Photo: Southwest Airlines
Photo: Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines has settled a huge class-action lawsuit over its decision to stop honouring drink vouchers, even if they were bought in advance.

The settlement could be worth as much as US $29 million.

According to the Chicago Tribune, an Illinois man brought the class-action suit against the airline on behalf of himself and any other Southwest customer who pre-purchased drink vouchers before the airline altered its policy on expiration dates.

The man reportedly bought tickets through Southwest's "Business Select" program and collected free drink coupons that did not specify a use by date.

On Aug. 1, 2010, Southwest Airline changed its policy, meaning the vouchers were only good for the day the person was travelling - thus making all previously issued vouchers worthless.

When the lawsuit was reported by the LA Times in 2011, a Southwest airlines spokesperson said the decision to add an expiration date was prompted by passengers making unauthorized photo copies of the vouchers.

It's estimated that there are 5.8 million eligible vouchers that were never redeemed. Even if eligible passengers don't have their vouchers anymore, the settlement allows them to redeem new ones.

The drinks are on Southwest!

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