February 23, 2009

US Airways returns to free sodas

US Airways said Monday it would reverse its policy of charging passengers for non-alcoholic beverages on flights starting March 1.

While many airlines added charges in the summer of 2008 for everything from handling a second bag to preferential seating to pillows and a blanket, US Airways found itself flying solo regarding charges for soft drinks, tea, water and coffee.

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 Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker in a statement.

However, it is also a work in progress, he said. US Airways was the only large network carrier to charge for drinks and that put us at a disadvantage.

The airline said it still expects to take in between $400 million to $500 million in 2009 from checked baggage fees, preferential seating charges and other a la carte items.

Image Courtesy Adrian Pingstone - Wikipedia