As I’ve mentioned here more than a few times, I am a long-time fan of Continental. Unfortunately, I am beginning to understand why JetBlue, Frontier and others are thriving. I have been loyal to Continental because of their FF program and their onboard service. However, I have been extremely annoyed with the airline’s tendency to shrink aircraft on longhaul flights. Now that they’ve stuck 737s on Newark-LAX flights, they have gone and reduced the number of first class seats on the 757s plying that route. According to the amazing Seatguru.com Continental has ripped, I believe, 12 first class seats out of its first class cabin on its 757-300s (Northwest, a Continental partner, has 24 first class seats on the same plane, doubling your chance at an upgrade on the same route). Also, one of the rows of coach that replaces first class has barely any recline.
So, to sum up, Continental has put in a row of barely reclining coach seats in lieu of its first class cabin.. (thanks to the eagle-eyed reader who noted that I originally said that the plane had 31 inches of pitch—32 inches is correct. The 757-200, however, has 31 inches.) With virtually no chance at an upgrade, why am I supposed to choose Continental over 34 inches of pitch and live TV on JetBlue? I love the guys over at Continental, but their product has become vastly inferior to that being offered by low cost competitors.