Continental is the latest airline to convert completely to plastic-only, in-flight cabin services. Starting today, If you want to purchase alcohol, headsets or snacks on board, you have to hand over your credit card. The “cashless cabin” trend really gained traction this year, with nearly all the airlines going plastic: United in April, American Airlines in June, Delta in November and now Continental this December. JetBlue and Virgin America have been cashless for years now.
What’s up with this credit-only trend? People spend more when they pay with a card. When you don’t physically count out the dollars it’s much less painful to blow twenty bucks on booze and more booze. According to JetBlue spokesman Bryan Baldwin, sales nearly doubled in the first few weeks after the company went cashless in 2007.