Continental Airlines is the world’s fifth largest airline. Continental sees more than 2,750 daily departures from its different hub airports throughout Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Their main base is at Houston’s largest airport, George Bush International airport. Continental Airlines ended its partnership with Sky Team to begin a new one with Star Alliance, which offers seamless flight transfers for its passengers between codeshare airlines. In the media, Continental’s slogan is “Work Hard, Fly Right.”
- IATA code: CO
- Number of serviced cities: 133 domestic and 132 international destinations
- Main hub: George Bush International Airport, Huston TX (IAH)
- Alliance: Star Alliance
- Fleet: 342 aircrafts
- Loyalty rewards program: OnePass Frequent Flyer
History of Continental Airlines
Starting out in 1934 as Varney Speed Lines in El Paso, Texas, Continental has just one plane, a small single engine that could carry only four passengers. In the early years, they were carrying more airmail than actual passengers at 17 cents a letter. During the Second World War, Continental converted some of its now larger fleet, into aircrafts suitable for use by the United States Army Air Force. The profits gained from military transportation enabled them to expand with new aircrafts and new routes. Originally they operated only one, between Denver and El Paso but after the war they added Denver to Albuquerque to Kansas to Oklahoma and Texas. Continental Airlines’ services were needed again during the Vietnam War by transporting troops and cargo to the Asian and Pacific bases. Creating history in 1963, Continental hired the first African-American pilot to work for any major airline company in North America. Even the United States Supreme Court was involved in implementing an anti-discrimination law against Continental. In 1969 Continental finally achieved one of its long-time goals, to have service between Los Angeles and Honolulu.
With the 1973 oil crisis and consequently the increase in fuel prices, Continental was forced to design their planes with higher seating capacity in order to make a profit from their services. After some internal struggles in the company and a file for bankruptcy in the 1980’s, Continental rebounded and introduced its first services to Europe, non-stop service from Houston and Newark to London. Continental Airlines emerged from a second bankruptcy only with the help of Air Canada and Air Partners, two airlines that strongly invested in the airline, recognizing its potential. From this point forward Continental excelled, adding new routes to Asia and joining an airline alliance.
Travel with: practical information
- Meals: Continental Airlines’ meals are designed by a group of 14 chefs. They employ as well a group of sommeliers to aid in the pairing and choosing of wines to match their menus. On flights less than 3 hours in length there is a beverage and a light snack provided. For longer flights, a hot meal is served.
- Entertainment: Most aircrafts have individual screens on which new and classic films are shown. As well radio, music, video games, and direct tv are available. Off screen, there is an in-flight magazine.
- Cabin: One bag is permitted measuring up to 115cm (the sum of length, width, and height added together) and weighing a maximum of 18kg. On top of this a laptop case or purse or other personal item is permitted.
- Checked: 2 pieces of luggage is permitted, each with a maximum weight of 23kg and dimension of 157cm.
- Excess: Save money by pre-purchasing excess baggage on-line. At the airport, the prices vary from 18$-50$ depending on the departure city and destination city.
Discounts and Special Offers
Children under the age of 2 can travel free of charge on the lap of the accompanying adult. If there is more than one child, the second must purchase a ticket at a reduced rate in the USA. On all international flights, infants need a ticket as well. There is a 5% discount available to all US Military Veterans or those providing active military service.