American Airlines Introduces Krug Champagne to Flagship First Dining

One traditional mark of a premium airline experience is top quality champagne. Traditionally though we’ve seen more premium champagnes in the air than on the ground. (British Airways is an exception, known for Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle.)

It’s quite common for better international airlines to offer Krug onboard. I’ve enjoyed it on ANA and on Cathay Pacific. I’ve even sampled it at the business class bar on Qatar. This was not available served to passengers at their seats in business class on the A380, and up in first class it was Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2006 as well as Billecart-Salmon Rose’. At the same time Qatar eliminated Krug from the first class al Safwa lounge in Doha.

Singapore Airlines actually offers both Krug and Dom Perignon in first class, and on a limited basis even offers special bottles of each. When faced with such a choice (often presented with a bit of a smirk from the flight attendant) my response is usually, “that depends, what year is the Dom?” In general I prefer Krug but some years of Dom Perignon are much better than others (and in my opinion some aren’t very good).

Singapore Airlines Krug

Singapore Airlines Dom Perignon

In American’s international first class they’ve offered Gosset Grande Reserve and Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle over time in the air, but their rarified first class dining facilities have offered nice bubbles but not quite as nice. When I visited the New York JFK, Los Angeles, and Miami Flagship dining rooms between June and December of last year all were serving Taittinger (non-vintage last summer at JFK and 2009 in Miami and LAX last fall).

While United Airlines has the country’s best business class lounges, American Airlines has ‘Flagship First Dining’ inside of some of their Flagship lounges and it is restricted to American’s own first class passengers — those flying international first as well as first class on their premium transcon flights between New York JFK and both Los Angeles and San Francisco. (The only exception is that Cathay Pacific first class passengers have been able to use Flagship First Dining at New York JFK.)

Flagship First Dining New York JFK

Flagship First Dining LAX

Well American Airlines has introduced Krug champagne to Flagship First Dining. And according to a spokesperson, “it will be in the lounges until at least March. If we receive positive responses, we’ll keep it around a bit longer.”

Whenever I’ve visited Flagship First Dining I’ve thought, “wow, this is American?” It’s a nice private experience with a good food and beverage program. If you have access get to the airport early, enjoy eating here and use your on board time for rest.

And if you find yourself visiting American Airlines Flagship Dining at New York JFK, Miami, or Los Angeles please provide positive feedback so they’ll consider it worth the investment to keep it around ‘a bit longer’ and when they do change it out they’ll continue to invest in top flight bubbles!

Meanwhile American has rolled out new complimentary and paid premium wines to its Admirals Clubs. Here’s that menu. In addition they’re “working with Bobby Stuckey on an exclusive label for the complimentary wine choices that we hope to roll out early next year.”

I think if I were going to buy a $15 glass of Au Bon Climat Pinor Noir I’d have no problem asking the bartender to ensure it was a freshly opened bottle — since a bottle retails for about $20 in a bottle shop. It is, of course, more expensive to provision most everything in an airport where there may be monopoly suppliers, where everything has to go through security screening at off-hours, and where storage space comes at a premium.

(HT: Gino Troian)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The airport has no choice in who supplies the alcohol. It’s regulated at a regional level, and there’s only one distributor for any given bottle.

  2. @Gary, seriously, what the heck are you doing showing a Krug with Qatar Airways in the background??? That has not been the NORM for over two years!!! You sir, are being sloppy and misleading with your choice of pictures!!!

  3. Thanks Gary!

    This might be enough for me to use a BXP1 to upgrade from business to first on JFK-LAX. Still not sure as the J seats are somewhat more suited for a couple, and I’ll be with my wife.
    Would you bother to upgrade you and your wife from J to F on this route or do you prefer the proximity to each other in J.( my wife will sleep like a log in either seat)

  4. A tiny cost to add lustre to a brand which really needs some lustre. Good decision by American.

  5. I am posting this from Flagship Dining JFK and for whatever reason the champagne isn’t loaded tonight.

  6. Best AA news this week. Krug is one of the things that make Cathay special. I’ll try AA’s Krug in LAX Wednesday. As you say Gary, it’s an excellent dining experience.

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