No more printed Wine/Champagne/Port list

Old Dec 20, 2023, 8:41 am
  #76  
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Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE
I do, however, expect them to know the basics of wine serving and some of these anecdotes sound as though they were trained at Denny’s. I do as a minimum expect them to know the names of the wines, where they come from, and whether it’s a Cabernet, Merlot,or whatever. This falls between a lousy decision at American matched by indifference by crew working on International.
Agreed.

When high school kids working part time can manage to provide information about beverages (that they legally cannot drink and aren't types of drinks they'd be sampling off the record), It's a weak excuse to claim that AA's professionals can't do the same.
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 8:47 am
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Antarius
Agreed.

When high school kids working part time can manage to provide information about beverages (that they legally cannot drink and aren't types of drinks they'd be sampling off the record), It's a weak excuse to claim that AA's professionals can't do the same.
Dont you know, they are primarily there for our “safety” ;-)
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 10:06 am
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In the news: American Airlines makes surprising beverage-service change

"This is a temporary change to the inflight dining experience while we transition beverage suppliers. We look forward to bringing back the printed onboard menus in spring 2024," the airline said in a media statement.
Hopefully, that's true. I did indeed encounter this on my flight today. Fortunately, the flight attendant serving me was excellent and she was more than happy to answer questions about wine
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by ExpatExp
In the news: American Airlines makes surprising beverage-service change



Hopefully, that's true. I did indeed encounter this on my flight today. Fortunately, the flight attendant serving me was excellent and she was more than happy to answer questions about wine

The (supposed) temporary nature of this change is cited on a couple of blogs/websites and I would not at all be surprised if it were true, but it would have gone an astronomically long way with end consumers (and helpful to the flight attendants involved) if on the card given to pax encouraging engaging with FA's to discuss wine that this is indeed temporary and they plan to bring the menus back next year. They discuss the "award winning" wine service and the James Beard foundation there, but the simple act of giving an explanation in writing there as to why this change has happened and how/when it is expected to be remedied would lead to significantly less confusion and worry on the part of flyers and probably also some extra prodding from passengers directed at FA's.

Omitting a statement like that on the card leads me to believe it is one or more of the following:
- It truly will be temporary; AA marketing/customer relations/employee relations had no idea that people (pax or FA, either/both) would be upset, inconvenienced, or bothered by this; tone deaf and not polished, which seems pAAr for the course.
- While this is planned to be temporary, they may be looking at this as a test run to see how it goes so they might save $0.10 per J/F pax on cardstock, ink, and a little bit of back end work to provide menus and keep track of what wine goes on what flights; if goes smoothly, could become permanent. From both the FA and pax perspective I cannot imagine a universe where this is not or will not go very, very poorly for all parties involved, but in the interest of saving cents it may go through anyway.

I only hope it is the former and not the latter.
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 1:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Antarius
You mean you will take the invitation to engage with the FAs...
With the assumption that the FA will engage back.

Originally Posted by skylady
Unfortunately, not all FAs drink wine, and those that do, cannot take a taste test before flight, to let you know how it is! Having no description for you is utter nonsense!
Originally Posted by PUCCI GALORE
One does not expect the crew to be sommeliers. I do, however, expect them to know what is on offer on International flight and premium Domestic flights. I don’t mind or care if they do not drink wine, gin or any other kind of spirits or if they. Live on herbal teas. That’s their business and none of mine.

I do, however, expect them to know the basics of wine serving and some of these anecdotes sound as though they were trained at Denny’s. I do as a minimum expect them to know the names of the wines, where they come from, and whether it’s a Cabernet, Merlot,or whatever. This falls between a lousy decision at American matched by indifference by crew working on International.
SQ crew goes through wine appreciation training as part of the onboarding process.

B6 FAs can work in the Mint cabin only if they have gone through special training, including pronunciation of wines onboard.

UA, after now printing the wine list on the Polaris menu, has tasting notes/guides for both passengers and FAs.

So yes, it can be done.
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Old Dec 20, 2023, 4:33 pm
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The other option is to have a more comprehensive list of wines and explained "we are going through a transition of catering providers and not all these wines will be available today. Please ask your Flight Attendant which ones are on board. We appreciate your understanding."

IMO that's a way better use of space than a page of useless, fluff text that they have now.
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Old Dec 21, 2023, 2:26 am
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Update - just boarded my return flight to the states today, and it was an improvement over last time. FA knew the wines available and I was able to pick my preference without the blind taste test.

To compensate for the improvement in beverage knowledge and service, of course the IFE system on the plane is broken. Going to be a delightful 9 hours of work on my laptop instead of enjoying my wine of choice while watching a movie. 😂
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Old Dec 22, 2023, 7:51 pm
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Originally Posted by PTahCha
With the assumption that the FA will engage back.





