Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
DCA-ROCguy
Topic Author
Posts: 4207
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2000 5:03 am

Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:05 pm

Dear Gang,

This summer I have traveled through a number of airports, in the US and one in Canada. DCA, LAX, SJC, YVR, JFK, ROC, CHS. For whatever that sampling is worth.

Is it just me, or are airport food options getting too high-end and too expensive? When I am in an airport, food is a blast of protein and caffeine to get me through my trip to where I'm going. That's it. I usually travel alone and it is not a social experience. I want to stay functional and get where I'm going. I do not want to pay a lot of money. I am only interested in your local food / brewery if I am not going to overpay for it. Lunch total should not cost more than $6, dinner not more than $12, maybe $15. If I get a bottle of water and candy bar the total cost needs to be under $5. I do not care how grand the airport you are building is. That is not my problem.

Back in the days of the US Airways hub, PIT had "street pricing." That is what food and drink in an airport should be. Period.

For instance: LAWA is in the later stages of renovating Southwest's terminal T1 at LAX. All the food options are sit-down restaurants, and all the wrapped-sandwiches are over $10 and getting a candy bar and drink cost at least $6, IIRC. T1 is SOUTHWEST, for crying out loud. It is not the Tom Bradley Int'l Terminal or an airline-FF / VIP lounge. At the Delta concourse in DCA Terminal B, there wasn't breakfast for under $10 or so. All food options were too high-end and pricey.

Who gets it right? ROC, for one. They have McDonald's,along with more upscale fast-serve food like Famous Famiglia for those who want it. CHS also gets it right: Burger King, right by the center atrium, next to the pricier eatery. That's all I need, thank you. Even the fast food joints are pricier than I like, but I'm still usually getting out at under $8.

Airports really need to examine their food options and be sure the lower-end stuff isn't getting crowded out by higher-end local or chain stuff. Rant over.

Jim
Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14549
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:09 pm

I see where you are coming from. At most larger airports, though, I find that the variety is there if you are willing to walk a little and know where to look. The problem is places like DCA, LAX or LGA where in some parts of the airport the area behind a single security checkpoint is quite small. If you have a little time the whole airport at your disposal--I'm thinking of places like ATL, DFW, or IAH, it's less of a problem.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
jetmatt777
Posts: 4321
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:09 pm

PDX also has street pricing. Loved that aspect of working there, I could afford to eat lunch and didn't have to pack as refularly. Bowl at Panda Express cost the same as the one down the street.

Here in Denver a bag of candy can cost $3-4, and any meal can pretty much be guaranteed to cost over $10.

I hate it. It's not even upscale food. A full meal at McDonald's is $9-10 and no drink refills.
 
barney captain
Posts: 2352
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2001 5:47 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:22 pm

As someone who absolutely depends on quality airport food for daily sustenance -

THIS IS A VERY WELCOME CHANGE! :)

Living on crappy cheeseburgers and stale turkey sandwiches went on for far too long.

Airport pricing is exorbitant as are hotels - but we have no other choice.
Last edited by barney captain on Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
Indy
Posts: 4932
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:37 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:25 pm

I love IND for the food selection and price. It is one of the few airports around that you can eat well at and not get ripped off. I think PIT was another example of fair pricing. SAN was terrible. The pricing there was so outrageous that in all my visits I never made a single purchase at the airport. If you ever get an opportunity to visit IND, you should try some of the eateries in the concourses. You aren't going to find a better variety at a similar sized airport and you aren't going to find someone to beat the prices.

BTW is/was MEM a reasonably priced location? I do not recall. I just remember they were well known for food.
Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
 
User avatar
Aeroflot777
Posts: 3193
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:19 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:25 pm

I've noticed that food at airports in the US is almost always very inflated compared to places in the respective cities. In Europe, prices seem to be way more normal. The meals I've eaten in airports throughout Germany and Austria have been on par with street prices.
 
jwvw89
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:02 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:29 pm

I agree, while the upgrade to T1 at LAX is much needed, the food selection is worse. There really are no more fast, "cheap" on the go options now that they took out the McDonalds. I was hoping they would replace it with an In-N-Out....but one can continue to dream.

LAWA did the same thing in T4 with AA. There are no quick and cheap places to eat there any more. Everything is overpriced and geared toward spending more time in the terminal.
Last edited by jwvw89 on Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
jco613
Posts: 284
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:12 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:30 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
PDX also has street pricing. Loved that aspect of working there, I could afford to eat lunch and didn't have to pack as refularly. Bowl at Panda Express cost the same as the one down the street.

Here in Denver a bag of candy can cost $3-4, and any meal can pretty much be guaranteed to cost over $10.

