Get free drinking water at airports and beat the after-security price hikes… where to fill up your bottles revealed

Airport security rules make it impossible to take water through to the departure lounge, where buying bottles can be frustratingly expensive.

However, it’s easy to dampen down your airside expenses by packing a few empty bottles in your hand luggage and filling them from a free fountain in the departure lounge. This is completely legal, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

Find where to beat the price hikes and get free water for you and your family when travelling through UK airports

Find where to beat the price hikes and get free water for you and your family when travelling through UK airports

Research from MoneySavingExpert.com has revealed these are widespread at many airports across the UK. Here’s the information you need to stay hydrated for free at some top UK airports.


Gatwick Airport

The airport has after-security fountains in both terminals, but does not reveal where they are. Don’t be put off, simply pack your bottles and ask a member of staff to point you in the right direction.


Heathrow Airport

The airport’s website reports more than 100 fountains across the four terminals. Use the following terminal maps to find the after-security fonts you’ll need to fill your boots – or bottles – with free water.

Terminal 2
Terminal 3
Terminal 4
Terminal 5

Birmingham Airport

Water fountains can be found at Gate 47 and opposite Gate 41.


Bristol Airport

There is one water fountain available for travellers departing through Bristol Airport. Pack your bottles and look out for the fountain on the walkway leading to gates 9-16.


Eat Midlands Airport

APH contributor, Paul,tells us that free water fountains can be found at East Midlands Airport immediately after you pass through security. Thanks for the update, Paul.


Edinburgh Airport

If you’re travelling through Edinburgh Airport, save some cash by taking your empty bottle to the post-security water fountain just past the World Duty Free store.


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Glasgow Airport

Travellers flying from Glasgow Airport will be able to find a post-security water fountain next to the Travelex store on the main walkway just past the duty free shop. Look out for signs pointing it out.


Luton Airport

Head through security then look out for bottle-filling options beside the lifts in the departures lounge.


Manchester Airport

Find these after-security water fountains by following these directions…

Terminal 1: Look on the left side of the corridor after leaving Security Area A. For those leaving Security Area B, you will come across it as you enter the corridor leading to the first concourse.

Terminal 2: There is a water fountain in the security area as you head through the corridor to departures.

Terminal 3: The fountain can be found in the walkway between Trattoria restaurant and Lion and Antelope pub.


Southampton Airport

Go through security, then turn left as you exit World Duty Free and enter the departures area. Southampton Airport provided MoneySavingExpert.com with this map to show the way to free water.


Stansted Airport – Updated

This airport has water fountains available at Gates 1-19, Gates 40-59 and in the the arrivals area. Furthermore, if you require drinking water in the departure lounge, approach any bar or restaurant and they will be happy to fill your bottle for you.

Stansted also has ‘honesty box’ stations, with a suggestion of £1 per bottle. We’re not sure just how ‘honest’ a reflection of true cost this really is.


The airports that don’t provide free water

Not all airports are equal, Belfast, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds Bradford, Aberdeen, Cardiff and London Southend airports told MoneySavingExpert that they don’t supply water fountains for travellers. Try asking at cafes instead.


Tell us more… 

Do you have information on any other free water fountains at UK airports not covered here? Spread the word via the comments box below.

17 comments for “Get free drinking water at airports and beat the after-security price hikes… where to fill up your bottles revealed

  1. penny
    October 20, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Gatwick North .Water fountain had notice on it Not in Use !

  2. Susan Benny
    October 14, 2017 at 11:50 am

    At Gatwick North 2 weeks ago, looked and looked, nothing found.
    Stansted recently water fountain toilets at gates in the 40s. But when I took the shuttle train could find nothing.
    Not acceptable when trying to reduce the amount of plastic in the world.

  3. Lulu
    August 22, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Can`t see any water fountains on the departure lounge map of Stansted. Is this all a joke?

    • Pete Barden
      August 23, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Hi Louise. We are looking into this now. Thanks for your message and we will update the feature once we’ve confirmed the situation.

  4. Dominic
    August 16, 2017 at 5:11 am

    STANSTED airport no longer provides water fountains. Probably from when they set up the honesty box.

  5. Jane
    August 13, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    I’m at Stansted airport and haven’t found any water fountains near the toilets as claimed. I have asked 4 members of staff (duty free shop, assistance desk, cleaning staff and uniformed support staff) and nobody could tell me where they are. One person suggested they are ‘ out by the gates’ ! There are some bottles of warm water (at a water station near the shuttle trains) for an ‘honesty charge’ of £1 but Boots is cheaper and water is chilled there!!

  6. Maureen
    August 2, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    London City – free water?

  7. July 28, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    There is a website trying to help https://wateratairports.com it is not a commercial site trying to sell something, just a record of where you can free water at airports around the world.

  8. Anne Cross
    July 15, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Prestwick?

    • Josh Sainsbury
      July 17, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      Hi – Sadly, this airport has not provided information. If any travellers using it can send us the info, we will gladly include.

  9. Eddie
    July 11, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    I don’t see mention of East Midlands Airport

    • Pete Barden
      July 14, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      Hi – Sadly, again, this airport has not provided information. If any travellers using it can send us the info, we will gladly include.

      • Pamela Mathieson
        September 29, 2017 at 2:41 pm

        There is no water fountain at East Midlands airport but ask at the bar and they will give you glasses of water to fill your bottles.

        • Pete Barden
          October 1, 2017 at 10:27 am

          Than you for this information.

        • Paul
          November 16, 2017 at 6:30 am

          At East Midlands there are water fountains immediately after security. Look to your right as you may have passed them depending which security point you have used.

  10. Alan Roberts
    July 10, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    No mention of Doncaster Sheffield.. !!

    • Pete Barden
      July 11, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Hi – Sadly, this airport has not provided information. If any travellers using it can send us the info, we will gladly include.

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