Thirsty? US Airways To Charge $2 For Sodas, Juices, Bottled Water and Coffee in Coach

First US Airways did away with snacks, then they added a $15 fee to check a bag, and now they’ll be charging $2 each for sodas, juices, bottled water and coffee in coach. Are you going to stand for this? Take our poll, inside.

New fee at US Airways: $2 soda
[Philadelphia Inquirer]
(Photo: John Kit )


Edit Your Comment

  1. Nogard13 says:

    Again, FTMFW

  2. balthisar says:

    @Nogard13: I’d rather pay $2 for a drink than not have pre-assigned seats. ::shudder::

  3. PinkNightmare says:

    Sure…for a six-pack or two 2-Liters…

  4. Jabberkaty says:

    So you can’t bring your own water so they can charge you exorbitant prices for their drinks. Classy.

    I’ll be swallowing my own spit.

  5. HeartBurnKid says:

    You know, I wouldn’t mind paying for coffee or soda (though $2 is too much). But you’ve got us penned up for several hours inside a very dry environment, you better provide complimentary drinking water.

  6. SuryakantiInsana says:

    You think that’s bad? You should see what they charge if you need an
    oxygen bottle or a defibrillator!

  7. SahuaritaSam says:

    Oh wow. Southwest looks better every day as a company, thanks to assholes over at US Airways. All the other airlines’ PR people should call US Airways and thank them for making their jobs easier.

  8. Scuba Steve says:

    I don’t get all these people voting no, as if they had a choice.

  9. madrigal says:

    $2 for that tiny cup of juice? no thanks.
    Fewer people will want to use the bathroom if they don’t get drinks. Are they trying to send out another message?

  10. Wormfather says:

    Ha, this is utter BS, becuase we’re not talking about 12oz sodas, I’m sure. They will be opening a soda and pouring a bit into a 8-10oz cup filled with ice.

  11. design_chick says:

    @Scuba Steve:
    You can buy a drink in the terminal and bring it on.

    I wonder if it’s $2 for that dinky little cup they give you.

  12. HeartBurnKid says:

    @Scuba Steve: There’s plenty of choice. Thankfully, we don’t have just one airline in this country.

    Now, the problem comes if this becomes widespread.

  13. Lewis says:

    @Jabberkaty: You can buy water after security at (usually) relatively normal prices.

    Agreed, though, that water is one thing that should always be complimentary, just about everywhere.

    Not sure what people expect the (legacy) airlines to do though. First, there are till just too many carriers competing for the same routes. Next, consumers have demonstrated repeatedly that they will select the cheapest flight to their destination with relatively little regard for the carrier. As long as (coach) air travel continues to be a commodity, it will continue to be a race to the bottom among the legacy carriers.

    Water takes it a bit far though.

  14. Franklin Comes Alive! says:


    Have you actually tried to fly SW? I hear this complaint all the time, but if you are organized and can get yourself checked in on time, the open seating is way better than assigned seating. I find the most common users of this reasoning either (a) haven’t flown SW or (b) don’t check themselves in 24 hours in advance and end up at the end of the C line.

  15. sir_pantsalot says:

    So when they finally get their wish of fewer customers and they end up with a plane with only 10 people on it will they:
    A)cancel the flight.
    B)Encourage the flight attendants to plus sell those 10 people about $20,000 worth of snacks on the 3 hour flight.

    You might think A but they have shown that they are not that good at decision making.

  16. Techguy1138 says:

    They should really just raise the price by $2 per passenger.
    People don’t like it when they feel like they are getting nickeled and dimed. They instead like it much more when they get ‘free’ things,even if already paid for.

  17. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    Also, Southwest still gives you 2 checked bags at no extra cost.

  18. timmus says:

    Ah, to look at this picture and think about how long we’ve slid from the golden age of airline service:

    I wasn’t alive back then, but I did fly in the 1970s and I recall there was definitely some systemic incentive to make the passengers comfortable rather than to just pacify them, be a seatbelt monitor, and clock out for the day. I remember just after boarding a Flying Tigers 747 charter flight back in the early 1980s, a flight attendant (stewardess?) correctly sensed my 8-year old sister was afraid of flying and actually spent 5 or 6 minutes with her talking with her and making her feel better. Now that is service. Never seen anything like that since… not by a country mile.

  19. Thunderpants says:

    Why did I think that it was mandatory that passengers on a flight get water if the flight is greater than a certain amount of time? Maybe that was internal policies, but I swear that a flight attendant told me that once.