I hate it. It's not even upscale food. A full meal at McDonald's is $9-10 and no drink refills.


My opinion has always been that they should take care of airport workers, either with a "food stamp" type program (you get a card with $10 on it for the day or something), or by offering street pricing for those who work there.

As a passenger, I don't mind it. I have my airport food stops:

BWI - Phillips
ATL - The Varsity
MDW- well, I have a few places here...

I love traversing through new airports and trying the food. Call me crazy. Of course, my opinion is if an airport has poor food choices, could they at least show it with the price? FLL is a great example. I didn't mind paying a little extra for Dunkin Donuts for my morning flights, but now there is essentially no breakfast option, AND what they do have is $8-10!

One thing that we cannot forget (me especially...I'm in the entertainment industry, I see it everyday!) is that a lot of these airport concessionaires are mega-corporations. using FLL as an example, T1 and T2 have a different concessionaire than T3 and T4. I don' think this is the case at ATL. The way to tell if it is a concessionaire and which it is, is to look at the soda selections. If you're at a Taco Bell, for example, and they serve Coke...it's because of the concessionaire. So, between their cut, and the fact that fast food wages are on the rise, I don't see this situation changing soon.
Last edited by jco613 on Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
coyoteguy
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 8:58 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:33 pm

It is totally out of control in many airports in the USA, and also in Mexico - Cancun is particularly bad, where things at the airport often cost at least 5 times what they would cost on the street. I think in the UK there is a law preventing that and requiring "street" prices at airport outlets? Other countries would do well to have the same!
 
User avatar
United787
Posts: 2940
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 12:20 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:35 pm

barney captain wrote:
As someone who absolutely depends on quality airport food for daily sustenance -

THIS IS A VERY WELCOME CHANGE! :)

Living on crappy cheeseburgers and stale turkey sandwiches went on for far too long.

Airport pricing is exorbitant as are hotels - but we have no other choice.


I agree! I am happy that airports have raised the bar in food options. I generally try to eat healthier which gets difficult when travelling but I will pay more for higher quality food that is healthier and taste better. That said, I understand and respect the need to have diverse eating options and your traditional less expensive fast food restaurants (McDonald's etc) fill a need that should be retained for those that need or prefer those options.
 
sgbroimp
Posts: 231
Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:35 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:43 pm

Aeroflot777 wrote:
I've noticed that food at airports in the US is almost always very inflated compared to places in the respective cities. In Europe, prices seem to be way more normal. The meals I've eaten in airports throughout Germany and Austria have been on par with street prices.


I agree. You can get a decent meal at FRA for a lot better price/quality combination than JFK, for sure. I think as a general point if a public authority is giving essentially a monopoly position to a supplier, they need to go to bat for the public and contract for a price structure that is at least not gouging. Some years ago the state of CT told I-95 gas stations they would be expected to charge no more per gallon than the gas station in the town off the highway and I think that makes sense.
 
ripcordd
Posts: 1081
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2000 1:12 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:45 pm

I think a lot depends on what the airport charges for rent in which the places charge for food. I would assume airports are charging 5x the rent that would pay outside the airport which means they need to charge 5 x as much for the food.
 
max999
Posts: 1228
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:05 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:45 pm

DCA-ROCguy wrote:
Dear Gang,

This summer I have traveled through a number of airports, in the US and one in Canada. DCA, LAX, SJC, YVR, JFK, ROC, CHS. For whatever that sampling is worth.

Is it just me, or are airport food options getting too high-end and too expensive? When I am in an airport, food is a blast of protein and caffeine to get me through my trip to where I'm going. That's it. I usually travel alone and it is not a social experience. I want to stay functional and get where I'm going. I do not want to pay a lot of money. I am only interested in your local food / brewery if I am not going to overpay for it. Lunch total should not cost more than $6, dinner not more than $12, maybe $15. If I get a bottle of water and candy bar the total cost needs to be under $5. I do not care how grand the airport you are building is. That is not my problem.

Back in the days of the US Airways hub, PIT had "street pricing." That is what food and drink in an airport should be. Period.

For instance: LAWA is in the later stages of renovating Southwest's terminal T1 at LAX. All the food options are sit-down restaurants, and all the wrapped-sandwiches are over $10 and getting a candy bar and drink cost at least $6, IIRC. T1 is SOUTHWEST, for crying out loud. It is not the Tom Bradley Int'l Terminal or an airline-FF / VIP lounge. At the Delta concourse in DCA Terminal B, there wasn't breakfast for under $10 or so. All food options were too high-end and pricey.

