Most Travelers Still Not Buying In-Flight Meals but Numbers are Changing

While still in the clear minority, the number of airline passengers who purchase food on a plane nearly doubled in the last three years, according to our recent survey.

In the 2015 survey, 2.7 percent said they purchased food on a plane, while just 1.7 percent said they did so in 2012. With 55,800,800 people flying annually (according to the U.S Department of Transportation) this 1.3 percent increase translates into an additional 725,400 people making in-flight purchases. The surveys polled passengers of both GO Airport Express and GO Airport shuttle; 469 people responded to the 2015 survey and 416 responded in 2012.

In 2015, 58 percent of respondents said they eat in the airport after going through security. This is compared with 55 percent in 2012. In both surveys, 8 percent said they bring their own food. In 2015, 5.7 reported they don’t spend any money on food – not eating in the airport or on the plane— while 6.3 percent said they didn’t in 2012.

Many say they eat before going to their departure airport or after they arrive at their destination with 17.2 percent doing so in 2015, compared with 20.4 percent in 2012. Just over four percent said they purchase food at the airport to take on the plane with them in 2012, with almost five percent saying they do so in 2015. Three percent of 2015 respondents report they eat before security, while 4.6 percent said they did so in 2012.

Vinnie asks if these results indicate that travelers are slowly becoming more inured to the costs of amenities that used to be included in fares and are valuing convenience over price.

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