Saturday, May 25, 2024
American Airlines removes champagne from Business Class.

American Airlines removes champagne from Business Class.

Some may argue that American Airlines’ recent change in their wine list is not a significant issue, while others may view it as another indication of cost-cutting measures. Regardless, it is an interesting topic for discussion.

American’s new business class sparkling wine

Reader Jerry has informed us that American Airlines has recently updated their wine list in Flagship Business (the carrier’s long-haul business class product). They no longer serve champagne and have replaced it with Ferrari Brut TrentoDOC, an Italian sparkling wine.

It is worth mentioning that American frequently rotates their wine list over time. The current sparkling wine has been the standard offering in business class since July 2023. However, it remains uncertain how long this particular wine selection will stay. There might be potential adjustments at the end of the quarter, but it’s anyone’s guess whether American will transition back to champagne, introduce a different sparkling wine, or make another change.

American Airlines removes champagne from Business Class.
American Airlines’ current wine list

In business class, American previously served Champagne Ernest Rapeneau Brut NV until June 2023.

You can find American’s full current wine list here. Of the four red and white wine options, three are priced under $15 per bottle, while one is just under $20 per bottle.

Is sparkling wine vs. champagne a big deal?

Discussions about champagne and wine on airplanes tend to generate polarized opinions. People generally fall into one of three camps when expressing their thoughts on this topic:

  • “You couldn’t taste the difference between these options in a blind taste test anyway”
  • “This isn’t the end of the world either way, but a good drink selection is part of an elevated premium experience”
  • “There’s a huge difference between these options, and one is delicious, while the other is cat piss”

Where do I stand?

  • I haven’t had the champagne that was served before Ferrari Brut, so I can’t assess if there is a significant difference in quality.
  • I appreciate it when airlines serve sparkling wine if there is a valid reason beyond cost-cutting. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, for example, showcase local products by serving English sparkling wine.
  • While many passengers may not notice variations in wine options, a considerable number of people pay close attention to this and, to some extent, judge the premium experience based on the airline’s investment in its drink selection.
  • Branding plays a role as well. When people are informed that a wine is expensive, premium, or rare, they are more likely to perceive it as better compared to a similar wine lacking that perception.
  • An airline’s investment in quality drinks often reflects its commitment to providing a premium experience.
  • My main concern is that American has an “award-winning” master sommelier; if recommending Ferrari Brut is their suggestion, one might question their expertise in the field… 😉
American Airlines removes champagne from Business Class.
Suffice it to say that American is a far cry from Emirates!

Bottom line

Currently, American Airlines serves Ferrari Brut TrentoDOC as the Italian sparkling wine of choice in business class, replacing champagne. However, considering American’s pattern of rotating their wine selection, it should not be assumed that this change is permanent. For now, passengers can expect to be served Ferrari Brut TrentoDOC in business class.

What are your thoughts on American’s decision to change their sparkling wine?

Source

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