Domestic F Wine Shortage?

 
Old Jul 23, 10, 12:15 am
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Domestic F Wine Shortage?

Just got home from a trip to New York, and would like to poll frequent transcon fliers out there about an oddity for this week's flying. Preface: for flights between Seattle and JFK, F gets catered similar to other transcons, which include a sparkling wine, two whites, and two reds. In my previous transcon flying this year (SEA-JFK, MIA-SFO, MIA-LAX), I had never had any problems getting all I can drink of my chosen wine. Fast forward to Monday.

Outbound on Monday morning on my way to New York, mimosas, bubbly, OJ and water all around for pre departure beverage service, with several choosing the mimosas--then when I asked for a refill during breakfast service, I was told they ran out of bubbly. The FA apologetically told me that they were only catered two bottles (OT: great flight crew on AA268 on 7/19!). OK, no problem--that happens from time to time. Returning this evening, I was in a red kind of mood, so opted for the cab (shiraz is one of the few varietals I really don't like), and two glasses later they are out of that. I ask to swap to the Italian white (previously tried and didn't much care for the chardonnay): lo and behold, the Italian white is gone too. I had a glass of the chardonnay, remembered why I didn't like it, and changed to diet coke.

Has anyone else noticed a decrease in wine availability in F? I would have forgotten about the cava shortage Monday were it not for today--after all, morning flights probably don't need as much wine, plus we were swapped a 763 for our usual 752, so 6 more mouths to feed with what was likely the same catering... But I believe that a relatively (for Seattle) elite-heavy evening flight (I am PLT, and cleared at the gate after F was called for boarding) should probably have been catered with sufficient wine to at least assure me availability for my backup choice--or am I just being too picky?
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Old Jul 23, 10, 12:26 am
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Happens more than you think

On my last Concorde flight LHR-JFK, they ran out of champagne. This was over a year before the retirement announcement. My partner and I were in the 2nd row of the 2nd cabin, with 7 of those 8 seats filled. As he emerged from the mid-galley, the F/A almost never got past us as all 7 were enjoying the bubbly, so with 7 glasses to top-up, that bottle's done. It became a little inside joke with the F/A.
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Old Jul 23, 10, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by Microwave View Post
Just got home from a trip to New York, and would like to poll frequent transcon fliers out there about an oddity for this week's flying. Preface: for flights between Seattle and JFK, F gets catered similar to other transcons, which include a sparkling wine, two whites, and two reds. In my previous transcon flying this year (SEA-JFK, MIA-SFO, MIA-LAX), I had never had any problems getting all I can drink of my chosen wine. Fast forward to Monday.

Outbound on Monday morning on my way to New York, mimosas, bubbly, OJ and water all around for pre departure beverage service, with several choosing the mimosas--then when I asked for a refill during breakfast service, I was told they ran out of bubbly. The FA apologetically told me that they were only catered two bottles (OT: great flight crew on AA268 on 7/19!). OK, no problem--that happens from time to time. Returning this evening, I was in a red kind of mood, so opted for the cab (shiraz is one of the few varietals I really don't like), and two glasses later they are out of that. I ask to swap to the Italian white (previously tried and didn't much care for the chardonnay): lo and behold, the Italian white is gone too. I had a glass of the chardonnay, remembered why I didn't like it, and changed to diet coke.

Has anyone else noticed a decrease in wine availability in F? I would have forgotten about the cava shortage Monday were it not for today--after all, morning flights probably don't need as much wine, plus we were swapped a 763 for our usual 752, so 6 more mouths to feed with what was likely the same catering... But I believe that a relatively (for Seattle) elite-heavy evening flight (I am PLT, and cleared at the gate after F was called for boarding) should probably have been catered with sufficient wine to at least assure me availability for my backup choice--or am I just being too picky?
Nope. But they ran out of water LAS 90 minutes out of Vegas on my last JFK-LAS flight
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Old Jul 23, 10, 9:05 am
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About once or twice a year, I'm on a flight where we run out of bubbly. (But that's usually if there are a few of us in F who are putting down the mimosas at a good clip. )

As for your second flight, perhaps your flight was miscatered? Or there's a FA who's pouring wine in the regular glasses vs. the tiny wine glasses?

(Seems like a pretty small sample set to be making generalizations about a "wine shortage," though...)
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Old Jul 23, 10, 9:40 am
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All the 757 transcons I've been on lately are catered with 2 bottles of each wine (2 bottles sparking wines, 4 bottles of white, and 4 bottles of red).

I would say it's not uncommon at all for a particular wine selection to run out - happens relatively frequently in my experience. On the morning transcons, usually the only wine that people want is the bubbly, so that tends to go quicker. On the afternoon/evening flights it usually seems to be a red wine that runs out first. YMMV.

