According to the Department of Air Travel Consumer Report, 2013's total airline consumer complaints decreased 14.1% from 2012. An improvement like this leads one to believe there must be something in the water... or is it the wine bar?
North America's busiest airports recently gave their food and beverage program a serious face lift. From La Guardia Airport to Toronto International, San Francisco to Philadelphia, the new luxury terminals provide travelers with a wine experience comparable to a midtown wine bars and rustic Napa tasting rooms.
WiBar in Delta Terminal C offers 101 premium wines on tap selected by Master Sommelier Roger Dagorn. The sleek modern setting provides each traveler the feeling of an exclusive wine tasting experience.
At WiBar each table is equipped with a complimentary personal iPad that can be used to browse Menus, check on flight status, and surf the web. For foreign travelers, the highly visual menus are translatable in 20 languages.
Designed by ICRAVE of New York City the wine bar brings the behind the bar experience to the front of the house. Travelers serve themselves by purchasing their wine cards and then choosing from the wine dispensing system, by WineEmotion, lined along the wine wall accented with dark ebony wood. Above head is a visually stunning custom chandelier made from more than 1,100 custom fumed glass crystals.
Vinifera in Terminals 1 and 3, provides travelers with an expansive selection of wine selected by Master Sommelier John Szabo. The wine bar serves 80+ premium wines and beer along with small plates, paninis and salads.
Like WiBar, travelers have access to iPads for the various applications. The main concept brings an innovative unique atmosphere curated by top notch culinary professionals.
Vinifera's autumn inspired design features walls and pillars sheathed in amber colored glass. The wine shelves reach "sky-high" and a large steel door pivots out over the exterior presenting a grand threshold to invite travelers in to relax and dine.
SF Uncork'd in Terminal 3, offers an inviting alternative to the stuffy airline clubs with its warming modern take on the wine bar and beer pub.
Travelers can enjoy flights from local vineyards and purchase their favorite bottles to take with them wherever their destination may be.
The design has a contemporary feel without being cold. Chalk boards line the walls above the wine dispensers and list the featured wines for that day. Bellow the machines are bottle racks stocked with bottles for purchase.
The small, locally owned and operated business sets its mark with a consistency for quality and comfort while allowing travelers to taste some of the finest wines available.
With costs of air travel on the rise consumers expect a more enjoyable experience. An important part of the total travel experience is the time spent in the terminals. Airports have become savvy to these demands and enlisted top management brands like OTG Management of New York, NY. OTG's incorporation of technology into the travel experience has earned them accolades like being named to Fast Company's list of The World's Most Innovative Companies 2014.
State of the art wine dispensers can be found in each of the wine bar locations amongst other innovations. The wine dispensers keep wine fresh for 30 day and offer three various pours to travelers at the ideal temperature. Wine dispensing systems are merely one ingredient of the complex recipe. Kevin Drayer, VP Purchasing of OTG Management comments, "We are using the wine dispensing machines in our Northeast and Canadian locations. WineEmotion has brought consistency to our pour costs and perfect temperature serving which is translating in customer satisfaction." Customer satisfaction like this has added to the general consensus of happy air travelers in 2013.
The infusion of design, local flare and technology is rapidly reshaping the air travel experience. Travelers now have a wealth of options to pass time waiting for their next flight and in some cases take with them a piece of the experience.