With complimentary amenities disappearing and the majority of airlines charging for just about anything, it’s surprising to hear that Alaska Airlines will offer free wine and beer on flights operated by Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines. The wine offerings will include Wild Meadows Chardonnay and Wild Meadows Merlot. The microbrew selection will include Alaskan White, Ninkasi Vanilla Oatis Stout, and Widmer Alchemy Ale. To add to the list, Silver Gulch’s Old 55 Pale Ale will be served specifically on Horizon Air beginning March 3rd.
Many are wondering why and how Alaska Airlines can afford to spend on this wine and beer service, but the answer from them was simple.
According to Lisa Luchau, Alaska Airlines’ Director of Onboard Food & Beverage, the “service is an important part of what [they] offer.” It’s a small and free treat customers really enjoy, but has a great impact on how customers perceive their flight with the airline. Therefore, it was already a branding expense built into the budget.
It also shows how a regional airline is rooted in the local communities it serves. By offering complimentary drinks, small breweries such as Silver Gulch are also benefiting. Flight attendants are pouring 6.5 ounces into each 9 ounce glass, which in a sense, is offering passengers a free sample. Porter Airlines is currently doing the same by serving free beer from a brewery near its base airport in Toronto.
What are your thoughts on complimentary wine and beer onboard flights? Does this contribute to air rage? Let us know your thoughts below.
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