  20. rmz says:

    Water should be complimentary, but charging for soft drinks is fine — as long as it’s a somewhat reasonable price and not $2 for a 12oz can.

  21. jscott73 says:

    I’m sure glad I only fly from San Diego to Sacramento and only have to fly Southwest. Fill up at a drinking fountain before I leave and bring a Snickers bar and all is good.

    I have sworn off all other flights this year, so far I have survived and may continue my personal boycott of the airline industry indefinitely.

  22. ceez says:

    WOW! I just came back from Italy and the flight time from Miami to Rome was 8 hours going and 8.40 coming back. If there was nothing to drink for that amount of time I guess I would be forced to pay for the liquid….and hopefully not just a small plastic cup with half ice and a few drops of soda/juice/water….

    wow, the economy is tough!

  23. Parting says:

    Depends how long the trip. For short 1-2 hours I don’t mind.

    Also, local amusement park charges 3,50$ for a coke anyway. And you don’t even fly.

  24. muchenik says:

    Well if you are not willing to pay for it in the plane then they will just lean on the businesses in the concourse until they are charging $5 for a 20oz. cola.

    Then $2 for a cup of ice and a splash of water will not seem so bad.

  25. FatLynn says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!: Shockingly, not everyone has internet access when they are traveling, or wants to worry about their travel arrangements while vacationing. I usually find my outbound flight to be no problem, but I don’t really think I should whip out my blackberry during my friend’s wedding ceremony so I can check in for my flight home the next day.

  26. choinski says:

    This is stupid. The airlines should just charge one fee: The ‘Sorry, but fuel went up and we can’t be expexted to eat the loss fee’. That way, customers don’t get nickled and dimes on petty stuff, the airline can maintain a decent level of services, and everyone can focus on the real added cost.

    If that is unreasonable, then airlines should buy the fuel they need in advance if the flight and charge the ticket based on the actual costs of that fuel.

  27. Lewis says:

    @Techguy1138: Again, if they did that, they’d be at a disadvantage in the fare search engines (unless the other airlines matched.) Their tact is that consumers want the lowest fares – period – and have shown greater acceptance of a-la-carte pricing for optional items (like, er, water) than higher ticket prices.

    I think the $15 for first bag trend is more egregious than the $2 beverage charge… not because I’d ever check a bag, but because this is going to lead to a miserable lack of overhead storage.

    I really think Amtrak is the best option in the NEC… and though they do charge you for (bottled) water, it’s usually just a far better experience all around.

    On the air travel side, there are plenty of alternatives to the legacy carriers (Virgin America stands out, so does Jet Blue, never flew SW) so vote with your wallet, not just on a blog post. :)

  28. Is there any wonder why Southwest is (the only) profitable airline?

  29. Thorny says:

    I think these extra charges are a mixed blessing for those of us who are low maintenance on a flight. It’s sort of like a use tax for flying — sort of like how the gas tax goes towards roads that drivers drive on. It’s essentially a soda tax for those who want soda.

  30. notskywalker says:

    geez. quit your BS about “Southwest is number 1! “, “Continental baby!”. U.S. airways is merely leading the pack in cuts to come all around full circle in the industry… just as has happened before.

  31. Coder4Life says:

    @choinski: Only 1 airliner has done this. I can’t remember what it’s called, but they buy their fuel at some low price. I will have to look up what company but it on a CNN special.

  32. @Scuba Steve: I do have a choice: don’t buy a drink, or fly a different airline.

  33. johnva says:

    @Techguy1138: My guess is that this kind of crap is being driven by the growth of online price comparison websites. They know that a large part of the public makes airline decisions solely on price, so they are just trying to shift as much of their price into “fees” as possible so that it won’t show up in the listed ticket price, at least on some websites.

  34. Franklin Comes Alive! says:


    It’s Southwest. For years they have been profitable and have spent a lot of that money on fuel hedges, so they usually pay a lot less per barrel than most of the other airlines. Some of the others do it as well, but none to the level that SW does.

  35. Angryrider says:

    $2 for drinks? That’s basically all of Midtown Manhattan! Hey if you’re cool paying $7 for a bottle of water at a convention, why not save $5 and get it at an airline?

  36. lsocoee says:

    how is it that everyone keeps faulting the airlines? It is not the airline’s fault that gas prices are the way they are. Here are your options-A:airlines close B:Everybody’s ticket price goes up significantly C:Tickets go up a little and they charge for the “unnecessary” extras.

    I’d rather have $17 off my ticket if I don’t need to check a bag of drink a drink.

