

      I will love Jimmy Fallon forever for getting JAWBOX back together.

    • subtlefrog says:

      I loved Craig Ferguson even more once I heard him on Wait…Wait. He’s definitely my favorite – he’s got a quirky sense of humor – and so do I.

      • kexline says:

        This! I haven’t had any inclination to watch late-night tv since high school, but the part about inviting only guests he wanted to talk to really made the show sound appealing, like it may lack one of the most boring and uncomfortable things about those shows.

        Now, did I remember to program the Tivo after that? Well, no, because I was god-knows-where in Alabama when I heard that. But I think I’ll go do it now.

  8. scottishwhisky says:

    I volunteered to be bumped from a Delta flight this past Labor Day weekend. I was on a red eye out of Seattle and they wound up pulling three people, including myself, off. They gave each of us a $400 voucher, a hotel room for the night, and two meal vouchers, in addition to a seat on another flight the next morning. Then, when I showed up for my flight the next morning, they were asking for volunteers again, because THAT flight was also overbooked. I said no way at first, but then they said “If we wind up bumping you again, you’ll get an additional $600, and the next flight is in 5 hours”. I couldn’t resist, but they wound up not needing me that time.

    Long story not so short, I don’t understand how it can possibly be profitable for them to continue overbooking, if that’s what they have to shell out every time they bump a volunteer.

  9. sara_faye says:

    Craig Ferguson cracks me up.

    On a serious note, I recently gave up my seat on an overbooked flight and got a great bonus because of it. They gave me a lunch voucher and a $350 ticket voucher toward another flight (not the one I was moved to). The wait for the next flight was 4 hours later, but I didn’t have to be at my destination at a certain time, and the voucher was totally worth it.

    Southwest ticket agents explained to me at the time that they overbook to make sure every seat is taken. The people who check in last are the ones who get the short end of the stick, and if nobody will give up their seat, they’re stuck. I do wonder how they can afford to give out these vouchers, though. My $350 paid for a round trip!

  10. parliboy says:

    Judging by the size of the plane, it doesn’t sound like the incident in question was on an actual Continental flight, but by a regional carrier.

    • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

      That’s a meaningless distinction. I’ve just flown four legs on Continental, operated by regional carriers (and all of them were in Embraer RJ145s, where seats A and C are like sitting in a parenthesis).

      My credit card gets charged by Continental. I check-in online at One of my boarding passes that I happen to have sitting here (’cause I was filing my expense report) says Continental Airlines all over it, with one small line that says “operated by ExpressJet Airlines.” I was on Continental flight number CO 2201. The fine print says “refer to Continental’s Contract of Carriage at for more information on Continental’s terms and Conditions.”

      It’s all about Continental. Is it even possible to book a flight directly with ExpressJet?

      • Spinfusor says:

        It’s not a meaningless distinction because the regional airlines are notorious for piss-poor customer service (Continental as a whole has a much better reputation).

  11. LESSTHANKIND says:

    I think they should try this at things like sporting events and concerts, too. Sell more tickets than you have seats, then tell people who show up with tickets for assigned seats that buying said tickets and being assigned said seats doesn’t actually guarantee that they’ll be allowed in to enjoy the event. Because the thing that matters most is collecting as much money as possible before the event… not that people who paid to attend the event actually get to see it.

    Then of course get all haughty and superior when people who paid for a seat have the gall to expect to sit in that seat.

    • David in Brasil says:

      I like your analogy, but you forgot one aspect… if you talk back to the beer seller or guy behind the ticket booth, you’re threatened with interfering with them, which can get you banned from ever attending said event again, or any of its type. And if you really catch them on a bad day, (or get up to go to the bathroom at the wrong time, or maybe ask for an orange juice), then you’re threatened with having violated a federal crime, and get questioned by security officials, police and maybe federal officers when you leave the venue.

      THAT would be an appropriate analogy.

      And, oh, by the way, you can’t go to the bathroom except when we say so, or eat unless we say so, can’t talk to your neighbors in the aisles, etc. etc.

  12. Tim says:

    He totally should have negotiated for money or a travel voucher … or even a free rental car! If he hadn’t volunteered, Continental would have had to go through the DOT-regulated process of paying someone to be involuntarily bumped, so he saved them that trouble, and he should have taken advantage of that.

