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Plaintiff: Airline Owes Me Free Drinks

But Southwest, which flies out of Midway Airport, now says it will no longer honor the drink coupons, which were redeemable for alcoholic drinks ordinarily costing $5
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A Southwest Airlines jet (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A Southwest Airlines jet (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (STMW) — Adam J. Levitt says Southwest Airlines owes him 45 free drinks, and he filed a federal lawsuit Thursday trying to get the airline to honor previously issued drink coupons.

Levitt, who lives in Cook County, claims he purchased Southwest “Business Select” tickets that included drink coupons, which did not have an expiration date, according to the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

But Southwest, which flies out of Midway Airport, now says it will no longer honor the drink coupons, which were redeemable for alcoholic drinks ordinarily costing $5, the suit said.

“In an industry where the competition is always knocking (or banging) on the door and where watching the bottom-line is more important than ever, we owe it to our employees, customers, and shareholders to find ways to operate smarter,” the suit claims the Southwest explained in a statement.

The suit claims Southwest may have reserved the right to discontinue issuing new drink coupons at any time, but there isn’t a provision in its drink coupon program that allows the airline to revoke a coupon after issuance and delivery to customers.

“Southwest decided that it would make more money — improve its ‘bottom-line’ — by choosing not to honor the coupons that consumers had already paid and bargained for with their purchase of Business Select tickets,” the suit said.

The three-count suit claims breach of contract, unjust enrichment and violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. It seeks a class action status, a jury trial, damages and restitution of the airline’s revenues to Levitt and other customers.

A spokesperson for Southwest said Thursday the airline was in the process of reviewing the litigation and could not yet comment.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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