The quest for exact change has ended on many Continental Airlines flights.


Continental, the largest carrier that still accepted cash for in-flight purchases, will require passengers to use plastic starting today, with some exceptions.


To buy alcoholic beverages and headphones on Continental’s mainline jets, customers will have to use credit or debit cards.


Passengers can still pay cash on regional Continental Express, Continental Connection and Continental Micronesia flights, which are operated by contractors, but Continental said it plans to make these flights cashless in the next four months.


The airline still accepts cash for duty-free items sold on international flights, and for now, on flights to and from China.


Continental said it has not yet worked out how to accept that country’s predominant plastic, the China Union Pay card.


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