Heathen Airline Smackdown

In which we balance our choices, and declare a loser.

  • Houston to Baltimore is served by both major Houston airlines, Continental and Southwest.
  • We have, in years past, preferred Continental for longer flights due to the possibility, however remote, of an upgrade to First.
  • Said possibility kind of made up for the fact that Continental flies out of the bigger, more pain-in-the-ass, farther-away airport (IAH) instead of the smaller, more convenient airport (Hobby).
  • Such upgrades aren’t on offer with LUV, since there’s no such thing as First. (Confidential to SWA employees: Shut the hell up with that “It’s all First!” bullshit; it’ll all be First when you make the seats 50% wider, have them recline farther, serve hot food, and stop charging for the drinks.)
  • However, LUV’s seats are old-style coach seats that are actually fairly comfy, not the flimsy-ass underpadded nonsense that now populates Continental’s aircraft. (We thought this was confined to their regional jets, but we appear to have been wrong.)
  • Furthermore, LUV has been on time to BWI every time so far, something Continental hasn’t managed even once.
  • To make matters worse for the home team, Continental’s flight is scheduled later on Sundays than LUV’s: 5:30 – 9:55 vs. 4:55 – 8:50. The result has been arrival a net HOUR earlier into BWI, which matters a lot when you’re driving 75 miles after landing and need to be at work at 0700 Monday morning.
  • Finally, we note that the elusive upgrades are, well, elusive. The 737 as configured by Continental has only 8 First Class seats, and even at our current rate of mileage accumulation, we won’t be a a shoe-in for an upgrade for a long, long time. That means many, many trips in their crappy coach seats before we have any real shot at a nice seat, and skipping a greater overall average comfort plus the more attractive scheduling available from Southwest.
  • Oh, and drinks are cheaper on Southwest.

Continental, you’re fired. We’ve got two tickets left on your airline (3/25 – 3/30 and 4/1 – 4/13), but after that it’s SWA all the way on this gig. Bite me.

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