One Mile at a Time notes the news that US Airways will be offering complimentary beer and wine in their lounges beginning October 30.
They’re also dropping the inance ‘partner lounge fee’ where you had to pay extra for your club membership to be valid in partner lounges, the only program to offer such a fee (and truly silly because you could buy a lounge membership for less from their partners and access their lounges — so it was a higher price to be paid only by people who didn’t know better).
It’s not amazing that a lounge offers complimentary drinks. That’s pretty much world standard. But it’s amazing that US Airways is offering something extra, a cost that they aren’t already incurring. That simply hasn’t been their model. They’ve dubbed their stock ticker LCC for a reason.
Although it should also be noted that what’s free is only the house beer and wine. No cocktails, and ‘premium’ beer and wine will still be available for purchase. But it’s an improvement.
The interesting argument that Lucky makes in his post though is that leaves United and American as the only major carriers not offering free drinks to domestic lounge guests. He posits that United will be forced to change, since both of their domestic partners — US Airways and Continental — offer alcoholic beverages complimentary.
And if United changes, American will stand alone and that isn’t likely sustainable.