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Continental Airlines

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About Continental Airlines

Continental Airlines traces its roots back to 1934 and the founding of its predecessor, Varney Speed Lines by Walter T. Varney, who ironically was also a founder of United Airlines. Headquartered in Chicago, Continental provides service to more than 250 destinations worldwide. Its hubs and focus cities are George Bush Intercontinental Airport-Houston, Newark Liberty International Airport, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport (Guam). As of March 2012, United Airlines and Continental merged and became fully integrated using the United Airlines name with the Continental logo under the parent company of United Continental Holdings, Inc.

Class of Service

Continental provides up to three classes of service on its flights.


BusinessFirst service is offered on select flights to and from Europe, Israel, Asia, Southern South America and Hawaii on Boeing 777, 767 and 757 aircraft. Continental is in the process of upgrading its BusinessFirst cabins by installing new, fully lie-flat seats that are 6 ½ feet long and have 15.4-inch video screens. Aircraft with the older product have reclining seats. BusinessFirst passengers also receive amenity kits and concierge services at select airports, including Houston, New York/Newark and Cleveland. Passengers traveling in BusinessFirst have lounge access prior to departure, including Star Alliance members' owned lounges when traveling on an international flight, and upon arrival in select cities.

First Class / Business Class

Passengers traveling in First Class and Business Class enjoy complimentary beverage service and, depending on the length of the flight, snack or meal service. Passengers also enjoy lounge access prior to departure, including Star Alliance members' owned lounges when traveling on an international flight, in-seat power outlets and personal entertainment systems on select flights.

Economy Plus

Beginning in late 2011, Continental began reconfiguring its Economy cabin to include Economy Plus seating. Economy Plus seating is located at the front of the aircraft and features up to five inches of extra legroom.

Economy Class

Passengers traveling in Economy Class enjoy complimentary audio and video entertainment on most flights. Seats with additional legroom are available for purchase for passengers who do not hold an Elite level with Continental.

Food and Drink

Complimentary beverages are available on all flights. Economy Class passengers receive a complimentary meal on all transatlantic, transpacific and South American flights. On flights 3 ½ hours and longer and on flights from Hawaii and Alaska to and from the U.S. mainland, fresh food is available for purchase. Snacks are available for purchase on all flights that are 2 ½ hours or longer. Passengers traveling in First Class and Business Class receive complimentary snacks on flights longer than one hour and complimentary meals on flights longer than two hours.


All Boeing 777-200 and 757-200 aircraft have audio and video on demand, and Continental's 767s have personal seatback televisions monitors, featuring audio and video channels and games. Some Boeing 737s offer video entertainment on personal video screens while others have shared overhead monitors. Channel 9, which is an audio channel that allows passengers to hear the transmissions between the pilots in the cockpit and the air traffic controllers, is being integrated into Continental's aircraft.

In-Flight Technology

Two different types of power outlets may be available depending on the aircraft: an AC 110V power outlet, which can be used for your laptop or other electronic device, and an EmPower DC power outlet delivering 15V, which may require the use of an adaptor. Continental's 737-700s, 737-800s, 737-900s, 737-900ERs, 757-200s and 777s have AC power outlets in First, Business and select Economy seats. Continental's 767-200s and 767-400s have DC power outlets requiring an adaptor in First, Business and select Economy seats. USB ports are available in the newer Business and First seats. Continental's Boeing 767s and 777s offer satellite phone service for a fee.

View Continental Airlines seat maps at SeatGuru.com.

Aircraft seat map

The Fleet

Continental's fleet includes the following aircraft types*:

B737-500, -700, -800, -900 and -900ER
- There are more than two hundred 737s in Continental's fleet, and they are flown in several different configurations with two classes of service.
B757-200 and -300
- Continental has more than sixty 757s in its fleet, which can seat up to 216 passengers and have either BusinessFirst seats or standard First Class in addition to Economy Class.
B767-200ER and -400ER
- Continental's fleet has more than twenty 767s that offer both an Economy and BusinessFirst cabin.
- There are more than twenty 777s in Continental's fleet, featuring two classes of service, including BusinessFirst.
- Continental has twenty-five 787s on order. The first 787 to be delivered to the airline will feature BusinessFirst, Economy Plus and Economy cabins.

*Please note that Continental often has several configurations of a specific aircraft type, so please check SeatGuru for seat map information and recommendations on the best seats for your flight.

Partner Airlines

Continental is a member of the Star Alliance network.

Continental has codeshare agreements with many Star Alliance partners and several other airlines, including the following:

  • AeroMar
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Cape Air
  • Island Air
  • Copa Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • EVA Air

Customer Loyalty Program

As of January 1, 2012, MileagePlus is Continental's frequent flier program.

  • You can earn miles by flying Continental, United and other Star Alliance airlines.
  • Miles can also be accrued by purchasing products or services from more than 100 participating hotel, car, credit card and retail partners.
  • Miles can be redeemed for travel and other awards.
  • Miles earned do not expire, provided that at least one mile is earned or redeemed at least once every 18 months.
  • Membership levels are Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, and Premier 1K. These membership levels are attained by flying 25,000, 50,000, 75,000 and 100,000 miles on qualifying flights or 30, 60, 90 and 120 qualifying segments, respectively, in one calendar year.
    • Member benefits include mileage bonuses, complimentary Economy Plus access and, for Premier Gold, Premier Platinum and Premier 1K members, lounge access when traveling internationally.
    • Premier Silver members have Star Alliance Silver status when flying on Star Alliance partners.
    • Premier Gold, Premier Platinum and 1K members are recognized at the Star Alliance Gold level and have access to any Star Alliance member carriers' owned lounges with the Star Alliance Gold logo at the entrance when traveling on an international itinerary.
  • You can buy, give, transfer, and reinstate miles for a fee.
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