IT’S fairly common knowledge among everyone but the most inexperienced travellers that buying your holiday money at the airport is not a sound financial move. However, a recent survey by the “Daily Mail” showed that there is a surprising difference even within the same firm. On 14 February they changed £500 at a number of UK airports where currency giant Moneycorp had bureau de change stalls and received €545 at Southend airport and at Stansted – a mere 30 miles up the road – a miserly €395.
Moneycorp’s retail head Pauline Maguire said “The reason for higher airport rates is the significant cost associated with operating there, from ground rent and additional security, to the cost of staffing bureaux for early and late flights. An easy and more cost-effective way for customers to buy travel money is to pre-order online and collect at the airport. We always encourage our customers to do this. We are seeing up to 50 per cent of transactions coming from reserve and collect customer.” In fact, if you had pre-ordered your currency on 13 February you would have received €590 at both airports. To steal the Boy Scout’s motto the message when changing money is clearly – Be Prepared.