  37. bravo369 says:

    I think they should be able to charge what they want…but then I should also be able to bring my own bottles and drinks onto the plane. it makes no sense to take away my drink then offer me the exact same drink except charge me $2

  38. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    Nope. There is a faucet in the bathroom and I can cup my hands together.

  39. james says:

    They need to start allowing us to bring our own beverages again. $4 for water in the terminal and now $2 in the plane, pfft.
    At least you can bring your own food again and mothers of babies can bring water. I may start smuggling water onto the plane in the nearest baby pram.

  40. CAK says:

    @ thorny

    that idea works in theory only if the airlines were to drop the cost of the ticket. if these are all ADDITIONAL charges then we’re simply getting less for our money.

  41. CAK says:

    Also, Southwest (which I love, and am not badmouthing in any way) turns a profit due to aggressive fuel hedging. this will be harder to maintain as the economy adjusts to higher oil prices.

  42. MadameX says:

    @Coder4Life: Southwest wins again. They have a fuel hedge fund so they’re paying less for gas than the other airlines.


    Why the other airlines don’t look at their business model and try to copy it is beyond me. Even if they did everything else but still assigned seats? Southwest is obviously doing something right.

  43. DeafChick says:

    UGH! Forgot it.

  44. kidgenius says:

    I know this won’t satisfy all those hooty-falooty water bottle drinkers, but there is a way to get free water past security. Bring your own bottle through security that has no water in it (i.e. Nalgene bottle). Go to one of the soda fountains and fill it with ice. Then, go to a drinking fountain and fill it with water. There you go. Ice cold, free water, and lots of it.

  45. SadSam says:

    I don’t mind the extra charges (use tax) but I suspect the result will be longer lines (esp. at security) and less space and increased delays as more and more people try to carry on all luggage. And that I do mind.

  46. badgeman46 says:

    People! Its alright that these airlines are comitting business suicide. In 5 years or so, or even maybe this year, you will be getting on your own private jet from that airport down the street you got breakfast at or watched Cessna’s take off at when you were a kid. They will take you an equally small airport at your destination, non-stop, all service. Until a legacy airline decides they are going to offer old school luxury service, the legacy’s are doomed to fail. To feel what I am screaming, or smell what I’m stepping in, visit these sites: [] []

  47. bostonhockey says:

    i wouldn’t mind this so much if we were still allowed to carry our *own* beverages through security, but we all know how the TSA feels about that. and the kicker to all this is the fact that beverages (and other snacks) are jacked up once you clear TSA. so either way, the consumer is getting bent over.

    either way, i’m fine with this. does that mean my ticket will now be cheaper?

  48. Franklin Comes Alive! says:


    Copying Southwest would mean massive changes, which would be admitting failure. Think any of the airlines are going to do that?

    Slightly OT, but the whole point of the US Airways – America West merger was to create one more efficient airline. Due to the inability of the new company to reach an agreement between the US Airways and America West pilots’ unions, they are still operating internally as two completely independent airlines, just under one corporate moniker. That can’t be good for efficient operation.

  49. bryanjj says:

    @lsocoee: wow the first rational comment.

  50. mrafternoon says:

    you know, i’ve always been a patient flyer (once eveing being stuck on the tarmac at ATL-Hartsfield for over 8 hours on delta a few years back) and have complained little to none. I didn’t balk too much when they discontinued meals on cross country flights, it was a bummer, but no BFD. I like to think that i’m probably a good passenger, i dont’ drink too much on a flight, i always say please and thank you no matter how surly the flight attendants are. BUT NOW: I have a feeling that on my next flight, with out any type of convenience or creature comforts, and being nickle and dimed to no extent, I am going to be one rude, cranky and difficult passenger to have on board. (and i will be willing to bet i won’t be alone.)

  51. katylostherart says:

    fail at comments today? wtf?

    anyway, 1 gal clear plastic bag filled with as many individual 3oz containers filled with koolaid as possible.

    i am doing it.

  52. jonworld says:

    Charging for water??? Someone could easily make a case that this is a health risk, especially on a long flight, given the extremely dry environment in a plane.

  53. jonworld says:

    @james: I think you’re allowed to bring drinks on the planes now, you just have to get them after the security checkpoint. I’ve boarded many United flights recently with a large soda in hand and nobody seemed to care.

  54. teh says:

    @Thunderpants: They will be charging for bottled water. This means that you should still be able to get tap water if you ask for it. I hope.

