Airlines overcharging for drinks and snacks aboard? You don't say...

planeIn one of the least shocking research findings ever, flight comparison engine Kayak has discovered that low cost airlines are among the worst offenders for hiking up the price of snacks and drinks by more than 20 times the actual cost.

A comparison of six major budget airlines found huge price increases on basic refreshments, with most carriers charging around £2.60 for a tea and £1.80 for a 500ml bottle of water. As a huge surprise to no-one, Ryanair was found to be the most expensive when it came to on-board snacks, charging £2.34 for a bottle of water and £1.56 for a chocolate bar, as well as paying £1.96 for a 200ml can of cola, and £2.34 for a 160g bag of gummy sweets. compared with everyday prices, according to research that.

But it’s not just Ryanair. The investigation found that ‘bucket’ airlines routinely charge triple the supermarket price for chocolate bars, and a cup-a-soup sachet that could be obtained for as little as 12p from a supermarket could cost passengers as much as £2.50. And alcoholic drinks were also extra-pricey. On Jet2 flights, a 330ml can of continental lager costs £4.20, while a 440ml can in a supermarket can cost less than a pound; a mark up of more than 500%.

Frank Brehany, consumer director of HolidayTravelWatch said: “Airlines will argue it’s market forces – you have a choice to buy, or not. But it’s not like this. An airport is a sealed environment and airlines have a captive market. Once you’re through security you’re basically held hostage.”

In a disgruntled statement Easyjet said: “We believe that our products offer value for money when compared to similar outlets and in particular when compared to airport cafes. For example, we charge £1.80 for a 330ml soft drink which is served to our customers in their seat with a glass and ice. This is comparable to a coffee shop, bar or restaurant and should not be compared to a supermarket.”

Ryanair said: “Customers are free to buy our on-board snacks or bring their own if they so wish. Either way, everybody saves time and money flying with Ryanair.”

The six airlines investigated were Ryanair, Easyjet, Jet2, FlyBe, Monarch and Thomas Cook.


  • Warwick H.
    Add Thomson to that list, a cup of tea £2.60 - Balkan Airways £1.50
  • john d.
    when was the last time your drink was served in a glass on's a flimsy plastic cup which springs a leak if you grab it to hard.don't these dickheads realise if you sell a can of pop for a £1. more people will buy it 20 passengers buy a can for £2.50 thats £50 for the flight.but charge a £1 and you wont mind paying that.and you sell a 100 cans .£100 no brainer.wake up and smell the £2.60 coffee
  • Albi
    I'm with them. You can't compare to a supermarket and they have to make something from it.
  • Marvin
    @ John Davies Easy Jet have also had to purchase 80 more cans, store and distribute them etc. I'm betting they make more money selling 20 than they would the 100 at your cheaper price.
  • Monkeyhanger
    20 cans nets £50 at £2.50p a go, but those cans will cost 20p each, add 5p for ice and the cup, so thats £45 profit. Sell 100 at a pound each and you make £75. Work 5x harder for 67% more. That makes no sense to most business people. When a paper shop can charge £1 for a can or small bottle with no waited service or captive audience, I do think the airlines have license to charge a bit more. If little or no margin was made on the drinks and snacks, you'd probably add £10-£20 to every budget airline ticket.
  • Simon
    Ffs, they have to make money somehow, I know, let's make everything work for free, see how long they last. You don't HAVE to eat or drink whilst on board, just like you don't HAVE to use a hotel mini bar

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