Continental is making the change in response to feedback from customers and flight crews who expressed interest in using card readers for on-board purchases to eliminate the hassle of fumbling for money and making correct change. The hand-held devices read cards for purchases of alcoholic beverages and headsets during flight in addition to providing valuable sales information to help better manage product inventory. Cash is still being accepted for Duty-free purchases. Testing of the hand-held devices began in the summer of 2009.
The new payment system starts December 1st and will be on all flights except for those going to China.