Why is food so expensive at airports?

Why is food so expensive at airports?

Airport refreshments; where dreams of cuisine and travel dollars die.

I didn’t feel reluctant (or general ignorance) to order airport beer for $ 38 or $ 30 deconstructed sausage and tea, but I went through enough terminals around the world to support the theory that eating and drinking at the airport would be relatively bland or unbearably expensive, or more often both.

Every time I pass through Geneva Airport, I either arrive as close to the boarding time as possible, or I practically run through the airport and straight to the transfer van to avoid the rush of hunger, the smell of hot pastries or ordinary boredom that would force me to buy expensive food at a very expensive price. currency, Swiss franc.

It is better to wait 30 minutes for the transfer to France and the (relative) value of the euro. Croque Monsieur is basically the same, but almost half price.

But you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to feel cheated, there seems to be a lot of bad deals in New Zealand.

As the last goodbye meal (if we could call it that) to kill time before our flight from Auckland International, I said goodbye to almost $ 20 NZ (A18 $) for the five celebrated chicken nuggets – sorry, boneless chicken scoops – from only the establishment is open on the other side of the security. I guess that saying goodbye to New Zealand has made it a little easier.

It’s not just the food prepared by the chef who charges like a furious bull at airports, the same ubiquitous snacks, drinks, sandwiches and delicacies you can find in a supermarket or main street cafe have an “airport tax”.

Take a 750ml bottle of water. Go on, have a nice time, you are on vacation – you will brighten it up. In Countdown, they range from $ 1 to $ 3. It’s approaching $ 4 at a dairy or coffee shop. And at one all-day Auckland airport, this carbonated pleasure adds a full $ 7 to the bill. It’s not a bad surcharge at all.

Now that you’re finishing your time in New Zealand in a modest orange tone with Sir Ed, you may have thought you could get a barista on the white’s journey to accompany you on a long-haul flight. Well, the luck of the coffee snob has run out, because you’d be hard pressed to find him for less than five, a lot of big ones pushing $ 6.

Five dollars might be – maybe – enough for an airport muffin to choose from while you wait. But freshly made at the supermarket costs just $ 2.50. Another sugar hit, such as a small chocolate bar, is a victim of a ruthless mark-up of almost 100 percent. I’m grateful to have completed Whittaker’s Pak’n’Save run on the way out, because the price for a smaller bar was twice that of you.

For many years, the selection of food at Auckland International Airport has been packed, and recent renovations of the area have included a collection of more luxurious options to showcase advances in kiwi coffee culture (read as: expensive) to lure people away from American fast food chains. .


Credit: Jay Jay Feeney / Twitter

But now, if you’re complaining about price irritations and just can’t stand three hours without food, it’s probably best to go back to the same familiar fried food chains. The price is known and consistent.

Of course, if airport companies really value the customer experience, they can try to emulate European airport and train station halls, which have smaller versions of national supermarket chains (remember the New World half-liter metro). Travelers will receive regular food, sunscreen, newspapers, drinks and more at prices they would pay during the weekly grocery store. No, it does not prevent fraud, but it offers discounts and withdrawals. It’s great when you come to Heathrow at midnight and realize you left the pantry bare.

In defense of airport facilities – and after the apocalyptic business environment of the last two years, higher prices are just a harsh reality, with economics and human behavior clashing at airport food courts and lairs with drinking: completely captive (and often bored) audiences , reduced competition and higher than average rents.

Hospitality companies, large and small, will pay above-average rents to airport companies because they know (regardless of the last two years) that there is an almost constant stream of people around their kiosk, cafe or bar. If even one-third are foreigners, they are probably unable to question the true value of their food, let alone go elsewhere.

Have you ever left the terminal and hauled your luggage for 20 minutes for car rentals and parking spaces just to save $ 2 on beer? No.

Of course, profit-oriented owners will charge more when tired travelers have nowhere to go. Some compete with each other, but it’s nothing like the outside world, where you have much more freedom of choice.

The freedom of choice you have, of course, is that you can do it for a few hours. Have less scumbag in your mouth and more scumbag in your wallet to the goal that awaits… even if it’s a local supermarket.


See also: $ 38 for a beer? The seller was forced to return overpayments to customers at the US airport

See also: I avoided new travel thefts at the touch of a button

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