Would you go hungry for cheaper airline tickets?

Posted in In the Air, Media

It’s an interesting question. When faced with the choice of food and drink on-board or lower ticket prices, which would you choose? That’s a question that was posed by TripAdvisor to British travelers (as reported by The Mirror). 31% of all passengers said they’d skip the snacks during the flight in exchange for cheaper fares. The Mirror is running its own mini-poll and the responses there are even more heavily skewed towards skipping the grub in favor of a discount.

It may seem odd for someone who runs a blog about food and air travel, but I think I’d go with cheaper tickets, too. After all, I could always bring my own food on the plane (of the non-stinky variety, thank you very much) and would actually save money by escaping those jacked-up prices both in-flight and at the terminal.

What about you? Would you accept a cheaper ticket in exchange for no food and beverage service on-board? Could you skip your ginger ale/tomato juice/coffee/etc. if it meant you got to pay less up-front? Weigh in below in the comment section!


  1. I would skip the food too for a lower total cost to travel. However, I am very reluctant to believe this is actually happening in the industry. I believe that most carrier’s are just pocketing the difference by not offering the service, especially US carriers.

    • Sadly, I think you’re right. The only way a discount vs. in-flight food/beverage service trade would go down is if it’s done as a marketing stunt.

  2. Norwegian does this. They still give you the option to buy snacks, same as most us domestic flights, or you can order a meal in advance, but for what it costs you can definitely buy better food at or on your way to the airport (or make something at home and bring it)
    Since I fly norwegian transatlantic fairly often I guess I do chose lower prices over the meal, and foresee myself continuing to do so. I’ve never had a coach meal worth $200 dollars (or any meal, really) and that is about what I save on average per one-way.
    Obviously if I were flying any other airline I’d get a free checked bag and probably a seat assignment, but I don’t normally check a bag and there really are no guarantees with seat assignments – highly possible all the window seats are gone by the time I book my ticket/schedule change/etc.

  3. Ps- “would you go hungry for a cheaper airline ticket?” makes it sound (to me, at least) like -if there were flights where no one was allowed to eat anything – would you take that flight if it were cheaper than a flight where you were allowed to buy or bring your own food
    I think that on any flight longer than 140min I would say no, but on shorter flights I would probably at least try it.

    • I assume the trade-off is the airline offers you snack/beverage options and you pay a higher fare or there are no options available and you pay less. I’d take option number two and I wonder what the airlines would do. With those bulky beverage carts on the ground, I imagine the fuel savings would be fairly significant.

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