I promise my next installment will include pictures. I’m an idiot for leaving my camera cord at home, so I’m not able to upload them yet. Anyway, there’s a thread on FlyerTalk with a bunch of pictures.
Yesterday afternoon after the mystery flight was the Q&A session. My first session was about alliances and OnePass, which interested me given Continental’s transition into the Star Alliance. We were able to confirm that Continental Gold would translate to Star Alliance Gold (since at the moment, Continental Gold doesn’t get lounge access internationally), although didn’t make much progress as far as Star Alliance awards go. I was wondering whether Continental was planning any blocking of partner award seats, be it like United with Starnet blocking or the way they do it right now, blocking all three cabin first class seats. They seemed to suggest they wouldn’t do either, which leads me to believe their award chart will just be inflated, as it already is for the most part.
The second Q&A session was about the Continental product. They talked about LiveTV, the new international business class seats (which will also be installed on the 757 and won’t be done before sometime in late 2011!), and a bit about catering. It was another interesting session.
Last was a session with Larry Kellner and Jeff Smisek (who I saw driving away in a Porsche Turbo after the Q&A, by the way), which was extremely well done. They were hilarious, straightforward, and nice about everything. I’ll post some of the pictures of the questions when I get a chance, since some were funny. One of the questions near the end was whether or not they would have another Continental Do, and the answer was ultimately no, but they would have “mini-Do’s” as they still value FlyerTalk feedback. They explained that the size of them has gotten so big, and they never intended to limit the attendance of these. Too bad.
Later in the evening came dinner, which was held in the hangar. First of all, how awesome is it to have dinner in a hangar as an aviation geek? There was a live band, the new business class seats set up, coach seats with the new LiveTV set up, and a 737-900ER to play with.
First I tried out the new business class seat. It has a remarkable resemblance to the new United business class seat, with one major (negative) difference — there’s nowhere to put your feet. The ottoman is a tiny little cutout, so it’s uncomfortable when relaxing. Other than that I find it to be pretty good.
The catering was great and it was a nice evening. They had a couple of stages set up, and the Do definitely lived up to the “Fun & Games” theme this year. First there was a round of “Let’s Make a Deal,” where someone won 250,000 OnePass miles. Then there were a couple of rounds of “The Price is Right,” which was very cool. Then was a round of “Family Feud,” which was hosted by Larry Kellner. The questions were Continental related, and the winning team won 1,000,000 OnePass miles. Now that was awesome!
As if all that wasn’t cool enough, there was a 737-900ER for us to play with, including crawling into the overhead bins, making PA announcements (always been a dream of mine), sitting in the cockpit, etc. Awesome, awesome, awesome!
I’ll add some pictures either tomorrow or Tuesday, but I’d like to once again thank Continental for this awesome event. This event came to show me why Continental is doing so well relative to their competition — they have a solid management team and great employees.
I’m flying back home tonight on Northwest via Detroit.
PS: For those of you wondering what a “Do” is, it’s the term used for any FlyerTalk event. So when Continental hosts an event for FlyerTalk members, it’s called a “Continental Do.”