Southwest Airlines will stop serving the small bags of free peanuts long associated with the discount carrier's no-frills business model.

Peanuts won't be served on any flights starting August 1 because of concerns about allergies, the Dallas-based airline said in an email Tuesday. Free pretzels will continue to be offered, while additional snacks such as small packs of cookies or chips will be available on longer flights, Southwest said.

Southwest's peanuts are so ingrained with the airline's brand that they were dubbed "LUV bites," a reference to the airline's stock ticker symbol. The carrier often describes its ticket prices as "peanuts" and its employee blog is titled "Nuts About Southwest."

"Peanuts will forever be part of Southwest's history and DNA," the carrier said in announcing the "difficult decision" to end the popular snack.


In 2007, Southwest resumed serving honey-roasted peanuts following a two-year absence after the price fell to the same as the dry-roasted variety. In 2000, Southwest had its vendor remove three nuts from each bag to save $300,000 a year.

- Bloomberg