SQ crew goes through wine appreciation training as part of the onboarding process.

B6 FAs can work in the Mint cabin only if they have gone through special training, including pronunciation of wines onboard.

UA, after now printing the wine list on the Polaris menu, has tasting notes/guides for both passengers and FAs.

So yes, it can be done.
I'm not saying it can't be done. AA has 26,000 FAs, so when wine is changed monthly, or on different flights, how to train all of them each month on the new wines. Pursers went through a wine class when they went through training. The point I'm trying to make, is AA doesn't have the capability to retrain us each time a new wine is introduced. I will try my best, but again. the palate is selective.
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Old Dec 22, 2023, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by skylady
I'm not saying it can't be done. AA has 26,000 FAs, so when wine is changed monthly, or on different flights, how to train all of them each month on the new wines. Pursers went through a wine class when they went through training. The point I'm trying to make, is AA doesn't have the capability to retrain us each time a new wine is introduced. I will try my best, but again. the palate is selective.
The suggestion is not to make all FAs wine experts or know which wine is better than others. At the same time, knowing what winery/producer, or at least the region, and grape varietal are being served and able to convey the information, as opposed to just red/white/pink/bubbly, is helpful. Also, offer the passenger a small taste, if someone is indecisive, before committing them a whole glass, pouring the glass from the aisle showing the label, goes a long ways.

Case in point - I had a UA FA letting me know that they had a Gruner Veltliner, riesing, and a CALIFORNIA chardonnay (emphasis made by her, with distain).
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Old Dec 22, 2023, 9:03 pm
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Originally Posted by skylady
I'm not saying it can't be done. AA has 26,000 FAs, so when wine is changed monthly, or on different flights, how to train all of them each month on the new wines. Pursers went through a wine class when they went through training. The point I'm trying to make, is AA doesn't have the capability to retrain us each time a new wine is introduced. I will try my best, but again. the palate is selective.
Very fair and I acknowledge the challenge in a general sense, however, while training can be improved, some of its is simply not caring to take the time to learn more (like how to talk about wine) or at a minimum take the time to show the passengers what's available, have a taste etc. Since the biggest expectation is on the international routes and flagship cabins on transcons, were not talking about a massive change to undertake... ..

And back to the core point of this post, its one of the big reasons we want the printed menu to begin with.. the menu should say things like why that wine was chosen to pair with the food menu and/or destination you're going to or leaving, some notes from a sommelier etc.. It would make up for any lack of the prior points.
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Old Dec 22, 2023, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by skylady
I'm not saying it can't be done. AA has 26,000 FAs, so when wine is changed monthly, or on different flights, how to train all of them each month on the new wines. Pursers went through a wine class when they went through training. The point I'm trying to make, is AA doesn't have the capability to retrain us each time a new wine is introduced. I will try my best, but again. the palate is selective.
High schoolers can and do manage. The level of effort is minimal - again, see aforementioned part-time high schoolers
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Old Dec 23, 2023, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by Rossodio
- While this is planned to be temporary, they may be looking at this as a test run to see how it goes so they might save $0.10 per J/F pax on cardstock, ink, and a little bit of back end work to provide menus and keep track of what wine goes on what flights
I’d say closer to $0.18 per menu wine page. Do menus get reused or recycled ?
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Old Dec 23, 2023, 8:22 am
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Originally Posted by PTahCha
<snip>Case in point - I had a UA FA letting me know that they had a Gruner Veltliner, riesing, and a CALIFORNIA chardonnay (emphasis made by her, with distain).
Have you considered the possibility that this FA might have their own personal interest and enjoyment in wine vs. being "trained" by UA? I mean, there is likely to be tremendous variance between FAs that actually like and enjoy wine vs. those who perhaps don't even drink.

I'm not making excuses and I do hope AA brings back the printed descriptions, but I'm just saying your "data point" doesn't necessarily imply that UA is "better" in regards to "training" FAs on wine...

Regards
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Old Dec 23, 2023, 8:41 am
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Last night’s sparkling wine in JFK-SFO F was this guy below. They were serving Duval Leroy a few weeks ago, which is pretty good for the price point. The reds weren’t great.

Oh well. At least the Chelsea lounge was stocked.


It may have been the other varietal priced at $18.
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Old Dec 23, 2023, 10:04 am
  #90  
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I'm not a wine slob and while I like Red, some like cabernet do give me a headache so I do need more information than just the color.

I don't see the point unless they are changing them often enough that printing them doesn't make sense from a cost perspective. And if that really is the case then they need more education of what they are serving.
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