No soup for you!
Continental Airlines, long the only U.S. carrier offering free meals (such as they were) in coach, plans to drop that amenity this fall and sell food on board instead.
In a press release today, Continental makes weird twists and turns to divert you from the obvious, that the free meal service in coach is about to end, by announcing it is "introducing a variety of high quality, healthy food choices for purchase in economy class on many U.S./Canada and certain Latin American routes."
Sez Continental: "The airline will continue to offer complimentary food in the economy cabin on all intercontinental and certain other international routes, and on long-haul domestic routes over six hours."
OK, you may be asking, what exactly is a long-haul domestic route "over six hours?"
Anyway, Jim Compton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, said: "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."
[UPDATE March 16 -- Re comment below on 6+ hour domestic flights, I overlooked Hawaii and Alaska (and, arguably, Puerto Rico). Also, I might add that I actually prefer being able to buy a decent sandwich or salad, rather than the god-awful little "pizza" Continental often served free (though it did always come with a salad, and the chicken sandwich Continental sometimes served was not bad). I've tried US Airways' deli sandwiches, which as I recall cost around $8, and I thought they were very good.]