A $100 hamburger trip typically involves flying a short distance (less than two hours), eating at an airport restaurant, and flying home. "$100" originally referred to the approximate cost of renting or operating a light general aviation aircraft, such as a Cessna 172, for the time it took to fly round-trip to a nearby airport. However, increasing fuel prices have since caused an increase in hourly operating costs for most airplanes, and a Cessna 172 now costs US$95–130 per Hobbs hour to rent, including fuel.
In Perth, Western Australia, a similar mentality eventuated in the 'Rotto Bun Run'. A group of pilots who had run out of Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday decided to fly to the closest open bakery on Rottnest Island. The run is now an annual charity event.
There's a book and website dedicated to this phenomenon, including stories about hamburger runs, and a directory of and reviews of on-airport and near-airport restaurants.
- Preusch, Matthew (October 26, 2007). "Cleared for Lunching: The $100 Hamburger". The New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
- Procida, Lee. "Hammonton Airport turns focus to restaurant to attract more pilots." Press of Atlantic City. The Press of Atlantic City. 2011. Retrieved August 17, 2012 from HighBeam Research: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-2334653411.html
- Flights Inc. - Flight Training and Aircraft Rental
- Royal Aero Club of Western Australia - Commemorative Flights, 2011-01-30
- $100 Hamburger, 2013-02-20