4 Things Everyone Hates About Eating at the Airport

From cramped seats to carry-on fees, there are plenty of things to hate about traveling for work. However, food reigns supreme on travelers’ lists of gripes about flying the friendly skies. But why exactly does everyone hate dining at the airport or on the plane? Four of the most common tourist complaints are as follows:

  • Limitations on drink sizes. Planning on stopping at McDonald’s for fast food before your flight boards? Don’t pick up the large drink—TSA restrictions limit the size of liquid containers you can bring from outside to puny 3 oz. containers. This means that if you’re feeling thirsty, you’ll need to pull out your wallet past check-in. Which brings us to our next point…
  • Outrageous prices. Airports are well-known as centers of price-gouging. One blogger found that on average, flyers can expect to pay a whopping 18 percent more for a meal at a chain restaurant just because it’s in the airport. While some eateries have started to fight back and price their meals similarly to their downtown alternatives, “airport pricing” still remains a common complaint of travelers.
  • Frozen ingredients. There’s a reason why your in-flight meal always comes smothered in sauce—it’s to keep the microwaved ingredients from drying out. Airline food is notoriously bad because it has to stay edible for much longer than the ingredients from restaurants whipping up made-to-order meals. This means that “the deal with airline food” is likely the laundry list of preservatives used to keep the food’s shape and texture.
  • Funky smells. The dry air of a plane’s cabin has been shown to suppress our sense of smell, causing in-flight meals to smell stale or old. As every chef knows, the smell of our food can heavily influence the way we perceive taste, meaning that even before you’ve taken a bite of your chicken marsala or egg salad sandwich, your brain has already formed an opinion based on smell. And more often than not, the consensus is “yuck.”

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From cramped seats to carry-on fees, there are plenty of things to hate about traveling for work. However, food reigns supreme on travelers’ lists of gripes about flying the friendly skies. But why exactly does everyone hate dining at the airport or on the plane? Four of the most common tourist complaints are as follows: […]