A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email last week about prevalent issue that affects quite a few airline FAs among all the alliances that continue to refer to sparkling wine as champagne.
Some airlines are too cheap to pay for the TAX/VAT and/or duty to serve champagne on the ground as a pre-departure beverage (bonded inventory cannot be opened before door is closed) but still continue to call the stuff champagne.
Here’s the email from the reader:
Why do flight attendants continually call it ‘Champagne’ when the label says nothing of the sort. In the case of the Delta One domestic (transcons) selection it’s actually a decent Italian sparkling, but legally it’s hardy Champagne. Nor does calling it Champagne help with setting brand expectations.
This is not just an issue with the US airlines, although some of them tried to serve sparkling wine (Iron Horse – cannot make this one up) stuff even in international Business Class.
There is nothing wrong serving sparkling wines, some are better than the cheapest champagnes in Business Class, but flight attendants shouldn’t continuously misrepresent the product.
As far as I can remember from my recent flights, both Iberia and Alitalia serve domestic sparkling wines in their Business Class. Although LAN (now LATAM) is based in Chile (an important wine country), they serve French champagne.