Sneaky Ways Airports Get You To Spend Money

Sneaky Ways Airports Get You To Spend Money


Ever been stuck in an airport, parched and hungry? You’ve already spent a fortune
on tickets and baggage fees, and somehow you end up
buying a giant Toblerone and a $5 water. You’re not alone. Spending in airports
hit $40 billion in 2017. On average, travelers will spend anywhere from $11 and $140 per airport visit. But all that spending is
not entirely your fault. Airports are purposely laid out to lead passengers
through moneymaking areas. First, there’s the parking lot. In 2018, the average cost of a week of airport parking was $96. London Heathrow and the Abu Dhabi airport in the United Arab Emirates
had the most expensive lots, charging $249 and $235, respectively, for seven days. David Slotnick: Parking
is pretty lucrative. Short-term and long-term
parking cost absolute fortunes. That’s obviously just pure
profit to the airport. It’s empty space, basically. Narrator: Now you’re ready
for check-in and security. Even though traveling is
becoming easier worldwide, passengers still arrive early for flights. Two hours and 17 minutes
before takeoff, on average. By speeding up check-in and
security with digital kiosks, TSA Precheck, Global Entry,
and 3D CT baggage scanners, airports can get travelers
to spend more time in the profitable zones air side. Now you’ll find yourself in what’s called the recomposure zone. Slotnick: One of the more
interesting tricks I’ve seen is the idea of having a
composure kind of place at the end of the security line. So you go through security, you have some time to
get yourself together, put your wallet back in your pocket, your cellphone, put your shoes back on, make sure you’re all settled,
and then you go shopping. It’s just a way to make
people a little keener on spending money. Narrator: Often, the first thing you see after security is duty-free. You have to walk through
it to get to your gate. You even notice that, in some airports, London Heathrow, for example, walking paths in duty-free
veer to the left. This leaves more space for retail on the right of the path. According to the consulting
firm Intervistas, that leads to profits because the majority of people are right-handed and will spend more time
looking to the right. And while duty-free means foreign taxes on goods are removed, this doesn’t necessarily
mean they’re cheaper. Slotnick: Duty-free can be a great savings if you buy something like
alcohol or cigarettes, which are usually highly taxed. In terms of other things, toys or electronics or even some foods, those aren’t really taxed as highly, so even though there’s no taxes, there’s a higher overall retail price. Narrator: And you’re not the only one getting suckered into buying
a marked-up giant Toblerone. Globally, duty-free is a huge industry valued at over $67 billion in 2018, according to a report from
Coherent Market Insights. After you’re through duty-free, you find yourself in
the main shopping area, surrounded by even more
dining and spending options. If you’re in a European airport, this is where you’ll likely
be forced to hang out. Airports like London Heathrow and Gatwick don’t announce gates
until 25 to 90 minutes before the flight,
compelling passengers to stay in the central shopping
part of the terminal, and there are strategically placed signs that indicate walking times
to gates and gate locations in order to keep you
stress-free and satisfied. Not to mention massage chairs, spas, ponds, and atriums. Anything designed to keep you relaxed. Because studies show if
passengers are 1% more satisfied, airport sales go up by 1.5%. With two hours left to
kill before your flight, there’s a chance you’ll get hungry. Even the restaurants are designed with big windows, relaxing music, and outlets to keep you satisfied
and in the spending mood. But, of course, these
restaurants don’t come cheap. At Los Angeles International, there’s an 18% markup on food. And while there are some
airports, like Seattle-Tacoma, the require food prices to reflect costs you’d find outside the airport, they fully expect you
to end up spending more because you think you’re paying less. The steep prices are
partly because restaurants pay high rents to airports, generally a monthly based rent and up to a 15% cut of gross revenues. For Checkers restaurants,
rent in American airports is 50% more expensive
than in their traditional brick-and-mortar locations. To offset high rents, airport restaurants have gotten more elaborate. Slotnick: So, it’s not just,
like, a chain restaurant, like an Applebee’s or Buffalo Wild Wings. There’s alternatives like steakhouses and more closer to
fine-dining-type places, oyster bars, cocktail bars. Narrator: In Portland
International in Oregon, there’s a distillery
making whiskey on-site and offering tastings. In Tokyo’s Narita airport, Sushi Kyotatsu restaurant
changes the menu daily based on fresh fish coming
in from Tsukiji Market. Places like these can easily
charge a few extra bucks for the experience. Finally, your gate’s announced. On the long walk through the terminal, you pass stores set up
with diagonal displays, so you can see all the
goods from the concourse. The aisles are wide enough
to maneuver bags through, and, similar to why you’ll often spend more in airport restaurants, retail prices are inflated to offset the cut airports take. That means you could pay a 200% markup for a bottle of water in some airports. You’ve got your overpriced
snack and magazine, but if you’re traveling
to another country, you’ll need to exchange money. There’s always a currency-exchange
booth at the airport, but, generally, it’s best to
wait until you’re outside, because those airport
booths charge between 10% and 26% higher exchange rates, and that’s not including service fees. Slotnick: You’re just never going to find a worse exchange rate, except for maybe one of
those places in Times Square. Narrator: And even once
you’ve made it to your gate, there are still plenty of shops to grab last-minute necessities. Slotnick: It’s the idea of having retail mixed with the gates themselves. If you want to wait by your gate early, you’re still right next to the store. You don’t risk missing any announcements. Narrator: Finally, you board your plane, maybe a little frustrated at the airport for your lavish spending. But consider this: Airports are not laughing their way to the bank on all these markups. Airports are expensive to run. Of Europe’s airports,
47% lost money in 2018. But let’s face it. Some airports make you
spend more because they can. Slotnick: It’s annoying, but, I mean, it’s the reality of it. It’s the captive-audience theory, where people don’t really have a choice. You have plenty of time
to kill, you’re bored, you know, what’s a great thing to do? Shop.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. Planning on traveling next year after I graduate I’m bringing my own damn food and my own damn luggage because they not taking any dollar outta me besides my plane ticket 👎🏼

