US domestic based airlines offer complimentary alcoholic beverages to First Class passengers, and in the case of American Airlines, also to Executive Platinum passengers seated in the Main Cabin.
It’s no surprise that domestic airlines don’t offer as extensive of a beverage selection as their international counterparts, offering the bare minimum to make the most basic of drinks. For the purposes of this post, I won’t be talking about what’s onboard transcontinental or premium routes, as that is a different market and product.
Surprisingly, Amtrak has a fairly decent drink menu that would be able to compete with a good number of international premium product offerings. Onboard their Acela Express service – which is their “high speed” train from Washington DC to Boston – they served a complimentary meal, and offer full drink service.
Let’s take a look at their offerings:
Crown Royal Canadian whisky, Knob Creek Kentucky bourbon, Dewar’s 12 year scotch, Ketel One vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, Myers’s Platinum White rum
Bailey’s Irish Cream, Courvoisier cognac, Grand Marnier
Freshly made bloody mary, screwdriver, mimosa
Bud Light, Coors Light, Corona Extra, Heineken, Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
Our selection of white wine includes, but is not limited to varietals such as: Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. We feature both domestic and international wines in the Acela First Class program. Please ask your server for today’s featured selection
Our selection of red wine includes, but is not limited to varietals such as: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Malbec. We feature both domestic and international wines in the Acela First Class program. Please ask your server for today’s featured selection
CHAMPAGNE & SPARKLING WINE
Martini & Rossi Prosecco
HOT & COLD
Fresh brewed regular or decaffeinated coffee, Mighty Leaf teas (Organic Breakfast, Green Tea Tropical, Organic Earl Grey, Chamomile Citrus), hot chocolate, chilled sodas, unsweetened iced tea, spring or sparkling water
While their champagne isn’t Krug, and their Prosecco doesn’t come from the south of France, they do put on a good showing for a train service…especially considering that they’re loosing money.
On a recent trip, I had a very good Bloody Mary – sure, tomato juice tastes better in the sky, but I think they did a nice job, especially with presentation on the train.
Here’s what I find especially nice about their beverage menu:
- They offer champagne and prosecco – this is few and far between on traditional First Class service (with the exception of premium transcontinental routes, such as American’s A321T)
- In addition to an international beer, they offer local beer specific to the Northeast corridor.
- They specifically mention the offer of cocktails. Look in the back of your inflight magazine and tell me if you see that. Sure, a screwdriver is easy to come up with off of the ingredients on hand, but it’s nice to have a specific section that mentions that they’re “willing” to make it.
- Compared to other US domestic First markets, they’re wine program is more expansive – offering both domestic and international varieties, as well as 3 different kinds per color.
What do you think of Amtrak’s beverage menu onboard the Acela Express?
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