Who gets it right? ROC, for one. They have McDonald's,along with more upscale fast-serve food like Famous Famiglia for those who want it. CHS also gets it right: Burger King, right by the center atrium, next to the pricier eatery. That's all I need, thank you. Even the fast food joints are pricier than I like, but I'm still usually getting out at under $8.

Airports really need to examine their food options and be sure the lower-end stuff isn't getting crowded out by higher-end local or chain stuff. Rant over.

Jim


Have you considered that the reason for the price differences could just be the cost of living between the cities you used as examples? The cost of living in the cities with the 'good airports' (Rochester, NY and Charleston, SC) is considerably lower than the cost of living in Los Angeles with LAX being the 'bad airport' for food prices. Using an apples to apples comparison, a street McDonald's in Los Angeles will likely charge more than one in Charleston. I live in New York City where McDonald's value meals cost nearly $10, which I've observed is priced higher than McDonald's in other parts of the country.

I think the real reason is less nefarious than you make it out to sound.
All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14549
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:47 pm

Indy wrote:
BTW is/was MEM a reasonably priced location? I do not recall. I just remember they were well known for food.


I never eat anything but barbecue at MEM, but it's pretty reasonable.

jwvw89 wrote:
I agree, while the upgrade to T1 at LAX is much needed, the food selection is worse. There really are no more fast, "cheap" on the go options now that they took out the McDonalds. I was hoping they would replace it with an In-N-Out....but one can continue to dream.

LAWA did the same thing in T4 with AA. There are no quick and cheap places to eat there any more. Everything is overpriced and geared toward spending more time in the terminal.


I actually thought that Terminal 1 had the opposite problem of what we are discussing pre-construction. The fast food lines were long, and the sit down options thin. I liked the deli out on the middle, but it could get crowded.

Kogi is a good option in Terminal 4 (maybe not if you are about to get on a Transcon, though I ate some before a redeye recently and got the most sleep I've gotten on a redeye in years).

coyoteguy wrote:
It is totally out of control in many airports in the USA, and also in Mexico - Cancun is particularly bad, where things at the airport often cost at least 5 times what they would cost on the street. I think in the UK there is a law preventing that and requiring "street" prices at airport outlets? Other countries would do well to have the same!


SJU is terrible too--I think they figure it's the only place they can get money from the cruise ship passengres.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Rdh3e
Posts: 3630
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:09 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:31 pm

jco613 wrote:
My opinion has always been that they should take care of airport workers, either with a "food stamp" type program (you get a card with $10 on it for the day or something), or by offering street pricing for those who work there.

"Street" food doesn't have to clear security, be cooked by screened individuals who passed a background check etc etc. There are plenty of legitimate reasons it's more expensive, although I think it has gotten out of hand.

Airline employees typically get 15-20% off at nearly every food joint, just FYI.

DCA-ROCguy wrote:
Lunch total should not cost more than $6


Outside of pure fast food you can't get lunch for $6 anywhere. Certainly not with a drink, and definitely not with a drink and any side.

Look at Jimmy Johns, which I would consider almost the perfect airport food (never seen one in an airport though), and you're talking $8-11 for a meal and that is "on the street", add in the airport premium and a reasonable meal starts to look like $15 pretty quickly. That is really the sweet spot. $6 is just being cheap.
 
MAH4546
Posts: 26252
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:40 pm

MIA does not allow tenants to charge more than local street pricing for food items, which keeps prices there in check.

LAX is ridiculous. The best bargains are the domestic airline lounges - Alaska and American have pretty good menus that can fill you up for less than $10.
a.
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 3854
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 8:44 pm

coyoteguy wrote:
It is totally out of control in many airports in the USA, and also in Mexico - Cancun is particularly bad, where things at the airport often cost at least 5 times what they would cost on the street. I think in the UK there is a law preventing that and requiring "street" prices at airport outlets? Other countries would do well to have the same!


Yes, CUN and SJU are terrible. I would throw PTY in there with them too.Horrifically overpriced! CUN stands out to me however because it is in bleeping Mexico but there is not a Mexican restaurant ANYWHERE in the airport, it is all American chains ;(
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15100
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:02 pm

Totally agree. Choice doesn't mean five different hipster focused sit down places with overpriced cold sandwiches for on the go. Choice means maybe 3 of those and two hot and fast options.

Recently at T6 at LAX, first time in years. I liked that they had hot to go items from wahoo. Great breakfast burrito. But wahoo is very local. And they don't explain their menu well at the airport. And people will be confused thinking its Mexican when it's really Hawaiian surfer fusion with no Mexican spices to speak of.

I think every terminal should have someplace that offers hot hamburgers and chicken sandwiches to go for $6 or less. I guess that's too much to ask.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
PDX757
Posts: 206
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:06 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:04 pm

I think the 'got you by the gonads' principle applies at airports. If you have a longer layover you could wander off airport to find something I suppose.
PDX has a healthy mix of nicer sit down type restaurants as well as some quick and cheap options. I was spotting at PDX over the weekend and went in to the terminal to use the toilet and get some food, panda express costs the same as off airport locations, as was noted earlier. There's a few food carts in the food court area as well, kind of a gimmick if you ask me.
Lunch for less than $6 is going to be dollar menu stuff at a drive through. I eat out frequently to escape my office for a little while and most fast food joints are at least $7 for a combo. I'm more apt to pay a little extra for something considerably better.
 
timpdx
Posts: 696
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:54 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:13 pm

This is as good a place to ask a question: Almost all US airports do not print beer/wine prices on their menus, everything else is prices, except alcohol. Hey, we know we are getting reamed over the beer prices, but we are grown men and women, show is the price. (It is so pervasive, I almost wonder if there was a federal regulation about not showing alcohol prices)
Flown 2018: LAX, ARN, DXB, ALA, TAS, UCG, ASB, MYP, GYD, TBS, KUT, BER, TLS, SVO, CCF, DUB, LGW, MEX, BUR, PDX, ORD, SLC, SNA
Upcoming 2018: STL, MIA, BZE, IAH, BHM, LHR, DFW, PHX
 
spacecadet
Posts: 3570
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:36 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:14 pm

Anyone who thinks this is limited to the US has never been to Haneda. Even the domestic terminals are giant shopping malls in the Japanese sense of the word, which almost always means "high end" to start with. They are filled with "real" restaurants. I actually go to the International Terminal sometimes just because of Katsusen, which is the best pork katsu restaurant anywhere, bar none, and I've been to a lot of them.

In the US, I love that airports are getting better food. I don't need or want fine dining but I'm a middle class New Yorker and I don't mind paying $40 for a meal for two people if it means I'll be able to sit comfortably and have food of reasonable quality. There are certain airport restaurants I actually look forward to going to in the US as well - Beaches at PDX, for example, has the best fish tacos I've ever had, plus they serve beer flights. Every time I go to Portland, I get both of those things.

I haven't noticed that prices are particularly out of line. Some cities are just more expensive than others. If you're used to Minnesota prices, then sure, any JFK restaurant is going to seem expensive. But it's not because of the airport; every restaurant in New York is expensive compared to a place like the midwest. Where I live, going to my local diner for lunch (as I do with my wife a couple times a week) will run you $40. That's not for a particularly high end meal. So I don't mind paying that at an airport. T5 at JFK has some decent restaurants that run about that amount, and I'd say they're actually better than my local diner.

Of course there's always McDonald's and other fast food, which I do go for if I'm in a rush. But usually I avoid eating before going to the airport, and I get there early just in case the security lines are long. So I often have an hour or two to kill in the terminal, and I'd rather do it in a reasonably nice restaurant than sitting in an uncomfortable chair at the gate doing nothing.
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
User avatar
diverdave
Posts: 702
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:00 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:19 pm

jwvw89 wrote:
I was hoping they would replace it with an In-N-Out....but one can continue to dream.


That would be awesome!

David
 
303dk
Posts: 496
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:26 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:28 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
SJU is terrible too--I think they figure it's the only place they can get money from the cruise ship passengres.
Pro tip at SJU: The Avianca lounge is $27 for a day pass with buffet and open bar. It's about the same price as a beer and a sandwich at Margaritaville.
 
alasizon
Posts: 2602
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:57 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:35 pm

PHX I believe is capped at Street + 5%. As a side note, PHL has been great on food pricing in my opinion. My favorite is the fact that I can get food from Chick-Fil-A for sometimes less than street price. $8 with tax for a Spicy Chicken Deluxe, large fry and large drink is pretty great.
Airport (noun) - A construction site which airplanes tend to frequent
 
User avatar
EA CO AS
Posts: 15743
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 8:54 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:43 pm

jco613 wrote:
My opinion has always been that they should take care of airport workers, either with a "food stamp" type program (you get a card with $10 on it for the day or something), or by offering street pricing for those who work there.


Most airport vendors will typically offer an employee discount for anyone wearing an airline ID and/or SIDA badge.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
User avatar
PerfectGriffin
Posts: 539
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:35 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:48 pm

Depends on the airport, but some airports are too expensive now. I realize that food quality has improved, and sit-down restaurants are better than fast food, but airport restaurants are a bit too expensive, and most passengers don't have a choice but to pay the high prices.
Last edited by PerfectGriffin on Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14549
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:49 pm

303dk wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
SJU is terrible too--I think they figure it's the only place they can get money from the cruise ship passengres.
Pro tip at SJU: The Avianca lounge is $27 for a day pass with buffet and open bar. It's about the same price as a beer and a sandwich at Margaritaville.


