Peanuts are the best value in-flight snack, while a can of beer has the biggest mark up of all on-board refreshments, new research shows.

Compiled by International Currency Exchange, the research looks at the mark up on refreshments across major airlines and train operators*  and compares to the price you would expect to pay at the supermarket.

The eye-watering results show the sky high mark ups on these products, with an average increase of 123% for a chocolate bar and 173% for a can of fizzy drink compared to standard retail prices charged at supermarkets.

On airline refreshments the highest increases can be seen on bottled water, which costs 273% more than what you would be charged at the supermarket tills, and a 330ml can of beer, which has the largest rise of 382%.


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Meanwhile, a packet of peanuts presents the best value for money if you’re hungry mid-air, with a 71% increase on the retail price.

The prices recorded for train operators told a similar story, with higher mark ups recorded on bottled water (247%) and beer (287%), and significantly smaller mark ups on snacks, with a sharing bag of sweets coming out as the best value snack for rail passengers (30%).



Average Mark Up
Can of fizzy drink173%161%
Bottled water273%247%
Can of beer (330ml)382%287%
Bottle of wine (187ml)153%137%
Chocolate bar123%51%
Packet of crisps126%42%
Packet of peanuts71%NA
Sharing bag of sweets114%30%

ICE CEO Koko Sarkari said: “This is one of the most competitive marketplaces in the world and with space at a premium you can certainly see why prices are higher at 30,000ft than at local convenience store”.

“After scouring the internet for the cheapest ticket, accommodation and carefully packing light to avoid any extra charges, the last thing people want is to spend a small fortune on food and drink on their journey.

“The airline mark ups on bottled water seem particularly steep since travellers are unable to bring liquids of over 100ml through airport security and will  therefore need to purchase drinks in the departure lounge or on-board. But travellers are allowed to take some food items through airport security, so planning ahead could help them make some real savings.”

ICE have composed a useful guide on their blog of how to aviod sky high costs: