January 2009
Newark to Beijing, Japan to Newark
Economy Class

Seating: Continental Airlines is typical of most American carriers. The seats are "normal" sized so for us Asians who are 5'5" and 5'9", we feel it has just about enough room where your knees are constantly hitting the seat in front of you. When I book seating for long-haul flights, I usually try to put us in a Window/Aisle configuration, banking on the fact that most people do not like to sit in a middle seat and therefore, we'd have 3 seats to ourselves. On both flights, we were successful in this regard.

Food & Drink: I can't even remember what they fed us, so it must not have been that memorable or good. But this was the first time I've ever been given a cheeseburger and icecream for a snack, which was definitely a welcome little meal. The cheeseburgers were pretty hefty and who doesn't love Haagen Daaz, right? The biggest grievance for Babe, however, was the fact that alcohol cost money. Not only that, but you had to purchase some ridiculous card BEFORE you boarded so they could swipe it on-board. What is this nonsense about 1, charging your long distance flight customers for ANYTHING and 2, a pre-paid card?! Ridiculous. Never heard of such penny pinching.

Attendants: Were friendly, in that American-I-Have-To-Be sort of way. This was also the first flight I've been on where there were 3 rows sectioned off in the back for the attendants to rest. We've flown overseas many times, on Cathay, EVA, China Air, Northwest, United... and I've never seen this before. Apparently Continental attendants are lazy.

Check-in: We had no major issues.

Flight Time: Was on time for the most part. But it didn't matter much to us since we were going direct.

Amenities: Free ear phones.

Side Note: The only reason we chose to fly Continental, and out of Newark (since it's such a hassle for us from Queens) is that they were the only ones that flew direct to Beijing and back from Japan. There was no way I was spending a big part of my trip in the airports transferring, especially on the way home. Our flight home, however, was the most uncomfortable flights to date. There was turbulence during 12 of the 13 hours we flew. It got me so sick I couldn't eat or sleep. I'm not sure if turbulence is something the pilot can control, but I'm pretty sure it's something he can try to avoid or at least fly over/under? This was a really bad experience for both of us and we probably will stay away from Continental for long-haul flights in the future.

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