Pay as you fly

Yes – that’s what you do.  Not only do you pay in advance for your ticket but you continue to pay as you fly.  Want a blanket?  Pay up.  Want some ear phones? Pay up.  Want some food?  Yep – you got it!  Unless you are happy to make a meal out of cookies which is what happened to me on my flight Saturday night – Dallas to Calgary.  Now this flight is over 3 hours and our departure time was 6.30 pm so I think it is reasonable to assume that there would be some sort of food service on board.  I did think of buying something at the airport but I am really not big on boarding a flight loaded down with a take out meal.

So the nice lady from American Airlines (and she was very nice) came around with drinks and I asked if I could purchase a sandwich or snack.  She looked worried but said that she might have some humus and crackers at the back.  I said that would be fine and she dashed back to check, leaving her trolley in the aisle.  As I said – she was very nice and willing to help.  After a few minutes (which seemed like a long time) she came back very apologetic and said that catering had not stocked the plane and therefore the only thing she had to offer was a cookie.  Mmm.  It made me think (while my tummy grumbled) that for me fortunately the only down side was an upside.  Maybe I would lose a pound or two.  For those who need to eat (such as someone with diabetes) this could be a disaster.

Now I guess those people would need to be responsible about their condition and purchase something to eat before they get on the flight. However I hate the idea of people bringing on food.  At least if you eat the food on the flight you know that it is going to be pretty bland and everyone is going to be eating at the same time.  What I can’t handle is getting on a flight and then immediately after take-off the person behind me opens up their Subway sandwich and I am assailed by the smell of whatever spicy or exotic ingredients they have included as well as maybe an extra helping of onions.  Ugh!



By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. We recently left Calgary on an Air Canada flight at 08.00 for LA. We were offered complimentary soft drinks but were told the tiny packages of snacks were $3! These same packs were given free to us on three other United flights on the same reservation!


  2. We flew with American Airlines leaving at 6:30 a.m. Due to unforeseen circumstances we didn’t have enough time to purchase something before the flight and thought we could purchase on the plane. When we asked to purchase something, we were told that catering hadn’t had enough time before take off to stock the plane.

    Other times they ran out of everything except crackers before they got to our seats. 🤔


  3. I’m a great fan of Air New Zealand. For one thing, their food is so delicious and inventive and there is plenty of it. They seem to have gotten the message that eating is a form of entertainment for travelers stuck on long flights … which is a darned good thing, because heaven help you if you arrive and try to pass through NZ customs having forgotten that apple or bag of carrot sticks you stuck in your backpack to prevent situations like the one you described. The fines for importing foreign organic material and threatening their farming industries are understandably dear!


    1. Simone, I agree with you. I was quite intimidated when I first arrived in Auckland and everyone was throwing out their fruit. I had a package of trail mix and chucked it in panic. I guess that would have been fine but after a long flight you just don’t want to take any chances with delays etc. I did enjoy flying on Air New Zealand. I found their staff excellent, good leg room (mind you I am short)!


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