When Southwest and Airtran merged almost two years ago many people asked what would happen to Southwest’s customer friendly policies which include no change fees and bags that fly free. Two years have come and gone and still bags are flying free at Southwest Airlines and as long as tickets are canceled before departure, full credits are provided for future flights. However, as the airline industry is extremely cut throat, I am willing to bet that Southwest will increases the cost of their buy on board alcohol to match that of Airtran’s by the end of year.
Southwest currently charges $5 for beer, wine and spirits and has nearly one day a month when customers can consume a drink or two on the house. In addition, Southwest tends to offer a monthly special on board where they reduce the price of a select drink for customers.
This summer drinks are cheap on the 4th of July and August 12!
Cut the sugar and the cost when you mix Jack with Coke Zero!
Find the low price booze in the seat back pocket menu!
Airtran however charges slightly more, asking customers to pay $5 for beer but $6 for Spirits and wine. Although a dollar more than Southwest, the price is still below their competition which generally charges more for alcohol. US Airways for example charges $7 for beer, wine and spirits and increases the charge to $9 for sparkling wine. American has similar prices along with other major competitors: Delta charges between $6-$8, United charges $6.99 – $9,99, Alaska charges $6-$8.
Higher prices than Southwest but someone has to pay for the drinks the business class passengers are chugging free of cost!
Now I know a dollar price increase is not going to deter someone from flying Southwest Airlines if the ticket price is cheaper or they are a Southwest loyalist, but I do believe that consumers should expect a price jump on Southwest buy on board services to match that of their little sister. After all, if AirTran can sell it for $6 and the competition can ask for $8 or $9, then Southwest could do this and could result in thousands of dollars of revenue for the airline year over year. After all costs are forever creeping towards the sky. The truth shall be discovered come Dec. 28 when AirTran1 takes off from Atlanta to Tampa, the route that started the Airlines, Valujet which became AirTran following a 1996 crash.
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