First Class Croutons

Long-time OTR readers know that I generally don’t give a rat’s butt about food in first class. I was, luckily, upgraded in both directions on my Continental flights between Newark and Austin on Friday and Saturday (I’m Gold with Continental and, perhaps it’s just me, but I feel like upgrades have been far more available than, say, a year ago…)

My lunch on the return flight in first class was a salad with shrimp with, on the side, the croutons below:

Now, as I said, I have no expectations for first class. I’m just happy with the seat. But I think Continental is pushing it just a wee bit by throwing a package of Sysco foodservice croutons on the tray. No branding, no nothing. I don’t know why it made me sad. But it did.


  1. I guess that’s what showed up in the AUS flight kitchen, so they went with it. :) I had a transcon FC dinner out of EWR last week, and the crouton packet had a brand on it (of course, a branded-crouton packet made little impression on me, so I have no idea what the brand was).

    More importantly, I agree with you that upgrades seem more available on CO lately. As a plat, they are actually upgrading me at the “official” 5-day window instead of holding those seats. Indeed, I’ve seen them “wipe out” the entire FC inventory at the 5-day window and have no FC revenue seats to sell. This surprises me — they’re delivering the benefits that they suggest you’ll get, but never have!
    BTW, I had somewhat less upgrade luck travelling to AUS this month, but I did it from IAD on the UA flights. I got the upgrade to AUS, but was something like 10th on the waitlist returning. The CO flights from EWR definitely have more FC seats than the UA flights from IAD, so for those making connections, that’s the better way to go.

  2. Interesting – I’ve been pretty consistently upgraded on United. I’ve done a number of flights out of Chicago to the West Coast, and I’ve always gotten the upgrade (mixed success ORD-LGA). In fact, given that transcon upgrades nearly never clear on Continental (as a Gold, it’s very, very rare), I’ve chosen the connection on UA for the upgrade rather than the tight transcon seating on CO.