Southwest Drink Coupons: How to Get Free Drinks While You Fly

You can earn free drink coupons by booking 10 qualifying flights or by flying Business Select.
Elina Geller
By Rebecca Lake and  Elina Geller 
Edited by Meg Lee

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Southwest Airlines offers a variety of free beverages in-flight, including soft drinks, tea, hot chocolate and coffee. Beer, wine and spirits, on the other hand, come with a price tag of $6 to $7 per drink.

Scoring Southwest drink coupons can save you money on those purchases. Here are some tips for getting free drinks on Southwest.

How do I get Southwest drink coupons?

There are generally only two ways to get free drink coupons from Southwest:

  1. Book 10 qualifying flights with Southwest. While this isn't an officially published policy, you can book flights to earn drink coupons. Specifically, these flights need to be ones that you pay for, not ones booked with Southwest Rapid Rewards points. Once you book the appropriate number of qualifying flights (usually 10), Southwest rewards you with drink coupons, assuming you're 21 or older. Normally, you'll get physical coupons sent to you in the mail to bring on your flight and use to pay for your drink.

  2. Book a Business Select fare. When you fly Business Select, you get a coupon that's good for one free premium drink in-flight, along with priority boarding and Fly By check-in. Your drink coupon may be electronic (especially if you check in through the app), or it may be a printed coupon with your boarding pass.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Southwest temporarily suspended in-flight alcoholic drink service. Any drink coupons that were scheduled to expire in 2020 or 2021 will be accepted through Dec. 31, 2022. Southwest has resumed in-flight alcoholic drink service as of mid-February 2022, so if you've been holding on to a coupon, you can once again redeem it.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Make sure you’ve opted in to receiving drink coupons. Log in to your Rapid Rewards account and navigate to "Profile," then "Travel." Look for the drink coupons section.

What’s on the Southwest drink menu?

Southwest offers a variety of free nonalcoholic beverages, along with complimentary in-flight snacks. Drink coupons are meant for beverages that you'd ordinarily have to pay for.

Beverages that aren't free include:

  • Beer.

  • Wine.

  • Individual spirits.

According to the in-flight menu, all of these options can be purchased using Rapid Rewards or Southwest Business Select drink coupons. If you're flying between Hawaiian Islands, Southwest limits service to water and juice. But the airline will still honor drink coupons if you're flying Business Select.

Do Southwest drink coupons expire?

If you're earning free drink coupons with Southwest, it's important to know that the airline does impose a deadline for using them. Drink coupons expire on the last day of the month, 12 months from the date of issue.

However, Business Select drink coupons are valid only on the day of travel.

As previously mentioned, Southwest has extended expiration dates for drink coupons that expired in 2020 and 2021 through Dec. 31, 2022.

Save on drinks without Southwest drink coupons

If you don't have any drink coupons, here are some other tips you can try to save money on beer, wine and cocktail purchases.

  • Book with the right card: When you book flights with the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card or the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, you can get 25% back on in-flight drinks and Wi-Fi. You'll also earn Rapid Rewards points on those purchases, which you can use toward future flights.

  • Look for free drinks on holidays: Southwest offers complimentary drinks to travelers on selected holidays. Based on crowdsourced data, free drinks have been offered on St. Patrick's Day, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day and Veterans Day. Some customers have also commented that they received drink coupons on their birthday. While there's no guarantee, you may score a free drink without a coupon if you're traveling on a holiday or your birthday.

  • Ask: You may be able to get a free drink coupon just by asking. For example, if your flight's been delayed, Southwest may be willing to offer a free drink as partial compensation. The worst that can happen is they say no.

If you want to use Southwest Airlines drink coupons

Southwest drink coupons can save money on in-flight purchases. If you don't have any coupons on hand, you may be able to save on in-flight drinks by paying with a Rapid Rewards credit card and earning 25% back on those purchases. Be aware that Southwest's in-flight drink menu can change regularly, so pay attention to any price updates if you're paying for alcoholic beverages out of pocket.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:

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