American Airlines Raises Prices on In-Flight Alcohol

American Airlines Raises Prices on In-Flight Alcohol

The country's largest airline wants passengers to pay a little more for a mid-flight buzz.

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A glass of whisky sits next to a toy airplane.

There are few places where a drink is needed more than in the coach section of a commercial airline, but the respite you find at the bottom of a plastic cup just got more expensive if you're flying American Airlines. Starting Oct. 1, the legacy airline started charging an additional dollar for its beer, wine and spirits served on domestic flights for those with Main Cabin and Basic Economy tickets—aka the passengers who booked the most affordable tickets and aren't flying on the company dime or lucky enough to have a credit card granting them upgrades.

Current Alcohol Prices Across Major Airlines
American AirlinesBeer: $8, Wine: $9, Spirits: $9
United AirlinesBeer: $8, Wine: $8, Spirits: $8-$9
DeltaBeer: $6-$7, Wine: $8, Spirits: $8
SouthwestBeer: $6-$7, Wine: $6, Spirits: $7
JetBlueBeer: $7, Wine: $7 ($9 for sparkling wine), Spirits: $7
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American Airlines recently began charging passengers higher fees for checked luggage—$30 for the first bag and $40 for the second, a raise from the $25 and $35 fees charged prior to Sept. 21. The airline wasn't alone in its price hikes, with United, Delta and JetBlue all increasing the amount passengers had to pay in order to check their bags. Southwest still checks the first two pieces of luggage for free and is one of the most economical airlines regarding booze sales—something to keep in mind if you're booking a flight home for the holidays and carrying with you plenty of gifts (and a sense of dread about having to talk politics with the extended family).

James Ellis is a former Staff Writer for ValuePenguin, covering credit, banking, travel and other personal finance topics. He previously wrote for Newsweek, Men's Health, and other nationally-published magazines.

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