Flying Continental has always been our preference. My wife and I have enjoyed their quality service for years. It was only natural that we chose Continental as our flight provider for our San Antonio trip.
I went on business, an attendee of the annual NCDA (National Career Development Association) conference. My wife went to tan, poolside. We eventually made our way to the River Walk, a wonderfully serpentine body of water, straddled by inviting tchotchke shops, themed restaurants and swank hotels. The conference soon concluded and we looked forward to flying home. Our return flight to NJ was blessed by an on-time departure and clear blue skies. Seated, buckled, in the air.
Entropy soon set in.
We were informed that any food, during a nearly 4 hour flight, had to be purchased. That meant no snacks, either. Not even a dippy bag of pretzels?! Nope. Soon enough, the flight attendants’ smiles began to resemble rapacious, grating ivory. My wife, an ever resourceful German-Italian, supplied us with granola and Fiber One bars, so our stomachs wouldn’t turn on themselves. Hunger diminished, my wife asked me, the aisle seat occupant, to see if I could get her a blanket. A portly female flight attendant approached from the nose of the plane.
“Excuse me. Can she have a blanket.” I didn’t pose this as a question, more of a certainty.
Her eye contact could only be measured in milliseconds. “We don’t give out blankets in coach.” With a nearly imperceptible lifting of the chin, she pressed on. Gone.
My wife and I were completely stunned, and she, still cold. There was no mention of “I’m sorry, we’re unable to provide blankets at this time.” The flight attendant just rocked out the No Blankets in Coach dictum. Those around us were incredulous, too. This reminds me of one of life’s lessons–it’s rarely about what you do, it’s about how you do it that matters.
Ok. Here’s the Continental run-down:
- TV viewing fees – $5.99 for flights under 2 hours, $7.99 for flights 3+ hours
- Bag fees – $25 for the first, $35 for the second (packing a 50+ lb. costs even more)
- Food fees – varies based on comestible
- Oh, yeah, round-trip flight fee – $309 pp
And now, no blankets?! I recommend Continental further fleece its customers by enacting a coach blanket fee, for continuity, if nothing else.
The soda napkin (no fee, currently) I received proudly declared “Planes change. Values don’t. Your priorities will always be ours.” I suggest Continental, who recently merged with United, employ a different slogan: “Bring change. You’ll need it to rent our blankets.”
That rotund flight attendant came around near the end of flight, exclaiming, “Trash! Trash! Trash!” Considering our steerage accommodations, I began thinking she was referring to us.
I could predict the death of more coach amenities, like oxygen masks and life jackets, but that’s just too dark, isn’t it?