So, after all that drama yesterday over the American Airlines DevaluAAtion scare (i.e. fuel surcharges error on award flights) that Lucky kicked off in the middle of the night (U.S. time… leading to some travel bloggers literally jumping out of bed to book award flights) and prompted a flood of blog posts from panic to relief to “lesson reminders”… I figured you all could use … A DRINK!

Review of some of the DevaluAAtion Panic and Aftermath:

Now…about that drink!?…

The LAWSUIT
The litigation has been held in Chicago in federal court (In Re: Southwest Airlines Voucher Litigation, N.D. IL, Case No. 11-cv-8176). In November 2011, two plaintiffs filed a class action suit against Southwest Airlines alleging that Southwest committed a breach of contract, was unjustly enriched, and violated various state consumer protection laws when, on August 1, 2010, it stopped honoring drink vouchers that it had given to travelers who purchased premium-priced “Business Select” tickets. These vouchers were redeemable on any Southwest flight for an alcoholic drink that would otherwise cost $5. Plaintiffs alleged that the drink vouchers had no expiration date at the time Southwest issued them. 

The SETTLEMENT
After a two-day mediation with a retired judge, a proposed settlement was reached between the parties. The class would be defined as “all Southwest customers who purchased a drink voucher through the purchase of a Business Select ticket before August 1, 2010 but did not redeem the voucher.” Proof of claim form and supporting documentation would be required to be submitted in order to receive one replacement drink voucher for each unredeemed drink voucher (that WOULD have a one-year expiration period).

southwest drink coupon

Southwest’s “Reminder About Rapid Rewards Drink Coupons” showing the old and new (with expiration dates) vouchers [CLICK to enlarge]

Additional terms of the settlement included:

  • Any new drink vouchers without an expiration date shall be honored on any Southwest flight at any time.
  • Southwest must honor the expiration dates printed on postsettlement drink vouchers and may not retroactively invalidate them.
  • Drink vouchers with limitations shall include conspicuous language.
  • Awards of $15,000 each to the two named Plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs’ request for $3 million in attorney’s fees and $30,000 in costs remains pending, but is expected to be addressed and finalized.

The APPROVAL
On Monday, August 26, 2013, the court approved the settlement as a just resolution of a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of fliers who hold unused $5 vouchers for alcoholic drinks. The value of replaced coupons may range from $29 million to $58 million.

Judge Matthew F. Kennelly’s 22-page Memorandum Opinion and Order goes further in-depth on the fairness and justification of the approval, including denying at least one objection filed by attorney and law professor Michael Tigar.

southwest drink coupons

Sorry, no SoCo on Southwest.. They do have Dewar’s, Wild Turkey, Jack & Canadian Club?

 

The TAKEAWAY
Need that drink now to make a claim to get your drink!?

  • Find more information and a claim form here.
  • Deadline appears to be September 2, 2013 to submit a claim!

 

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.