TWFirst
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Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 12:30 am

I was surprised to read today that beginning July 1st, Continental is going to start charging for liquor in economy slass on international flights. They want to take the revenue from the new liquor sales and invest it in improved international economy class meal service.

Opinions on this? I found myself wondering if I would take NW/KL to Europe from NYC instead if I knew I couldn't get upgraded on CO. I love CO and am a Platinum Elite, and I'm not a lush or anything, but free drinks to Europe is part of what makes economy bearable on a Transat flight (at least in my opinion).
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
ryanb741
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 12:34 am

Well don't fly CO then.

To be honest, I don't drink alcohol often on flights, but I don't see why CO should stop serving it.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
 
N79969
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 12:34 am

Bad, bad idea. It's one of the perks of flying international.
 
Lindy
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 12:37 am

Looks like Gordon is tight on his budget again.
Other airlines are happy because mojority of people likes to drink while flying over Atlantic.

TWFirst, how many 717's left in TWA c/s???

Good to see you  Big grin
Rafal
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cainanuk
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 12:38 am

I think this is a big mistake. The general public looks at these airlines as a bunch of money hungry conglomerates and I think to an extent, that is a fairly accurate description. These companies are losing insane amounts of dosh each day (some to the tune of several million dollars a day) and CO suddenly thinks that a few hundered bucks per pond hop from the schmucks in economy who want to get pissed up is gonna make a bit of difference. I tell you what. I wont fly CO. BMI's service to the US from MAN is fantastic, and the drinks are still on the house.

CC
 Smokin cool
Cainan Cornelius
 
mls515
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intel Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 12:38 am



At least they have good IFE and are planning a better meal to compensate. I only get one or two drinks anyway and I could live without or pay the $4.

I'd go to the liquor store and buy a few mini bottles if I were concerned about it. Order the drink virgin, and then put your own in. And if you get caught, it's only a mini that's getting confiscated and not a whole big bottle. It wouldn't be too tough to be discrete about it either.
 
Ilyushin96M
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 12:43 am

That's funny - an airline charging for alcohol so they can improve meal service? What a joke! My bet is that nothing in CO's coach meal service will change, except that people will now have to pay $5 if they want a measly glass of wine to go along with their quarter-sized soggy turkey sandwich and carrots. It disgusts me how little service passengers on most American carriers get for their money these days.
 
TWFirst
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RE: Lindy

Wed May 22, 2002 12:44 am

Hey Lind... is that a trick question?? Big grin

The answer: none... because AA got rid of them all (or will by the end of June, I believe).

Sad, but I'm pretty much over it. I'm a CO man now.

Anyway, going back to the topic, just to clarify to all, I posted this not as a complaint, but rather because I was curious as to what people thought of this from a business perspective... does it make sense? Will it cause customers to choose a competing airline that still serves free liquor in economy if the fare is the same?
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
travelin man
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 1:00 am

(hey TWFirst!)

I guess CO has done the business case and said, "nobody is not going to fly us because of the lack of free alcohol." Frankly, I wouldn't fly CO simply because they have no int'l non-stops from LAX. However, their economy class seat pitch I've heard (and read on their website) is horrible. Now they want to charge for alcohol? Sorry, but I'd fly AA (MRTC) or UA (Economy Plus) or any of the int'l carriers that serve free drinks AND have decent meals before I flew CO.

Here's my question: Why fly CO? (It's a serious question: What will they offer the average traveller that's better than a competitor?)
 
Lindy
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 1:06 am

TWFirst,
Now I dont fly over Atlantic if airline doesnt have PTVs and free booz  Big grin

It was not a tricky question. I was dead serious.
AA didnt repaint all aircrafts yet. Few days ago I've seen TWA 717 N418TW at IAD in full TWA c/s. That was the first TW 717 I ever saw and I need more pics of it. So you are saying June? July?

Rafal
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Ex_SQer
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 1:15 am

This is an interesting development. Not too long ago Bethune was featured in a Wall St Journal article trumpeting the fact that CO was the only major airline not to make large scale meal cutbacks post-9/11, and because of that CO has been able to maintain its loyal following....
 
AA717driver
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 1:53 am

This is an outrage! What next?--removing the garnish from the appetizers in F/C? Big grinTC

P.S.--I saw 3 717's in STL the other day, 2424 & 2426 and the other was on approach so I didn't get a number. I do have to go up to the cockpit and take one last look. Too damn many switches in this -80!!! Sad
FL450, M.85
 
BFS
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 1:56 am

Mucho Big Mistake!
The one thing I don't like about flying charter (apart from the legroom) is that you have to pay for drinks. The service, in my experience at least, is excellent, but it is a pain in the a*se fumbling about in a seat cramped seat with your tray table down trying to get those coins out of your pocket. V silly thing to do!

Paddy.
 
Guest

RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 1:57 am

I think this is a great idea and all airlines should emulate it. If nothing else, it will cut down on inflight drunkeness and instances of 'air rage'.

