Someone Crowdsourced Prices Of Chex Mix At Airports, Revealing The Insanity Of Airport Food Prices

Actor and television writer Kylie Brakeman undertook a project to better understand airport concessions prices. She settled on Chex Mix, and crowdsourced pricing from around the internet. People submitted photos and other reports of the prices they’d found, and she built a spreadsheet. What she found is amazing.

This was standardized to look at Chex Mix Traditional Flavor 8 ounce bag pre-tax pricing only.

Here are the results so far, and the underlying document that she tweeted.

Some things I learned:

  • Prices ranged from $3.49 in New Orleans to $13.29 in Las Vegas.

  • While airport authorities often have rules about ‘street pricing’ where concessions prices have to reflect what similar items would cost in the community (perhaps plus a 10% markup) there’s even variance between airports in the same jurisdiction – Washington Dulles Chex Mix prices are higher than at Washington’s Reagan National.

  • Chex Mix is also a lot more expensive at Dallas Love Field than at Dallas – Fort Worth.

New York airports, known for $16 M&Ms, $8 bottles of water, and $28 beers to go with $11 fries actually comes out high but not nearly the highest for Chex Mix pricing.

The truth is that nearly all food at U.S. airports – other than Tortas Frontera – is bad. You can bring your own food. Certainly you can bring your own Chex Mix!

Nearly anything that isn’t a liquid (TSA considers anything spreadable – like Peanut Butter – to be a liquid) can go through security checkpoints without being subject to liquid rules.

It’s time to stop the madness – or at least patronize Dallas – Fort Worth ($4.75), Minneapolis ($3.99), and Salt Lake City ($3.49) as preferred hubs.

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. I get that this is all in good fun, but to dig a bit at the pre-tax thing:

    Hidden surcharges that may will find upon checkout under various names like:

    – airport rent is expensive fee
    – healthcare for your cashier fee
    – keeping the lights on fee
    – streamlined shopping and checkout experience fee

    are not taxes collected by the government but are just brazen moves by businesses intending to reduce sticker prices and use what psychologists call the door in the face tactic of increasing prices.

    Once upon a time Americans, had better moral scruples, but cultural erosion from the last 20-30 years has gotten us to this point.

    Don’t forget that some airport checkout registers solicit tips. Even if they are self checkouts. And an input of $0 might be rejected.

  2. @Dignity: I think you had it right the first time.

    I understand not including taxes from a practical point, however, as that would require making a purchase. Perhaps the base price can be combined with known fees at each location.

  3. Why aren’t our politicians seeing this and making a stink about it?
    Oops, I forgot, they are no longer mixing with the common folk, now that they’re entitled to their own private escorts and private security areas.

  4. Another reason I’m glad we bring our own snacks and a refillable water bottle.

    Especially given the state of crappy meals and snacks on domestic airlines.

  5. Yet another random article designed just so Gary can bring up his obsession with mediocre tortas frontera

  6. There is nothing new in reporting absurdly high airport food prices. IMO, anyone who does not take a few extra minutes to shop/buy snax for a flight ahead of time at his/her regular supermarket, is just lazy…and a careles spendthrift traveler; no pity from me.

  7. Always, but always, bring your own food.

    This is especially true if you have a personal need such as vegan, Kosher, or you have certain allergies.

  8. I’m with Dignity. Anything goes if they can get it. I think if you tried selling a food items at a reasonable price you’d be run outta town.

Comments are closed.