  55. farcedude says:

    Umm, don’t know about you guys and your water woes, but I just bring an empty nalgene through security, and fill it up at the first water fountain I see. The only problems that I’ve had are where I’ve realized in the security line that I had a FULL nalgene, and have had to chug it.

  56. PinkBox says:

    I feel bad for the flight attendents. You know this is going to make people take it out on them.

  57. howie_in_az says:

    Is beverage pricing really necessary?

    Perhaps the CEO should get $1M/year less; I’m sure that’d appease stockholders, keep jobs, and eliminate these stupid additions that are just going to earn them less customers.

    Crazy moon talk, I know.

  58. statnut says:

    I’m not going to stand for it. I’m going to sit for it.

  59. Leah says:

    @james: I just bring empty nalgene bottles with me, and I fill them up at a drinking fountain in the terminal. It’ll keep working until they remove the drinking fountains.

  60. Mr. Gunn says:

    NameGoesHere: You’re unfortunately right. This is going to piss people off, because it’s going to be in their face when they’re in the worst mood.

    I personally couldn’t care less if they canned the whole drink cart.

  61. Mr. Gunn says:

    farcedude: “I’ve realized in the security line that I had a FULL nalgene, and have had to chug it. “

    Thanks for doing your part to keep America safe from the terrists.

  62. TuxRug says:

    Yes, if I’m thirsty, but I’ll raise a stink.

  63. louiedog says:

    I bring an empty bottle with me through security and fill it up at a water fountain before boarding. I’m not someone that has to have water with me at all times, but I don’t like the idea of being stuck on a plane without knowing I’ll have water available when I want it.

  64. GothamGal says:

    “Are you going to stand for this?”

    That’s what next, no seats!

  65. Ein2015 says:

    Purchase drinks at the terminal and bring them with you.

  66. magic8ball says:

    @dry-roasted-peanuts: I’m not sure that water is potable.

  67. tkozikow says:

    @dry-roasted-peanuts: One word…ewwwww! There are signs all over the place that the water in the lavatory is non-potable and they might even used bottled water for coffee (not sure about this, however).

    US Airways is not a preferred carrier, but they had the best ticket prices for our Cancun vacation in August by more than $75 per seat. These nickel & dime charges are what kept us from flying Spirit (along with their tendency to cancel flights), but I think that it will end up being a wash when compared to the other legacy carrier options we had (primarily American). Will we pay $2 for onboard beverages? Probably not since we will have advance notice so that we can get something at the airport along with a decent sandwich for lunch.

  68. balthisar says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!: Yeah, actually, I have flown Southwest, more times than I like. It’s my only convenient choice if I want to get into Midway. What makes the experience sucky — even with A pass — is the human cattle that forms so that they can all rush to grab their favorite seats. You know what I do when I have a pre-assigned seat on every, single other airline? I enjoy myself. I sit and watch all the human cattle that forms up without understanding that they have assigned seats, and must be first in the line (or asswipes who have too much stuff and must claim every inch of overhead space before everyone else). If I don’t sit and watch the human cattle, then I’m browsing or buy in the shops. Or having lunch at a sit-down place. I’m not in line with all the people trying to best one another. I’m often the last through the gate. If I didn’t think that they’d close the doors on me, I’d wait even longer going through the gate, because inevitably, all of the jackasses take forever to stow their stuff, get their butts out of the aisle, and sit down.

    So yeah, from repeated personal experiences, having to fly Southwest negatively affects my quality of life.

  69. Maulleigh says:

    Oh hell no.

    My mom brings an empty bottle through security and then fills it up at a drinking foutain. But after a couple hours, I get thirsty.

    Water should always be free. I hope.

  70. darkrose says:

    I’ll just pay $2 for soda or water while I’m waiting for the plane which is something I always do anyway.

  71. NotATool says:


    Why the other airlines don’t look at their business model and try to copy it is beyond me.

    Oh, that’s easy. They have no incentive. They know Uncle Sam will keep bailing them out for as long as they cry “Bankruptcy!”

    If trains were a viable option in this country for long-haul travel, airlines would have serious competition and wouldn’t be pulling this nonsense — they’d have to run their business like, well, a business.

  72. dreamrot says:

    I probably decline the free beverage half the time anyways. I wouldn’t be happy about paying the $2, but if I needed something to drink and didn’t have something, what would the alternative be? So long as they don’t do what Spirit did and decline to accept cash, it’d be ok I guess.

  73. chrishop says:

    Good thing USAir doesn’t have much of a market where I normally fly. I will never fly them. Soemthing needs to happen because if airlines keep adding stupid fees they won’t have any customers to pay the fees.

