A 1980's era coupon book. Last coupon used April 2011.

The party's over. As of today, Southwest Airlines says it will be unable accept free drink coupons without expiration dates. SWA first mentioned this a year ago, but now -- they gave us year to use the old coupons -- the expiration day is finally here.

In the future, Southwest says the coupons for free adult beverages will "expire one year from the last day of the month in which the coupons are issued. To explain: When coupons are issued in November 2011, the expiration will be November 30, 2012."

It's a sign of the times. Southwest, like all other business, had "to find ways to operate smarter" since "watching the bottom-line is more important than ever." 

Southwest said in an August 2010 announcement, "We've reached a point where being so flexible with drink coupons has put us in a position of having far too many in circulation."

Photo Courtesy of Southwest Airlines
"To help purge the system of these excess coupons, we will start enforcing expiration dates on coupons over the course of the next year," Southwest added in its statement from a year ago.

Looking at the bright side, at least this should prolong the advantage of "bags fly free". But you can't drink a bag!

Now -- where's our 1983 inflatable Shamu plane?


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