I’m talking, of course, of the cafe in the Lima Airport where a simple ham and cheese croissant will cost you something like $15.
Airports have forever been money vacuums for weary travelers. There’s not a single item in an airport from a bottle of water to a bottle of aspirin that you can get for a reasonable price. Everybody knows this. Yet occasionally you get caught up in the excitement and buy some ridiculous item that you most certainly could have lived without.
It’s really amusing to watch people overspend at airports. Most of us go through our whole lives clawing and scraping for a few dollars, and then the second we walk into an airport we totally lose our heads and start carelessly tossing our hard earned cash into dirty garbage bins. Actually, the propensity for human beings to spend all of their time gaining money and then to waste that money on useless spending is a whole different issue (I still don’t understand why people who are underwater on their mortgage continue to pay the bills), but that’s a rant for another day.
The thing is, this cafe in the Lima airport isn’t even good! It’s terrible in fact. You’d think that if you were paying $15 for a sandwich it could at least be a good sandwich!
But the advantage that airports have is that people are tired, they are ornery from long days of travel, and they have a whole bunch of money in their pockets because they’re ready to go on vacation.
The standard rule of thumb when traveling is to sprint through the airport like you have blinders on. If you go 100 yards away from the airport, the prices reduce by 100% (or more), but sometimes when you’re exhausted from a 10 hour flight you just don’t have the energy to take one more step.
But the absolute last thing you ever want to do is buy an airplane ticket at the airport. If you wander up to the booth looking for a ticket, they know you’re desperate to get somewhere so they absolutely gouge you. I’d be interested to hear if anybody’s had any different experience than this (please comment). My advice is to look for late deals, even if it’s just on the free internet in the overpriced cafe in the airport lobby. The internet is the great equalizer, and if you have the ability to check four or five different airlines, you take away their power to totally rob you (at least to some extent).