Well done Gordon!  Big thumbs up  Big thumbs up
 
ncflyer
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 2:10 am

I'm with SAS23 on this one, I think it's a great idea. Too many times on international flights my experience has been ruined by drunken fools.
 
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STT757
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 2:28 am

This is the right move, watch all the others quietly do the same.

It cuts down on alchol consumption which can get out of control with some folks, and cut back on in-flight disturbances from drunk passengers.

It's also a way to boost revenues right now which are very low across the Atlantic, and the service is not being removed (you just have to pay for it).

And you can always get loaded up on free booze in the President's club if your that desperate.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
roguetrader
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 2:29 am

SAS23 and Ncflyer,

Because of your comments I am rededicating a purpose for me and my kind. Free or not free: drinking on an airplane is a God-given right that no airline nor government can take away.

I assumed the drinks were free in part because of the extra hassle involved in collecting money for 8+ hours. I'm surprised the flight attendants aren't protesting about this, since it takes time away from their sleeping, reading, and socializing that is their primary goal on international flights - at least on US carriers.

kind regards,

RogueTrader
 
jaysit
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 4:43 am

Reminds me of the cheezy so-called good ol days when airlines charged you for drinks. Well, at least then, they gave you a wider seat with a lot more legroom. From my observations in Y Class, there are not that many alcohol imbibers - at least on the American carriers. Most people have a glass of relatively nondescript wine with a meal and call it a day. Yes, we have all heard of Rowdies getting drunk on flights, but that is the rare exception rather than the norm. Plus, FAs can always refuse to serve alcohol to a drunk passenger. If airlines were so darn obsessed with saving money, then charge $ 5 on all flights across the board, rather than ooze tackiness by demanding $ 4 for a glass of wine.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
Guest

RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 5:08 am

More "enhancements" from Continental.
 
TWFirst
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 6:04 am

Good point RogueTrader...

I wonder if they'll accept euros as payment.
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
tomindc
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 6:12 am

Very interesting to watch to see if any other US carriers match this....my instinct tells me that CO will be out there all by itself. Think of the hassles the FAs have domestically to provide change, etc., to keep track of who is owed change, etc. Add that to a widebody and at least two currencies to monitor.....seems to me a pandora's box for sure.....
 
calpilot
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RE: Ilyushin

Wed May 22, 2002 7:14 am

Have you ever flown CO to Europe in Business, or coach? I guess not, because what you said is NOT what we serve on those flights. Please have some facts before you shoot your mouth off to the rest of the world.
 
hkgspotter1
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 9:57 am

Are they mad ??

American carriers are well known for their poor service and now CO want to do this !!, CO was a carrier that I wanted to try as I've heard nice things about them.

So thats Northwest, United and Delta that I've tried and I already know not to try CO !!

If they want people to pay for a drink they can bugger off !!
 
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STT757
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 10:58 am

How many drunks have been thrown off US-Britain flights (especially folks heading to Manchester), I think if you checked the number of diversions to Bangor ME. you would be astonished.

And who said anything about alchohol not being served, it's still being offered just not for free.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
Guest

RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flig

Wed May 22, 2002 11:28 am

If they want people to pay for a drink they can bugger off !!

So you're not going to fly Continental 'cause you can't get a free drink. I'm sure they'd be pleased if you chose another carrier as well.
 
Guest

RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 12:19 pm

This is upsetting.

The wine they serve is such crap anyway, I don't know if that bothers me, but a baileys and coffee makes the flight so much better you wouldn't believe it. When flying internationally and fares are the same, I will now avoid CO.

As for the drunkeness, I was on US over the Atlantic and back in March with a few fraternity brothers of mine, and no joke, they had a few drinks and the FAs were very effective at refusing them at the right time and kept everything friendly and under control. They've learned to monitor people.

CO's choice is a dissapointment.

TNNH
 
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STT757
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 12:31 pm

I can almost gurantee the other Major US airlines will follow CO's lead, for no other reason than the FA Unions will most certainly demand it in the next contracts.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
Spark
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 12:56 pm

I don't know if other Major US airlines will follow suit (I doubt it), but if they do it is a sign that they need a history lesson. I remember flying Asian carriers in the 80's and comparing service from the American carriers (bad choices). It is penny pinching, and it just makes people feel upset.
I doubt people will say "I don't get a free drink on Continental, so I'll fly BA." But, people will say "BA makes me feel welcome, Continental makes me feel like a large bovine animal with utters." (Just an example, any airline will fit in the blanks)
 
Guest

RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 12:56 pm

You people are sick!!!
Listen, have a beer b4 the flight and call it a day. Sheesh!!! I didn't realize how many alcoholics fly!!
 
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STT757
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RE: Continental Eliminates Free Booze On Intl Flights

Wed May 22, 2002 1:02 pm

We need a AA forum, and I don't mean American Airlines (lol).
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757