The Banff Chronicles: Flying with Delta and Continental

October 7, 2008

Kenny, Sara, Travel

Air travel in the post-$3 gallon days is getting stupid. I could easily rant about how insane I think it is that airlines can continue to exist after being bailed out by the government multiple times simply because if they failed, it would bring air-transit in this country to a halt… but I won’t. What I will complain about is how airline prices have gone up and up and now they nickel and dime us for every little thing.

A month ago Sara and Titus flew up to Colorado to visit family. She was flying American Airlines and they were going to charge her $30 a bag. Not $30 for each additional bag, but $30 a bag. That would be $60 each way. Amazingly, Sara packed a weeks worth of supplies and clothes for both her and Titus in one carry-on bag. Amazing! (She and her family did strategically coordinate the purchase of supplies and foods in CO in order to save that $60)

Our tickets to Calgary, Canada were with Delta. We were planning to pack both of our bags as full as possible (up to 50 pounds of course) until I visited Delta’s web-site and saw that when traveling to Canada from the United States, each passenger got 2 FREE bags. Woo hoo! So we packed three. The downside was that if you wanted food on the flight, you had to pay for it. Come on people, who’s going to pay for airplane food? As a matter of principle, we snacked on airline peanuts and drank our body-weight in Gingerale. We finally ate lunch/dinner just outside of Banff at about 6:00 PM at one of those A&W fast food joints. Apparently they’re big in Canada.

Coming home we were on a Delta flight operated by Continental. I don’t even know what the really means. The lady at the Delta desk told us to check in with Continental, so we did. This was surprise  number one. Surprise number two was when big red turned out to be eight pounds overweight (no scales to pre-weigh in our hotel room). She’d gained a little weight on this vacation. So we did that last minute re-packing game while everyone else in line stares at you. Surprise number three was that Continental only allows one free bag per customer. Crud! There went $25 to the stupid airline.

(Rant coming) Honestly, I read an interesting article several months ago about an European Airline that was offering flights around Europe for less than $50 with the goal of getting it down to nothing by charging for extra services (like food, luggage, and other things) and even offering gambling at every seat. I have a lot of respect for a company… especially an airline… that is thinking outside the box to compete. What is happening with the airlines now seems to be the exact opposite! (Okay, I’m done)

I have to give Continental a little bit of credit though. They did serve us lunch/dinner and it was free. The flight attendant proudly claimed that they were the only airline offering free meals. The funny thing thought was what they served. I got a cheese pizza that was wrapped in aluminum foil. I unwrapped the burning hot pizza to find it covered with a piece of wax paper (I guess to protect the cheese). I pulled off the wax paper and in doing so I removed all of the cheese. A funny thought came to mind. The salad that came with the dinner was neatly packed in a plastic container. What happened to the pizza containers? Anyone who’s eaten a microwave pizza (or hot pocket for that matter) knows that they’ve got these cool little containers that protect you from the lava-hot pizza and leave the cheese intact. My guess is that in order to save money, Continental outsourced their pizza product to the girl-scouts. It seemed like a pizza that could be easily prepared in one of those easy-bake ovens. All that’s needed is the ingredients, aluminum foil, wax paper and a light bulb powered oven. It’s genius really, how many of these things could a girl scout make before earning her coveted “Continental Airlines Food Service” merit badge. Maybe enough to keep Continental afloat financially for a few more years.

I just hope the girl scouts keep selling those cookies though, let Continental keep the pizzas.


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One Response to “The Banff Chronicles: Flying with Delta and Continental”

  1. Sara Says:

    Hahaha! Kenny! I was there and I laughed my head off at this story and Big Red. Keep the stories coming.


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