Continental Airlines to Begin Cashless Cabin

Customers prefer to use credit and debit cards for onboard purchases

Nov 30, 2009, 15:07 ET from Continental Airlines

HOUSTON, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today announced that its flight crews will begin accepting credit and debit cards exclusively for on-board purchases (except Duty-free) on Dec. 1, 2009, utilizing new hand-held devices that are more convenient for customers.

Continental is making the change in response to feedback from customers and flight crews who expressed interest in using card readers for on-board purchases to eliminate the hassle of fumbling for money and making correct change. The hand-held devices read cards for purchases of alcoholic beverages and headsets during flight in addition to providing valuable sales information to help better manage product inventory. Cash is still being accepted for Duty-free purchases. Testing of the hand-held devices began in the summer of 2009.

The new cashless system will be available on all Continental Airlines mainline flights, except for service to and from China, as the company continues to develop its process for accepting that country's predominant credit card, The China Union Pay card. Cash is still being accepted on Continental Express, Continental Connection and Continental Micronesia flights. Continental is on track to switch to a cashless cabin on those flights in the first quarter of 2010.

Continental Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline. Continental, together with Continental Express and Continental Connection, has more than 2,400 daily departures throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, serving 130 domestic and 132 international destinations. Continental is a member of Star Alliance, which provides access to more than 900 additional points in 169 countries via 24 other member airlines. With more than 41,000 employees, Continental has hubs serving New York, Houston, Cleveland and Guam, and together with its regional partners, carries approximately 63 million passengers per year.

SOURCE Continental Airlines