Three months ago, a woman who goes by zaftpunjab on Reddit posted a thread titled “Distress at MSP lounge!” She claimed that while in a Delta Air Lines lounge, she “got reported for trying to take a banana 🍌 out of the lounge! Someone tell me this is all a nightmare and my $700 a year isn’t a complete waste. I just wanted a banana 😢” Her post made international news, including in the New Zealand Herald.

This week, a post on Instagram is going viral after a realtor named Seth Feuer took photos of a man filling a giant-size Ziploc bag with cereal before putting it in his bag and walking out of the Admirals Club at Miami International Airport.


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A post shared by Seth Feuer – REALTOR (@sobeseth)

Matthew Klint from first reported on this, saying: “The premise of an airline lounge includes consuming food and drinks inside the lounge…and only inside the lounge. It’s one thing to take an apple or orange with you or a cup of coffee, especially when there are to-go cups provided. But it’s quite another to bring bags or containers into the lounge with the express intent of taking out large quantities of food for consumption outside the lounge.”

I agree with Matthew and I think the majority of members would, too. I’ve been to dozens, if not hundreds of lounges, around the world and I’ll confess, I’ve taken a granola bar or bag of potato chips to go. Just last month, my family and I were in the Admirals Club in Honolulu but since we only had a few minutes before boarding and no time for breakfast, we grabbed two of the individual boxes of cereal (pictured above) for our two little kids to eat on the plane.

To be honest, I had no idea it was actually against the rules and in fact, one of the lounge workers packaged it up for my wife and even gave her a cup of milk to go. But according to American Airlines’ Admirals Club terms and conditions, “Complimentary food, alcoholic beverages and periodicals provided by Admirals Club are for consumption and use inside the Admirals Club only and may not be removed.”

Delta Sky Club has similar rules: “Food and beverages may not be removed from any Delta Sky Club.” And so does the United Club: “Food and alcoholic beverages may not be brought into any Lounge. Food and beverages are provided for consumption and use inside of Lounges and may not be taken outside of Lounges.”

Many lounges, like American’s at LAX in Terminal 4 and 5, have a bowl filled with individual snack bars and bags of potato chips or other snacks by the door (pictured above). However, almost everyone I saw grabbed one on the way out, not on the way in.

Of course, I’ve witnessed people taking advantage of the club food, including one guy who filled up a giant Ziploc bag with the cubed cheddar cheese inside the American Airlines lounge at LAX. He made multiple trips to the buffet and didn’t think anyone had noticed him. It was an alarming amount of cheese, almost as if he didn’t have enough time to hit the grocery store ahead of a huge party. It was wrong but I actually felt sorry for the guy.

As for the other guy, filling his bag up with cereal, I don’t know how bad it really was because as one person said in the comments, “Maybe he had rambunctious kids with him and didn’t want to bring them in there with him so he grabbed them breakfast to go?”

Other comments across multiple platforms were divided:

URtheoneforme: There is a huge difference between taking a banana/coffee/granola bar out, and trying to shovel the entire buffet into a to-go bag. Anyone that can’t tell the difference between the two should not be anywhere near a position of (slight) power.

bonniecsides: Maybe he was late for his flight and that is all he had time for? Why is everyone so judgmental these days. Worry about yourself and stop taking pix of strangers to mock and persecute on social media! You should worry about what your clients will think of you. If you do these kinds of things to strangers, what would you do to them?! Smh

iamemannb: Props for always being prepared with the big’ol ziploc!

pmrfy1: See it all the time. I watched a women go to the cookie counter more than a dozen times and grab 2 or 3 cookies each time over a period of an hour and then left. These people live amongst us?

Suz Henrich: This is called stealing and these people need to be caught and embarrassed for their actions . Why don’t people speak up when they see parents doing this kind of thing.

Guest: Simple, take away his privilege to use it. Make it a rule if it’s not already.

Addison 55: Or they may simply think they are entitled to it since they either paid for the membership or earned it through miles flown. Yes, it’s tacky, but some people are just tacky regardless of their airline status.

What do you think? Is it okay to fill up a bag with food from the lounge if you don’t have time to sit and eat?


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4 Comments On "Is it OK to take food from an airline lounge to-go? How much?"
  1. Anthony|

    Very simple, It’s not ok. Another example of “entitlement behavior.” Been in Executive Lounges more than a few times – never even occurred to me. One of the people working at desk in Minneapolis did OFFER my wife and I a few little pieces of candy when we were in transit to AMS. Again it was OFFERED by an employee.

  2. jbelkin|

    I think the rule is whatever you can carry with one hand so like a drink ad a bag of a snack.

  3. Marlin|

    I think everyone needs to mind there own business a lot more. I don’t have a strong opinion on it either way. Just everyone but out of other people business.

  4. Marlin|

    I think we should all stop minding everyone else’s business. I would not take a large amount of food like that, but if someone else does, that’s on them. If the lounge tells them not to, then that’s there business.

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