Lonely Planet Writer

Beware in-flight snacks with mark-ups of 2000%

Next time you think about springing for an in-flight snack, consider that some products are marked-up a staggering 2646% from supermarket prices, according to travel search engine Kayak.

Airline snack.
Airline snack. Image by Ron Cogswell / CC BY 2.0

It’s expected that drinks and snacks cost a bit more in the sky, but some products are more expensive than others. The highest mark-up was on a Cup a Soup sachet, which can be purchased for as low as 12p in the shop. On a Thomas Cook Airline flight, the same sachet will cost £2.40, a mark-up of 1820%. Flybe charges £2.50, a mark-up of 2646% compared to the supermarket cost for the same brand, according to Kayak.

Chocolate bars are generally marked up by more than 500% and other sweets pack similar additional costs.

Beware very expensive inflight snacks that can be marked up by as much at 2000%.
Beware very expensive inflight snacks that can be marked up by as much at 2000%. Image by Danielle Scott / CC BY-SA 2.0

It’s unsurprising that getting a drink is expensive, but even a non-alcoholic beverage can be exorbitant in its mark-up. A small orange juice (250ml) can cost up to £2.70 on a low-cost flight, marked-up 1562% from the supermarket. According to Kayak’s research “a small (250ml) can of cola was found to cost £1.96 on Ryanair – versus just 25p at a supermarket for a ‘proper’ size 330ml can”. If you opt for an alcoholic beverage, wines are found to be up 528% more than at the supermarket.

If hunger hits in the middle of a flight, there is little a traveller can do – but it may be time to consider planning for hunger in advance and packing a snack in  your carry-on.