  74. theblackdog says:

    @balthisar: That has changed now that they’ve added numbers to the boarding passes for Southwest. If you get A20, you have to stand in the spot where number 20 is, no sitting in front of the gate for 2 more hours just because you wanted to be first. Now it depends on when you check in.

  75. theblackdog says:

    I’d consider paying $2 for soda and maybe coffee, but for water? fugheddaboutit!

  76. kepler11 says:

    the non-alcoholic drinks will still be free on transatlantic flights, because passengers pay enough on that service to justify it. I’m guessing they will get around people’s complaints about depriving them of water by serving cups of water from pitchers or something similar. If you want a bottled water, that will be $2.


  77. @design_chick: Really? That’s not what the TSA is telling people. Could that “war on liquids” crap just be a plot to let the airlines gouge you? I’ll die of thirst first.

  78. shufflemoomin says:

    If I can bring my own drinks, then it’s not a problem. it’s only $2 anyway. The only problem I forsee is if passengers don’t bring cash or the airline can’t accept big notes or whatever. You don’t travel on the bus or train and expect free drinks, so why in the air? People are just getting used to the way things used to be. Things are changing, accept it and everything will be fine. Airlines need to make money and they are no longer giving away the freebies they used to be able to. If you’re the type to whine about paying for additional services above being flown to somewhere, then get over it. It’s not going to change soon and I don’t see why it should.

  79. mythago says:

    This would be less bad if it weren’t for the fact that USAir is the worst, worst airline. Even by airline standards. I had to start writing “NO USAIR!!!!” on my travel requests at work for a while until they got the idea that I like getting to my destination, you know, the same day I am supposed to arrive.

  80. Landru says:

    In addition to Southwest’s fuel hedging, I’m under the impression that they don’t have the debt load that Untied and the others are carrying, (as a result of the financing of leveraged buyouts.

    Does anyone know if that is true – and if it is still true after an airline declares bankruptcy?

  81. HOP says:

    piss on it….i’ll fix ’em…i just wont fly…..

  82. Concerned_Citizen says:

    Soon credit card scanners will be attached to the emergency oxygen masks.

  83. nfs says:

    I’d rather let them charge for sodas than for the first checked bag.

  84. PeteyNice says:

    @shufflemoomin: Because on a bus or train I am not breathing poorly recycled air for 3+ hours. Flying is a dehydrating experience. Riding on a bus or train is not.

    The checked bag fees are worse since it just encourages people to carry on which makes the battle for overhead space more fierce and makes going through security take longer.

    I hope they start charging by weight. Instead of searching for total fare you will search for fare per pound. As a thin person who knows how to pack light I would save a ton.

    If this was fark I would make some comment about how you could always bring an empty water bottle through security and fill it at a water fountain. However, it is Consumerist so I will refrain.

    The SWA zealots are a lot like the credit union or USAA zealots in the bank threads. Not everyone can fly SWA.

  85. wring says:

    i’d bring an empty water bottle and fill it up with water from the bathroom tap. i’m that cheap!

  86. d2kd3k says:

    Will I be paying $2 for drinks?

    No, because I will not be flying US Airways.

  87. sickofthis says:

    @badgeman46: On what planet are individuals going to be able to afford $17,700 (even split three ways) to fly from, say, Nashville to D.C.? Luckily, Linear doesn’t charge fuel surcharges – wow!

  88. Bryan Price says:

    I’m not flying US Air (Fomerly known as Agony, I mean Allegheny Airlines).

    I’m flying at the end of this month, and I’ll be flying Business class (thanks to my wife’s upgrade vouchers). I really can’t see flying 18 hours to South Africa any other way.

  89. LogicalOne says:

    Years ago, liquor & beer, meals, and other amenities all used to be “free” with your ticket purchase. Only they weren’t really free, they were embedded in the ticket price. As profit margins shrunk, airlines started to charge for these things too, to make up for lost profits. You got used to paying extra for these; you’ll get used to paying for soft drinks too.

  90. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Wouldn’t the more appropriate question be “Are you going to stop flying US Airways?” I’d pay it if I were really desperately thirsty.

    “Hello, this is your captain speaking. As you know, this is a “metered” flight. Please deposit $50.00 in the seatback bill slot if you wish to get to your destination.”

  91. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Oh, and yes, I already stopped flying US Air, Continental, and United. About the only airline left worth flying is Southwest.