  2. I do not spend money at airport, unless if i really need to eat. It is easy, because i do not have lots of money

  3. At Sydney International Airport, owned and managed by a huge corporation (go figure), they charge a fortune for parking. I paid nearly AU$40 to drop someone off at the airport. I wasn't parked for long either.

  4. Sneaky ways don't work on me. I rarely buy anything in an airport. Because I have little to no money to spare for such tomfoolery.

  5. The best airport is Changi, they have the world’s largest indoor waterfall, a butterfly garden, pool, and a cinema. Sadly I live near JFK and LaGuardia, awful airports

  6. I was wondering.. do ppl who work at airports like the ppl at the info center and stuff know all of this or is it just the higher ups

  7. False, every euro you spend is YOUR fault. Start taking responsibilities of your shit!! That's why we are how we are…

  8. When I went through Haneda, in Tokyo, the prices in the shops and vending machines were in line with what I saw outside the airport. I think it is due to being allowed to take food and drinks through security on Japanese domestic flights.

  9. No bruh. I bring my own food and most buildings have these things called, "Water Fountains." St. Louis doesn't have Duty Free.

  10. I have spent more than twelve hours in an airport without consuming anything, it is not difficult when you do not have money 💅🏿

  11. Cheddar just made a video on this few weeks back I guess. I’ve noticed that this channel makes videos on the same videos that cheddar does. Different take and some more new points. But there’s definitely a hint of “inspiration” let’s say.

  12. What's up with all these "sneaky ways" videos? We all know what they're trying to do but sometimes it's just a last resort or out of convenience which is why we spend there….just saying! 😁

  13. People after watching this: I'm going to bring my own food next time

    Airports in a few years later: ok let's ban outside food and drinks to increase sales

  14. Why repeat this when it was already shown in a previous video
    Whats more, sloppy research. Tokyo's Tsukiji market is already close for almost 1 year….

  15. How people don't know this though you don't compare prices or is it just me that i grew up a little bit poor and then my family became middle class on my teenage years to see this scams everywhere.

