If you’re missing travel amid the pandemic and are especially hankering for that “vin de premium economy” experience, you are in luck. Move your chairs together, break out your noise-canceling headphones and get your plastic cup ready, American Airlines wine has landed in your living room.
Under the brand Flagship Sellers, the airline is offering wines by the bottle, curated cases or via subscription for just $99.99 a month. For mileage hawks, the wine program will get you two miles for every dollar spent on Flagship wine. It’s almost like traveling, right?
“For wine lovers around the world, wine provides a deeper connection to the places they enjoy visiting,” said Alison Taylor, chief customer officer at the airline. “We created Flagship Cellars to provide more ways for customers to enjoy our Flagship wine even if they aren’t flying in one of our premium cabins.”
All the wines are specially picked for the airline by “a dedicated team of wine experts carefully reviews nearly 2,000 bottles to select those that will join the award-winning American Airlines wine program.”
American Airlines reported a loss of $3.6 billion in the third quarter and there’s little indication that air travel will bounce back soon. That has left the airline with a lot of wine on its hands.
The company expects sales of $40,000 to $50,000 from the program, which will go for “a limited time (while supplies last),” according to the company.
While it sounds a bit silly, and the number of people missing American Airline wines is likely not a huge number, the move is interesting. American Airlines partnered with Vinesse, an online wine retailer and wine subscription platform, to make a go of the program. It’s yet another novelty of the COVID era that may not last beyond a vaccine, but it’s also a little test for the market.
Maybe miles collectors will pay for some airline-approved wine to get some miles and save for a trip to Napa or guzzle enough to get to Italy.
The endless innovation from companies like American Airlines or big brands like Rachel Ray creating limited-time ghost kitchens, these tests bring more consumers into the market for companies like Vinesse or the third-party platforms.