Which Airlines Spend the Most on Food

Cranky Flier offers a really interesting chart on airline per-passenger food spending over the past 20 years.

The drop in food spend during the current decade is even bigger than the chart makes it appear, because the figures aren’t adjusted for inflation.

United spends the most on food, with their large international premium cabins and large domestic aircraft flying cross country routes. And that’s before the recent improvement in onboard offerings.

And as Cranky observes, and as in everything else, United does what American does and vice versa.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Something Cranky fails to take account for is the fact that food has become cheaper the last 20 years (ie the price isn’t going up at the same rate as inflation). Especially the type of pre-processed food that airlines use.

  2. It would be nice to see this broken down by route and by classes as well.

    Some time ago, I did a little analysis of my own trying to figure out a related topic — how much airlines spend on wine. I took the wine lists presented in Business and First class and took a stab at guessing what the wines would cost if I bought them retail in the United States.

    Not surprisingly the top airlines spent far more than airlines like United.

    Here is the link to SQ First Class wine list analysis:


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