For years, Southwest Airlines has accepted all types of drink coupons on our planes – regardless of their expiration dates. Rapid Rewards coupons. Business Select coupons. Old Company Club coupons. Coupons from the 80s, coupons from the 90s. And we’ve done so for all the right reasons. However, in an industry where the competition is always knocking (or banging) on the door and where watching the bottom-line is more important than ever , we owe it to our Employees, Customers, and Shareholders to find ways to operate smarter. We’ve reached a point where being so flexible with drink coupons has put us in a position of having far too many in circulation. To help purge the system of these excess coupons, we will start enforcing expiration dates on coupons over the course of the next year.
Beginning today, Southwest Airlines will only accept Business Select drink coupons on the day of travel which allows Customers to use the coupon for the flight it was purchased . This has always been the intent of the coupon, but starting today, August 1, 2010 we’ll begin universally enforcing it. Business Select Customers may use their drink coupon on a connecting flight, as long as it is used on the day of travel printed on the coupon.
Also, Rapid Rewards drink coupons earned with an Award will soon have a new look and will include an expiration date that is one year from the date of issue. Rapid Rewards will communicate with Members as the transition approaches. Not to worry, we’re giving Customers a full year to use those tan paper drink coupons without expiration dates. We will continue to accept these drink coupons, whether purchased or earned with a Rapid Rewards Award, until August 31, 2011.
We’re proud to have some of the lowest prices in the air for liquor, beer, and wine. Customers may still purchase an alcoholic beverage or Monster drink with a credit or debit card. And of course, all other non-alcoholic beverages and snacks are free. And don’t forget, when you fly Southwest, bags fly free and we don’t charge a change fee.