On July 1, Southwest Airlines changed one of its options for payments at ticket counters, and it’s one that’s been over a decade in the making.
They no longer accept cash.
Many companies have stopped accepting cash since the advent of coronavirus, as a way to cut down on social contact and disease spread. The decrease in consumer spending since this spring has even lead to a nationwide coin shortage. However for Southwest, eventually going cashless been a slow process that’s been going on for years.
The Dallas-based airline stopped accepting cash for food and beverage onboard its flights in 2008, But they had still taken it at its ticket counters when passengers wanted to book flights or pay for upgrades and extra luggage.
Earlier this year, the airline finally began phasing out cash as an accepted form of payment, when it only allowed it at the ticket counters of 25 U.S. airports (AMA, BUR, CRP, DAL, DCA, ECP, GEG, GSP, HNL, HRL, ISP, ITO, LAX, LBB, LIH, MAF, MHT, ONT, PHL, PNS, PWM, RDU, SNA, STL, TPA). However effective July 1, they no longer accept cash domestically.
Credit and debit cards require an extra cost for merchants but that’s balanced by the time it takes to count money every day and to train employees to use cash registers, on top of the cost of transporting the cash to banks via security services. From a cost, and definitely, a time point of view, considering how few people still use cash anymore, it’s probably a wash.
Southwest still accepts cash at international ticket counters.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary