The food one eats while traveling, whether for business or for leisure, can often make or break a trip. For airline and hospitality brands in the travel space looking to not only attract consumers, but stand out—especially to high-spending, discerning travelers in the luxury sect—quality food and beverage has moved from being a “nice to have” to a “must have.”
American Airlines is one example of a brand focused on offering best-in-class, personalized food and beverage services through the revamp of its Flagship brand, which provides premium products and services, both in-flight and on the ground, to its premium customers.
The airline recently launched its Flagship Lounge, available to its first and business class customers on international and transcontinental flights, offering buffet style meals with à la carte items, specialty cocktails and premium wine, along with shower suites, workspace areas and luggage storage to help passengers unwind. The lounge first opened at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and Miami International Airport with planned openings this year in Los Angeles International Airport, and other locations coming down the line.
The airline’s Flagship First Dining experience, accessible to American Airlines’ first class customers on three-class cabin international and transcontinental flights, offers full restaurant-like, sit-down service with wine, signature cocktails, and regionally inspired meals featuring local ingredients. The facility recently opened at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and Miami International Airport, and will launch in Los Angeles International Airport before the end of the year, with other dining locations on the way.
American Airlines’ launch of its Flagship First Dining and Flagship Lounge facilities is a clear example of how brands can put the customer first and offer a guest-centric experience through food and beverage. Customers are increasingly looking for the food they eat to be fresh, health-focused and above all, great-tasting. Road warrior type business travelers are especially challenged with finding food options on the road that meet these requirements. Brands that can provide these travelers with easy, convenient access to best-in-class food and beverage through increased investments in the sector are likely to drive loyalty among these valued customers and distinguish themselves in a crowded marketplace.
“Customers in the Flagship Lounge and in Flagship First Dining will enjoy elevated service throughout their trip,” said Kurt Stache, senior vice president, marketing, loyalty and sales at American Airlines. “We’re thrilled to unveil our remodeled Flagship Lounges and offer an exclusive, top-of-the-line dining experience in the airport. We are proud of our Flagship experience and we hope our customers will agree it’s the best product out there.”