Cost of toiletries takes off at airports with mark-ups over 800%

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

If you thought you had managed to construct a loophole in the cost of flying with a suitcase by scaling down on your luggage and squeezing everything into hand luggage, you may have to think again.

prepaid cardsWhile passengers may believe they have reduced the overall cost of their holiday by taking hand luggage only, airlines are actually having the last laugh as they mark up travel-sized toiletries so that they are considerably more expensive than regular bottles.

Travellers jetting off abroad cannot get past airport security with more than 100ml of shampoo, toothpaste and other toiletries in their hand luggage, meaning that they are increasingly investing in miniature bottles in the departure lounge.

But when toiletries sold on the high street were compared with smaller equivalents available at London and Manchester airports, it was found that travel-sized bottles are priced substantially higher.

The survey, commissioned by holiday website, revealed that a 500ml bottle of Johnsons’ Top to Toe Bath for babies costs £2.67 from Asda but a 50ml bottle from WH Smith at most UK airports costs £1.99 – which is an 845% increase per millilitre.

Similarly, a travel-sized spray can of Dove anti-perspirant costs £1.99 for 35ml, while a 150ml can is just £1 on the high street.

There are many further examples of sky-high mark-ups, according to Bob Atkinson, a travel expert at

“We found over 30 products where the mark-up was over 100 per cent – or double the normal price per ml,” said Atkinson.

He added that with such tight security regulations at airports, travellers can easily “get caught out” and end up having to pay for expensive miniatures.

“In most cases passengers are in a no-win situation. They either have to pay out to put their bags in the hold, or travel hand-luggage only and shell out for miniatures.

“However, savvy travellers can get around this - my number one tip is to invest in and reuse small bottles which you can decant your regular products into before you head off on holiday.”

If you are looking to keep costs down on holiday, a prepaid card is an excellent option. As money has to be loaded on beforehand, it can prevent overspending and can help you keep within your budget overseas.


Receive updates direct
to your inbox..

Copyright 2018 :: Compare Prepaid :: All Rights Reserved 27D Bruce Street, Dunfermline, Fife KY12 7AG. +44 (0) 843 886 9544 - Email Us