DALLAS- Southwest Airlines (WN) is set to increase the prices of beer, wine, and spirits starting November 15. Presently, wine is priced at $6, beer ranges from $6 to $7, and spirits are at $7, with most options seeing a $2 hike, representing an increase of up to 33%.
While Southwest may charge more for certain services, they are priced lower than their competitors in other aspects. For example, their WiFi is set at $8, higher than Delta (DL) and JetBlue (B6), where it’s complimentary but lower than the cost with American Airlines (AA).
Southwest Airlines Strategy Shift
Shortly before airline deregulation, Southwest Airlines competed with Texas International Airlines and Braniff, who offered economical fares between Houston and Dallas.
To attract full-fare customers, Southwest began providing “to go” bottles of alcohol, ultimately becoming the state’s largest liquor distributor.
Over the years, Southwest Airlines had a tradition of offering complimentary in-flight drinks to all passengers. This evolved into offering free drinks only during specific business travel times. However, in 1988, the airline discontinued complimentary alcohol on their flights, introducing coupons for frequent flyers instead.
While alcohol has been intertwined with the airline’s history, attributed to co-founder Herb Kelleher’s Wild Turkey-drinking legacy, Southwest’s approach to in-flight drinks has notably tightened compared to its earlier practices.
Changes in Drink Vouchers
Chase discontinued issuing drink vouchers to their cardholders in 2016, and Southwest no longer includes them with award ticket redemptions or as part of birthday perks. It appears there are fewer opportunities for complimentary drinks on the airline than before.
Referencing comedian Steven Wright, he humorously shared getting ejected from a theatre for bringing his own food due to the high concession stand prices and his craving for good barbecue.
Bringing personal snacks to the movies is typically against the rules. However, taking your own alcoholic beverages on a plane could lead to serious consequences, even legal trouble.
If you wish to drink while flying, you’ll have to pay the prices set by Southwest. Mixing your drinks onboard remains more cost-effective than visiting a bar in a big city, although the airline’s cabin interiors might not boast the same style.
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