Airline food and drink mark-up revealed in survey

airline, food, drink
Industry
06/04/2018 - 08:00
Airline passengers can be paying up to 8,900% more than if they had purchased their food and drink at a supermarket, according to research from the travel search engine KAYAK.co.uk.

Ryanair charges £2.23 for a 40g pack of crisps, but if you buy the same individual pack from Asda it costs 50p.

Muffins represented the largest food mark-up of all, costing £2.50 from easyJet, when a similar-sized and quality product can be purchased for as little as 25p from Asda, according to the survey. Peanuts on a Flybe flight are priced at £1.80, but cost 48p at Tesco.

A spokesperson from easyJet said: “Providing an on-board range of food and drink brings with it associated supply chain costs, such as loading and security processes which are not incurred by high street shops or supermarkets.

“These factors inevitably affect the prices we charge, however, we are confident that we always provide good value and choice for our customers. For example, our £7 meal deal with a main meal, snack and drink provides savings of up to 29%.”

For plane passengers, the mark-up for drinks is often higher than for food. Jet2 charges its passengers £2.70 for a cup of tea, but if you buy a box of 40 PG Tips Pyramid tea bags from Tesco, Asda or Sainsbury’s for £1.35, it works out at just 3p for a cup – a mark-up of 8,900% for a similar cup of tea, according to KAYAK.co.uk.

The prices of many onboard snacks have gone up over the last two years, according to the survey, which states that chocolate bars cost £1.56 from Ryanair in 2016, but have now increased to £1.78.

The report says the price of a still water has remained the same between 2016 and 2018 at easyJet, Flybe and Jet 2, and easyJet has reduced the price of its coffee by 20p over the last two years.

Neil Cartwright, travel expert at KAYAK.co.uk, said: “When we’re on flights, passengers are pretty much the definition of a captive audience, making it tempting for airlines to charge as much as they think they can get away with.

“By planning in advance and taking your own snacks, you can end saving a lot of money that can then be used on holiday instead. It’s slightly trickier with drinks as you can’t take these through security, but purchasing these in the terminal before getting on the plane can help you avoid the sky-high in-flight prices."

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