Anyone who has ever visited an airport will know just how insane the prices of literally everything inside are. Once you enter the airport, outside rules seemingly don’t apply; every store can charge whatever it wants, and since you have incredibly limited options, you’re forced to pay. It sucks. And so, one comedian has taken it upon herself to find out the hard numbers on this phenomenon, using a beloved product as an example: Chex Mix.
Started doing science. Feel free to report any data you have pic.twitter.com/fqvVc8ktwu— Kylie Brakeman (@deadeyebrakeman) February 5, 2024
Kylie Brakeman began tracking the cost of Chex Mix in various airports earlier this week, and her tweets about her project quickly took off, resulting in the creation of a spreadsheet to which people from across the U.S. could contribute their own data points. Initially, Kylie had only tracked the cost of Chex Mix at LaGuardia, Indianapolis and Dallas Fort Worth (DFW was the cheapest), but with contributions from the public, the spreadsheet has quickly expanded to include data from Atlanta, Detroit, Las Vegas, Seattle and even Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, for some reason.
Trying to standardize the data, Kylie laid out some ground rules: She’s only tracking the cost of the traditional flavor of Chex Mix, in the 8-ounce serving specifically. As to whether this exercise will result in accurate data, her response was simply, “Uhhhhhhhh.” Fair enough. Some of the data is already a little confusing. For example, there were two submissions for SFO: One for $4.99, and one for $20, and Kylie commented that she wasn’t sure she believed either for very different reasons.
I want to thank the community for helping me track the cost of Chex Mix in US airports . together we're gonna figure this whole thing out https://t.co/kUNK3bwTCZ— Kylie Brakeman (@deadeyebrakeman) February 6, 2024
The number of people excited to participate in what is essentially a data collection exercise is sweet. In addition to the spreadsheet responses, people have sent prices via tweet, and also assured Kylie that they will report back after their next trip.
The entire thing has been a learning experience for many. For example, thanks to one Twitter user, we learned that Salt Lake City’s airport uses street-level pricing, so if a chain has a store or restaurant outside the airport, its airport counterpart has to match its pricing. No airport specific markups in SLC!
The Wall Street Journal has disputed the accuracy of my Chex Mix data. Here is my official response: pic.twitter.com/AHDE39RnYP— Kylie Brakeman (@deadeyebrakeman) February 8, 2024
Data nerds have latched onto this project, too, with people offering suggestions for improvement, including adding time-zone information to see if there’s a relationship between time zone and price, or turning it into an interactive map.
Honestly, it’s heartwarming to see that there’s still space for collaboration on things that matter on social media.