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Airlines and pandemics do not pair well, but booze and quarantine do.
COVID-19 has crushed the travel industry and left American Airlines with so much extra booze that it’s launching a program to sell its uncorked wine to would-be passengers locked down at home.
“American is the only airline to have at-home wine offerings [featuring] wines from its onboard wine program,” the company boasts in a press release for its new Flagship Cellars wine-delivery subscription service. “Each year, 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. For the first time ever, anyone 21 years or older can sit back, relax and enjoy these premium wines by having them delivered straight to their door.”
American is promoting Flagship as a “wine passport to the world” at a time when flying is morally contentious and heavily restricted.
Customers can pick pre-curated collections, build their own box or buy a $99.99 three-bottle monthly subscription. “Subscriptions may be for a limited time,” the release warns.
In keeping with its more traditional travel offerings, American is incorporating its AAdvantage loyalty program into the new venture: Members can earn 2 miles for every dollar spent on a Flagship order, so they can sip themselves toward a discounted flight someday when the skies clear again.
“For wine lovers around the world, wine provides a deeper connection to the places they enjoy visiting,” said Alison Taylor, chief customer officer at American. The release does not once explicitly mention the coronavirus pandemic or the devastation to airlines across the globe.
This month, American banned alcohol on its DC flights following the pro-Trump siege of the Capitol that left at least five people dead. “We are working closely with local law enforcement and airport authority partners to ensure the safety of our customers and team members on the ground and in the air,” airline spokesman Derek Walls said in a statement to The Post.