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Well that’s it—Continental Airlines is officially gone forever unless it's eventually reincarnated as some kind of low cost carrier long into the future. There’s still plenty of stuff to be done as United and Continental celebrate their newlywed stage, but this weekend was kind of the official end of the airline from Houston.
Sure there are still Continental planes flying around the globe, but they’ll eventually be heading into the hangar for some new United paintjobs. You can only buy tickets for a United Airlines flight moving forward, and if you head over to Continental’s website you’re just forwarded over to the new United website—which is kind of the former Continental website with a few different clip arts.
You’re probably getting a new frequent flyer number, but your frequent flyer miles are now being combined into a jumbo account. Hopefully the combination of your United and Continental points can now get you to your ultimate award flight redemption.
UDPATE: The judge has dismissed the suit. Take that, lawyer who sues for the sake of suing!
We thought it was pretty slick that airlines ditched cash in the cabin in favor of plastic money for in-flight purchases, but there’s at least one passenger who isn’t thrilled about the cashless cabin. Of course this person is an attorney, and that means there’s a lawsuit.
A lawyer from New Jersey recently flew from Honolulu to Newark aboard Continental Airlines, but when it was time to purchase some in-flight goodies he wasn’t about to swipe his credit card. This unhappy passenger tried to buy some headphones for the 10-hour flight—apparently the ones purchased on the way to Hawaii no longer worked—but with his credit cards in his checked luggage he was out of luck. We feel for the guy, as that is too long to go without any in-flight entertainment—but is a lawsuit really necessary?
And who puts their credit cards in their checked luggage?!
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About a year or so ago, Continental Airlines started to roll-out new BusinessFirst lie-flat seats on some of their airplanes. Last month, we lucky enough (not really lucky, as we paid for the privilege) to squeeze into these new seats on a 757-200 from LAX to EWR and test out all that they have to offer. But first, let's address the name BusinessFirst.
BusinessFirst is one of the crazier-sounding names out there. Is it business class? Is it first class? No, it's BusinessFirst! Does this mean it's business class with some first class amenities or vice-versa? And is it better for business travelers rather than leisure travelers? The answer is no. This is essentially first class with modern technology upgrades so that business travelers who need to do work on the plane will have the ability to do so (minus the WiFi, that is.)
Still, the name bugs us but obviously, Continental wants to woo in business travelers. On the bright side, it is easy to shorten the name by just calling it BizFirst which does sound cooler. Now, onto the seats!
In-Flight Meals / Continental Airlines / Continental / Airlines / Airline News / In-flight Comfort / United / → All Tags
Despite having a lot of behind the scenes work to do involving their merger with United, it seems that Continental still has some time to work on some of their in-flight offerings. After announcing that free food in the back of the plane was going the way of the dinosaurs earlier this year, the airline has revealed their new economy dining options. Of course these will cost you a few bucks, but we’d gladly spend a couple dollars if it’s for something tasty.
As of October 12, the menu will be changing, at least for domestic flights. Don’t worry, they won’t pull a US Airways—drinks will still be free. Some of the new dining options include an Asian noodle salad and a grilled chicken spinach salad. For those that aren’t fans of roughage in their in-flight meal there will also be Angus cheeseburgers, but unfortunately we’re thinking that there won’t be any fries.
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If you have the necessary credentials to sneak into this year’s National Business Travel Association International Convention and Expo in Houston, you might just get a sneak peak at Continental’s plans for their Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The soon-to-be world’s largest airline revealed bits and pieces of what the insides of the new bird will look like.
One of the things Continental is bragging about is lower cabin altitude. The plane will change cabin pressure to simulate 6,000 feet to help passengers feel more comfy throughout their flight. Additionally, there’s to be way more natural light thanks to larger windows, and plenty of room for carry-ons in the overhead storage bins; in fact, Continental claims there'll be room for everyone's bag. We'll believe it when we see it.
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Depending on the type of plane that you board, you either walk right past them all, or you are forced to turn the other way and never even see them. We're talking about the first class or business class seats. The back of the plane is where why find ourselves nine times out of ten, but we can always dream about the promised land. That's why we wanted to share what we know about flying in the front of the plane, and what it takes to get there. Check out what we found:
· How Much Does It Cost?
Continental Airlines has a lot going on right now, but at the moment, things should remain somewhat stable until they merge their forces with their new pals over at United. If you want to test out the Continental seats one last time before the outside of the plane has a different name on it, now is the time to do so. Head out the first week in June from Newark to Frankfurt and you’re looking at an addition of about $4,800 to the monthly budget. If your passport is expired, the airline would be happy to whisk you from coast to coast as well. A flight from Newark to Seattle up in the front will cost $1,300.
More room to stretch your legs after the break...