-FlyerBeek
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Old Jul 23, 10, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerBeek View Post
All the 757 transcons I've been on lately are catered with 2 bottles of each wine (2 bottles sparking wines, 4 bottles of white, and 4 bottles of red).

I would say it's not uncommon at all for a particular wine selection to run out - happens relatively frequently in my experience. On the morning transcons, usually the only wine that people want is the bubbly, so that tends to go quicker. On the afternoon/evening flights it usually seems to be a red wine that runs out first. YMMV.

-FlyerBeek
That seems like a dangerously low allocation of red. I think its pretty common for people to drink half a bottle. Thats only enough for 8 people, especially if one of the dinner options is steak or a red sauce pasta.
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Old Jul 23, 10, 10:09 am
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They sure dont run out of the stuff on my flights since they insist on using those idiotic smurf approved <3oz things AA calls wine glasses.
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Old Jul 23, 10, 10:29 am
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In dozens of flights in both F & J cabins over the last couple years I have never once had my first choice of wine or spirit run dry. Now my first choice in food....
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Old Jul 23, 10, 10:50 am
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I cannot speak for American but in my experience, you get flights where for some reason everyone is drinking the same thing. One day it may be gin, another day whisky and you are pouring it like it is going out of fashion.

Champagne is one of those items that you can have everyone or no one drinking it. I have even had time when we had such demand that I had to order that the splits that we had for purchase in WT be brought up and used. No one said a word and it is really not the same at all.
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Old Jul 23, 10, 10:54 am
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On a FCO-ORD flight a few years back, they had Brunello di Montalcino (as if there were any other kind of Brunello ) in J. As one might imagine, this quickly ran out since that's what everyone was drinking. Never seen it on AA again.

Cheers.
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Old Jul 23, 10, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by sts603 View Post
That seems like a dangerously low allocation of red. I think its pretty common for people to drink half a bottle. Thats only enough for 8 people, especially if one of the dinner options is steak or a red sauce pasta.
I would agree... With 22 seats in F, and the flight being prime dinner hour (5:45 PM EDT to 9:20 PM PDT), it seems like additional catering for non-sparkling wines would make sense.

Does anyone know whether they are required to destroy unopened bottles after each domestic leg? Or could they use them for the following trip? Being able to over-cater an evening hour flight without creating additional hard-dollar waste would certainly help...
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Old Jul 23, 10, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Microwave View Post
I would agree... With 22 seats in F, and the flight being prime dinner hour (5:45 PM EDT to 9:20 PM PDT), it seems like additional catering for non-sparkling wines would make sense.

Does anyone know whether they are required to destroy unopened bottles after each domestic leg? Or could they use them for the following trip? Being able to over-cater an evening hour flight without creating additional hard-dollar waste would certainly help...
If that's the policy, maybe they deserve to go bankrupt!
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Old Jul 23, 10, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by brock256 View Post
If that's the policy, maybe they deserve to go bankrupt!
I only say that because I believe unused food items from international flights are destroyed, and I didn't now if that applied to alcohol and whether it's also true for domestic. If unused wine can indeed be subsequently used, then this humble frequent flier's opinion is that there's truly no excuse for AA running out of wine on a 5 1/2 hour dinner-hour transcon.
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Old Jul 23, 10, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
On a FCO-ORD flight a few years back, they had Brunello di Montalcino (as if there were any other kind of Brunello ) in J. As one might imagine, this quickly ran out since that's what everyone was drinking. Never seen it on AA again.

Cheers.
We had Brunello di Montalcino on JFK-FCO and FCO-JFK (in J) back in May. Very good stuff.
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Old Jul 23, 10, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by trojanman View Post
In dozens of flights in both F & J cabins over the last couple years I have never once had my first choice of wine or spirit run dry. Now my first choice in food....
I've had almost the same luck. The only flight I've seen consistently run out of liquor has been the final DFW-DCA flight, which generally leaves between 8:45 and 9:30. The last time I took it there was no shortage of white or red, but they ran out of sparkling, Bailey's, scotch, Amaretto, and courvoisier.

DFW-DCA is usually catered with three splits of sparkling and unless I'm on that final flight, I have never seen all three taken.

As for international, I've only seen the tap run dry once. In 2006 on a MGA-MIA flight, they ran out of champagne. The purser said that four bottles (not splits) had been catered in Miami, but he used one per flight for pre-departure drinks, and the other two had been used by a family celebrating their son's graduation from B-school and return to Nicaragua on the MIA-MGA sector. For what it's worth, he claimed in all of his flying for AA and Eastern (BOG-based), he had never used up all the bubbles.

Like others have said, I don't see an indication of a shortage.
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