Airline lounges are a great place to relax before a flight. They offer complimentary food and drink, decent wireless Internet, device charging points and are often quieter than the main concourse. Does entry to these lounges also permit you to steal what you want from the lounge and take it with you?

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

Recently I was sitting in the lounge casually passing the time on my laptop when I saw 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!

Fair Game or Not?

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 not acceptable to remove glasses, plates, cutlery or furniture of course, though I bet this does happen.

Overall Thoughts

I believe food and drink should be consumed in the lounge. I also believe it is okay to take one item with you for the flight if it is absolutely necessary for example you may need extra water if you’re connecting between two long flights. Taking everything that is not nailed down is not acceptable and goes against the spirit of what the lounge is there for.

What do you think? I would love to hear your comments or questions below. Thanks for reading!