Good to know, thanks. Unfortunately, when I eat at SJU I'm usually with my kids and they can't pass up the decor at Margaritaville.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
SCQ83
Posts: 5782
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:32 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:58 pm

I feel the UK is the only country where prices are reasonable and similar to the street.

A crazily expensive place used to be IST. I said "used to" because the lira has collapsed lately and from the last visit this year prices seemed relatively reasonable (still a bit pricey but well it is an airport after all) when changing from Turkish Lira to EUR or USD. But 3 or 4 years ago (when the Turkish economy was booming and 1 EUR = 2 TL, now 1 EUR = 3.3 TL) prices were absolutely ridiculous.

Airports in Spain are on the expensive side. At least the good thing is that after AENA has been privatised, they are "mallyzing" every airport in order to get more revenue. Many airports in the past had those horrible food concession stands (the same in every airport) with shitty expensive food and that was it. Now they are expanding a more "street-level" offer, so you get anything from Burger King or Starbucks to Michelin-guide Japanese restaurants (i.e. in MAD).
 
mtnwest1979
Posts: 2211
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:23 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:17 pm

To me it seems that years back, airports tried to have local flavor places. Then, as passenger traffic rose, people wanted to 'know what they are getting' and airports went national chain heavy. Now ir seems airports are trending back to the local flavor aspect. Albeit, national concessionaire running a locally named place.

LAS by far of the airports I have been to is the most outrageous on price. A Wendy's sausage biscuit that was $.99 at SEA was $2.99 at LAS.
I always tell people to avoid flying thru LAS if they plan on eating on the fly, yet I always seem to end ip in LAS then , lol. Even yesterday is an example of that.
:)
Riddle: Which lasts longer, a start-up airline or a start-up football league?
 
CIDFlyer
Posts: 2157
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:19 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:35 pm

a good example of this is MSP. They did a complete overhaul of their dining options a few years back with many fancier/higher end eatieries and took out both of the McDonalds. A lot of people complained so they eventually brought back McDonalds in another location. Airports need to balance both. Personally, depending on the time and connection time I am McDonalds guys for breakfast. Or BK if McD's isnt available (ex CLT).
 
User avatar
ro1960
Posts: 1285
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:19 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:44 pm

Aeroflot777 wrote:
I've noticed that food at airports in the US is almost always very inflated compared to places in the respective cities. In Europe, prices seem to be way more normal. The meals I've eaten in airports throughout Germany and Austria have been on par with street prices.


Then you haven't been to France! Prices are outrageous at airports (as well as at train stations). I'll take one example: a pastry like a Danish costs €1 to €1.50 in the city but anywhere from €2 to €3 at airports. And everything else is in the same proportions. Basic baguette ham and cheese sandwich €6! I understand they have high rents and price their goods accordingly but as long as people buy, why would they change?
You may like my airport photos:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/aeroports
 
User avatar
kgaiflyer
Posts: 2741
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:22 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:45 pm

MAH4546 wrote:
MIA does not allow tenants to charge more than local street pricing for food items, which keeps prices there in check.

LAX is ridiculous. The best bargains are the domestic airline lounges - Alaska and American have pretty good menus that can fill you up for less than $10.

I once paid $5.25 for an ice cream sandwich near Terminal 7 / Gate 72.

Made me think twice about my need for ice cream.
 
coolian2
Posts: 2483
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:34 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:49 pm

If you can't afford to fly, why are you paying to eat?

I'm just amazed nobody has posted this above.

I'd bet there are thousands of options willing to serve affordable food, but the airports see a captive market and the overly expensive places can outbid anyone who is willing to provide a decent cheap sandwich. The rich pay the rich to get richer.
Q300/ATR72-600/737-200/-300/-400/-700/-800/A320/767-200/-300/757-200/777-300ER/
747-200/-300/-400/ER/A340-300/A380-800/MD-83/-88/CRJ-700/-900
 
FWAERJ
Posts: 2815
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:23 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:52 pm

Up until 2010, FWA was run by Air Host and bad. REALLY bad. Hot food only before security, no decent coffee option, horrible cold sandwiches after security, and the concessionaire didn't want to do a thing. Quite honestly, it was the worst thing about FWA then - and even airport management agreed.

