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Continental Orders 34 Jets from Boeing

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Just moments after Continental Airlines, the fourth-largest U.S. carrier, ordered 34 Boeing jets valued at as much as $3.4 billion to help support international growth, Boeing officials contacted their travel agents to find out how quickly they could redeem 3.4 billion frequent flyer miles.
The order, announced by Houston-based Continental at its annual shareholders meeting today, is for 10 Boeing 787s and 24 Boeing 737-800s. Although it is unconventional for Boeing to accept frequent flyer miles, the aircraft manufacturer is facing tough times in light of the low-volume of aircraft orders from domestic US airlines.
“I am pretty sure I can fly even during blackout times, and get automatically upgraded to business class,” David Benton, head of sales at Boeing, said today. “Needless to say, given the shape of the airline industry, we can't just sit on these miles. In fact, next weekend we're ordering every single Boeing emplooyee to fly somewhere on vacation.”
But even as Boeing employees rejoiced at this opportunity, the Continental booking department raised some concerns. "Frequent flyer seats are subject to availability and require a Saturday overnight stay," travel associate Debra Hanninger said.
At Boeing offices in Chicago, board members reassured shareholders that they would profit from this deal. "I believe we can convey the benefits of this bargain to shareholders in the form of frequent flyer dividends,” board member Fred Makalot said.
"Those miles are non-transferable," a Continental spokesman said.
Elsewhere, George Bush proposed donating any excess frequent flyer miles to Mexico, where travelers will take flights Americans won't take.
Continental Orders 34 Boeing Jets Valued at $3.4 Bln [Bloomberg]