Southwest Now Only Accepts Drink Coupons with Expiration Dates

Starting right now, there is no point in holding on to all those old Southwest drink coupons you got as a miles club member perk; if the coupon doesn’t have an expiration date on it, it will not be accepted.

For years, some fans of the low cost carrier always kept a stash of the heretofore “never expire” coupons handy, so they could enjoy a free glass of beer or wine whenever they flew Southwest, but no more. The airline announced the change was coming a year ago, and now it’s here. No big deal, you say? Well, for some, it was an important part of the Southwest culture, almost on a par with its cheap airfare and free bags, as the airline itself cheerily notes on its Nuts about Southwest blog:

“Southwest has always been known as a fun and laid-back airline and for some of our Customers, that attitude is enhanced by a fantastic onboard selection of adult beverages.”

Is Southwest Changing?

This does not please all “Customers” (a word that is always capitalized in Southwest-ese), and there is concern that the drink coupon changes represent larger, more systemic changes. Here’s a comment left on the Southwest blog:

“First the change of the Rapid Reward program, now a minor thing of the drink coupons. It appears that my favorite airline is evolving into a clone of the legacy airlines.” –comment on Nuts about Southwest

Learn about the changes in the Southwest Rapid Rewards Program

However, the news isn’t all bad: those coupons are still good for a year. So drink up (for those so inclined) and here’s how to get drink coupons from Southwest.

How to Get Southwest Drink Coupons

Coupons for free alcoholic beverages can be obtained two ways:

  • Buy Business Select airfare: This comes with a drink coupon, but valid for the day or travel only.
  • Join the Southwest Rapid Rewards miles program: Members earn four drink coupons after ten one-way qualifying flights.

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Published: September 2, 2011