An astonishing 33.5 million Brits will splash their cash in airports this month, making it one of the busiest months of the year for holiday spending.
Research from StreamThru - which sends flight information to mobile phones - indicates that 55 per cent of travellers will spend around £50 in airports in the next few weeks, starting this Bank Holiday weekend.
Worryingly, five per cent of respondents to the new poll said that, in the past, they have been so keen on getting hold of bargains that they have missed flights altogether.
Most travellers will spend just 23 minutes wandering through duty free, however, seeking out deals on the likes of perfume, alcohol and cigarettes.
A significant 30 per cent of all female respondents said they typically browse the perfume aisle when wandering around shops in the airport. A further 17 per cent browse for clothes, perhaps suggesting their packing has been less than comprehensive.
Electrical items are the order of the day for 20 per cent of men, who are evidently much less concerned about holiday necessities.
"The month of May is a real peak time for travel in the UK with the two bank holidays providing extra opportunity for Brits to get away," said Mike Atherton, managing director of StreamThru parent company Mantic Point.
"We know that people purposely arrive early to check in and to spend money in the duty free shops. What has been most surprising from these results has been not only the range of items people are buying but also the fact that some will actually spend more in the airports than when they are away."
Duty free shops do not apply local or national taxes or duties and they have long been popular with British holidaymakers. In 1999, however, people flying within the European Union were prohibited from taking advantage of the cheap prices, much to the disappointment of those used to picking up bargain items.
Those travelling beyond the EU are still able to make the most of the offers, as are those heading to the Canary Islands, which are within the EU but not included in the EU tax union.
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