How airports use the 'golden hour' to trick you into spending more money before your flight | The Sun

WHILE you may not realise it, there's a sneaky trick that airports use to get you to spend even more money.

It can be quite tempting to splurge some hard-earned holiday savings on a pint and a meal at the airport – and that's for a good reason.

Airports are deliberately designed to encourage holidaymakers to spend their cash, especially when passengers have some time to kill.

After they've passed through security and before their boarding gate has been announced, holidaymakers become a captive audience where they're forced to spend.

In an article in the Telegraph, they explained that the free time between security and boarding is referred to as "golden hour" by industry experts.

They added: "We are a captive audience. Airports know this – in fact, marketing executives have named it the 'golden hour'.

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"[This is] the period where we have recovered from the hell of security, but remain susceptible to advertising.

"The gate number isn’t announced until the very last minute which leaves plenty of time to become bored enough to browse Boots."

The term was coined by airport guru Holly Buckner who encouraged airports to be aware of how to capture the needs of passengers.

In an interview on ABC's Nightline, she added: "You [airports] can capitalise on someone who is frazzled and lost, and who is trying to make their way to their gate, but still offer something that is going to be enticing for them to purchase."

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And Living on the Map, a technology and digital mapping website, described "golden hour" as a "retail opportunity for the airport and its passengers."

During this time, travellers are likely to spend money on food and drink that they wouldn't in everyday life because it's become part of the airport experience.

For example, passengers could be tempted to pay for a full English breakfast and an alcoholic drink on a weekday morning.

And the prices of airport meals are often inflated, which means they cost more than their high-street counterparts.

During "golden hour" holidaymakers will also be encouraged to spend extra money on sweets and crisps in shops like Boots or spend money on items like books and magazines.

Meanwhile, other airport shops are targeted at passengers who've forgotten items like chargers, adapters, and travel pillows.

In addition to "golden hour", airports use other techniques to encourage customers to part with their cash.

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This means holidaymakers will have more time to spend their money.

While check-in machines are a great option for people who don't need to drop their bags, they also move passengers through the airport quicker.

And in fact, the longer holidaymakers get to spend in an airport, the more likely they are to spend money according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The layout of shopping areas is very specific too – shops and restaurants are generally clustered together to mimic the high street.

To maximise floor space, they're also curved in such a way that passengers have to walk longer distances through the retail areas to get to their boarding gate.

In fact, serpentine shopping areas, such as the one found at Gatwick Airport, can see as much as 60 per cent more sales according to InterVistas.

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But there are ways to save money at airports, a travel expert has revealed why airport lounges could offer cash savings.

And this traveller shared a hack to avoid spending money on water.

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