The Soup Nazi

Continental Airlines, the last carrier to provide free meals for economy class fliers, announced that they will finally start charging for in-flight meal service beginning this fall.  No more free breakfasts and sandwiches, hot meals and desserts in coach.  Passengers will continue to get a free (small) snack and beverage on even the shortest flights, but all other food will now cost you.

Continental will still have free food in coach on international flights, as well as domestic flights longer than six hours.  Currently, Continental flights lasting less than two hours have free pop or juice and a bag of pretzels or biscuit cookies.  Flights of two to 3 1/2 hours have a small sandwich roll or a muffin in the morning. Flights over 3 1/2 hours have a free hot sandwich or other hot meal, or breakfast in the morning.

The airline also announced that it will debut new lunch sandwiches for first-class passengers (such as a chicken parmesan Tuscan sandwich) and updated first-class dinner pasta dishes (such as spinach & cheese cannelloni with pomodoro sauce) on April 1st.  No foolin’!

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • British Airways is preparing for a major strike by flight attendants, and many critical flights between the U.S. and the U.K. could be canceled.  6,000 flight attendants are expected to walk off the job in protest over pay and staffing levels.  The first three-day phase of the strike is planned to start this Saturday.  As a result, half of all flights to JFK are likely to be scrapped.
  • American Airlines has filed for a temporary exemption from the DOT’s new rule that limits the time passengers can be held on the tarmac, saying delays caused by the closure of the main runway at New York’s JFK airport could cost them millions in fines.  JetBlue and Delta asked for exemptions last week.  Those three airlines are the largest operators at JFK.