In-Flight Drinks / Continental / Beer Travel / Booze Travel / Drinking Travel / Lufthansa / Porter Airlines / Continental AIrlines / Virgin America / Alaska Airlines / In-Flight Meals / → All Tags
In-flight cocktails are always a good choice when you get your in-flight boozing on, but sometimes something with a little carbonization and fermentation is what you really need. That’s why we took some time to see what’s on tap up in the air. In-flight lagers and ales might not be as sweet and tasty as some other beverage options, but they compliment the free peanuts and pretzels better than a margarita, that's for sure. Here’s our list of the best suds in the sky and the airlines where you can find them:
· Alaska Airlines
The airline dedicated to The Last Frontier State flies to way more locations than just Alaska, but their in-flight beverage selection brings a little bit of Alaska elsewhere within the nifty fifty. Besides the typical offerings of Budweiser and Miller Lite the airline also will be happy to pour you a glass of Alaskan Amber. The beer is from the Alaskan Brewing Company, and it’s an alt-style beer brewed with water from glaciers outside of Juneau. If you’re going somewhere a little warmer on Alaska Airlines—like Hawaii—they fill up the beverage cart with Longboard Island Lager from Kona Brewing Company. Either option will set you back $6 and will get you into the proper state of mind en route to a new time zone.
More boastin' and in-flight toastin' after the jump...
Airplane News / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / 787 / Boeing / Airline News / Airplanes / Continental Airlines / → All Tags
We just can’t get enough of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It seems like every week there’s more information to share as we get closer and closer to the first commercial flight later this year. Hopefully by this summer All Nippon Airways—they’ve got first dibs on the flight—will start auctioning off the first flight seats on eBay.
Without some extra cash the best bet to flying on one of these new birds is with Continental Airlines. Like several other US carriers, Continental has placed a hefty deposit for the right to get a few of these airplanes, but they might be the first ones to receive their airplanes in the US. In some regulatory paperwork Continental revealed that they’re thinking that they will get six 787s in the second half of 2011. That’s a long wait, but we’ll figure out something to kill the time.
In-Flight Meals / Continental Airlines / Continental / Airlines / Airline News / In-flight Comfort / → All Tags
Every week, there's something new to report when it comes to airline cost-cutting, and this week the big update comes from Continental. After tightening their belts by upping their checked baggage fee to $25 and charging for more legroom, they're now going ahead with eliminating free meals in economy on most flights.
Continental's policy to provide passengers with food on almost every flight made them stand out for service during these years of cutting back to just beverage service, if you're lucky. But now they're about to lose that and the whole lot of loyal customers earned by the food. So what will be replacing the meal trays? Continental will offer meals for purchase, just like low-cost carriers, and they even promise "high-quality, healthy" options. They haven't yet decided on the prices, but we're going to venture that it'll be competitive with other meals, but probably not as tasty at Virgin America's muffaletta.
The only Continental flights where economy will be handed cold sandwiches with soggy bread and maybe some flan for dessert for free, will be "all intercontinental and certain other international routes, and on long-haul domestic routes over six hours." That nixes most domestic flights, so Continental passengers should start stocking up on the granola bars and under-3oz whiskey flasks now.
· Continental Ends Free Meal on Most Flights [SmarterTravel]
· Continental's Cost-Cutting Could Include Free Meals in Coach [Jaunted]
· In-Flight Meals [Jaunted]
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Continental Airlines is true to their Texas roots, and they do so by bringing their own custom barbecue pit to events and festivals around the country. Thanks to the folks at BBQ Pits by Klose the airline has their very own custom Boeing 777. It’s a 1:10 scale of one of the airline’s wide body jets, and it weighs almost 40,000 pounds including its trailer. The wings are fiberglass though, so no using them as a flat top grill—but they can probably hold a beer or two.
This Continental creation has been around since 1999 and has made appearances at numerous cook-offs and has even made it to the Boeing facility in Washington. Supposedly this thing cost about $200,000 to construct, so they’re probably pretty eager to show it off.
In-Flight Meals / Continental Airlines / Continental / Airlines / Airline News / In-flight Comfort / → All Tags
Earlier this year, we were worrying about Continental Airlines and their in-flight meal options in the back of the plane. Free meals seem safe for now, as the airline has turned its attention to the front of the plane to work on upgrading the menu. Continental realizes that upper class passengers are the ones paying the big bucks, and they want to ensure business travelers and rich people don’t leave the skies hungry.
Continental executive chefs Siegfried Lang and Gerry McLoughlin constantly chat with colleagues around the globe, and they even invite their Congress of Chefs to meet up in Houston to find things that are tasty and easy to prepare in the air. The key to any menu is simplicity due to the limitations of an airplane galley, and flight attendants and airline employees do plenty of taste-testing to make sure things are at least half way tasty remember when we visited the Singapore Airlines taste tests?
We knew Kim Kardashian was a trendsetter—or at least plays one on television—but apparently her sense of style has taken to the skies. After she had a little in-flight meet up with an air marshal it seems that now everyone wants to get in on the fun of hanging out with a federal official. Unfortunately for one gentleman, his visit wasn’t a good one.
A couple weeks ago a dude from Alabama was headed to Houston aboard a Continental Airlines flight from Amsterdam, but things didn’t go as well as he probably planned. Apparently this guy was bothering a female passenger in an inappropriate manner, and the flight attendants had an air marshal switch seats with him in attempts to get a handle on the situation. Well that didn’t go so well since the troublemaker hit the air marshal a couple times, but the air marshal got things under control and probably administered an in-flight beat down.