Expired Drink Coupons: A Back-Door Fee?

Southwest Airlines has apparently announced that as of tomorrow, August 1, expired drink coupons will no longer be valid and accepted by flight attendants.

Current drink coupons that do not carry expiration dates will inherit an August 31, 2011 expiration date.

Business Select drink coupons will be valid on the day of travel only.

This alleged sudden change in policy regarding drink coupons ā€” to reportedly be implemented tomorrow by Southwest Airlines with little advance notice ā€” means that the hoards of expired drink coupons possessed by those who are loyal to Southwest Airlines become worthless.

Could this be a back-door way of charging a fee for drinks, or is this simply a logical policy implemented to save money? Is this a trend of future policy changes on the airline that proudly announces that they are not like other domestic airlines in the United States when it comes to ancillary fees?

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