If you are a big fan of pretzels or biscoff cookies while flying on Continental Airlines, you better bring your own. On Tuesday, the carrier eliminated these free treats on all routes that do not feature BusinessFirst seating. Among the routes affected include:
- Most domestic flights including transcon service
- Latin America and the Caribbean
The move aligns Continental with United, which eliminated its free snacks in economy class almost two years ago. Continental eliminated free meals in economy class last fall. Delta Air Lines is now the only U.S. legacy carrier that will offer free snacks onboard most of its flights.
I have no qualms with this change in policy. It will only save CO $2.5MN each year, but I cannot imagine it is a big enough change to drive customers away from the airline. Better that money be spent on more important matters like refurbishing Terminal 6 at LAX.
Sadly, that’s not the only cut on Continental we’ve seen this month. CO also cut free meals on flights to Anchorage and flights from IAH/EWR to Hawaii. Up until 01 March, the airline had continued to offer complimentary hot meals on these flights to all passengers. I had hoped that rather than CO cutting back further, United would re-introduce hot meals on flights between Hawaii and DEN/ORD. So much for that idea…
The next issue on the horizon is in-flight entertainment (IFE) on the combined carrier. There is no doubt that the new-UA will continue to charge for DirecTV, but my question is whether free movies and headsets will still be offered on domestic flights. My gut tells me UA will (again) start charging for disposal headphones, abandoning their practice over the last 5-6 years of stocking reusable complimentary headphones in each seat-back pocket.
What do you think the next cut will be?