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The 10 items you should NEVER buy at the airport


HOLIDAYS can be expensive enough without forking out a fortune at the airport.

However, with long layovers meaning hours of time to kill between flights, passengers may find themselves spending more than they planned.

Airports often charge over the odds for goods that are far cheaper on the outside

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Airports often charge over the odds for goods that are far cheaper on the outside

To save money, it is best to come prepared and only buy things if you really need them – here are 10 of the most overpriced things you can buy in an airport.

1. Bottled water

A bottle of water is 200 per cent more expensive in airports compared to the high street, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Passengers are sitting ducks for high bottled water prices as you’re not allowed to take liquids of more than 100ml through security.

That means vendors can charge sky high prices knowing full well flyers can’t have bought any water through with them.

Many airports now have free water stations instead, including Gatwick and Heathrow Airports so you can fill up your own bottle instead.

2. Electronics

It’s one of the worst feelings when you realise you’ve forgotten headphones or a phone charger at home before getting on a flight – and you will pay the price at the airport.

Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing with shopping comparison website DealNews, said: “Electronics purchased at the airport will cost you significantly more than if you had bought them ahead of time.

“Our research shows that electronics are, on average, 34 percent more expensive at the airport than what they would find online.”

She said this could between £10 and £15 for small gadgets, but up to £180 for things like cameras.

Lindsay added: “And that charger? It could be up to 50 percent more at the airport.”

3. Duty Free

Duty Free is normally the first stop in the terminal as airports advertise the amazing deals that they have on offer on beauty products, alcohol and cigarettes.

Ironically, most of the items they sell can be bought cheaper online if you take time to shop around.

It’s worth doing some research before you go away to avoid paying over the odds for something you could get for cheaper

4. Snacks

Waiting around for a flight can be hungry work, and restaurants and shops selling food know it.

The price of food from a restaurant or shop inside an airport is often much dearer compared to its high street counterpart.

And comparison website finder.com found the biggest rip off was the Cadbury’s Oreo chocolate bar costing £5 at duty free and just £2 at the supermarket.

A 250g bag of peanut M&M’s didn’t fare much better, costing £3.50 at duty free yet just £1.50 at supermarkets.

Instead, if you really are craving some snacks, make sure to bring them with you from home, as you can take them through airport security as long as they don’t break the liquid rules.

5. Souvenirs

Like most other overpriced airport items, souvenir sellers inside the terminal capitalise on travellers’ lack of preparation.

If you forgot to get someone a present from your trip, picking up a souvenir at the airport might seem like the most convenient option.

But you’ll end up paying far more than you would for the same gift outside the airport as vendors know this is your last chance to buy it.

6. Travel money

Currency exchange rates can be much less cost-effective inside the airport compared to outside.

Many currency exchange points take advantage of travellers who forgot to swap their money before the holiday and end up charging them higher rates for the same cash.

Sun Travel Editor Lisa Minot previously said: “The average family loses around £45 in foreign currency fees by exchanging at the airport, so use sites like travelex.co.uk to prevent this.”

“[Or] order your currency online then pick it up at the airport.

“You will get the better rates afforded to online customers but still have the convenience of picking up your foreign currency at the airport.”

In 2019, MoneySavingExpert.com spotted Moneycorp’s bureaux de change at Gatwick’s north terminal offering flyers a meagre €0.89 and $0.9885 for their pound, compared to €1.11 or $1.23 outside the airport.

7. Taxis

Transport to and from the airport can be very expensive due to surge pricing.

Taxi firms often put their rates up if they know they are doing an airport run.

It might be worth seeing if a friend can come and get you or asking your hotel if they offer any discounted shuttle services to avoid paying for a pricey cab.

8. Car parking

Parking at the airport is the most convenient way of getting you and your luggage as close as possible to the runway.

However, airport parking is expensive, and airports capitalise on the face that people will be laden with heavy bags and won’t want to walk far.

But parking at a nearby hotel and taking a shuttle or getting a quick ride to the airport can often end up being far cheaper than airport parking, and might even get you closer to the front door.

Emma Grimster from travelsupermarket.co.uk also advises: “Book parking ahead for significant savings.

“Parking at Gatwick’s North Terminal short-stay car park on November 3 for eight days will cost you £155. Book a meet-and-greet service ahead via TravelSupermarket from just £55.”

9. Checked luggage

Most airlines will permit passengers to bring one piece of hand luggage onboard included in their ticket price – but don’t buy any additional luggage when checking in.

Bags also cost more at the airport – you can pay for a 23kg for just £9.49 with easyJet while booking, although this jumps to £48 at the bag drop desk.

Make sure to always buy your baggage when booking your flights – or just make sure everything fits into your hand luggage.

10. Overweight baggage

We’ve all been in that position at the airport when we’re scrambling around to redistribute items from our overweight suitcase into someone else’s case if they have some room.

But if you’re flying alone or all the bags are at capacity, you could be landed with a hefty charge for the privilege of bringing all your many items onboard.

Airlines can charge per kilogram if your bag is too heavy – Ryanair charges £11 per kg, while easyJet charges £12.

Coming prepared can save you money at the airport

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Coming prepared can save you money at the airportCredit: Getty
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