Continental eliminates free snacks in coach

Less than a year ago, Continental was known as the airline that still served meals in coach on domestic flights. As of March 1, they don’t even serve pretzels in coach anymore, in order to align more closely with United. Along the same lines, up until March 1 they served meals on their longer flights to Hawaii and Anchorage, though that has been cut as well.

Oh well, the race to the bottom continues. I’m really starting to wonder about these “changes in the months ahead” that Jeff Smisek thinks we’ll like. Boy, I’m starting to miss Glenn Ti… nevermind, I won’t say it!


  1. Exactly why United is taking Continental once average service to United’s crap level. 2 Flushes to the United terminal…

  2. All the carriers are responding to is customer feedback.

    Most economy customers simply pick the lowest fare for their journey and aren’t willing to pay s $10 higher fare for a snack or a pillow. Of course, many still lament about it once on board…but customers have shown, with their wallets, their preference for a la carte pricing for a long time now.

  3. I agree with David, even low cost flights in India serve hot meals for free. Heck, they even serve a hot meal on 40 minute flights. Much better than U.S or in my case Canadian (except for Porter) service.

  4. Not a big surprise, but certainly disappointing. It’s terrible that meals, or even light snacks for that matter, aren’t served on those long domestic flights. When one has traveled internationally and been served a proper meal on a flight less than 60 minutes it just makes these American legacies look pathetic.

  5. True, American airlines are racing for the bottom in customer service. The customer service of so called “Low cost Airlines” in Asia is far superior then customer service of all American airlines. And still they call themselves full service provider. Pathetic.

  6. Just took four intra-Brazil flights on TAM, they served meals on all of them. Flight length were 50 minutes, 55 minutes and one flight at 11:50 pm. Ofcourse some how on a 50 minutes flight in US they can’t even do a drink service. Hope walmartization of service does not catch on in other countries.

  7. I agree with @nybanker. As far as our family is concerned, we are loyal to United, because of E+ and the fact that we live in SFO. We haven’t eaten coach meals served on any airline for at least two decades. I am much happier with the BOB program as at least the food (some of it) is healthier and tastier than anything the airlines give for “free.”

  8. I agree. I took a flight from ORD – Honolulu on AA. The flight was a reward flight but still they didn’t offer anything in Coach besides drinks. It was a non stop flight that took over 8 hours. It is the same distance from Chicago to Europe as it is from Chicago to Hawaii. Ridiculous.

  9. I agree, but at least PLEASE keep the CO BOB program… UA’s BOB program is grossly overpriced and not that good…. The cheeseburger on CO is $6.95 vs a sandwhich on UA for $12 or some kind of odd figure like $11.98?

    Also CO’s BOB program offers more hot options vs cold options on UA and CO’s BOB food is more diversified than UA’s…

  10. “The customer service of so called “Low cost Airlines” in Asia is far superior then customer service of all American airlines. ”

    Don’t fly AirAsia if you wish to maintain this thought process. Not even water is free on their flights….

  11. @Golfingboy – no, that odd price is for the bundle with wine or beer. Prices for fresh items range from $5.49-$6.29 for breakfast items and $6.99-$9.49 for lunch and dinner items.

  12. NYBanker has it right. All perks have a cost, and those costs – one way or another – are passed onto the consumer. It’s only a matter of how they are allocated. Giving out food to everyone results in those who don’t value the food paying for those who do. It’s more efficient to assign the costs to those who benefit from the service.

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