Bring your own food onboard for the best value

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Chicken wraps (Photo: iStockPhoto.com)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on February 28, 2008. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, American, Continental, Delta, Sarah Pascarella, United, US Airways.

Back in November, Budget Travel published a story on how to make a first-class sandwich. Their reasoning was simple: Since in-flight snacks and meals are getting more expensive (and aren't exactly appetizing), why not save yourself some money and make your own?

To see just how much you'll save by prepping your meal or snack in advance, here's a short breakdown of what major U.S. carriers charge for in-flight coach dining on domestic, Caribbean, and Mexico flights:

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  • American: $4 for snacks, $6 for "fresh light meals" (sandwiches or wraps, no vegetarian options).
  • Continental: No extra charge for snacks or meals.
  • Delta: Offers several complimentary snacks, and you can purchase snacks and small meals for an extra $1 to $9, depending on the item.
  • United: $5 for snack boxes, sandwiches and salads available at varying prices.
  • US Airways: $5 for snack boxes, $7 for sandwiches and platters.

So to avoid shelling out for sub-par cuisine—and perhaps spare yourself some indigestion—take the economical (and delicious) route and prepare your own meals ahead of time.

Oh, and don't worry about the DOT's liquids and gels ban when it comes to your homemade sandwich—just go light on the condiments and you should be fine.

Have a great travel tip you'd like to share? Send your insider travel strategies to editor@smartertravel.com.

 
 
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