Starting this fall, Continental will eliminate free meals in coach on domestic flights shorter than six hours. This move should provide an annual benefit of $35 million to them, between cost savings and additional revenue.
Frankly I think this is a smart move. While Southwest gets plenty of customers because they check two bags for free (along with many people assuming they have the lowest fares without even looking at other airlines), it didn’t seem like Continental was getting many additional customers or extra revenue as a result of their free meals in coach. Besides, free meals in coach tend to be nasty — I’d rather buy a fresh sandwich or salad aboard for $10.
So for once I’ll give a cost cutting measure a thumbs up. Besides, it is one step closer to a United merger. 😉