One of the things I enjoy the most about flying is taking advantage of the ground hospitality. That means visiting the airline lounge and availing myself of the complimentary meals and drinks. That being said, it’s interesting to watch who steals food from the lounge, especially considering the apparent calibre of people who are inside.

While everything from the Wi-Fi to the electricity to charge your phones is on the house, how far does it stretch? Should you be taking things out of the lounge with you?

Well Heeled Thieves Everywhere!

Once upon a time I was sitting in the lounge casually passing the time on my laptop when I spied a group of business people getting up to go to their gate for their flight. One of them paused at the food section and loaded his bag with at least three packets of crisps and a couple of pieces of fruit. There was no subtlety involved and it was all quite brazen while chatting away to nearby colleagues.

Online forums devoted to airline travel reveal the art of the steal is alive and well. There are reports of people loading up their bags with cans of beer, various foods and some even say they have seen large bottles of booze decanted into plastic bottles for take away. It is mind boggling what people will stoop to!

Who Steals Food And Is It Actually Stealing?

There are two schools of thought on the matter. One is what airlines intend, which is food and drink available in the lounge should be consumed in the lounge. The other, of course, is that it is available and expected to be consumed so taking some with you is perfectly acceptable.

It does beg the question as to where the line should be drawn. A bag of crisps, piece of fruit or bottle of water to tide you over is probably more acceptable than taking half a dozen beers or sneaking out an entire unopened bottle of wine. It is perhaps less acceptable to remove glasses, plates, cutlery or furniture of course, though I bet this does happen.

Overall Thoughts

For what it’s worth, I think food and drink should be consumed in the lounge. Part of the reasoning for my thinking is that usually I’m flying in business class so I’m going to get even more to eat on the plane, so why be any greedier?

I’m not a person who steals food as a general rule. However, that being said, taking a bottle of water or a bag of crisps with you is completely fine. I’ve liberated the odd bag of crisps when the mood has taken me. Removing everything that is not nailed down is unacceptable and goes against the spirit of what the lounge is there for.

The amount of people with airline spoons, plates, cutlery or mugs is actually a lot more than you think. Airlines expect breakage and items to go missing, so who knows, maybe it’s all accounted for at the end of the day.

What do you think? Are you someone who steals food or is very strictly eat it in the lounge? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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