My feelings about Continental remained mixed. Since the airline joined Star Alliance in 2009 I have flown on them quite a bit, on a mix of domestic and international flights. Overall, I give high marks to Continental, though I find their in-flight service is consistently “fine” (which I am not sure is better than UA’s many wonderful flights peppered with a few bad flights).
Although Continental has retired the separate Continental Micronesia division, the FAs on these routes remain a tad better, on average and in my experience, than mainland CO flight attendants. Just like my trip to Fiji on Continental last year, the trip to Guam (this time behind the curtain) really impressed me.
As always seems to be the case in the outmoded Diamond Head Concourse at Honolulu International Airport, the boarding process was chaotic. For good reason, members of the military were not invited to board first on this flight–that would have been a problem because most of the plane was in fact part of the military, either returning to duty in Guam or escaping for a few days from Hawaii.
BusinessFirst class and Star Gold passengers were invited to board first, but no one seemed to be listening: we were already late and everyone made a run for it. The laid back Hawaiian gate agents just shrugged and did not try to order the line.
The aircraft, an aging 767, was immaculate with a pillow and blanket neatly placed at each seat. Watch out if you ever find yourself on a CO 767-400: stay away from the bulkhead seats in economy. These were advertised as premium seats (reserved for a fee or free for Platinum Elites) but the legroom was horrible. Having a few extra inches of knee room means little when your feet are smashed up against the bulkhead wall.
Every seat was occupied, but my uncle (traveling with me) somehow conned the guys behind us into switching seats. They were happy that no one would be able to recline into them, but believe me, they got the short end of the straw–we found the new seats one row back much more comfortable for our long legs.
The crew, Guam based, was very friendly, particularly the FA working our section. My uncle is quite a raconteur himself, but he got her going and before we knew it we heard her life story and were looking at pictures of her children. Now some may view that as unprofessional, but I like it.
Meal service was above average and tasty. Lunch was a moist chicken breast with tomato sauce, served with white rice, green beans, bread, and a large green salad with Cesar dressing. The other choice was spaghetti and meatballs. Dessert was a disappointment: only a small bag of cookies, but it was a great meal overall.
For my second consecutive longhaul flight on Continental, the IFE was not working. Unlike on UA, though, it does no good to complain so I just enjoyed a book on U.S. Grant written by one of my former professors for the next few hours.
Halfway through the flight the flight attendants appeared with ice cream cups–a very nice touch that was appreciated after the mediocre dessert earlier. Throughout the flight, the crew was very good about making water runs and attending to passenger needs.
Prior to landing a snack was distributed–a cold ham sandwich with a small bowl of fruit. My appetite had returned so I asked the friendly FA if there were any spaghetti and meatball lunches leftover. There were, and I was soon enjoying my second meal of the flight–and the pasta was actually very satisfying.
As we were approaching Guam we ran into a beautiful rainbow outside the window: a fitting end to a great flight.
If you ever have a little extra time on your way over to Asia, do consider trying Continental’s service to Guam–it was a nice flight and as you’ll read about in the days to come, Guam is a great place to visit.