The great foreign exchange robbery: airports a black hole for travel money

The great foreign exchange robbery: airports a black hole for travel money

Post Office Travel Money research reveals tourists are wasting more than £28m each year buying foreign currency at UK airports

Things are looking up for UK tourists planning summer trips to the eurozone as sterling has rallied by 7.8 per cent since it sunk to a low for 2010 in March and is now worth almost three per cent more than a year ago – meaning good news for hard-pressed UK holidaymakers looking for good deals on their travel money.

However, new research from Post Office Travel Money has revealed almost 1.2 million UK tourists visiting the eurozone are collectively wasting more than £28m every year by buying foreign currency at UK airports.

According to the Post Office’s calculations, tourists buying their eurozone travel money at UK airports are throwing an average £16.60 down the drain because they will receive a much lower foreign exchange rate and also risk paying unnecessary commission for lower-value transactions.

Sarah Munro, Post Office Head of Travel Money, said: “We compared foreign exchange rates at five UK airports with those available in Post Office bureaux de change branches and found that tourists buying at the airport would get far fewer euros for their pounds at the airports. In fact families changing £286 into euros at the airport face losing around £16 – enough to buy a round of drinks and eight ice creams in Portugal, summer 2010’s best travel money value destination.”