Continental Airlines to Resume Operations Sunday at its Houston Hub

HOUSTON, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Continental Airlines (NYSE:CAL) plans to operate a nearly complete schedule of flights at its hub at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport beginning early morning on Sunday, Sept. 25.

With Houston escaping the full force of Hurricane Rita, the airport was not significantly impacted by the storm and forecast weather conditions should permit normal, safe operations on Sunday.

The airline plans to operate 249 mainline departures from Houston on Sunday. Continental Express and Continental Connection will not resume operations until Monday, Sept. 26. Consequently, passengers scheduled to connect through Houston on a Continental Express or Continental Connection flight should not travel on Sunday, Sept. 25.

“Thankfully the impact of Hurricane Rita on our Houston base was not as great as it could have been, although our thoughts are with those employees, customers and their families living in areas adversely affected by the storm,” said Larry Kellner, Continental’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Our focus now is on activating our plan to restore a normal mainline schedule tomorrow.”

Traveling to the Airport and Check-in Procedures

Customers booked to travel on Continental flights to or from Houston scheduled for Sunday should check on the status of their flight at the airline’s website,, or by calling 1-800-784-4444 for automated flight arrival and departure information, before departing for the airport.

Passengers can avoid ticket counter waits by checking in at and printing their boarding passes prior to leaving for the airport and by limiting their luggage to carry-on bags if possible.

Because of uncertainty about local traffic conditions, customers departing from Houston should leave plenty of time to get to the airport. They should also expect that airport concessions and public transportation to and from the airport, including taxis, may be limited.

Re-Ticketing Procedures

Due to Hurricane Rita, Continental is providing customers the option to reschedule or reroute their travel once, without penalty, if they are ticketed to, from or through Texas or Louisiana for travel through Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2005. Travel must be rescheduled or re-issued by Oct. 3, 2005. A change to origin or destination city may result in additional charges. If a flight has been canceled, a refund in the original form or payment can be requested. Continental is extending additional flexibility to Louisiana and Southeast Texas residents who evacuated their affected area and would like to make a change to their originally scheduled return flight home. The airline is allowing these customers to make a change to their return flight and travel anytime between Sunday, Sept. 25 and Tuesday, Sept. 27, without penalty or additional fare collection. Customers should call Continental reservations at 1-800-525-0280 or their travel agent for assistance.

Preparations For Service Resumption Underway

Continental is preparing today for the restart of operations by flying back to Houston aircraft, which were parked at airports outside the path of Hurricane Rita. The airline is also bringing in hundreds of employee volunteers from its Newark and Cleveland hubs and other stations to support their Houston-based co-workers in providing service to customers.

Continental is working with the TSA to transport additional security screeners to Houston when service resumes on Sunday.

Updates on the status of the airline’s flight operations at Houston and elsewhere are available at

Combined Continental Airlines and Continental Express cancellations totaled 1,159 on Friday and 828 on Saturday. Continental’s flights not involving Houston continued to operate normally on those days.

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