American Eagle Won't Charge for Drinks

American Eagle, a division of American Airlines, announced yesterday that it will stop charging $1.00 per soft drink, which it did do on some California flights since January. Spokesperson Dave Jackson: "We didn't sell a lot and we also got feedback from our customers saying they'd prefer that juices and sodas be complimentary." No, really? Gee, imaging having to shell out a dollar for a can of Coke on American - especially when they don't offer anything else for free.

I've already written about my experience on Northwest Airlines last summer. They charged for everything - peanuts, etc. - but not drinks. American Eagle will continue something similar: charging $1.00 for cashew nuts and $5.00 for pillow-and-blanket sets which the passengers can keep. Not only that, but the airline said it was looking to "roll them out further".

Now it's common practice for low cost carriers elsewhere - especially Europe (hint: Ryanair) - to charge for everything. On Ryanair, the only thing that's free is the air. Water is extra.

And American's excuse for trying to charge for soft drinks: movie theaters profit from the sale of drinks and snacks.


Sean Love said...

As a supervisor at American Eagle I have had the chance to work at several stations. I tried to make a difference and implement changes but there is so much opposition nothing can be done. This airline has many growth areas but I doubt it will ever happen. I sympathize with the ridership and can only hope they shop around and make sound consumer decisions.

Sean Love