Continental to Start Charging for Meals

You could always count on Continental Airlines for a good meal. Well, a free meal. But that's about to change.

The airline will join competitors in charging for food beginning Oct. 12.

Continental says its new menu will feature "a variety of high-quality, healthy food choices" available for purchase on many U.S./Canada and certain Latin American routes.

The menu will have hot and cold mealtime selections, which the carrier says are "similar to those served in casual-dining restaurants."

There is Asian-style noodle salad, grilled chicken spinach salad, an Angus cheeseburger, Jimmy Dean sausage and an egg and cheese sandwich, among the offerings.

Snack and dessert options include a cheese and fresh fruit plate, various snack boxes and Eli's Cheesecake on a stick.

"The new menu is a direct result of feedback from our customers, who told us they wanted more food choices on our flights," says Sandra Pineau-Boddison, Continental's vice president of food services. "With that in mind, Continental researched trends in the restaurant industry and tested and tasted a broad range of possible menu items in order to provide dining options that reflect today's customer preferences."

The food-for-purchase replaces not only complimentary meals but snacks too on most routes – though non-alcoholic drinks are still free. The carrier says it will continue to offer complimentary food on international flights and any domestic flights longer than six and a half hours.

Passengers in first class and BusinessFirst will still get free food and booze on routes worldwide.

Photos, Continental Airlines
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