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US Airways new charges for alcoholic beverages

US Airways new charges for alcoholic beverages

Oct 13th, 2002, 11:29 AM
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I am with you Anon, and I also see no earthly reason why airlines should provide free drinks
Oct 13th, 2002, 11:33 AM
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If people have to pay for alcohol, they're likely to drink less of it. Consequently, less alcohol-induced rude and boorish behavior on flights.
Oct 13th, 2002, 04:36 PM
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My memory seems longer than all of yours: it was only a few years ago that all US-based airlines charged for alcohol, wine, and/or beer, as well as headsets for movies, on trans-Atlantic flights. Only trans-Pacific flights came with freebie drinks. Enforcing fees for "overweight" luggage bothers me much more because it will cost much more!
Oct 13th, 2002, 04:45 PM
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re winner's comment,
Does anyone else remember being charged for drinks & headsets on trans-Atlantic flights? I sure don't.
Oct 13th, 2002, 04:59 PM
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I remember being charged for drinks and headsets on trans-Atlantic flight, U.S. carriers, but not on non-U.S. carriers. This was during the 70's and 80's.

Drinks were free on trans-Pacific flights.

If U.S. Airlines are going to "cheap out" it will be Lufthansa, British Air, etc for me.
Oct 13th, 2002, 05:13 PM
Not AFriend
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Maybe this will finally give me the incentive I need to follow one of the basic rules for avoiding jet lag -- don't drink alcohol. Seems like whatever my original intentions, I have trouble passing up a free drink.
Oct 13th, 2002, 06:28 PM
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Fly Envoy or First Class with me on US Airways and the problem is solved. New rule only for economy class....
Oct 13th, 2002, 07:06 PM
Jim Rosenberg
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Airlines are in trouble. Complimentary liquor doubtlessly costs millions of dollars a year for a major carrier. Charging for it will probably dampen the quantities consumed a bit (which can sometimes lead to problems) while bringing in millions of dollars a year in new revenue. It turns a cost into a profit producer. There may be much more significant savings out there, but this one is a no-brainer that is effective the moment it is implemented. It would play no role in my selection of carriers.
Oct 13th, 2002, 07:20 PM
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It's the bandaid du jour and will do little more than delay the chapter 11 filing date by a few months and PO loyal customers. Let's not fool ourselves.
Oct 14th, 2002, 03:44 AM
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I recall the same argument when non-smoking rules took place. There were many people who said they won't fly with the airlines which won't let them smoke.
Well, now is no smoking, I think on every airlines, ( I may be wrong here). Not only on international flights but also domestic flights in North America and Europe.
Oct 14th, 2002, 04:27 AM
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Rob - within the past 2 years we've been on smoking flights on Olympia Air (Greece) and Aeroflot (Russia, international flight).

I don't think it's unreasonable at all to expect people to pay for alcoholic beverages on flights.
Oct 14th, 2002, 04:47 AM
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Fine if they want to charge for drinks but $4 for a glass of crappy wine is a bit excessive when they probably paid 50 cents for it. How would you feel if they charged $2 for a can of Coke? And why aren't they doing that? Why not just provide tap water by the glass? They're under no obligation to give you interesting drinks.
Oct 14th, 2002, 06:06 AM
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Personally, it doesn't bother me. They ARE still giving free non-alcoholic drinks. I do like to have a couple of glasses of wine on long haul flights and, when I look at what I pay for my tickets, $8 is not a lot really to fork out for drinks. Haven't you noticed that they are very "mean" with the drinks trolley anyway, so if you have to pay perhaps you may get better service.
For those who will change carriers because of this issue- I wish my worries were as little as yours!!!!
Oct 14th, 2002, 06:09 AM
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for all those who are in an uproar over paying for alcohol have you thought about joining AA ( and I DON'T mean the airline!! ) For goodness sake find something more important to moan about!
Oct 14th, 2002, 06:17 AM
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I found out about this policy on my recent trip on USAirways to Madrid. Sure, it was mildly irritating as I enjoy a couple of drinks on the flight, but there's no way this is going to become part of my selection criteria. Considering I got the USAirways tickets for approx $200 less than other carriers were offering, an extra $8 is hardly a deal breaker. The thing is, they know this. People will still choose based on price, convenience, and, one hopes, safety, not on whether the booze is free.

I do agree, though, that the cost to the airlines of the alcoholic beverages is probably not that much greater than the non-alcoholic. How about charging 2 bucks a pop for coke or other soft drinks? It seems like that would put everyone in the same boat....
Oct 14th, 2002, 08:09 AM
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As has been stated by a few, this is definitely a tempest in a teapot. The thought that $8 is going to make you book on an airline that is charging #100 more is kind of silly. Also, the notion that this won't save them a great deal of money is inaccurrate. I have a friend whose family company was designing an dispenser system for one of the airlines that would prevent employees from stealing the little liquor bottles. The belief at the time was that theft was costing them in the neighborhood of $10M per year.

Also, at one point, an employee one of the airlines, I think is was United (I could be wrong) noticed that most of the salads that were served were being thrown away with the cherry tomato still intact. This turned out to be true and they eliminated the tomatoes from the salads. I believe the savings were $100,000 per year, but it may have been $1M. I wonder how many irate travelers left this airline because of no cherry tomato.

Costs are costs and each airline judges how it will impact customer retention. In the end, most of them realize that the traveling public is smart enough to realize the economics of the situation. There is no such thing as chump change when the numbers cross the $1M mark.

I love the suggestion made by Freebooze that flight attendants wages should be cut. I'm sure he would be OK if instead of the free coffee being cut at his job to save money, his salary would be cut. Worthless flight attendants or idiotic travelers. Which do you think is more accurate.

By the way, $4.00 for a mixed drink is not terribly out of line. That's what most bars charge, and at least you know how much booze they are putting into the drink on an airline. Anyone ever had a $7.50 Margarita at a bar that was just a glass of expensive lemonade.

Ok, I'm done with my ranting.
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