No Such Thing as a Free Brekker Either
Milton Friedman didn’t invent the phrase “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” — now a mnemonic, TANSTAAFL — but was obviously impressed enough by its veracity to enshrine it as the title of a book. Indeed, no one would dispute that very few things in this world come ‘free’ or at least without any riders. Even the lunches that gave rise to the phrase — offered by 19th-century bars in the US to patrons who bought drinks there — were not laid out free of cost. The era of those original free lunches is long past, but the current ‘free breakfast buffet’ is certainly a feature of hotels that guests do not pass up easily, even if they just snaffle a fruit or muffin on the way out. That the cost of the spread is built into the room charges — much like what is ‘offered’ to airline passengers is included in the ticket cost — is obvious to frequent travellers. No wonder the cabin crew of Air India did not think there was anything amiss in filling up boxes from the buffet in their UK hotel to munch on later, as it is alleged. They probably think it is not unlike passengers at the front of aeroplanes taking items from the open bar to enjoy in their first-class ‘suites’ or the rest stashing away extra jam pouches and buns from their plastic inflight food trays to wolf down later. The takeaway from this? TANSTAAFB either.