Airline food prices plane stupid: study

The average price of snack food on board budget airline flights is “nothing short of daylight robbery”, according to a study carried out by price comparison site travelsupermarket.com.

The website found that a tube of Pringles cost as much as £21.50 plus VAT, and sandwiches ranged from £5.85 for a basic, bread-only package to a mammoth £42.20, depending on filling. Drinks fared little better, with tap water averaging a mighty £9.75, and a glass of cola ranging from £14.35 to £19.69, depending on altitude.

Consumer spokesman Peter Ian said yesterday: “Airlines have been charging these sorts of prices for years, but no-one has ever really known the full extent of this kind of extortion. This study sheds a lot of light on the outright capitalist greed of the majority of commercial airlines. Once you’re off the ground, you’re no longer governed by conventional pricing systems – you effectively become trapped in a monopoly which isn’t of your choosing.

“Basically, once they get you up there, you’ve got nowhere else to go. They’ve got you trapped throughout your flight and are free to dictate terms as they please. You’re as good as held hostage, because it’s not like you can open the door and go down Asda to get a sandwich. If you attempt to do that, you will certainly die AND put the lives of other passengers at great risk. So, in effect, the airlines are forcing you to pay these extortionate prices, otherwise you risk not only your life, but those of several other innocent passengers – and who would want to do that?

“The best way to combat this consumer terrorism, in my view, would be to play them at their own game and smuggle your own means of food production on board. If you can succeed in getting, say, a camping stove, a box of matches and some meths through customs in your hand luggage, together with a good selection of raw foods and appropriate slicing implements, then the world’s your oyster. Put it this way – it’ll certainly make them think twice about charging such prices in future. I’m actually in the process of organising a set of training weekends to teach people how to use this kind of equipment within the confines of an aircraft toilet, along with several other on-board money-saving tips involving everyday household objects such as lighters and aerosols that many wouldn’t necessarily think of. It should prove to be quite an enlightening experience for those who choose to sign up…”

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