I know there are other threads on drink coupons, but this is welcome news.
"Southwest Airlines learned a costly lesson about taking free drinks away from fliers last week, reaching a class-action settlement that's potentially valued at $58 million.
The dispute involves the airline's decision in 2010 to cancel unused alcoholic drink vouchers.
Filed last year in Chicago's federal court, the lawsuit alleged Southwest breached its contract with customers who received the $5 drink vouchers as part of purchasing a plane ticket. The vouchers did not list an expiration date.
The settlement agreement says any customer holding one or more of the estimated 5.8 million unredeemed vouchers can receive a replacement. Depending on how many vouchers actually remain unused, that could cost Southwest free drinks valued between $29 million and $58 million, the settlement says.
Class Members of the Southwest drink coupon class action settlement include all Southwest customers who received an eligible drink voucher through the purchase of a Business Select ticket or otherwise prior to August 1, 2010 and did not redeem it.
The Class does not include Southwest customers who obtained drink vouchers or drink coupons through the Southwest Rapid Rewards program unless those customers separately purchased, but did not redeem, vouchers through the purchase of a Business Select ticket or otherwise.
This doesn't make any sense really; the BS coupons were always good only on the day issued. Depending on what the actual settlement says, looks like most customers who had tan coupons are screwed.
Lets hope "or otherwise" is a catch all that opens this up to everyone.
Beginning today, Southwest Airlines will only accept Business Select drink coupons on the day of travel which allows Customers to use the coupon for the flight it was purchased . This has always been the intent of the coupon, but starting today, August 1, 2010 we’ll begin universally enforcing it.
Ahhhh... ok, I had forgotten that (apparently) you used to be able to use BS coupons anytime.
So, everyone with a stack of unused tan coupons is probably just SOL.
It will be interesting to see what the settlement website actually says.
Not only that, but every time one printed out a BS boarding pass, out popped another drink coupon as well. You could even get away with making copies. That is what initiated the same day coupon expiration.
A lot of us here said that we should be able to collect the unused ones and mail them in for booklets of 1-year expiration coupons, exactly what the settlement does, except it seems that you really do not have to produce the unused ticket.
Livingston's observation of complex systems: The purpose of a system is what it does.
First, here is what the actual settlement document says about those eligible, although the document doesn't allow cutting and pasting:
The class of the class action is defined as "all Southwest customers who purchased an Eligible Drink Voucher through the purchase of a Business Select ticket or otherwise during the time period before August 1, 2010, but who did not redeem the Eligible Drink voucher. ... The class does not include Southwest customers who obtained drink vouchers or drink coupons through the Southwest Rapid Rewards program ...."
So the attorneys are congratulating themselved on a deal that probably affects only a small number of the coupons. Not only were the RR coupons around years before BS fares, but we can all see in the boarding lines that BS usually does not fill the A1-15 slots.
By contrast, the case as originally filed covered all unredeemed coupons, but the lawyers quickly retreated from that.
Paragraph DD notes that the replacement coupons will have an expiration date, but does not specify how that will be determined.
Section X says that Southwest will pay attorneys fees ranging from $1.75 million to $7 million, subject to a later application, and "costs" of as much as $30,000. In cash, course, not coupons. So valuing this deal at $28 million to $56 million is just a way for the attorneys to justify a weak result for a weak case. Why am I not excited by this?