Southwest Raises Drink Prices

For years, Southwest has bragged about its simple, low price for all onboard alcoholic beverages: “$5 happy hour, every hour.” In fact, Southwest has held to that $5 drink price since 2009.

On March 1, Southwest’s drink prices got a bit more complicated, and a bit more expensive:

  • Beer: $6 (Miller Lite, Dos Equis); $7 (Fat Tire, Lagunitas, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy
  • Wine: $6
  • Liquor: $7

The good news is that Southwest’s drink prices are still $1 or so below most other airlines’.

In other good news, the new pricing won’t affect Southwest’s popular drink coupons, doled out to members of the airline’s Rapid Rewards program and to Business Select passengers.

A modest price rise after all this time is no cause for concern. But combined with Southwest’s recent increase in priority-boarding fees, it’s an sure sign that Southwest is looking closely at such so-called ancillary fees to nudge up its top and bottom lines.

Reader Reality Check

Worrisome trend?

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

This article first appeared on, where Tim is Editor-at-Large.


  1. Pavel says

    Gah. I did have a similar situation when I was flying back home about a month ago, needing to cancel a flight due to personal medical issues and book new last minute tickets during a weekend of massive snow and icestorms that were playing havoc with air travel. Except that was Southwest and they handled it well. I had to call to book as I was away from my laptop then and the rep apologized for the ambient noise as their call center was *packed* with reps handling the load. I had options and no bobbles with my tickets and got home with only the delay of weather being harsher than St. Louis was used to dealing with. So sorry you had this horrific issue but I will say that it”s happened to me (though not as badly) but never with Southwest.

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