Side of Travel
Can't Buy That Sandwich - I Only Have $100:
The ridiculous cost of food at the airport
Why is it whenever you want to eat something at the airport, you're forced
to pay sky-high prices for normal, everyday food, that usually sucks?
Is there some sort of shortage of food at the airport? Are the trucks
not getting in? Is food being confiscated by terroritsts and then sold
back to us at exorbitant prices? Are they totally out of touch with the
outside world's prices and standards of quality? It sure seems so.
Many times, I've arrived at the airport, rushed, having had no time for
lunch or dinner, and was forced to grab a bite. Herewith, is my latest
experience at the "We Have You By The Short Hairs" restaurant (my affectionate
moniker for EVERY restaurant in the airport).
I just wanted a simple sandwich. No fancy French bread or imported cheese,
just a plain ol' tuna on rye with some lettuce and tomato. The sandwich
costs, hold on to your hat, $10.95! It comes with fries. Oooo. Howevah…the
lettuce and tomato, I'm informed, is $1.00 extra.
"A dollar extra!" I exclaim to my bored waitress, "I can get a whole head
of lettuce for a dollar!"
"So you don't want the lettuce and tomato?" she asks.
I can't eat a tuna fish sandwich without lettuce and tomato. I just can't.
"Gimme the lettuce and tomato." I reluctantly answer.
"Does that dollar include mayonnaise?" I add, sarcastically.
"No," she answers, equally sarcastically, "You have to call ahead for
The sandwich comes. Two pieces of really small rye bread, housing semi-dry
tuna fish topped with a wilted piece of lettuce and a tomato that has
that look of translucency it gets when it's been hanging around too long.
I see red. And it ain't the tomato!
That's it! I know it's just a dollar extra, but actually it's $10.95 PLUS
a dollar extra. I beckon the waitress.
"Yeeeesss," she says, sick of me. "Is there a problem?"
"There is. This sandwich is inedible. It's undersized, dry, wilted, sad,
forlorn and just plain gross."
"Would you like something else?" she yawns.
"Well, let's see, " I say, looking at the menu, "Do I want the $7.95 hotdog
($8.95 with sauerkraut) the $6.95 peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the
$9.95 chicken fingers, or the $9.95 plain hamburger?"
"Do you have any salad?"
"We got house or Caesar."
"I'll take the house, with blue cheese dressing."
"That's a dollar fifty extra."
"A dollar fifty! What happened to the standard dollar extra?"
blue cheese! Everyone knows one must travel to far ends of the continent
to the peaks of the highest mountains to access the famous Blue Cheese
cows (or as the French say, vache bleu) and gather the blue milk
for the cheese. It's blue cheese dressing! You can buy it in the
supermarket anywhere in the country, for cryin' out loud!
The salad comes. Full of that crummy iceberg lettuce that has no taste.
And again, those damn tomatoes! Forget the food, I need a drink.
Well crack open that piggy bank if you'd like a beer or cocktail to calm
your jittery nerves before a flight (or after a rendezvous in the restaurant).
I sidle up to the "You'll be Broke Before You're Drunk" bar, and ask for
my favorite brand of imported beer. I'm charged $7.00! Where did they
import it from? Mars? Cocktails are worse. Do not order top shelf brands
at an airport bar. You'll be cashing in your ticket to pay for it.
So, the next time I see someone at the airport drinking out of a thermos
or eating food they brought from home out of a zip lock bag, I won't make
fun of them, I'll applaud them. And copy them.