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Going on a flight? How to save on in-flight food

Published 3 July 2016 by

There are a few ways you can keep your holiday costs down. You can compare affordable flights and accommodation online, weigh your luggage before you go to the airport and shop around for the best exchange rates.

One more thing to add to this list is not buying any food or drink on the flight. According to research by Kayak, holidaymakers are paying almost 2,000 per cent more for food on a plane than if they were to buy it on land.

Sky high prices

The study found that the item of food with the highest mark-up isn’t even the most nutritional – a Cup a Soup sachet. In your local supermarket, you can find one of these for as little as 12p but Thomas Cook Airlines charge £2.40 for the same product, and Flybe charge £2.50 for a 70g soup.

It’s not just the savoury items that can set you back. Some airlines charge £1.56 for a 25p chocolate bar. Other treats that cost significantly more include a 160g packet of gummy sweets. These cost £2.34 from Ryanair, when your local supermarket sells them for around 77p.

Drinks can prove quite costly too. A small 250ml bottle of orange juice can cost as much as £2.70, even though a supermarket sells it for just 65p per litre. Even still water – which can cost around 16p for 500ml in a supermarket – costs £2.34 for the same bottle on Ryanair.

How to get around this

There are restrictions on the liquid you can take on a plane, but you can take through certain foods in your hand luggage. Solid foods like fruit or vegetables are fine, but you’ll need to pack them in a container that’s 100ml or less.

Food with a high liquid content won’t be allowed, unless the liquid (e.g. the sauce) is 100ml or under and you don’t mind putting the container in a transparent bag – as you would do with any other liquid. Otherwise, you won’t be able to take such food as pasta, soup or stew on board.

There are restrictions on foods that are partly liquid as well, like jam, honey and syrup. But there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to pack something like a homemade sandwich, a packet of crisps and a banana to munch on while you’re travelling.

The tricky part comes to saving money on drinks. You won’t be able to take any bottled drinks with you through security, but can get around the high prices on flights by buying in the terminal beforehand. We can’t promise that these prices will be any cheaper but it’s worth taking a look.

Heading to the US on your holiday? Make sure you have the right passport before travelling.

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