Free Food

When I went to Cleveland with Sara Keagle to appear on the daytime talk show “Good Company” on October 6th, I had the great pleasure of flying on United Airlines.  Actually, I only flew “United” because just five days earlier the merger between United Airlines and Continental Airlines was legally approved and the name officially changed to United.
I flew on a Continental jet with a Continental crew, and I got to experience native Continental service. We still got free food! I was shocked. I had read in the news that Continental was getting rid of free food, prior to them announcing the merger, so I didn’t expect it. I have to admit, it does add a nice touch. I have always worked for airlines that charge for food. My previous airline used to hand out snacks for free, now they charge for those too. My current airline charges for everything except soda, water, coffee and tea (which is in line with most majors out there, including the new “United”).
On the way to Cleveland at O’Dark Thirty in the morning we received cereal with milk, raisons and a muffin and on the way home a Jennie-O Turkey Club sandwich, fritos, carrots and a Hershey’s bar (bite size). I noticed that by passing out food and offering every passenger something to eat it helped to cut down on the stress on the passengers and the crew that they may run out and/or a passenger doesn’t receive their preferred selection. That situation used to happen to me everyday at my previous airline.
I think that airlines should go back to offering free food and axe this idea of “a-la-carte pricing.” I think that it would help re-shape the image of the industry proving that it can bounce back after a few years of set-backs and bankruptcies. 
I’m curious though, since Continental is discontinuing free food in coach, today, October 12th and every commercial airline in the United States will now be charging for on-board meals,  would you rather the industry go back to free food (one choice in coach, and probably a larger price tag for your ticket) or keep things the way they are, lower fares and more variety with on-board meals (pending of course your option is available). 
I’m curious as to what your thoughts might be.



Mike October 12, 2010 at 05:34 pm

Well, I'd rather my upgrade clear so I don't have to worry about what is going on in coach. But, in the unlikely event it doesn't clear, I'd prefer the current format. As long as round trip transcon airfares stay at the current (price adjusted) 1980s levels, I am fine. I can eat ahead of time, or some buy on board stuff is actually not that bad.

mowogo October 12, 2010 at 05:41 pm

Personally the buy on board is better, as it gives better food on board, compared to mystery meat.

Chad October 27, 2010 at 10:40 am

You need an economics class

Mike October 27, 2010 at 01:31 pm

@Chad you need a class in writing helpful comments. Please enlighten us on what you would like to see.

Continental Fan October 28, 2010 at 04:17 pm

CO airfairs were competitive and you got free food, What's the problem? It cost the airline pennies to feed their customers. Continental still owns Chelsea food services so they have a leg up on every other airline. I wrote to CO and asked why they were stopping free food they said its not some thing passengers cared about. As we the flying public allow airlines to keep cuting services, like meals at meal time, soon every airline will be just like Southwest. Apparently what the flying public wants. No food, no service, no pillow and blankets and yes please charge me for everything that used to be free.

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