Timeline: Cost of Airline Food

Timeline: Cost of Airline Food

Domestic carriers have been steadily cutting their food budgets over the past few decades. Below, a closer look at the average spending per person across all cabin classes.

1990

American Airlines
Food expense per passenger: $6.89*
Food expense as ratio of operating expense: 4.6%

Continental Airlines
Food expense per passenger: $5.28*
Food expense as ratio of operating expense: 3.2%

Delta Air Lines
Food expense per passenger: $5.20*
Food expense as ratio of operating expense: 3.8%

Northwest Airlines**
Food expense per passenger: $5.98*
Food expense as ratio of operating expense: 3.2%

United Airlines
Food expense per passenger: $3.56*
Food expense as ratio of operating expense: 3.4%

USAirways
Food expense per passenger: $3.56*
Food expense as ratio of operating expense: 3.2%

2008

American Airlines
Food expense per passenger: $5.48
Food expense as ratio of operating expense: 2.3%

Continental Airlines
Food expense per passenger: $5.52
Food expense as ratio of operating expense: 2.1%*

Delta Air Lines
Food expense per passenger: $4.80
Food expense as ratio of operating expense: 2.2%

Northwest Airlines
Food expense per passenger: $3.91
Food expense as ratio of operating expense: 1.7%

United Airlines
Food expense per passenger: $5.83
Food expense as ratio of operating expense: 2.0%

USAirways
Food expense per passenger: $1.12
Food expense as ratio of operating expense: 0.6%

*Figures provided by airlinefinancials.com. **Now a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines

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