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.
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.
The airport has after-security fountains in both terminals, and all restaurants and bars will fill up water bottles for free. At the North Terminal, there are two water fountains on the right – hand side of the entrance to World Duty Free, after security.
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.
Belfast International Airport
You can find one water fountain at Gate 14. Another one is on the way to the International Gates 21-29.
Water fountains can be found at Gate 47, opposite Gate 41, within the main departures lounge, and at the OCS special assistance area.
Reusable water bottles can be filled for free from the water taps on the counters in the restaurant after security, and in the café before security.
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 7-16.
East 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.
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.
Exeter Airport will fill your water bottles at the bar in the Fed & Watered Wine & Dine restaurant. Thanks to Clive Harrold for this update.
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.
Leeds Bradford Airport
You will find a water fountain after security, on the ground floor of departures.
We have water fountains in two locations at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Gate 2 and Gate 30.
London City Airport
If you have a bottle bigger than 100ml, you can pour out the water in a bin before security. Then you can fill it up again for free at the Refill Station near Gates 7 & 8. You can also get water from any of our food and drink places.
Head through security then look out for bottle-filling options beside the lifts in the departures lounge.
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.
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.
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.
All catering outlets provide free tap water and are happy to refill drinking bottles.
The airports that don’t provide free water
Not all airports are equal, Belfast, 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.