Food and drink on no-frills airlines can be costlyTake your own food onboard to save money

23 December 2008

Ryanair- people getting on airline

Ryanair failed to get top marks for value for money

Some no-frills airlines are charging almost half the cost of a ticket for a basic meal aboard their flights.

A sandwich, small tub of crisps and small bottle of red wine can add more than £10 to the price of a single ticket – increasing to over £20 for a return trip. In some instances this can amount to half the price of the actual airline ticket*

Which? Holiday looked at five no-frills airlines and the prices they charge for five food and drink products onboard their aircraft in October 2008 - a meat sandwich, tub of Pringles crisps, bottle of water, cup of coffee and bottle of red wine. We compared prices on Bmibaby, Easyjet, Flybe, Monarch and Ryanair.

Ryanair most expensive

Our findings show some discrepancies in the prices that the airlines charge, with Ryanair being the most expensive for every item on the list. The Irish airline charges £2.50 for a bottle of water and £2.50 for a cup of coffee while a small bottle of red wine costs £5.00. 

Cheaper in departure lounge

The best value for money was Bmibaby who generally offered the cheapest price on all products, charging just 80p for a bottle of water and £1.80 for a cup of coffee. There was more than £5 difference between all the products on the Ryanair flight compared with Bmibaby.

Buying sandwiches from high street shops at the airport can be much cheaper than onboard the aircraft. A ham and cheese sandwich from either Boots or WHSmith would set you back £2.79 or £3.25 respectively, compared with £4.20 with Ryanair or £3.75 with Flybe.  


Liquid restrictions

There are still Department of Transport restrictions on liquids in place at UK airports, which means you are unable to carry more than 100ml in your hand luggage through security. You can, however, take onboard any liquids bought in the departure lounge. 

Which? Holiday editor Lorna Cowan said: 'If you do need to buy food at the airport then opt for high street retailers in the departure lounge – or even bring your own! This could save you money especially if you have to feed a family.'

Ever wondered which is the best airline to fly with? Read the Which? airline survey for more details.

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