Cheerio, cheerio, cheerio!

By | October 8, 2007

The Rugby World Cup said goodbye to the Wallabies and All Blacks this week. A decidedly unexpected result, but not one Europe is unhappy about. England beat an over-confident Australia with France taking out New Zealand. Having spent a week hearing how Aussies love to beat England, it’s been fun to enjoy some silence.

Antipodean fans will be flying home unhappy, with just airline wine to drown their sorrows. Airlines spend a lot of time and money finding wines that fit their budget and taste good at altitude.

My experiences have been transatlantic, and there is quite a bit of variation even in economy. People flying home with Air France will be comforted by Champagne served before dinner, an oddity in cattle class. Vin de Pays D’Oc is served with meals and it’s fine. British Airways staff seem to find it easier to cope with passengers who pass out quietly. I’ve always been ‘over-served’ on BA flights and often encouraged to take a few mini bottles with me for the journey from the airport.

Lufthansa attendants have tended to pour by the glass rather than giving mini bottles which must be more environmentally sound.

American carriers all tend to carry big, oaked Chardonnays and Cab-Merlot blends in coach, Delta opts for Chilean rather than Californian wines. It’s fun to watch American passengers look on with disdain whilst you order wine or beer, then have a little whispered chat before calling the flight attendant back and asking for whatever you just had. I found that strange for a while, but it turns out you pay by the drink (and through the nose) on internal flights, so all inclusive service is a surprise.

If you’re flying home to the southern hemisphere – cheerio!