Southwest Airlines Owes Fliers 5.8 Million Drinks

When Southwest Airlines decided to put an expiration date on the drink vouchers it gave out to customers, one man was angry enough to sue. He had 45 of the formerly everlasting vouchers and said the airline owed him those drinks, which were worth $225. He filed suit back in November, and Southwest decided to settle the class-action suit this week and accept the unredeemed vouchers, which are estimated to be worth $29 million altogether.

The Chicago Tribune estimates that there are 5.8 unredeemed vouchers out there, worth $5 apiece.

"This settlement is a grand-slam result for the class, as consumers are recovering 100 cents on the dollar," said Joseph Siprut, the attorney who represented the case against Southwest.

According to the settlement, any fliers who received the vouchers are entitled to use them, even if they don't have the paper vouchers anymore. If the vouchers are lost, the fliers will receive new vouchers that are good for a year.

"Class members just have to submit a form saying they had a certain number of vouchers that were never redeemed, and they can get replacement vouchers in equal number," Siprut said. 

Eligible fliers will be notified of their access to new vouchers in the next few weeks.