Among the many things that can be purchased at the airport, some are ridiculously priced, and some, a very few, are not. Fortunately, things like the newspaper can be purchased in machines, or in the gift shop since the price is clearly printed on the front page. Or is it?
I have seen newspaper stands or gift shops place a sticky label over the pre-printed price. Shame, shame! This is particularly true over in Hawaii, where all mainland papers cost more. In addition, if you buy the Honolulu Advertiser on any island other than Oahu, you will pay a premium! My suggestion is to just find a discarded paper, either in the waiting area or in the Club Room of your favorite airline.
Ever since TSA came along to confiscate our water bottles, bottled water is the biggest rip-off in the airport. Most of us need drinking water, and some, like diabetics and people who eat too much salty junk food, have an even higher need. Like most people, I do not trust the output of the various drinking fountains in the airport. Some places like the Grand Canyon offer drinking water filling stations at strategic points around the park. Perhaps the airports can take a hint.
That brings us to food. While an airline passenger can bring food into the airport, and onto the plane, most of us just buy some type of convenience food in preparation of a long flight. Airline food is still on a quality level with my third grade cafeteria, complete with colorful cardboard boxes. My suggestion is to bring some energy bars and fresh fruit from home.
Snacks are plentiful and ridiculously priced as well. Things like trail mix, candy, mints, gum, and “junk food” are at least double their price on the outside. Speaking of outside, why does boarding a plane seem like entering some type of incarceration? Again, bring your own!!! It’s not rocket science!
In the old days, very few of us used the “free” electrical outlets to charge our laptops or cell phones. Now, every outlet within ten feet above the floor has been placed out of service. In its place is the “charging station” where a short twenty-minute charging session can run upwards of $1.00. I say we should all spend $69.96 for a solar charging device and put them out of business. But with my luck, they will close up all of the natural light from the windows, and turn off the lights, the party’s over.
The most interesting items for sale these days at the airport are souvenirs. These can range from the simple to the ridiculous. In Hawaii, an airline passenger can order a case of papayas or pineapples to ship home. In San Francisco, a loaf of sour dough bread makes a uniquely tasty remembrance from the city by the Golden Gate. Nawlins has pralines, Miami has stone crabs, Phoenix has cactus jelly. We could go on and on, but we would run out of money.
Souvenirs should be purchased at a junk store in the neighborhood in which you are staying, playing or working. If you wait until the airport, you may not find what you or anybody else on the face of the earth wants, or needs. Go to the nearest Walgreen’s or CVS and go to their “junk” department. Spend 5 minutes and maybe $10 at the most for a great selection of “stuff.” You will be a hero when you get home, if anyone is there waiting for you.
At this point, I am sure you see where this is headed. Either drive your car and stock up on all the goodies you want, OR take Amtrak. Good luck!