American Airlines implements wine delivery service

Customers buy the wine by bottle, in custom cases or via monthly subscription plan

American Airlines' launches "American Airlines flagship cellars" program
American Airlines' launches "American Airlines flagship cellars" program

Airlines are still operating only a fraction of the number of flights they offered pre-pandemic, and alcohol is banned in many cabins to help thwart the spread of COVID-19. This is adding up to a lot of leftover alcohol.

Now American Airlines is hoping to sell and ship some of its excess wine directly to peoples’ homes.

There is a new program called American Airlines Flagship Cellars that will give customers a chance to buy wine by the bottle in custom “curated” cases or via a monthly subscription plan that costs $99 per month.

American Airlines’ single-bottle wine offerings range in price from about $13 to $40, and the most expensive offering is a $300 three-pack of champagne.

Purchasing the $99 monthly subscription gives customers access to discounted prices, a monthly shipment of three bottles of wines, and customers will rack up two AAdvantage miles for every dollar spent.

The wine bottles are among those that would have been served to customers with American Airlines’ flagship tickets, a luxury seating option on international and transcontinental flights.

The coronavirus pandemic has battered the travel industry, leaving dozens of planes grounded and international travel greatly reduced. American is among several airlines that have also suspended in-flight alcohol sales to minimize the amount of time flight attendants have to interact with customers in the COVID-19 era.

American posted a net loss of $3.6 billion in its latest earnings report, and wine sales aren’t expected to make much of a dent in its losses and the company hopes its new at-home wine program will bring in about $40,000 to $50,000 in sales during the first three months of the year.