  92. brandyk says:

    This is at least halfway due to weight/fuel concerns. They’ll have to carry less soda etc. because demand will drop if a small fee is charged. Those who really want it will still have it available, etc.

    I’d buy my drinks at the gate. Who wants to pay $2 for warm soda anyhow? About half the time I fly, my ice tastes like chemicals. I don’t like ice anyway. It dilutes my precious caffeine.

  93. flidget says:

    I’d pay $2 for a full can of soda if I actually wanted it – if we’re talking mini cans, or the “fill your cup 3/4 with ice and 1/4 with soda, but not give you the can” deal, not so much.

    Either way, I fly Delta, so this doesn’t apply to me…yet, anyway.

  94. BytheSea says:

    Bring water bottle, fill it up at a water fountain in the terminal. As long as you’re not flying out of East Nowhere, Africa, the water is safe.

  95. stoners everywhere gasp in a sea of paranoia…this takes cotton mouth to a whole new level

  96. u1itn0w2day says:

    Do we tip now that were paying 2$ to be served a 35 cent can of soda or a 4$ sandwich you can get for 1.75 @ 7-11.
    You INSULT the passengers who know what these things cost and make the airlines seem that much greedier.

    Are these flying snack bars subject to licensing and inspections just as if they were on the ground?Can you get a refund if they screw up your order.This is worst than the subliminal salt and popcorn pictures in movies.It’s called airplane AIR.

    Just build the fraken prices into the ticket instead of trying disguise it or make it SEEM more fair.Every ticket,just raise it by let’s say 5$,EVERY TICKET:just build it into the price.

  97. sporks says:

    No, I won’t pay $2 for a soda. Why? US Airways doesn’t actually fly out of my local airport, only via Mesa Airways. I’d rather take Airtran/Frontier, anyway.

  98. Nev-in-NYC says:

    Seems like there could be a great business opportunity here by purchasing beverages in the concourse in bulk and undercutting the airline. Hell, I might take a loss in the sales price and profits just to see the look on their face as I followed them down the aisle offering to sell the same beverages for $1.50. Granted it would probably get me arrested but I’d definitely get my own consumerist article.

    But really, how long before they begin to cut off water to the bathroom sinks when they realize that people are bringing in empty bottles and filling them on their own? On that day I will wear a full body condom when traveling because there will be a lot of unwashed hands all over that aircraft…

  99. Difdi says:

    I’ve been bringing my own food and drinks for years when traveling. Camelbak is your friend, just make sure it’s empty before going through security, then fill it from a drinking fountain or restroom sink in the terminal. I usually fly with 2-6 high quality sandwiches in the pockets of my vest (enough to share with family/friends). Adding a couple cans of post-security soda is not much of an added burden.

    The vest neatly hold sandwiches, a couple cans of soda, a couple books to read on the flight, my bag of trail mix for snacking, my umbrella, a poncho, wallet, ticket, passport, keys, gum, earplugs, mini-first aid kit (nothing sharp), windbreaker, and even has room left over for pocket lint. :)

  100. H3ion says:

    One easy way is to show up at the airport with an empty bottle, go through security, and then fill the bottle at a water fountain or in the rest rooms. No fuss, no muss, and no $2. BTW, I fly SWA almost exclusively and will drive an extra 15 miles to book a flight at an airport that Southwest serves. Are they the greatest airline? Not by a long shot, but they sell basic transportation with no frills and they get you there, generally on time or close to it. Some of the international airlines are pretty good but for domestic travel, I either use SW or try to set up a video conference so that no one has to be subjected to the domestic airlines.

  101. vastrightwing says:

    I actually can’t wait for the manditory $100 per incident screaming baby fee!

  102. mister-nachos says:

    I heard that soon they were going to charge $2 to use the bathroom!

    Seriously though, I have had to do a lot of flying lately on several different carriers, and my observation has consistently been that it’s getting more and more like taking a Greyhound bus.

  103. Nev-in-NYC says:

    @vastrightwing: Oddly enough I’d be in favor of that. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve had long flights where desensitized parents have napped or otherwise ignored their screaming kids.

  104. ShariC says:

    For any flight less than 3 hours in length, there’s no reason to include beverages or food of any kind except water (and that should be free). The idea that short flights have to be flying snack bars is one that has always puzzled me. Unless you have serious blood sugar or other health problems, most people can go without food or drink comfortably for three hours (often more). They’d save a lot of money if they just gave everyone free water and just ditched the whole sky waitressing gig. They wouldn’t have to carry the load of excess supplies, pay people to load them, or pay them to serve them. Load several water coolers in the plane, one cup per passenger, should be quite enough for shorter flights.

