Airlines Save More Than Just Peanuts

   By drodriguez  Mar 17, 2011

With the cost of gas going up again it is no wonder airlines have begun thinking of ways to save like charging passengers for checked luggage.  But one small perk we have become accustomed to that may now be a thing of the past is the free snack we get mid-flight.  

A recent report from USA Today talks about Continental airline’s recent announcement that they will no longer be serving a free snack to economy class passengers.  It may seem like a small thing, but by cutting out free snacks Continental will save a whopping $2.5 million per year.  Passengers flying in coach will still be offered a beverage, but will have to do without the small bag of pretzels.  The new policy is the same as the one United adopted before they bought out Continental last year.

In an internal email to employers Continental officials explained the move to remove free snacks from the on board experience, “As a cost savings initiative and to better align us with our competitors beverage snacks (pretzels and Biscoff) will be removed from the main cabin for all non BusinessFirst markets...”

As to whether taking away the free snack will affect the passenger’s loyalty to the airline; probably not.  Many passengers feel this will not deter them from purchasing an airline ticket and they will simply bring their own snack to enjoy mid-flight.  Some airlines that are currently still offering snacks are Delta, AirTran, Alaska Airlines, Frontier, JetBlue, and Southwest.  

Do you think cutting out the free snack is a good way for airlines to save money?

Would you still purchase tickets from an airline if they did not offer a free snack?

Make a Comment

kimvoloshin by kimvoloshin | PALMER TWP, PA
Apr 22, 2011

I never cared about the peanuts but I do hope that they offer you the possibility to purchase something for a normal price, everything at the airports is fattening, low quality and extremely expensive. By the way, I hope the airlines know that when they present themselves as cheap, low service that the reactions of travelers will be accordingly. Air travel used to be pleasant and that feeling passed a long time ago.

FashionistaQueen by FashionistaQueen | Appleton, WI
Apr 01, 2011

Honestly, although an enjoyment, complimentary snacks aren't a huge deal. If I owned an airline I would probably do the same thing to save money. The snacks are nice but bringing your own isn't to difficult. If the airlines a re saving money you might too :)

liiivinlife39 by liiivinlife39 | Orland Park, IL
Apr 01, 2011

Without airlines, we would not be able to visit family or go on vacations or bussiness trips. If these airlines file bankrupt they may very well have to close down. I think a small bag of peanuts is not a huge deal to go without on the cost of our safe travel..,

mnleona by mnleona | Harris, MN
Apr 01, 2011

Airline prices are getting higher. I remember when Delta took the lettuce, used mainly for decoration, off the plate and they saved tons of money.

eyermaer by eyermaer | Cincinnati, OH
Mar 21, 2011

The reduction of snacks and amenities ARE reflected in ticket prices. Unfortunately, air travel prices are continuously going up. In order to keep tickets at a reasonable price, they are forced to make cuts. Like everyone else during this recession, cuts must be in managing a budget. Amywa65 is completely correct in stating that [in many cases] ticket sales do not even cover fuel. Unfortunately, there have recently been laws passed that put a fine on flight that are delayed over 3 hours [hence the uprise in canceled flights]. "Under new federal guidelines that take effect next month, airlines can be fined up to $27,500 per passenger if a plane is stuck on the tarmac for longer than three hours."

Britnev by Britnev | Clearwater, FL
Mar 20, 2011

We recently flew with British Airways and they also withdrew the free snacks they used to provide with the drinks. Although this was very disappointing it would not deter me from purchasing a ticket for future flights if that was the only flight available. We are searching for alternative airlines for our next trip. There comes a point when one cut too many can be made.

amywa65 by amywa65 | Chesterfield, MI
Mar 18, 2011

So many airlines are filing for bankruptcy and merging because the price of the tickets doesn't even cover their fuel charges... that is also why they have added all those additional charges. I would rather the price reflect the actual costs and then get rid of the additional fees. I am 100% fine with them getting rid of the snacks on planes... I usually bring my own anyway.

MadHatter by MadHatter | Whitestone , NY
Mar 18, 2011

i always flew continental and loved them. now i am pretty disappointed...

Iheartmakeup2011 by Iheartmakeup2011 | Lansing, MI
Mar 17, 2011

Kwilty611 your are right. The savings airlines are enjoying are not reflected in ticket prices. If they were we would not have to spend $15-50 to check bags that were free to check 5 years ago. #ripoff

kwilty611 by kwilty611 | SUSSEX, WI
Mar 17, 2011

It seems like they keep cutting back and charging for things like pillows, blankets, luggage etc. But I have never seen a reduction in ticket price to reflect a reduction in services or amenities

mantrita by mantrita | West Bloomfield , MI
Mar 17, 2011

i would rather they cancel snack and give me a cheaper ticket

mantrita by mantrita | West Bloomfield , MI
Mar 17, 2011

American Airline serves peanuts on the plane in first class...and they cant prevent what others bring on a plane

blessedmama by blessedmama | KENOSHA, WI
Mar 17, 2011

this article didn't mention American Airlines (I believe they maybe the only major airline, American based, that has not filed bankruptcy)...don't they still serve snacks? Yes, it would be a good way to save money. One concern, I see, about people bringing snacks on the airline, is those who are allergic to peanuts...could have issues IF someone else is eating them on the plane. Generally, when deciding which airline to fly, people go with whoever has the lowest ticket price.