US Airways Bumps Free Pretzels From Flights

Its the latest twist in airline cost-cutting: US Airways is eliminating free pretzels.

Beginning in September, Charlottes largest airline says it will pull the small bags of pretzels from domestic flights. The move, expected to save US Airways more than $1 million a year, is part of the airlines larger effort to compete with low-fare airlines, spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said.

Years ago, airlines offered free hot meals and sometimes even free booze.

Over the years, theyve removed perks, especially from coach class, in order to offer the lower fares most travelers crave.

Just last month, Northwest Airlines replaced free pretzels with 3-ounce bags of trail mix that passengers can buy for $1.

Passengers are not driven by whether there are pretzels there or no pretzels there, said David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association.

Aboard transcontinental flights, US Airways last month started selling Pringles, Kit Kat bars, power bars and beef jerky for $3. Flight attendants also sell sandwiches for $5 or $7 on flights that last at least two-and-a-half hours.

The airline will continue serving free juice and soda.

US Airways pretzel purge might not be permanent. The airline is merging with America West Airlines, which still serves pretzels and peanuts.

An America West spokesman said the airlines have not yet solved the pretzel predicament, as theyre tending to weightier issues.