Continental to Become Last Domestic Carrier to End Meal Service

By | March 15, 2010

The Examiner reports that Continental Airlines will end its free meal program on flights shorter than six hours. It is a shame, because we really loved the above ad.

We always find it amusing that companies, airline or not, spin taking away services that were previously free and replacing them with a paid option as an improvement for their customers. Certainly, we demand that if we pay for it, it be a better quality experience, but beyond that…

Continental will continue to offer complimentary food in first and BusinessFirst, and new lunches will premier April 1st.

We are improving our economy meal service with a high-quality, industry-leading food-for-purchase program that is consistent with the strong brand image and high service standards for which our customers recognize us,” said Jim Compton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer.  “Our traditional free-food model has served us well for many years, but we need to change to reflect today’s market and customer preferences.

We think the customer preference is that they want everything for as little money as possible. In that regard, we don’t blame Continental Airlines for their decision. We’re surprised they held out this long to do it. At least traditional non-alcoholic beverages and accompanying snacks like pretzels will continue to be complimentary on every Continental flight.