Pre-flight drinks: The UK's best (and worst) airports for budget-friendly pints and prosecco

Photo of Jacob LewisPhoto of Jacob Lewis
By Jacob Lewis

8 May 20243 min read

A glass of prosecco and a passport on a table at an airport

The cost of living crisis has us all tightening our belts, but sometimes you need a cheeky pre-flight drink to kick off your holiday in style. The only problem? Airports are notorious for their sky-high prices.

Thankfully, a new study has revealed the best and worst UK airports for budget-friendly pints and prosecco. The "Airport Pint and Prosecco Index" analysed prices and reviews at 87 establishments across the UK's 15 most popular airports to help travellers find the most affordable and enjoyable places to raise a glass.

According to the study, the average price for a pint at a UK airport in 2024 is a hefty £6.75, while the average cost of a glass of prosecco is £9.59. However, prices can vary significantly between airports and even between establishments within the same airport.

Glasgow International Airport tops the list for the cheapest pints, with an average price of £6.06 per drink. Tennent's Pier Bar at Glasgow International offers the most affordable pint overall, with a price tag of just £4.79. Manchester Airport (£6.33) and East Midlands International Airport (£6.44) round out the top three for budget-friendly pints.

On the other end of the spectrum, holidaymakers will want to steer clear of London Pride By Fullers at Heathrow Airport, where a pint will set you back a whopping £10.05 on average. London Luton Airport has the second highest average pint price at £7.36, followed by London City Airport at £6.98.

For prosecco lovers, East Midlands International Airport offers the most affordable option, with an average price of £8.33 per glass. Manchester Airport (£8.34) and London Luton Airport (£8.69) also rank among the most budget-friendly for bubbly.

However, prosecco drinkers should avoid Gordon Ramsay Plane Food at Heathrow Airport, where a glass of fizz costs an average of £12.50 - the highest price found in the study. On the other hand, Star Light Wetherspoons, also at Heathrow, offers the cheapest prosecco overall at just £6.20 per glass.

The study, conducted by luxury travel membership platform Velloy, also revealed some sneaky post-security price hikes at certain airports. Manchester Airport topped the list for charging the most, with an average 15% increase for pints and 7% increase for prosecco once you're past security.

In terms of overall customer satisfaction, Glasgow International Airport boasts the highest average Google Reviews rating of 4.5 out of 5 for its pubs and bars. In contrast, establishments at Manchester Airport and London Stansted Airport ranked the lowest with an average rating of just 3.6.

For non-drinkers, the study found that 71% of establishments across all airports offer an alcohol-free pint option, while only 7% offer an alcohol-free alternative to prosecco.

And hey, if you do end up spending a few extra quid on a round of drinks at the airport, don't worry – you can easily make up for it by comparing and booking your holiday through TravelSupermarket. With thousands of ATOL-protected holidays from 20+ trusted brands, TravelSupermarket can help you save money on your getaway, leaving you with a little extra cash to splash on that well-deserved pre-flight pint or prosecco. Cheers to that!

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