Stansted unveils ‘honesty box’ water stations

Passengers pay what they want at water kiosks at gates

Passengers at Stansted can now get water at the gate before their flight.

One of the biggest annoyances that passengers have at airports is the ban on taking liquids through security. Many people just want to take a bottle of water with them to help avoid dehydration on flights.

But the ban on taking liquids means that passengers then have to get their water after security. That means buying water at airport shops, not the most economical places, or taking an empty bottle and hoping there is a free water source airside.

Finding free water airside is a challenge. Amsterdam Schiphol has plenty of free water fountains, Heathrow T5 has four at two locations that are not easy to find.

So congratulations to Stansted. They have introduced water stations at boarding gates.

And payment is in honesty boxes!

No vending machines, no staff asking for your boarding pass. Passengers just put the money in a box. There is a suggested fee of £1.

The water stations come from Blackjack Promotions, the largest Travel Retail agency in the UK – and headquartered at Heathrow.

Presumably airlines and airports are not happy with this initiative.

Cina Barreto, Account Manager – Experiential at Blackjack Promotions:

“We’re relying on people to put in a £1 or essentially what they can afford. A team member will visit regularly to check bottle count, ensuring the shelves are full and deliveries have been put out, so there is always a constant supply available for passengers.”

Dublin Airport has been doing this for five years – one euro per bottle; 92% of people drop a euro in the box proving that passengers are honest. They call it ‘Plane Water’!

Internet links

Stansted Airport (STN)

Blackjack Promotions