  16. In Mexican airports you have to pass THROUGH 5-6 duty free shops just to get to the departing gates.

  17. I barely spend money on airport except food. I always try to buy cheap food while waiting the plane lands. I hate those guards always ask me to throw away my water bottle or empty my water container.

  18. No. I don’t have this problem because we fly charter so a $5 water is meaningless. And when we travel internationally, all the shit is free in the lounges.

  19. How the airports get you to spend money: they are trying to make your waiting more pleasant.

    …ok, great, I'd say :v

  20. It costs £20 for 15 minutes at London Stansted Airport and £5 to drop off ($30 and $8 until a few months ago before the UK pound became worthless with the American prime minister Boris Johnson coming along to take control and the removal from the EU aka "brexit" )

  21. I never tempted tho, except for buying food but that's because i am freaking hungry. I basically buy what i need to buy no matter where they place the shop area.

  22. i can't really relate since i live in Banyuwangi, Indonesia and the airport here, Blimbing Sari Airport, doesn't have a single shop, only 5 car slot parking lot and lastly you're surrounded by flat grass plain and few trees.

    basically you feel like you've travelled from a modern society to tranquil country side.

  23. Anyone remember the Video "Airports are designed to make you speand money" by Cheddar which was uploaded on the 13th July? Lmao.

  24. I pay $130 round trip(on Spirit) LAX to PHL and don't spend another dine at the airport. I bring Chipotle from Santa Monica. Hop on the #3 bus($1.25) and that's it. Bag fees are for suckers

  25. I'll make sure to have a large breakfast, bring my own damn snacks, a carry on bag, make sure to have my headphones & iPod, & my own book. Hell no, I'm not buying shit from the airport! I have a trip at the end of this month & I'm not falling for this shit! Lol. I'm a damn cheap skate!

  26. I left one area in britain recently to fly to a British island not anywhere near Britain just for the duty free lol the tobacco was mega mega cheap,way cheaper than in Britain or the eu..but because i technically left the eu i had a limit to how much i could bring back but because i was technically still in the UK i had no issues lol thankful for idiotic politicians that don't know their ass from elbow. Saved like 100 ,so even taking into account flight costs i still saved like 80 and it was a nice day out;)

  27. Well, the airports need to use those money to pay for their own spendings as well, from operations and maintenance of their facilities and machines to their staffs. Their traffic managers, ticketing counter staffs, security, heck probably even their pilots and air stewardesses because the tickets you bought may not actually be enough to cover those costs. In this aspect though, then the airport may not have such a big profit margin anymore with all these to pay for :/

  28. I just go with my father to a lounge as his credit card gives him free unlimited lounge access for him and one other person. I'm 14 BTW so I always travel with my parents and my younger sister. My mom has the same credit card so she and my sister come for free too. Because of this, the ony time I spend at the duty free is for passing through it and we take a taxi to the airport so no parking fees. I also come prepared for the travel so no shopping is necessary.

  29. I always go prepared ahead of time because I know they jack up the prices, like any corporate does. Dollar store snacks and drinks, bigger snacks from a grocery store, going to a bank to exchange money a month before hand, if you are not using your car for a while either take a shuttle bus/ transit/ or even a taxi if a friend can't drive you. A cup of coffee at the airport is around 5 dollars for a small, if not more, get a container of instant coffee for a buck and ask for free hot water at a coffee shop, and for water they (usually) have water fountains somewhere. Or just wait until you get on the plane, you are allowed free tap water and a pop/ coffee/ tea, as well as a small snack/ or meal if long flight (in Canadian flights, not sure how it differs), then be entertained by all free tv shows, movies and games there are.
    Anyways just come prepared, who wants to spend even more money when you already spent a fortune on your ticket?

  30. I’m from London and used Heathrow to go japan but I didn’t know my dad has to pay £200 a week for parking and we are in japan for 4 weeks so that’s a lot money for parking

  31. It mentioned the sushi restaurant in Tokyo's Narita airport, but honestly the price mark-up at Japanese airports is almost non-existent when compared to the US 🤣

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