Counter-Narrative Alert! US Airways Brings Back Free Drinks


See, the world isn’t all cost-savings and corner-cutting. US Airways has decided to reinstate free drinks on its flight, after going with an a la carte pricing model. Judging by the comments of the CEO Doug Parker, this little lesson has all the makings of a Harvard Business School case study for years and years to come:

The airline began charging $2 for soda, juice, coffee and bottled water in coach cabins on domestic flights on Aug. 1 2008. First-class passengers and all passengers travelling on trans-Atlantic flights still received free drinks.

“With US Airways being the only large network carrier to charge for drinks, we are at a disadvantage,” Parker said. “More importantly, this difference in our service has become a focal point that detracts from all of the outstanding improvements in on-time performance and baggage handling that all of us have worked so hard to achieve over the past year.”