  105. OsiUmenyiora says:

    Pretty soon flying is going to be like going to the ballpark — $7.75 for a beer and $9 for a hot dog.

  106. caj11 says:

    Okay, let me understand something here…$15 for a checked bag (i.e. no free baggage allowance) and $2 for a drink… didn’t they try this at the now-defunct Skybus Airlines? Clearly not a sustainable business model.

    Also…Southwest and JetBlue are referred to as “discount” carriers, yet they are now providing more than most of the “full service”/legacy carriers – no charge for checked bags (the first one at least), complementary beverages and televisions at your seats for no extra charge (on JetBlue). I don’t get it.

  107. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Hey, if you’re going to bring an empty bottle with you and fill it from the airport tap, it should be one of these inexpensive filter bottles, or a similar filter bottle from another seller: []

    Then if you are flying out of an area where the water is questionable, you can still carry your empty bottle through and fill it at the tap. Come to think of it, if you’re going to an area where the water is questionable, one of these will definitely need to be in your kit.

  108. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @ShariC: So, only people who fit your definition of “most” people should fly? That’s hell of convenient. No diabetics, small children, people with medical conditions, or the like are to be allowed on board, right? Suffering builds character, right?

  109. Meathamper says:

    To be honest, I can’t say I blame them. Oil prices are way up, and 24 airlines around the world have already gone bust. So I think we will be seeing a lot of this in the near future.

  110. STrRedWolf says:

    @SuryakantiInsana: As one flight attendant said in a funny preflight set of instructions, “Insert one quarter for every 10 minutes of air.”

    This is another in a long list of reasons to avoid United/US Air (yes, I’m lumping ’em together since they’re basically joined at the hip by contract). I’ll fly everyone else, thank you.

  111. gnimsh says:

    @Maulleigh: I do exactly the same thing as your mom, just bring an empty water bottle through and fill it up at water fountains. Unfortunately, European airports don’t seem to have water fountains, and as I’ll be flying back to the US in 2 weeks this will be a small annoyance, but there’s always bathroom sinks or cafes to fill it up.

    On another note, Lufthansa provides free beer. How cool is that?

  112. goodcow says:

    Amtrak charges for drinks unless you’re in business class.

    Business class Amtrak FTW.

  113. kegtapr says:

    I’ve never understood the need to serve a beverage on short hops. People really can’t go 1 or 2 hours without a drink? They don’t even make it through the cabin until 5 minutes before landing sometimes.

    Get rid of the drink cart altogether on flights less then 2 hours. Have small bottles of water available for special circumstances.

  114. boomerang86 says:

    Where’s the voting option for “F**k NO!”??

  115. Smitty Werbenjagermanjensen says:

    Lets see.

    I can but a 12 pack of Coke 12 ounce cans for around $2.50 in Connecticut.

    That works out to just over 20 cents per can.

    The airlines DO NOT need to make 1000 percent profit off of their customers on a soft drink.

    In addition, they probably pay a lot less than 20 cents per can.

  116. JustThatGuy3 says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!:

    Yes, I have flown SWA, and yes, I still prefer selecting my seat ahead of time and not having to (a) check in exactly at the 24 hour mark, and (b) making sure I’m there at the gate before the boarding process starts.

  117. JustThatGuy3 says:

    This is also likely a weight issue. Fewer drinks sold, fewer beverages carried. Less weight carried, less fuel burned.

  118. JustThatGuy3 says:


    Yeah, great, for NYC-DC, and sometimes for NYC-Boston.

    For any other run, terrible, unless you have a LOT of time on your hands.

    Boston-DC (one of the best-served Amtrak corridors):

    Acela (fastest Amtrak): 6 hours, 32 minutes

    Delta or US Airways Shuttle: 1 hour, 33 minutes

    Even if it takes you an extra 45 minutes on public transport to Logan and from National, you’re looking at 3.5 hours faster than taking the train.

    For anything outside of the Northeast Corridor, the comparison is even more absurd.

  119. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @speedwell: Wow, I picked that site at random, and after hours of searching I can’t find a better deal on a top-quality water filter bottle. I don’t work for them… I just noticed the same exact thing is selling from 29 to 39 dollars elsewhere, with occasional dips to 19 on sale.

  120. quail says:

    @Lewis: I see that someone already made the suggestion to bring your own empty bottle to fill up at a drinking fountain in the terminal. Just want to add that there are drink bottles that collapse flat. Check online or go to your nearest high-tech backpacker store.

