How to Shop Costco Without a Membership and Airlines Ranked By Their Snacks

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Was the newlywed who stole a plane shot down?f

  • US airlines ranked by their snacks Why do articles like these always get their facts wrong? American doesn’t serve Illy coffee, it’s Fresh Poo Brew.

  • Family sues United for $10 million for breaking their daughter’s wheel chair even though United has already paid to fix it.

  • American cancelled flights to Haiti amidst violent protests there over fuel price increases

  • I think I read about this in my freshman econ class. Venezuela caps airfare prices below their market price, so demand exceeds supply. They impose currency controls and airlines can’t get access to foreign currency to buy spare parts. (No one wants Venezuelan currency because of hyperinflation and because of limits on repatriating funds.)

    The domestic air fleet has shrunk 80 percent since 2014 to around 20 functioning aircraft, the Venezuelan air industry association Ceveta says, leaving Venezuelans struggling to travel to visit relatives or receive medical treatment.

    …For domestic flights, airlines now typically sell only one-way tickets. When people want to return home from a trip, they usually have to line up at the airport on the day they hope to travel.

    Ismelida Fernandez said she flew to Caracas from Margarita Island with her sister to get treatment for a brain tumor and had to wait 24 hours to get a return ticket.

    “My sister was crying all night from the pain in her head,” said Fernandez, at the Maiquetia airport outside Caracas last week. She said she was still on a waiting list to fly home, adding, “It makes me feel completely helpless.”

    …Airlines are not allowed to sell tickets for domestic flights above the prices set by the government. Flights generally cost about half the price of a taxi ride to the airport.

    But getting hold of tickets usually requires buying them from intermediaries for more than double their list price.

    …At the Maiquetia airport, groups of people routinely wait for two or three days, sitting on their suitcases or on the ground, in hopes of getting on a flight.

  • If you get a friend with a Costco membership to buy you Costco Cash you can use it to shop there without being a member

      Copyright jetcityimage / 123RF Stock Photo

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. It’s been a long time since I flew JetBlue and have never flown Hawaiian. Snack-wise, I have my own ranking:

    – Alaska
    – Delta
    – United
    – American

  2. @ Gary: Re COSTCO and COSTCO Cash
    Do you know if this is true just in the USA or Worldwide?
    I don’t have a COSTCO membership in the UK but it would be useful to shop there occasionally when I visit. My US card is not recognized outside the US.

  3. AA serves stropwaffells in domestic first in the snack basket. Almost rolled out of my seat last week when I saw it.

  4. Biscoffs are a reason themselves for flying Alaska 🙂 And the FAs are always happy to give you more than one pack.

  5. @Woofie, are you sure your US Costco card is not recognised elsewhere? I certainly have used my card issued in Australia at Costco shops in the US.

  6. So, I can go shopping with a $5 Costco gift card and pay for my purchases with it and a credit card?

  7. It’s not just about repairing the wheelchair. Read the f**ing article and lose the arrogance.

  8. I’ve been flying United (Express) regularly and can say that the Stroopwafel is the best/tastiest snack I’ve ever had on a domestic airline. Unfortunately, I’ve only been served them once. I was given two Stroopwafels and have been saving the surviving one for a special occasion/emergency in my carry-on luggage. Any airline serving these automatically gains one point (on a 10-point scale) in my book.

    Searching Stroopwafels on Amazon, it’s obvious that they cost too much (vis-a-vis pretzels) to serve to us poor schmucks in Economy.

  9. What is it about stroopwafels? Most are made too sickly sweet to even finish. I used the last ones (unopened) as packing material in a checked bag. For that at least, they were better than pretzels.

    And Amazon is a useless indicator of a product’s actual value. Anyone is free to offer anything there with inflated prices, including Amazon itself.

  10. Costco cash can be purchased at, which accepts Discover (the warehouses do not). In 2018, is part of the 5% cash back bonus category in both Q1 & Q4. I haven’t been able to get a better return from Costco.

  11. You must scan Costco membership card before scanning the items. How can you purchase without membership card?

  12. @chancer, true about Amazon prices. But I think we can agree that United saves money serving pretzels instead of Stroopwafels. Yes, they’re sweet/sugary but you can nibble on one for half the flight and actually enjoy it, versus eating United pretzels like a dog would eat cheap filler biscuits.

  13. I’d also like to know the answer to RNP’s post. (re: doesn’t one have to scan their Costco membership card prior to scanning / purchasing any items?)

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