The FINANCIAL — US Airways (NYSE:LCC) is returning complimentary beverages to the coach cabin on all US Airways and US Airways Express Flights beginning March 1st.
Passengers will be offered free soda, juices, tea, water, and coffee in flight. Beer, wine, and cocktails will still be available for purchase for $7.
According to US Airways, the beverage purchase program was introduced last year as part of US Airways’ new a la carte business model – where customers pay for what they choose to use.
“We are firmly committed to the a la carte model and believe it’s the right one for our business,” said US Airways Chairman and CEO, Doug Parker. “It is also a work in progress – US Airways was the only large network carrier to charge for drinks and that put us at a disadvantage.”
US Airways was America’s number one on-time airline in 2008 among the “Big Six” hub-and-spoke airlines according to the recently released U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) monthly Air Travel Consumer Report.
“The beverage program was distracting from the outstanding improvements in on-time performance and baggage handling US Airways’ 34,000 employees worked so hard to achieve last year,” said Parker.
The company still expects to generate from $400 to $500 million in 2009 from a la carte items like checked baggage fees, Choice Seats, and our new blanket and pillow offering – the US Airways Power-Nap Sack.