    There’s also Camelback’s for water.

  121. Vanguarde says:

    Why don’t they offer a ticket class called ‘roughing it’

    No food, no drinks, basic toilet. No TV, no Phone, no Net, nothing.

    You pay for the airline to in essence HAUL you from one place to another.

    If it saved me hundreds, I would do it. Hell, I would even sit on the floor strapped down to a harness in case the plane broke open. No seats.

    This has been going on for YEARS. Who are they?


    Cargo is more cost effective.

    The more airlines treat people like cargo, the more everyone will save.

    I always hated paying for fluff nonsense while in flight. Just shut up and wait the time it takes to get to where you want to go.

  122. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @Vanguarde: Oooh, you’re so macho. Discomfort means nothing to you. You have the stamina of a bull. Just thinking about it makes me horny.

  123. nsv says:

    I was on a US Airways flight on Monday.

    On the first leg, we were offered pretzels with our water or soda. On the second leg (I didn’t change planes) we were offered soda or water. I asked for a package of pretzels and was told they were eliminated over the weekend, and the last ones were given out on the last leg.

  124. Overheal says:

    just bring your own beverage. Either buy it at the gate or take a bottle with you and fill it up before your flight.

    seriously though thats cuntish and I will refuse to pay for my drinks in August: I bought those tickets BEFORE these rules were emplaced.

  125. felixgolden says:

    In the last few weeks, I’ve flown JetBlue, US Air and Spirit. US Air did not charge for drinks, but Spirit did. Plus, the Spirit flight was delayed boarding for an hour, then we sat on the tarmac for an hour waiting to take off. Fortunately, I had purchased drinks and food in the gate area before boarding.

    Also, when payment was required onboard, it was credit or debit card only, no cash.

  126. synergy says:

    Fine. But they need to start allowed passengers to carry their own food and liters of water again.

  127. fearnofish says:

    This is why I love SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

  128. @CAK: (and to all the others that are saying the same thing.

    FUEL. PRICES. HAVE. GONE. UP. The airlines can’t afford to keep giving you what you’ve been getting for what you’ve been paying. Starting to charge for drinks is saving you from the prices going up. Prices staying the same when they would otherwise go up is still GOOD FOR YOU.

    Even the title of this article specifies BOTTLED water costing money. I doubt the stewardess will refuse you TAP water in a cup, but even if they would, nothing stops you from bringing an empty bottle and filling it in the terminal as 100 other people have pointed out.

    Everyone who says “ZOMG I ONLY FLY SOUTHWEST,” I’m happy for you. But I personally don’t want to fly with all the Wal-mart shopping, penny pinching riff-raff so I’ll continue to pay $10 more a ticket for an assigned seat on Delta/United/USAir.

    @u1itn0w2day: So you’re saying you’d rather your total flying cost go up $5 in a way you have no control over, than to go up $2 and be able to opt out of it by bringing your own damn water. Even if you said $2 instead of $5, I think you’re crazy. Why would you rather be charged assuming you’ll be thirsty rather than paying only for what you consume?

    That’s the sort of attitude the theater owners would love. Movie tickets are now $25 instead of $10 but they include COMPLETELY FREE popcorn, candy, and soda! If you don’t want or need those things, it’s okay! You still get the same low $25 price as everyone else.

  129. opal says:

    @JustThatGuy3: Don’t forget things like arriving early for check-in, security, delays, etc. Even though the gap is likely less in the northeast compared to other areas, it’s still not as clear-cut as comparing the ride/flight time.

    Because the ticket prices will be lower?
    Lower by two friggin’ dollars?!?!?

    It just means poorer service in the cabin as the stewardesses have to stop and search for “change for a twenty, anyone?”

    It’s stupid. And only stupid people like the idea. You know, airline CEO’s . . . .

  131. Pender says:

    I was done with US Airways ever since I took a flight that included about an hour of commercials played over the TV’s with loudspeaker (i.e. not headphone jack) audio. Oh, and the tray tables had giant verizon ad stickers stuck to them, which I ripped off and crumpled up before I deplaned.

  132. avconsumer says:

    Beats the $5/$6 they’ll charge you inside the airport for a bottle of stinkin’ water.

    Why did soda/snack become mandatory on planes anyway? So funny watching the attendants on a 1/2 an hour flight scurry at breakneck pace to deliver beverage service. IS ANYBODY REALLY THAT FUCKING THIRSTY?!