Continental Airlines Launches Industry's First Spanish-Language Speech-Activated Flight Information Service

Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from Continental Airlines, Inc.

    HOUSTON, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE:   CAL) has
 launched the first Spanish-language speech-activated flight information
 service in the airline industry.  Spanish-speaking customers can call toll-
 free to 1-800-579-3938 to receive up-to-the minute automated flight arrival,
 departure or gate information for any of Continental's 2,200 daily flights --
 yesterday, today or tomorrow.  English-speaking customers can call
 1-800-784-4444 for the same information.
     "Spanish-speaking passengers constitute an increasing segment of
 Continental's customer base, both because of our role as the Number 2 U.S. air
 carrier to Latin America and our flights between major U.S. Hispanic
 population centers," said Donna Schiffert, Project Manager, Speech Solutions,
 Continental Airlines.  "Our new bilingual flight information system, another
 example of our 'Latinization' initiative, enables Continental to offer
 accurate, efficient and user-friendly customer service both to Spanish- and
 English-speaking passengers."
     Callers to the new voice-activated system do not have to remember option
 numbers (such as, "Press 2 for arrival times") to receive information.  They
 also can interrupt prompts, resulting in faster response.  Mobile phone users
 who check flight information from the road or an airport do not have to move
 the phone away from their ears to access a touch-tone menu.  Instead, callers
 who need flight information just say the flight number or the name of the
 arrival and departure city, and they will get an immediate response.
     Continental's Latinization effort, initiated in 1997, includes Spanish-
 speaking flight attendants, regional cuisine and Spanish-language reading
 materials, TV programs and music on board.  Airport service enhancements
 include bilingual customer service representatives and Spanish-language
 signage and flight information.
     "Helpful and fast speech recognition systems, such as those we deployed
 for Continental, are more than a component of customer service -- they are a
 necessary tool to keep customers coming back," said Stuart R. Patterson, CEO
 of SpeechWorks.
     As the No. 2 U.S. carrier to Latin America and the Caribbean, Continental
 Airlines offers more than 600 weekly flights to 20 countries and 47 cities in
 the region.  Continental is the fifth largest airline in the U.S., offering
 more than 2,200 departures daily to 133 domestic and 92 international
 destinations.  Operating hubs in Newark, Houston, Cleveland and Guam,
 Continental (www.continental.com) serves more international cities than any
 other U.S. carrier, including extensive service throughout the Americas,
 Europe and Asia.
     Continental was named the 2001 Airline of the Year by Air Transport World,
 as well as the 1996 Airline of the Year, making it the only carrier to receive
 this honor twice in five years.  Continental is in the top quarter of Fortune
 magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work for in America," and is ranked the
 nation's No. 1 airline in customer satisfaction for long and short-haul
 flights by Frequent Flyer Magazine and J.D. Power and Associates.  Continental
 has received numerous awards for its BusinessFirst premium cabin (Conde Nast
 Traveler, OAG, Entrepreneur and SmartMoney magazines), OnePass frequent flyer
 program (InsideFlyer's Freddie Awards) and overall operations and management
 (Fortune magazine).
 
 

SOURCE Continental Airlines, Inc.
    HOUSTON, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE:   CAL) has
 launched the first Spanish-language speech-activated flight information
 service in the airline industry.  Spanish-speaking customers can call toll-
 free to 1-800-579-3938 to receive up-to-the minute automated flight arrival,
 departure or gate information for any of Continental's 2,200 daily flights --
 yesterday, today or tomorrow.  English-speaking customers can call
 1-800-784-4444 for the same information.
     "Spanish-speaking passengers constitute an increasing segment of
 Continental's customer base, both because of our role as the Number 2 U.S. air
 carrier to Latin America and our flights between major U.S. Hispanic
 population centers," said Donna Schiffert, Project Manager, Speech Solutions,
 Continental Airlines.  "Our new bilingual flight information system, another
 example of our 'Latinization' initiative, enables Continental to offer
 accurate, efficient and user-friendly customer service both to Spanish- and
 English-speaking passengers."
     Callers to the new voice-activated system do not have to remember option
 numbers (such as, "Press 2 for arrival times") to receive information.  They
 also can interrupt prompts, resulting in faster response.  Mobile phone users
 who check flight information from the road or an airport do not have to move
 the phone away from their ears to access a touch-tone menu.  Instead, callers
 who need flight information just say the flight number or the name of the
 arrival and departure city, and they will get an immediate response.
     Continental's Latinization effort, initiated in 1997, includes Spanish-
 speaking flight attendants, regional cuisine and Spanish-language reading
 materials, TV programs and music on board.  Airport service enhancements
 include bilingual customer service representatives and Spanish-language
 signage and flight information.
     "Helpful and fast speech recognition systems, such as those we deployed
 for Continental, are more than a component of customer service -- they are a
 necessary tool to keep customers coming back," said Stuart R. Patterson, CEO
 of SpeechWorks.
     As the No. 2 U.S. carrier to Latin America and the Caribbean, Continental
 Airlines offers more than 600 weekly flights to 20 countries and 47 cities in
 the region.  Continental is the fifth largest airline in the U.S., offering
 more than 2,200 departures daily to 133 domestic and 92 international
 destinations.  Operating hubs in Newark, Houston, Cleveland and Guam,
 Continental (www.continental.com) serves more international cities than any
 other U.S. carrier, including extensive service throughout the Americas,
 Europe and Asia.
     Continental was named the 2001 Airline of the Year by Air Transport World,
 as well as the 1996 Airline of the Year, making it the only carrier to receive
 this honor twice in five years.  Continental is in the top quarter of Fortune
 magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work for in America," and is ranked the
 nation's No. 1 airline in customer satisfaction for long and short-haul
 flights by Frequent Flyer Magazine and J.D. Power and Associates.  Continental
 has received numerous awards for its BusinessFirst premium cabin (Conde Nast
 Traveler, OAG, Entrepreneur and SmartMoney magazines), OnePass frequent flyer
 program (InsideFlyer's Freddie Awards) and overall operations and management
 (Fortune magazine).
 
 SOURCE  Continental Airlines, Inc.

RELATED LINKS

http://www.flycontinental.com