Caught Red-Handed: Admirals Club Member Dumps Snacks Into Hefty Bag “To Go” at Miami Airport

This is a first for me in passengers behaving badly at the airport – loading up bags of snacks from an American Airlines Admirals Club to take away. The food isn’t even good!

To go along with a higher annual fee on the Citibank credit card that comes with American Airlines Admirals Club membership, the airline the airline has made modest improvements to food in their clubs. However they are very careful with costs. And one driver of increased cost is club members who consume an outsized amount of food – by packing it up “to go.”

Seth Feuer shares photos of one man in the Miami airport D30 club this morning. He’s loading up cereal into a large clear plastic Hefty-brand ziploc-style bag.

Here he’s caught on the way out, looking like he has more than one bag worth of food.

Traditionally airport lounges have offered snacks, but you’re not supposed to take food with you for the flight. That’s to limit costs. Hotels with club lounges frequently have drinks, but many make a point not to offer bottled water – knowing that their beverage costs would skyrocket.

Without to go containers, though, passengers and hotel guests get creative. Where there’s free food, some people are going to go wild.

Here’s video from the British Airways Galleries First lounge at London Heathrow where two passengers reportedly made several trips to take 20 or more drink cans and five bags of chips.

I’ve never seen anyone bother taking the food from an American Airlines club before though! I used to think that passengers had standards.

On the other hand, people have been stealing bananas from Delta Sky Clubs and even non-club members have been raiding the ‘gas station quality food’ from United’s ‘grab ‘n go’ in Denver.

Bananas are at least useful, and worth having in your bag in case your flight diverts and you don’t have any snacks. A passenger once followed me around from lounge to lounge in the Milan airport, and finally offered me a banana that she had been ‘aging’ in her backpack. So I guess even the snacks from an Admirals Club are worth taking, to someone.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. When there I will take just a few nuts and pretzels Adds to the biscotti they grudgingly give out mid- flight

  2. Gary’s belly fits more than that hefty bag. But he wouldn’t call that stealing.

  3. Yet another sad OPM flyer whose corporate overlord doesnt pay him enough to afford food.
    But hey, at least he’s got airline status!

  4. They should charge for food like every other food place in the airport. It would stop most of the filling up bags. (Similar to the argument that Southwest should assign seats because every other airline does that.)

  5. This is news worthy?? As much as they pay for the membership, we care if they take a banana or cereal? Geesh

  6. I AM NOT DEFENDING THE IDIOT but people need guidance … like an actual sign that says DO NOT TAKE FOOD OUTSIDE LOUNGE or LIMIT 2, etc, etc … because I’m sure this idiot rationalizes it – no sign means no limit…. like some people think anything not nailed down in a hotel is “free.” Yes, we expect people to be decent but idiots need an actual sign … that is why we have a note on toasters, do not submerge while plugged in.

  7. I didn’t think anyone ever ate that cereal and had assumed that those towels were remnants from the USAir clubs.

  8. My wife tends to be a hoarder. Despite being well off, she always rationalizes that we may need it later.

    That given, she won’t fill up a baggie. She might grab an extra fruit, yogurt, couple of cans of pop. I will occasionally grab a beer, as many lounges overseas have beer and soda in a cooler. We do try to limit ourselves and not just take because “it is there”!

    To me the bad behavior is mostly the boorish A holes who take up way too many seats and talk to loudly on their phones!

  9. When my American Airlines inbound flight arrived fifty minutes late due to a mechanical issue, there was ample time to stop at the Admirals Club to make a push-button crappuccino in a paper cup, which I took to my gate. However, there needed to be more time to order a morning avocado toast.

  10. Several months ago the kitchen at C&D lounge at CLT was out of service so there was a LARGE abundance of packaged snacks and sandwiches which mainly patrons generously helped themselves to for their onward journeys. I openly acknowledge that I often take two bananas and/or oranges to enjoy while in coach on flts to SNA or SEA. I have no guilt pangs as I have paid $575 to gain entrance to the AA Clubs which I can only use when I have at least 1 hour for connecting flights.

  11. I take food from the Alaska Lounges when I can – but I’m a bit more discrete about it. I’ll take the supper yummy Cajun Mix and put it in a to-go coffee cup (with lid), and sometimes if there’s a decent salad or other offering, I’ll stuff some in a to-go coffee cup as well. But I won’t be leaving the lounge with 3, 4, or 5 of the cups; just enough for the next flight.

    During ‘Rona, we had about a 4 or 6 week period where the lounge PURPOSELY gave you food to go. I think even in LA we had to take it to go, couldn’t eat it in the airport *AT ALL*. Seriously, had to wait to get on the stupid plane.

    So I think that limited taking of food from the club is OK – but stuffing a bag, nah. Use more tact.

  12. I suspect that food “procurement” from lounges will increase given how expensive restaurant food — particularly at airports and on aircraft — has become. Humans will be humans, for better or worse. It can also be hard to affordably feed yourself on the road. I was at a Hilton this week where a sandwich and a dessert for lunch was just shy of 50 bucks. If you’re paying your way, you might be tempted to take some “free” snacks for later.


  13. The Nature’s Bakery fig bars are pretty good.
    They have them at the upstairs entrance to the lounge at LAX T4.
    They’re great!

  14. Where’s the commentary about Bidenomics and inflation driving customers to do this? Things are so bad, people have to resort to taking baggies of stale cereal from the hAAmster feeders in the AA Club. This used to never happen under a law and order president like Trump.

    C’mon View From the Right Wing readers, I expect better from you

  15. I’ve never been there, but i would possibly swipe a bottle of water and maybe a couple wrapped snacks, but i draw the line at petty theft.