The FWACAA showed them the door when their contract was over in 2010 and brought in a different concessionaire, First Class Concessions. The improvements in food quality at FWA were immediate and dramatic. Hot food was now much better, available pre- and post-security. And they added a quality coffee option on both sides (Seattle's Best). Even better, the pricing was reasonable by airport standards and now an excellent value for the money - Air Host's product at FWA didn't live up to the pricing that they charged by a long shot. Passengers (myself included) loved the improvements so much that the FWACAA decided to exercise an option to extend the contract.

Also of note: SBN fired Air Host several years after FWA did.
B721/722/731/732/733/735/73G/738/739/742/752/753/762/763, A300/319/320, DC-9/10, MD-82/83/88/90, ERJ-140/145, CRJ-200/700, Q200, SF340, AS350
 
hoons90
Posts: 3665
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 10:15 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:54 pm

Burger King at Phuket Airport domestic terminal seemed to have outrageous pricing, with some burger meals going for up to 350THB or so compared to around 200-250THB at non-airport outlets. Unfortunately not too many other food options in that terminal.

Emirates provides a meal voucher for passengers with a long layover (4h+) at DXB, which can be redeemed for certain menu items at a dozen or so restaurants in the terminal. Definitely a nice touch!
Flown: 2L 7C 9E 9L AA AB AC AF AY AZ BA BR BX B6 CA CO CP CX DL EK EY JL KE KL LA LH LX MQ NW OZ PD RW SQ TG TP TR TS US WG WN WS XE XJ
 
alasizon
Posts: 2602
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:57 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:33 pm

EA CO AS wrote:
jco613 wrote:
My opinion has always been that they should take care of airport workers, either with a "food stamp" type program (you get a card with $10 on it for the day or something), or by offering street pricing for those who work there.


Most airport vendors will typically offer an employee discount for anyone wearing an airline ID and/or SIDA badge.


Doesn't mean much sometimes. For instance, last year most vendors in PHX didn't offer an employee discount. They began offering a 10% discount, but raised prices by 9%.
Airport (noun) - A construction site which airplanes tend to frequent
 
airzona11
Posts: 1768
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:44 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:44 pm

I agree. And I don't see a direct relationship to quality and price. A candy bar is a candy bar. A soda a soda. Water bottle is a water bottle.

PHX has great local restaurant options and the price isn't crazy, however $10-15 for bfast is the norm. SFO terminal 1 food options are terrible, there is some new spot at the end of the DL/US gates that makes the pricing for the Buy on Board meal seem like a screaming deal.
 
jetmatt777
Posts: 4321
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 2:16 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:52 am

Some of the convenience stores in DEN do not offer an employee discount at all, and other food places offer only 10%, which covers tax essentially. The base price of the products is still way over priced.

I think airport pricing is a matter of hostage pricing and not necessarily covering the extra cost of operating in the airport. The additional cost is likely negligible to the additional revenue.
 
User avatar
jfklganyc
Posts: 5986
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 2:31 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:06 am

He's right. Airports are saying goodbye to McDonalds and China Panda and hello to more upscale dining. And yes, the price is higher.

The flying public wants better food options. But you are correct, they should still keep a Mickey Ds for the people that want a fast food, cheap, quick option.

As for ROC, the airport is a 90s time warp. Hence the Mickey Ds. If/when they redo the concessions, it will be gone. It is just the trend these days.


But back to Mickey D's, 2 sandwich meals the other day in small town USA cost me $17. All prices have increased, even crappy fast food
 
sagechan
Posts: 352
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:14 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:03 am

Was in PWM a few years ago, grabbed a lobster roll from the airside restaurant there, was like $12 with drink, but had about a 1lb of lobster on it ;)

All size restaurants need a mix of reasonable priced and quality restaurants, many don't have that unfortunately.
717, 733, 734, 738, 739, 744, 752, 763, 772, 77W, 789, A319, A320, A321, A332, A333, A359, MD88, CRJ, CR7, CR9, DH1, DH2, DH3, S340, ER4, E170, E175, E190/CO, NW, US, AC, NH, AA, UA, DL, WN, WS, SK, VY, LA, QF, AR, AV, MH, KA, AS
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Moderator
Posts: 20246
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:21 am

I speculate that due to having to arrive at the airport earlier, many people have more time for a 'sit down' meal. This is an artifact of how variable it can be (time wise) getting to a plane in LAX. If I arrive 2 hours early, I might barely make a flight or I might have an hour 40 minutes to kill. Same flight... same day of the week... Just that variable.

But it doesn't justify getting rid of all lower priced (fast food) restaurants. There should be a mix. Over-spiced restaurants are great, until you bring in kids who want to try the adult menu...

I'm OK with pricey coffee... I would rather over pay than drink what was offered before...

Lightsaber
Winter is coming.
 
TW870
Posts: 1234
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:01 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:28 am

Airport food is one of the only things that has gotten better since deregulation!

As a kid hanging out at MSP beginning around 1980, the only concessions were the "bar" and the "coffee shop" in the center concourse. By the mid-90s, fast food had overtaken the airport, with multiple McDonalds, Burger King, and Taco Bell the primary new entrants. Now it has gone high end, which is excellent if you have the money. Food presentation style, wine selections, etc., are better than ever.

I hear people saying, though, that there is a mismatch between decreasing real-dollar air fares (no one was charging fares as low as spirit at MSP in the 1990s), and rising food costs and presentation standards. I wish there was a solution other than fast food, though, because there is nothing like the stink of a McDonald's to make a delay seem even more depressing. But clearly a $20 gourmet pizza and $9 beer defeats the purpose of someone's decision to buy on Spirit because it was $25 cheaper than Delta.
 
MSPNWA
Posts: 3698
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:48 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:54 am

I cringe whenever I hear about terminal renovations. I don't mind higher quality food options. What I do mind is the reduction or elimination of less expensive and quicker options such as food-fast joints. MSP was a famous example with the backlash over losing McDonald's. It was a stupid idea from the start. You could see that coming a mile away.

And I'm also a fan of airports that are under law to keep prices close to street level.
 
blink182
Posts: 5370
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 1999 3:09 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:13 am

MAH4546 wrote:
LAX is ridiculous. The best bargains are the domestic airline lounges - Alaska and American have pretty good menus that can fill you up for less than $10.
jwvw89 wrote:
I agree, while the upgrade to T1 at LAX is much needed, the food selection is worse. There really are no more fast, "cheap" on the go options now that they took out the McDonalds. I was hoping they would replace it with an In-N-Out....but one can continue to dream.



hoons90 wrote:
Burger King at Phuket Airport domestic terminal seemed to have outrageous pricing, with some burger meals going for up to 350THB or so compared to around 200-250THB at non-airport outlets. Unfortunately not too many other food options in that terminal.

Emirates provides a meal voucher for passengers with a long layover (4h+) at DXB, which can be redeemed for certain menu items at a dozen or so restaurants in the terminal. Definitely a nice touch!


Agree completely. LAX's trendy and often locally-based additions have come at the expense of cheaper options with the end result that while the terminals may feel more lively and less generic, food prices are outrageous for a captive audience. In many cases, it feels like Starbucks is LAX's cheapest option. I'm fairly certain I've seen $4.50 cookies in TBIT.

HKT has a few other options in the international check-in hall, but BK is the only place open late(think they're open 24h). Definitely not cheap, but it's a captive audience.

By far the worst I've seen is water for sale in GYD's old terminal in 2012-2014. A small bottle of water probably sold 5 or 6x the already inflated prices in central Baku.
Give me a break, I created this username when I was a kid...
 
alggag
Posts: 436
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:34 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:19 am

I'm generally in favor of the trend of airport food moving a bit upmarket but I have to admit that I got a case of sticker shock at LAX during a long layover en route to SYD. $15 for a cocktail and the cheapest dinner options were like $25 per plate. Sheesh! To top it off the service was very poor and the quality of the food was rather mediocre. Not impressed.

Perhaps it was a case of west coast pricing but the service could have at least been decent.
 
User avatar
jsnww81
Posts: 2541
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 3:29 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:37 am

blink182 wrote:
Agree completely. LAX's trendy and often locally-based additions have come at the expense of cheaper options with the end result that while the terminals may feel more lively and less generic, food prices are outrageous for a captive audience. In many cases, it feels like Starbucks is LAX's cheapest option. I'm fairly certain I've seen $4.50 cookies in TBIT.


LAX was finished the moment they turned terminal concessions over to Westfield, who gave it the Heathrow treatment - years of ripped-apart terminals and construction noise, all building up to a lot of fancy restaurants and nothing reasonably priced. Meanwhile, the gate areas themselves go un-renovated, so you have a shiny new restaurant sitting next to a 1980s-era gate holdroom. The airlines are slowly making piecemeal improvements to the gate areas, but right now every terminal except TBIT looks jumbled and disorderly.

LAX T4 finally got a Dunkin' Donuts earlier this year, which makes up for the loss of the Starbucks at Gate 46A a few years back. It's now pretty much the only affordable option inside security. Good luck getting out of Homeboy, Sammy's or Campanile for less than $10. Your only other option is to shell out for one of American's dismal buy-on-board options, which in the space of a few bites will hit your annual allowance of preservatives and salt.

