28 April 2009

Where The Grass Really is Greener

Two weeks after visiting my family, I went back to the east coast. The trip was supposed to be for my a baby shower, specifically the shower for my newest brother. The shower was rescheduled after I bought my ticket and while I was miffed at the start, it ended up being a good thing. My trip was only from Friday to Monday, but I accomplished quite a lot, starting with remembering there is greener grass.

There is a reason I pay to fly Continental Airlines. But until I do it, I forget what that reason is. I've been supporting discount carriers for so long, I had forgotten what used to make flying so awesome. I chose Continental this time because -- even though the price and the times were the same -- I'm a Continental OnePass Member. I earned a lot of miles going to Rome, and now I just like to watch the numbers go up by the thousands.

I thought all airlines were the same, that (aside from AirTran) they got me from place to place as best they could. But I found quality service on Continental. It first appeared with an orderly boarding process -- no "zones," just Elite members, followed by the back of the plane forward. I was consistently amazed from there. I had a blanket on my seat. The safety speech was delivered on video, which allowed more creativity and gave more energy than the typical flight attendant who has given the speech 747 times. There were two movies. Headphones were for sale, but the ones I had worked fine. I had a free beverage AND A MEAL. That totally blew my mind.

I signed up for a salt-free meal at some point, probably when I went to Rome. It was maintained in my profile and I was treated to a delicious and nutritious meal. I had chicken pesto on wheat, a vegan chocolate chip cookie, a whole wheat roll, and a quinoa salad. I don't eat that well when I have a choice and I was really pleased to have something nutritious. I had an equally delicious and sodium free meal on my return flight. I also used my phone as my boarding pass.

So I thank you, Continental Airlines, for reminding me of high quality customer service. I hope to be able to afford more of your flights in the future.