  16. I have a picture of a guy who loaded up an entire gym bag from the buffet at an Amex lounge. How low class.

  17. @George Even if that is true, it is not the same to any rational person. Given your desire to offer a low-brow insult, I assume rationality is not your strength.

  18. The Equinox bag sums this up well. They recently stopped using Kiehl’s in the locker rooms and there was so much outrage from members. 90% of the outrage is because so many people (especially at the 3 Equinox in Miami) would bring containers to take so much of the products home

  19. I do this weekly at the C1 Lounge when i fly out of KDEN. They even encourage it.

  20. @305 Says I think Miami must have a stealing problem in general because the Equinox Brickell at the Four Seasons had to put a code on the spa locker room door to stop the mass disappearance of robes and slippers in the ladies area. And these items are not even nice enough to want to steal, in my opinion. It was really out of control.

  21. Omg apart from everything else, the emaciated look of that guy’s legs might indicate he’s malnourished. Perhaps stocking up for hard times ahead?

  22. Uncle Jeff, are you sure it’s not the other way around, I know quite a bit ‘Publicans that blow through stop signs and stop lights, and tailgate, speed, because they don’t think laws should impede their freedoms to do whatever they want. I’m a law abiding moderate that abides by the rules of law and safety and respect for others.

  23. @Uncle Jeff:
    That’s pretty rich blaming this on Biden. How low can you go? You’re the epitome of MAGA or more like a QANON chump fool!

  24. @Uncle Jeff:
    Sorry, I forgot but you want to talk law and order then you’re talking about your hero Chump aren’t you? You know 94 indictments.

  25. Saw this behavior at IAD BA lounge, guy took several bottles of wine, and loaded a bunch of food into a container. Attendants saw what was going on but I guess it’s not worth the confrontation. They don’t get paid enough to deal with stuff like this

  26. Guy stealing looks like he’s in need or going to be in need of a vascular surgeon sooner or later. Large varicose veins probably from roids.

  27. @Uncle Jeff.

    Get a life and put your beliefs in a self-serving, woman-grabbing flat-earther on hold.
    And this is not about economic policy.

  28. Look. The guy pays a fee to be able to in eat and possibly have some to go. What’s y’all problem? Are you a paid member or just jealous that you’re not included?
    And all you people calling it stealing, morons there are cups right there. He just chose to be able to keep it fresher inside a ziplock.
    Btw. The people saying that he’s stealing. Who are you to judge? Was he charged with stealing? I doubt it so why are you all slandering the guy saying he’s stealing.

  29. This is been going on forever as in the quote from a well known American philosopher, “The towels in that hotel were so fluffy that I could hardly close my valise.”

    Many years ago, my wife & I were disappointed that the croissants in the breakfast area of a hotel had already all been consumed every morning when we came down for breakfast. The last day of our stay, we came down rather earlier and saw two guests whom we recognized scooping up all of the croissants into their large shopping bags for their daily sojourn.

  30. I LOVE how the delusuional left makes such infantile cracks about Trump without ANY justification whatsoever… *rolleyes”

    I guess when you’re just a brainwashed and retarded leftist fool, whipping out your tiny micropenis and spanking it to “But… but.. TRUMP!!!!!” is all you have to fall back on.


    BTW…. TRUMP 2024!!!!!

  31. There is no end to greed. People have become more selfish and less shameful about it since 2016 and particularly the pandemic lockdown.

  32. Uncle Jeff, I’m pretty sure you are just looking for attention. But I imagine nothing bad or criminal happened under trump. Oh we’ll wait for the 99 indictments to be decided first. I remember food lines that stretched over half a mile under trump… how quickly the cult forgets..

  33. This is why we can’t have nice things. When people come up with excuses to justify their inconsiderate behavior. These are the same people that are first to complain the price went up. It was an honor system clearly they have no honor and should be removed from the club.

  34. How tacky to worry about this guy taking some cereal (of all things) from an Airline Club that he has paid a good amount of money to belong to! Who really gives a S#!T if he eats at the club or on the go!! Some people are just too damn noisy for their own good!!

  35. I recently saw a woman at a Delta lounge literally “running” up to get warm cookies every time staff came ro refill the tray….she would take 2-3 at a time and wrap them up and put them in her YSL purse…once I counted the had taken 14 I stood up and said ronher it was rude and the food was not to hoard them. She looked at me like I was from.puter space and sat down…then sent her husband up to continue her thievery. People are unreal!!

  36. As much as it costs to be able to get into a lounge and the probability that you aren’t going to be in their very long or at all, why not grab your things to go? I was in the British Airlines lounge and had I thought of bringing containers, I would have filled ten of them with their different salads..I had about enough time between flights to be able to look at food..But what I don’t hear anyone saying is that these lounges have to throw out tons of food every month..I mean how long do salads last sitting out? Note to self: pack plastic baggies for my next two day journey through airports..At least I won’t starve if I get stuck for 3 hours on a tarmac or turbulence makes it impossible for the flight attendants to serve.. I had no idea I could take a few drinks too..What a brilliant idea!!

  37. @ DL. Really . . . “I won’t starve.” Please enlighten me on how many people have “starved” at airports. You may not be aware of this but stealing has never been a “brilliant idea” in most people’s judgement.
    BTW, it’s “ramp” and not “tarmac.” Tarmacs went the way of the DC-3 (which some of us have actually flown in when they were in use . . . TTA.)

  38. Maybe airlines could start treating passengers like they actually mean something to them.
    Anyone remember the sixties?
    Those who do, know what I mean.
    The good old days of travel.
    When the industry was something.

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