At least passengers aren't forced into a duty-free shop upon clearing security (like they are at LHR) with limited signage indicating the way out. Although I'm sure Westfield is working on it...
 
User avatar
Coal
Posts: 2591
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:14 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:35 am

There's a branch of a very nice Melbournian restaurant at SYD (Movida). I always wondered who goes there... But I guess if you're on a layover.

I used to also wonder who bought clothes or shoes at an airport and I actually started doing that regularly at SIN. Very convenient.
Nxt Flts: SQ SIN-KIX | HD UKB-CTS | NH CTS-NRT | SQ NRT-SIN | AK SIN-DPS-SIN
 
User avatar
intotheair
Posts: 1893
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:28 am

jsnww81 wrote:
blink182 wrote:
Agree completely. LAX's trendy and often locally-based additions have come at the expense of cheaper options with the end result that while the terminals may feel more lively and less generic, food prices are outrageous for a captive audience. In many cases, it feels like Starbucks is LAX's cheapest option. I'm fairly certain I've seen $4.50 cookies in TBIT.


LAX was finished the moment they turned terminal concessions over to Westfield, who gave it the Heathrow treatment - years of ripped-apart terminals and construction noise, all building up to a lot of fancy restaurants and nothing reasonably priced. Meanwhile, the gate areas themselves go un-renovated, so you have a shiny new restaurant sitting next to a 1980s-era gate holdroom. The airlines are slowly making piecemeal improvements to the gate areas, but right now every terminal except TBIT looks jumbled and disorderly.

LAX T4 finally got a Dunkin' Donuts earlier this year, which makes up for the loss of the Starbucks at Gate 46A a few years back. It's now pretty much the only affordable option inside security. Good luck getting out of Homeboy, Sammy's or Campanile for less than $10. Your only other option is to shell out for one of American's dismal buy-on-board options, which in the space of a few bites will hit your annual allowance of preservatives and salt.

At least passengers aren't forced into a duty-free shop upon clearing security (like they are at LHR) with limited signage indicating the way out. Although I'm sure Westfield is working on it...


There is a good coffee place in the middle of T4 that serves Intelligentsia.

I actually don't mind paying more if it means a meal I would actually eat outside the airport. LAX T5 is still pretty underwhelming. I'm not a Lemonade fan, the Farmer's Market isn't fantastic, and the only place for decent coffee is Coffee Bean, which usually has a ridiculous line.

As far as domestic US terminals go, I've never seen anything better than SFO T3-E. That made-to-order sandwich place is awesome, even if the sandwiches are north of $10. The mexican/burrito place is also pretty good, but not quite as good as the Chipotle at IAD — I wish there were a lot more of those at airports.
300 319 320 321 332 333 345 346 380 717 733 734 735 73G 738 739 744 752 753 762 763 772 77W 788 789 CR2 CR7 CR9 CRK Q400 E175 DC10 MD82 MD90
AA AF AS AY AZ B6 BA BR DL F9 FI GA HA KF LH MI QX SK SN SQ UA US VY WN
 
OB1504
Posts: 3976
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:10 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:15 pm

blink182 wrote:
Agree completely. LAX's trendy and often locally-based additions have come at the expense of cheaper options with the end result that while the terminals may feel more lively and less generic, food prices are outrageous for a captive audience. In many cases, it feels like Starbucks is LAX's cheapest option. I'm fairly certain I've seen $4.50 cookies in TBIT.


I personally don't understand this. If I want local flavor, I'll eat at a reasonably priced restaurant that's actually inside the city. When I'm at an airport, I'm either in a hurry to finish my break or to catch my flight; I don't go to the airport for a sit-down dining experience and vastly prefer something quick and reliable like McDonald's or Taco Bell.

Though the Burger King and Taco Bell at MIA are particularly overpriced. A $5 box on the street at Taco Bell is nearly $8 in the terminal and yet it's still one of the cheapest options available. A Whopper combo at the BK starts at $9 now.
 
User avatar
jsnww81
Posts: 2541
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 3:29 am

Re: Airport Food Options: Getting too High-End, too Expensive

Fri Sep 02, 2016 2:46 pm

intotheair wrote:
As far as domestic US terminals go, I've never seen anything better than SFO T3-E. That made-to-order sandwich place is awesome, even if the sandwiches are north of $10. The mexican/burrito place is also pretty good, but not quite as good as the Chipotle at IAD — I wish there were a lot more of those at airports.


As painful as it is for me to say as an Angeleno, SFO gets it right. They've managed to fill their terminals with food outlets that are trendy, but not obnoxiously so.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos