UK: A summer of air travel disruptions looms – but opportunity is also on the radar
July 19th, 2022, Rajarshi Chatterjee

UK: A summer of air travel disruptions looms – but opportunity is also on the radar

Almost two years after the pandemic shut down much of the world, British passengers have finally started to travel again. But a combination of high demand and low resources is pointing to airline disruptions over the summer.

But even amid disruption in the aviation sector, there is an upside - for airport retailers. Data from YouGov Profiles – which covers demographic, psychographic, attitudinal and behavioural consumer metrics – shows that many Britons like spending time shopping at airports.

Almost a third of British travellers say, “I like wasting time shopping at airports.” 35% of the UK population will also try to spend any extra-leftover currency at the airport/ train station before leaving.

Airport shopping also seems to attract deal-seeking customers. A little over a quarter of Brits say that they try to shop at Duty-Free outlets in airports or train stations rather than at the main shops in pursuit of a better deal.

Breaking down the shopping preferences of Britons by the type of airport stores they visit, Duty-Free stores at the airport are the most popular destination, with two-fifths (39%) saying they shop there. While the traditional newsagent/bookshops are the second most popular destination for airport travellers, they are followed by people who buy and eat food in the airport but not in restaurants.

These numbers indicate an opportunity for airport retailers to tap into a market, where many will be looking to travel for the first time since the pandemic began.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the UK is nationally representative of the online population and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.