Turkish international airports including Dalaman Airport charge extortionate prices for food and drink. But a bit of forward planning can save you money as we explain.

Turkish international airports including our own Dalaman Airport are renowned for their high food and drink prices.

A quick search on the internet brings up masses of comment and complaints about the modern, boxy but award winning airport terminal.

The article Dalaman Airport Light Meal Leaves Couple £60 Poorer here is a reminder that nothing has changed except maybe that the establishments are struggling and now have to resort to underhand methods of extracting cash from the unwary.

But cash strapped holiday makers can avoid being a victim and save some holiday cash with a little bit of forward planning.

Save Cash

OK, so it’s the end of your holiday and the trip back to the airport can be tiring and leave you thirsty and hungry.

With your last remaining money you head for the food stalls and bar in the airport departure lounge for some refreshment. But, you’ll be shocked – the prices are astronomical and nothing like those you will have been paying in your resort or even in UK airports.

For example, an omlette will set you back more than £4, meat balls £7, a large beer £7.

But plan ahead and you can save yourself some serious cash.

Pack A Lunch

On the last day of your holiday pop down to your local resort shop/supermarket and buy plenty of snacks, nibbles and other sustaining food.

Make up a picnic and even invest in a small cool bag to keep everything nice and cold. Not only will you be helping the local Turkish shop keepers but you’ll also save yourself a large amount of cash!

Then when you get to the airport and after you have checked in find somewhere to sit and tuck into your food and drink.

If delayed you could even leave the main terminal building and head downstairs to the shade of the garden. Of course you will still need to go through security to get back in but that’s probably better than being in the stuffy airport building.

Be aware though that liquid restrictions do apply at the security check in before you enter the departure lounge at Dalaman Airport so drinks will need to be consumed before then.

Picnicking Forbidden

We understand from recent feedback that the bars and cafes are now discouraging DIY diners from sitting at their tables and chairs.

So once through to the departure lounge head for the departure gates early where there is plenty of seating.


  1. Why does the government allow this to go on? It’s not just Turkey but most airports, a captive audience means a free for all for rip off merchants and they are allowed to carry on charging whatever they want with no restrictions. If we all stop buying from them they will have to reduce their prices or go bust. We always take a packed lunch and fruit such as melon which also acts as a drink and costs pennies from the local markets.

  2. Gatwick’s prices are ‘normal’ with ‘meal deals in Boots and Smiths Leaving Dalaman, I’ve always taken a meal with me, often a pancake, durum or picnic of mezes, with a thermos of cay. Years ago the airport officials used to tease me that I’d ‘become Turkish’ during my stay. Recently I notice other people bring food but often mistakenly dump their drinks at the first security check. You can bring them through, drink away until the second check on the way into departures BUT, if you dont want to pay silly money for water, hang on to your bottle and refill it the other side. Airlines give free water too – hot and cold.