American Increases Prices on Onboard Alcoholic Beverages

Hot on the heels of a bag increase, American Airlines is now raising the price of alcoholic beverages starting October 1. As first reported by @TheForwardCabin, American will raise prices on domestic flights by $1 on all tipples. American claims that these new prices reflect the airline's improved selection on craft beer, premium liquor, and wine selections. However, it seems like even non-craft beers like Budweiser are also part of the dollar hike. The new prices will be:

  • Beer: $8.00
  • Wine: $9.00
  • Spirits: $9.00

International flyers will still receive free beer and wine on most long-haul flights including those to Europe, Asia, and Australia, along with select flights to Latin America.

Passengers seated in Main Cabin Extra and elites like Executive Platinum members with American will continue to receive free alcoholic beverages as well.

This new increase might be an attempt for American to have passengers drink less, thus saving them trips to tiny closet-sized bathrooms on the new 737 Max jetliners. Very thoughtful! Honestly, this has nothing to do with an increased selection of booze options and is most likely meant to cover the free drinks offered to Main Cabin Extra flyers, or another reason to convince flyers to upgrade to those preferred seat perks.

The hike puts American in line with drink prices on United. For a quick view of competitors drink pricing have a look below:

United offers similar options to American, with wine remaining $1 less:

  • Beer: $7.99
  • Wine: $7.99
  • Spirits: $7.99 – Premium Spirits: $8.99

Delta’s drink prices are now lower than American, so it's the most likely that’s subject to change:

  • Domestic Beer: $6.00 – Premium Beer: $7.00
  • Wine: $8.00
  • Spirits: $8.00

Southwest increased its prices earlier this year but overall is less than other major U.S. airlines:

  • Beer: $6.00 – Premium Beer: $7.00
  • Wine: $7.00
  • Spirits: $7.00

Also, note that on certain holidays, like upcoming Halloween and Thanksgiving Day, Southwest offers one free alcoholic beverage to customers. (Of course, you'll have to be 21+ to receive the free drink).

Above image by Yuliya Yesina via shutterstock.com

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