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Why alcohol get so much attention by travel bloggers?

Why alcohol get so much attention by travel bloggers?

Old Jan 5, 18, 3:01 pm
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Why alcohol get so much attention by travel bloggers?

I noticed that almost any trip reports that travel bloggers post (especially when it's about First class) seem to pay a lot of attention to the premium alcohol served on board. Some even compare bottle retail prices, which I find quite laughable. However nobody seems to care at all about non-alcoholic options. Why isn't anyone writing about apple juices, teas or coffees?
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Old Jan 5, 18, 3:12 pm
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Because ultimately they are in the business of marketing credit cards which they do by marketing the experience.

It's hard to quantify the value of a "good apple juice" or "good tea" but alcohol brand names are widely recognizable and searchable online making it easy to quantify: hey look with this credit card you get 50k bonus points which is 1 business class ticket to Europe which on airline XYZ means a bed, really good food, and you also get free [fill in the brand] champagne and free [fill in the brand] other alcohol.

They are also riding on the coattails of the marketing done by those alcohol brand themselves. For example, Diageo does a great job of marketing Johnnie Walker Blue as an exclusive scotch for the well-connected, well-off, in-the-know individual, with good taste (not say that's true but that's what they are aiming for) and they make sure you know it's expensive (want to impress your boss at the end of the year? get a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue because it conveys that you spent a lot of money and it's high-end and if they aren't Scotch snobs they won't know you can get much better scotch for the same cost and they'll appreciate it a lot more than if you get an equally expensive and better scotch that has no brand recognition beyond scotch snobs).

For the bloggers, focusing on the fact that you can get Johnnie Walker Blue on your First Class experience (which you get by signing up for one of the CC they are selling you) helps you get a taste of the life of someone who regularly drinks Johnnie Walker Blue.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 3:46 pm
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If I'm reading a review of a J/F cabin, I mainly want to know about the seat itself, the winelist, and what single malt Scotch they're pouring. Johnnie is nice for people who don't want to actually taste their whisky.

It should be part of the review, but obviously not the only thing they cover. And J/F review should also cover the lounge(s) involved.

I just assume they have coffee, tea, juice, water, and soda. No need to dwell on that.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 6:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Dlougach View Post
I noticed that almost any trip reports that travel bloggers post (especially when it's about First class) seem to pay a lot of attention to the premium alcohol served on board. Some even compare bottle retail prices, which I find quite laughable. However nobody seems to care at all about non-alcoholic options. Why isn't anyone writing about apple juices, teas or coffees?
Fancy alcohol tends to cost a lot of money and so has perceived value.

I'm not a huge coffee fan, but since high altitude mutes acidic flavors, it would seem that an airplane would be a great place to offer gourmet coffees.

Back in my college days my mother gave me a bottle of Dom Perignon. A fraternity brother bought a bottle of Mums Extra Dry for about 25 bucks and we drank both bottles with our dates at a Christmas party. Everyone liked the Mums champagne more. I guess we were and are not fancy enough for the good stuff.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 6:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Dlougach View Post
I noticed that almost any trip reports that travel bloggers post (especially when it's about First class) seem to pay a lot of attention to the premium alcohol served on board.
While the drinks list (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) is towards the bottom of my list of priorities when it comes to selecting flights it is nevertheless on there. Most airlines have similar brands of non-alcoholic drinks (Coke, generic OJ and AJ, Sprite, Schweppes, etc.) whereas there are more substantial differences when it comes to booze.

Originally Posted by Dlougach View Post
Why isn't anyone writing about apple juices, teas or coffees?
You'll find that extensive reviews will pay attention to coffee and tea if the airline serves coffee/tea that stands out. IIRC some reviewers have mentioned on AA flights to HKG that the HKG based crews could prepare great milk teas on demand or that airline X serves great espresso in C/F.

If the coffee/tea is just ordinary airline coffee/tea, then it - just like the standard non-alcoholic drinks on the list - isn't worthy of being mentioned.

PS: Merely comparing price tags of bottles is obviously non-sense.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 6:42 pm
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For a long haul flight, in a premium cabin, the type of alcohol served is one of the distinguishing factors. I'm familiar enough with the major seat vendors that having been in one variant of the Zodiac Cirrus or Apex Skysuite, I have a pretty good idea of what I'm getting. Most major teas/coffees/sodas/juices will be the same, but it's helpful to know if an airline carries a product that's excellent or horrid, and I find reviews do tend to note this.

It's also an opportunity to experience wines or liquors that I may not otherwise be able to try. JAL used to offer Salon as their champagne in F, a bottle whose price tag I could never justify on the ground. ANA similarly serves the Hibiki 21, where noting the price tag may just alert people who would not be able to otherwise experience the drink.

Back in my college days my mother gave me a bottle of Dom Perignon. A fraternity brother bought a bottle of Mums Extra Dry for about 25 bucks and we drank both bottles with our dates at a Christmas party. Everyone liked the Mums champagne more. I guess we were and are not fancy enough for the good stuff.
A lot of this is personal taste. I've realized I just don't like Krug, but enjoy plenty of other more expensive and far cheaper champagnes.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Beltway2A View Post
... A lot of this is personal taste. ...
and bloggers revel in putting their personal tastes out there for all to see, particularly in the context of self-declared expertise
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Old Jan 5, 18, 8:11 pm
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Because some of us are wine snobs and actually care what the wine it’s looks like.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 8:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Beltway2A View Post
ANA similarly serves the Hibiki 21, where noting the price tag may just alert people who would not be able to otherwise experience the drink.
With ANA it's 21 in F, and 17 in J. I fully enjoyed being able to have 17 when I was in ANA J not only because of the price, but also because it's damn near impossible to get a bottle of it in Houston.

It's also interesting to see how different airlines prioritize options and spending. While on the topic of ANA, they have probably the most mediocre wine list I've seen, but the best whisky and sake, because that's Japanese culture, they're not huge wine people. Then you rotate over to Emirates who has built entire wine cellars and bought out vintages to age to release to their flights over the coming years. While I've never flown them, I believe Brussels Air serves up the best beer list in the sky because, guess what, they're from Belgium, where they traffic in excellent beer!

But back to the OP, there are only so many kinds of seats and after you've done international F/J you kind of prioritize the soft product like the food, drink, and service. Or at least I do all else being equal. Some airlines are known for their tea options, mainly Asian carriers like CX and JL. I remember on CX ~18 months ago I was served a full tea pot with accompanying cups while waiting for my breakfast. I was impressed, and it was delicious.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 4:41 am
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I just assume they have coffee, tea, juice, water, and soda. No need to dwell on that.
Of course they have it. But the question is - which coffee, which tea and which juice? The brands for those are of course not so well recognizable, but airlines can either pay attention and offer something interesting to those details or have this:

Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
generic OJ and AJ
I feel that the reason that most airlines don't actually care (i.e. offer pretty standard things) about the selection of non-alcoholic drinks is that they assume that people don't care about it. Looking at responses on this thread it seems that they are probably right and most people wouldn't care if they get Minute Maid or some real apple juice. In some European countries (at least Switzerland and Austria, but maybe partially Italy and Germany as well) various apple juices started gaining popularity as alcohol-free alternative to wine. Some restaurants are even pairing food with sorts of apples. While it can be a small regional trend that won't spread anywhere, I personally like it, and I would really love to see at least some airlines to follow it.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 4:44 am
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You know it's just the Instagrammer-things. A good photo wine always receive good recognization
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Old Jan 6, 18, 6:42 am
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Writers usually write about matters that are more likely to interest the bulk of readers. Unless you are a recovering alcoholic or some sort of temperance advocate premium flyers typically have little interest in what brand of apple juice is served on board.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by krazykanuck View Post
With ANA it's 21 in F, and 17 in J. I fully enjoyed being able to have 17 when I was in ANA J not only because of the price, but also because it's damn near impossible to get a bottle of it in Houston.

It's also interesting to see how different airlines prioritize options and spending. While on the topic of ANA, they have probably the most mediocre wine list I've seen, but the best whisky and sake, because that's Japanese culture, they're not huge wine people. Then you rotate over to Emirates who has built entire wine cellars and bought out vintages to age to release to their flights over the coming years. While I've never flown them, I believe Brussels Air serves up the best beer list in the sky because, guess what, they're from Belgium, where they traffic in excellent beer!

But back to the OP, there are only so many kinds of seats and after you've done international F/J you kind of prioritize the soft product like the food, drink, and service. Or at least I do all else being equal. Some airlines are known for their tea options, mainly Asian carriers like CX and JL. I remember on CX ~18 months ago I was served a full tea pot with accompanying cups while waiting for my breakfast. I was impressed, and it was delicious.
Under this logic, reviews of Asian and British airlines should include reviews of the tea selection because it's part of the culture or you may get a rare tea that is hard to locate or very expensive. Yet rarely do the blogs cover it.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by Segments View Post


Under this logic, reviews of Asian and British airlines should include reviews of the tea selection because it's part of the culture or you may get a rare tea that is hard to locate or very expensive. Yet rarely do the blogs cover it.
I've actually seen a few reviews going on at length about tea choices (probably British) but I doubt if that will influence anyone's choice since it's pretty easy to bring along a few of your favourite tea bags. I'm personally not a connoisseur of fine wines or alcohol (I'd be just as likely to choose a $12 bottle over a $250 bottle in a blind-taste test) but I see why it's important to other people. On the other hand, although I do get annoyed by crappy coffee or OJ, I doubt if a blogger's subjective review of such things would really influence my flight choices.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by Dlougach View Post
I noticed that almost any trip reports that travel bloggers post (especially when it's about First class) seem to pay a lot of attention to the premium alcohol served on board. Some even compare bottle retail prices, which I find quite laughable. However nobody seems to care at all about non-alcoholic options. Why isn't anyone writing about apple juices, teas or coffees?
I would have thought the answer to your question was obvious. They write about what they think is important either to themselves or to others. All it tells me is that they are writing to people other than myself. That many do write about alchohol and not many if any write about other beverages, simply tells me that not many if any who write care about tea, coffee, etc.

I personally don't generally read reviews or see any sense in doing so. The only people whose opinion I would value on a given subject is someone who I know has the same interests, values, taste, etc. as myself in regards to the subject being reviewed. I value my auto mechanic's opinion on things related to my car but I also know we don't 'fly' in the same circles when it comes to other things and so, would not go looking for his opinion on what airline to fly or why. As for paying any attention to something some total stranger has to say about something like alcohol on a plane, that to me is ridiculous unless you happen to be someone who would be impressed by that and you value the opinion of the person writing about it.

How impressed are you by the opinion of strangers on a subject and how high do you value their opinion? If someone has an objective answer to an objective question on a given subject, then looking for an answer makes sense. ie. What is the seat pitch on X plane in Y class on Z airline? But once you move into subjective questions and answers, you might as well ask my auto mechanic for his opinion on champagne X vs. Y.

I do think that many people today seem to think they should be able to find an answer to any question they might have including, 'which is a good brand of alcohol to be served on a plane.' I just conclude, that the said many people are not too bright.
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