Here’ a brief rundown of my return trip on Continental from Brussels to Newark.
Upon boarding, I was greeted by no less than five FA’s who remembered me from the flight over Friday night. A nice way to start the flight…
This time my seat assignment remained unaltered and I settled down into 17D for the eight-hour flight back to Newark. Veronica again welcomed everyone aboard in her heavy New York accent and we took off on time.
I can’t say the flight was flawless: my IFE and emPower port didn’t work (and no, I didn’t even bothering complaining about it). The IFE had wavy lines running across the screen, distorting the picture on every channel. Only the map mode and games were unaffected.
Lunch was served and my Muslim meal included a small breast of chicken with a few cooked vegetables, a small side salad, and a packaged cookie. It was fair, though the outbound meal was much tastier. The so-so meal was offset by Veronica bringing me a couple fresh baked cookies from BusinessFirst. Hot cookies always hit the spot.
Not too much else to report. I got a lot of reading done and the flight progressed quickly. An hour prior to landing a small snack was served. My special meal was a hot sandwich containing tofu and a single cucumber served with plain yogurt. It tasted much better than it looked, though it was not filling. Noting how small my sandwich was, one of the FA’s offered me a regular sandwich (hot chicken) that served as the standard meal in the economy cabin. It was great—much better than the cold sandwiches UA features on most inbound U.S. international flights from Europe as a second meal. Processed chicken and cheese just tastes better heated up.
We landed a few minutes late in Newark but unlike IAD at midday, I was out of customs and immigration on my way to the AirTain station in literally five minutes from deboarding (and that’s only because of the long walk from the plane to the DHS checkpoint).
Continental still has to win my respect, but onboard service, the most important aspect in my book, met my expectations. I peered into the BusinessFirst cabin and can’t say I’d be in a rush to try out their old seats, but CO’s new business class looks great and next time I book a business class international award I will strongly consider booking with Continental. (Finding availability will be another matter…)