When we fly, whether for business or for leisure, we like to be prepared. We like to know that we’ve packed all we need, and are ready for our journeys. However, there are some essentials we cannot prepare or pack. Passengers are unable to take liquids of more than 100ml through airport security, and this includes drinking water.
Recently, it’s come to light that over 50% of airports in the UK lack free drinking water for passengers (Money Saving Expert, 2017) in their passenger and departure lounges, meaning that if customers wish to remain hydrated once airside, they will have to purchase bottled water. This water is significantly increased in price, and can cost passengers up to £3.00 per bottle. Today, we’re discussing your rights when it comes to airport hydration, as well as why it’s so important!
The good, the bad, the dehydrated
If you’re headed for the skies in the coming weeks or months, you’ll want to know which airports will and will not be supplying your hydration free of charge. Never fear, we’ve compiled the list!
Airports without water coolers or drinking fountains
- City of Derry
- Cardiff (although, they have since announced they are considering installing water points)
- Belfast International
- Cornwall Airport Newquay
- Doncaster Sheffield
- Durham Tees Valley
- Glasgow Prestwick
- Belfast City
- Leeds Bradford (although, they have since announced they are considering installing water points)
- Liverpool John Lennon
- London City
- Norwich International
- Newcastle International
- London Southend
Airports with water coolers or drinking fountains
- London Stansted
- London Luton
- London Gatwick
- Glasgow International
- East Midlands
Why is airport hydration so important?
You might be asking why the ability to access drinking water at the airport is so important to us, so allow us to convince you that airside hydration is vital for in air health.
We’re at our most comfortable when we’re in an atmosphere of humidity of around 40-70%. When we’re in an aircraft cabin, the air humidity can be as low as 10-20%, making us uncomfortable, and dry! Pair this with the reduced oxygen content onboard, and we can lose a total body loss of around 2% on the average six hour flight (and that’s whilst drinking the recommended daily water intake).
This loss of moisture enables our mucosal membranes to become dehydrated whilst flying, therefore their special ability to trap bacteria reduces in effectiveness, meaning that passengers are far more likely to catch an illness or virus.
We believe that all airports should allow passengers free access to water coolers or drinking fountains, and luckily the team at Money Saving Expert are already on the case. Meanwhile, whilst they’re hard at work piling on the pressure, you’ll still need to remain hydrated on your journey. Although you are unable to pass through airport security with bottled water, there are no restrictions on checking in with an empty bottle. If you bring your reusable bottle within your hand luggage, restaurants and cafes airside should fill it for you, with drinkable tap water.
So prepare, hydrate, and enjoy your travels!