TV chef James Martin came under fire on Twitter last weekend, after a customer branded a cheeseburger at his Glasgow Airport restaurant ‘truly awful’. Why is airport food so often disappointing?
Disappointed diner Ewen Cameron, a Scottish DJ and TV host, started a Twitter storm on Easter Sunday when he complained about the burger he was served in James Martin Kitchen at Glasgow Airport.
Mr Cameron said he was ‘gobsmacked’ at being served the £9.50 burger, which he described as ‘the flattest of burgers, which was burnt round the edges, a huge roll that was quite stale and not fresh, with some cheese and onions in the middle.’
This is your cheeseburger at your restaurant & priced at £9:50 !
I’m guessing you’ll be annoyed as you’re a man who prides himself on his food. pic.twitter.com/jTsjOJvHzH
— Ewen Cameron 🏴 (@EwenDCameron) April 1, 2018
James Martin responded by apologising and vowed to ‘personally’ investigate the meal in question – but the whole episode has clearly resonated with many people around the UK.
As a Which? survey found in 2014, overpriced food is in the top 10 of flyers’ frustrations at airports.
And it’s not just food: some airport outlets reportedly charge 300% more for a bottle of water than high street prices. And as community member Ivanerlick pointed out, bottled water can be especially expensive once you pass airport security.
What’s the deal with airplane food?
It’s generally accepted that in-flight food and drink is often massively overpriced – and disappointing on the palate – but why should this be the same with pre-flight meals?
True, airport restaurants face greater challenges than their high-street equivalents. Fresh produce can only be brought in at specific times and has to be security screened, there are restrictions on knives and kitchen utensils, and some airports don’t allow gas cookers – but that’s just one side of the story.
Limited space in departure lounges means the food outlets have a monopoly over consumers; and they don’t really rely on repeat customers either. This means lower standards can persist across the board in airport restaurants – and probably better explains the poor experiences reported in our survey.
Have you also had a ‘truly awful’ airport meal? Should airport eateries be doing more to raise standards? Do you find they charge a lot more for food and drink?
This is a guest contribution by Oscar Webb. All views are Oscar’s own and not necessarily those also shared by Which?.