Airline passengers spend more flying West

Passengers drink more on the way to Las Vegas.

Passengers drink more on the way to Las Vegas.  (iStock)

Fliers may grumble about having to buy snacks and soda on a plane, but a recent survey shows that people are willing to open their purse strings on in-flight items during West-bound flights.

According to a new study from GuestLogix, a firm that provides in-flight payments system used by about 90 percent of airlines in North America, passengers spend the most on flights to Seattle, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

The group compiled data from November 2013 to February. Las Vegas-bound trips topped national in-flight beverage sales (with and without alcohol) among all flights. 

GuestLogix data found that airline passengers spent $75.7 million on food, beverages and passenger comfort items – in-flight entertainment, pillows and headsets.
Compared with the $3.3 billion U.S. airlines made from charging for checked luggage last year, that figure seems small. 

But in-flight purchases are on the rise as airlines provide new choices and more efficient ways to pay in sky.

Some airlines are offering meal or movie purchases simply by tapping on a screen.

The most bought item on flights was a beverage, accounting for 58 percent of all in-flight sales. Food came in at 38 percent of all purchases. The study found that more purchases tended to be made on Sunday flights than any other day of the week.