    • tbax929 says:

      I almost always accept the bump, as long as it comes with a voucher for future travel or some other cool perk.

    • friday3 says:

      Not necessarily, they will wait for a volunteer first. So then that person gets on the next flight and a voucher

  13. vladthepaler says:

    Never heard of this guy. Nice clip though.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      I hate Continental’s little Embraer jets w/ 3 across seating. The stunned looks of infrequent fliers (esp those who paid for “first class”) is entertaining but doesn’t make up for the pressurization issue. The system feels like it just has an on/off with no gentle transition. It wrecks havoc on my ears.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      He’s on late night, was the boss on Drew Carey, & wrote and starred in the (great) movie Saving Grace.

  14. allstarecho says:

    I love Craig Ferguson. Natural wit.

  15. ARPRINCE says:

    Did he just say……”The GAY agent guy….” ?

  16. SuperNinjaâ„¢ says:

    The airlines will have to hit rock bottom before they acknowledge that they have a problem, and need help. We’re just enabling them until that happens. The basic fact of the matter is, air travel is still faster than boat/car/bicycle/walking, in spite of its foibles and frustrations. Some intervening force will have to grab their head, shove it into their pile of doody on the carpet and say, “Bad Airlines! BAD Airlines!” and then they will perhaps improve slightly.

    I honestly believe that all of the non-flying-related, IT and Business ends of the airlines require huge, major overhauls, but they are so focused on the aeronautical/fuel cost/people management part of it, they can’t perceive the massive need for overhaul in the Customer Satisfaction angle.

  17. nodaybuttoday says:

    Is it me, or has the airline business been doing terrible this year? You’ve got the orange juice incident, the incident with passengers having to sit on the runway over night, and I am certain there are a lot more I am forgetting. I remember loving plane rides when I was a teenager and now I hate them. What happened?

    • Hooray4Zoidberg says:

      I think it’s always sucked it’s just that with the internet as big as it is now so you hear about it more. I remember sleeping in an airport for 3 days as a kid in the late 80’s because our flight was repeatedly canceled and we got no compensation or apology at all that was just the way things worked. If that happened today it would be blog fodder for months. Doesn’t make it right, but I don’t necessarily see it as the airlines going downhill, in my opinion they’ve always been securely seated at the foot of the hill as far as customer service is concerned.

      • econobiker says:


        Ergo- Consumerist and others…

        Yours is a very bad hotel.
        Cancel my AOL.
        Dell Hell.

        Companies now can be taken to task far more easier than writing a letter to the editor of the local newspaper or trying to pierce the inner sanctum of a national television network’s newcasting consumer reporter (who had to worry not to offend major advertisers)…

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Okay, I have to say it now. Your photo is terrifying. Every time I see it, I do a double take, and it’s creepy!

    • mikedt says:

      And yet, given every possible chance to screw with and/or nickel and dime the customer to death they still manage to loose money. NPR report said this morning the industry is on schedule to lose something like 4 billion dollars this year.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      they are all vying for a shot at the golden poo award. probably somewhere, some CEO thinks it’s proof that winning it means you saved a lot of money by being an ass of a company

    • citrusfa says:


  18. WagTheDog says:

    I saw it, and it made me happy that Continental didn’t give a celebrity preferential treatment over someone like me. It is too bad he couldn’t get home on time, but he had a nice weekend visiting a friend anyway, and he can certainly afford to rent a car to drive to Atlanta. Bump me, and I’m living in the airport.

  19. Tankueray says:

    I watched/listened to that rant last night. It was hilarious. Crying baby, other pissed flyers, no guitars though.

  20. ElizabethD says:

    Excellent! An amusing put-down for bad service and a nice promo for the good guys.

    I love Craig Ferguson. When he gets fellow Scot Ewan McGregor on the show occasionally, merriment and “luuvlee” accents abound. Also, hot men.

  21. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    I loved this. I also liked how he waited to reveal the name of the airline. Although, once he said he was connecting through Houston, anyone who’s done a bit of air travel knew he was probably talking about Continental.

  22. TechnoDestructo says:

    I haven’t flown Continental in…at least 5 years. Have they gone seriously downhill, or did he just get unlucky with Continental and lucky with Delta?

  23. digikata says:

    I was thrilled with Continental Airlines this last summer when I had two flights on it and was served hot food on both flights!