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Treat yourself to a free lounge

Holidaymakers are now spending so much at the airport waiting to board their plane, it's usually cheaper to book a lounge.

With holidaymakers finally able to enjoy hassle-free travel, our latest research has revealed that Brits are spending more at the airport as they wait to board than they ever have – with the average family of four shelling out £100 on pre-flight treats.

For the second time in two years, Holiday Extras asked 1000 UK holidaymakers who'd flown in the last three years what they did at the airport while they waited for a plane, and what all of it cost. On average, UK air travellers said they now spend £26.30 each while waiting to board their plane – a quarter (25%) more than the £21 they were spending before the pandemic**, last time the survey ran in January 2020, possibly because respondents are following the advice to leave extra time to board.

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Most people spend so much at the airport it can be cheaper to book a lounge

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The biggest spenders were couples and solo travellers who splurged £36 per person while waiting to get onboard, while groups of three to four spent £24 each. The most popular way to spend the time waiting to board was a meal (95%) or a snack (92%), but 78% splashed out on their last proper cup of tea before they left Blighty, and 30% paid for wifi. Almost half (45%) even confessed to buying duty-free "on impulse just to pass the time"!

In fact, the amount spent on snacks, meals, drinks and other ways to pass the time means that it'd usually be cheaper to book an airport lounge – where you can get everything you'd normally buy waiting for your plane for free, while relaxing away from the hectic airport terminals.

Elizabeth Hogg, Chief Operating Officer at Holiday Extras said,

"Getting through an airport can come with its stresses, especially when you're finding snacks, meals, and other pre-flight necessities with the family in tow. An airport lounge is an oasis of calm away from the bustle of departures, with comfortable seating as well as food, drink and wifi laid on – it helps you unwind before you fly and gets you in the mood to enjoy your trip."

"Our latest research suggests that not booking an airport lounge before you fly could actually be a false economy. We offer airport lounges from as little as £15 for an adult and £9 for a child, and even the more expensive airport lounges start from £26. In the two years since we first ran this survey, UK air travellers have gone from spending £21 waiting to board to spending £26 – and that's mostly on things they could have enjoyed in a lounge as part of the price!"

One of our luxurious airport lounges, the Number One Clubrooms at Gatwick Airport.