With the Continental-United merger a done deal watch for the legacy name “Continental” to fade into history.
The Houston Chronicle says that Jeff Simisek, Continental’s CEO, starts his new job as the CEO of the new United Airlines, a fleet now carrying the name of United but the Continental emblem.
The Continental name and logo won’t disappear tomorrow, and the airlines will continue to fly separately for a 18 months or so until they get a “single operating certificate” enabling them to merge crew, fleet and programs.
But effectively this is the beginning of the end of the Continental brand, and with a single signature, the end of Houston as a home for the giant carrier. All operations of the new United move to Chicago.
Simisek says in the spring passengers will experience “Customer Day One” when all kiosks, websites and services will be combined.
He predicts happy flying days for the public.
Meantime, Continental announced that starting October 12 it would begin charging for meals.
The airline was the last to offer complimentary meals, but now will only offer them on intercontinental flights, and long-haul domestic flights, those that are longer than 6 hours.
Of course Business and First Class will still get complimentary meals, and non-alcoholic beverages will be free in all classes.
There will be a pay menu for those wanting to buy food.
In addition to Angus cheeseburgers, cheese and fruit plates, for $8.25 you can buy the chicken and spinach salad or for a $1.50, a tin of Pringles.
Airline meals were the first “amenity” to be dropped when the airlines were cutting services in an attempt to cut costs and generate revenue.
Most of us can barely remember that airlines served something other than a small packet of pretzels.
Even the pretzels are an endangered species, just like he Continental name.