American Airlines Selling Off Its Stock Of Krug, The End Of Flagship First Dining?

The future of American Airlines premium lounges is in question. Their international business class Flagship lounges have been closed for 9 months, and won’t re-open until international business class demand returns.

Inside three of American’s Flagship lounges are Flagship First Dining facilities, sit down dining rooms with cooked-to-order menus and private bars for first class passengers. These have been available to 3-cabin first class passengers on American Airlines or British Airways, to Cathay Pacific first class passengers at New York JFK, on a limited basis (twice per year) to ConciergeKey members, and available as a buy up for Executive Platinums flying internationally or on transcons.

But with less international travel, with perhaps less first class demand on New York – Los Angeles and San Francisco, the future of these dining rooms is in doubt. They could be used as additional space for Flagship lounges, or closed entirely to save on staff and food costs.

In an exciting short-term move for current American Airlines travelers, but troubling on a longer-term basis, American is selling their stock of Krug champagne that’s normally served in Flagship First Dining.

Krug will cellar for five or six years easily so American doesn’t need to do this merely because they won’t re-open in 2021, though of course storage space at an airport can come at a premium. Selling off the Krug is suggestive either that it won’t be served when these dining rooms re-open, or that the dining rooms won’t re-open in their past form.

However,

  • It’s available in nearby Admirals Clubs that are open under current local regulations

  • And just $65 per half bottle, which is a great price – in a retail bottle shop you can expect to pay $80 (or $150+ for a full bottle)

Your best bet right now is the D30 Admirals Club at Miami. If you’re flying through there, the Krug is on display behind the bar. There are other excellent premium wines on sale as well, such as Kistler chardonnay and Groth cabernet. Here’s a guide to the American Airlines wine program.

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

Delta Air Lines of course sells Dom Perignon bottles for 10,000 miles in its Sky Clubs. American takes cash only.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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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Comments

  1. Well, assuming it’s paid for and just sitting there, it could also just mean they are trying to move out some of the stock right and raise cash wherever they can. It’s doubtful this is the demise of Flagship First dining…just yet.

  2. Say it aint so Flagship dining going away? Oh nooooooooo
    Where else can you get cafeteria crud on a shingle slung on platters served elegantly before departure ? I suppose their strategy is to get passengers as drunk as possible so they don’t know what they are eating/consuming.
    American is so poor at catering they did better with could cuts and fruits salad before introducing
    this garbage cuisine concept.Quantity and variety doesn’t make for better quality dining nor does a bigger space.All brilliantly fit for a 3rd world country.You get sick to your stomach and then you get a 4 inch bathroom on board to relieve yourself all the way to your final destination
    Pathetic airline management & CEO
    At least let them go visit a Qantas First class lounge which is respectable

  3. I have to agree with the comment that this might be a cash grab. This looks like a couch-dive, given the state of their finances.

  4. Flagship First Dining Room is NOT ALWAYS BAD, in fact it can be very good.
    Remember a fantastic meal in the LAX Flagship First Dining Room of Mediterranean Pork Chop dressed with tahini and pomegranate with a side dish of Pumpkin Seed Hummous.

  5. What size DP bottles? I’ll cash in my delta miles. How do you do that at the Admirals Club? Lots of missing info.

  6. I know there are many other things we can and should concern ourselves with as I write, but I would be desperately sad if Flagship First Dining went away. And, since Krug is my favorite champagne — albeit enjoyed rarely these days, doubly so.
    I personally found the LAX and DFW FF dining to be top notch — LAX being the better of two IMO. On several occasions the food was better than that I have been served in the Concord room at LHR or the CHX Wing or Pier lounges in HKG,.

  7. QF First Lounge – Dog food and broken airconditioning!!!! aka Sydney Qantas First Lounge
    Try Swiss First Lounge E and A Gates with TRUE ala carte dining and lamb chops cooked to your request! Hotel bedrooms aka Montreaux (disabled) and St Moritz champaggne unlimited walking through terminal E to smoking/vaping rooms Skytraxx voted Swiss First Lounge E Gates ZRH best First Class lounge worldwide for a reason! AA First Class Dining Room is NOT SWISS OR QATAR FIRST AL SAFWA, but it ain’t bad!!! Please don’t compare to a horrible QF First Lounge (LAX SYD MEL et al)!!!!!

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