How to Get a Free Beverage On Your Next Flight
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Beverage service is one of the few in-flight amenities that domestic carriers have maintained throughout their on-going barrage of cost-cutting measures (such as baggage fees and reduced legroom). While these free beverages are usually limited to non-alcoholic drinks, there are still ways to get some comped booze on your flight, even if you're flying coach. For example, earlier this month, United joined American in offering complimentary drinks to its most frequent flyers, regardless of their seats on the plane — including coach service.
Here's a breakdown of the major American carriers' beverage policies:
Who gets a free drink?
Even if you don't have frequent flyer status or aren't flying in a premium seat, there are still a few ways to get drinks that are independent of any specific airline. It seems there are no hard and fast rules for many of these tips, but here are some other possible ways to get comped/discounted drinks:
- Use your airline reimbursement credit with cards such as the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card
- Earn discounts or points with select airline credit cards like the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
- Coupons from status
- Coupons from past service issues
- Comped drinks for military service members and veterans
The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
While enjoying free-flowing food and beverages in the pointy end of the plane is certainly nice, the vast majority of travelers are sitting in economy class — so even though airfare prices are supposedly falling, it's still nice to save a bit on your in-flight drink(s).
Do you have any tips for getting a comped drink? Please share in the comments below!