By Cailey Rizzo
April 05, 2018
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Airplane cabins are battle zones.

There’s the saga of the “incredible shrinking airline seat,” the ill-fated history of the free meal in economy, and, of course, the never-ending crusade for control of the armrests. But now comes the battle to end all battles: the Champagne Wars.

Travelers should be alert aboard flights as “Champagne Wars” break out in first class cabins around the world. According to Australian Business Traveller, Asian airlines are trying to outdo each other with older, bubblier, and more expensive champagnes.

This month, Cathay Pacific switched up its first class champagne offerings to a bottle of Krug 2004. The $300 bottle of bubbly is noted for its “radiant freshness” and “very elegant finish.”

The Krug is one of a new rotation of fine champagnes in Cathay’s first class, which also includes the 2006 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, the 2007 William Deutz Cuvee and the 2002 Piper Heidsieck Rare. These champagnes will be served in the first class cabin on flights to Boston, Paris, Frankfurt, New York, London Heathrow, Chicago and Vancouver, with “additional routes to follow later in the year,” according to the airline.

The change in selection is relatively unremarkable — except that Singapore Airlines also began offering the 2004 Krug to its first class passengers a few months ago.

Emirates is also giving its first class passengers a bubbly upgrade. Instead of serving the usual Dom Perignon, elite passengers on routes to Europe, the U.S. and Asia can sip on Dom Perignon 2000 P2 edition (an almost $400 bottle).

First class passengers should be aware of the “champagne wars” as airlines try to outdo each other with more expensive, luxurious offerings to lure customers.

Meanwhile, back in economy, Cathay Pacific offers free tea and coffee, the champagne of hot beverages.