Southwest Just Raised Prices on All In-Flight Liquor, Beer, and Wine

Your next cocktail at 36,000 feet will now cost a little extra.

<p>Aerial Perspective Images / Getty Images</p>

Aerial Perspective Images / Getty Images

We're less than a week out from some of the biggest travel days of the year. Historically, airports screen significantly more passengers on the Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving than almost any other time. That's not great news if you're scheduled to travel on one of those days, and we have even worse news if you'd hoped to relax with an in-flight drink on your way from here to there.

Starting Wednesday, November 15, Southwest Airlines increased the price of its in-flight alcoholic beverages by almost 30%. The Dallas-based air carrier raised the price of beer from $6 to $7, bumped its wine prices from $6 to $8, and all of its liquor  — whether straight or in a mixed drink — went from $7 a pour to $9. The airline said its coffee, juices, soft drinks, tea, and water would still be complimentary. (The only exception is on flights that travel less than 175 miles, as water is the only available in-flight beverage.)

"Southwest last adjusted pricing for onboard beverages in 2018 and recently reviewed our position as we work to keep fares low while offering our customers unmatched flexibility. Upon review, we made the decision to implement a modest change to the pricing of our alcoholic beverages," a Southwest spokesperson said, according to Simple Flying. "We continue our focus on enhancing the Customers' experiences and remain committed to delivering nonstop Southwest Hospitality."

Related: 9 In-Flight Cocktails to Mix Onboard and Dramatically Improve Your Next Flight

Southwest’s website has been updated to reflect the new prices. As of this writing, the airline’s now $9 liquor selection includes Bacardi Rum, Cazadores Tequila, Deep Eddy Vodka, Deep Eddy Lime Vodka, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, and Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey. Travelers on flights to Hawaii can also order Kula Toasted Coconut Rum, which is distilled and bottled in Hawaii.

The wines served onboard include Carmenet Cabernet Sauvignon, Cruset Brut Sparkling Wine, Mossel Bay Chenin Blanc Chardonnay, and Stone Cellars California Rosé. The airline currently serves Miller Lite and Lagunitas IPA on all of its flights of 176 miles or longer, and Hawaii-bound passengers can also ask for Kona Brewing Big Waves Golden Ale. Pineapple High Noon Hard Seltzer is also available for $9 a can, and Dogfish Head’s Strawberry Vodka Lemonade is also $9.

“Even with these changes, Southwest remains competitive within our industry,” Southwest spokesperson Tiffany Valdez told the Dallas Morning News. As of this writing, some of Southwest’s new prices are still slightly lower than their competitors. Both American Airlines and United charge $8 for a 12-ounce can of beer, $9 for a glass of wine or sparkling wine, and between $9 and $10 for liquor.

Delta’s beer selection ranges from $8 to $10 per can, its wines are $10 to $11, and its liquors are $10. The Atlanta-based airline also offers a Bloody Mary with Filthy Bloody Mary Mix ($10), a Tip Top Espresso Martini ($12), and a Tip Top Old Fashioned Cocktail ($12).

You can still score at least one free drink on a Southwest flight: the airline will comp your first adult beverage on Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, and on its own birthday on June 18. That won’t help you next week when you’re handing over an extra $2 bucks, but it’s something to keep in mind. 

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