Anyone who’s flown at least once can vouch for the fact that airports can be almost expensive as an amusement park. Out of all of the products for sale within airports, beverages may quite possibly be the most inflated in price. In fact, depending on the airport and the kiosk you purchase it from, a regular-sized bottle of water may cost you five dollars or more. With pricey add-ons such as these, it’s getting more and more difficult to stay within budget while traveling.

Why is the price of beverages so inflated in airports? Simple: supply and demand. Unfortunately, because Travel Safety Administration rules prevent passengers from bringing drinks through security, those who wish to carry a bottle of water with them onto their flight must suck it up and pay the price. While filling a water bottle in the bathroom is an option, it’s not easy. Airport sinks can be quite shallow, and the motion-sensor faucet makes it difficult to get a steady stream of water.

My water bottle

(Photo credit: Jeremy McWilliams)

Thankfully, airports have begun to take note of this issue and many have begun installing water bottle filling stations throughout their terminals. In 2010, Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports and San Francisco International Airport installed refillable water bottle stations throughout their facilities in an effort to not only accommodate customers, but also to cut down on landfill waste.

Together, the two stations at O’Hare saved 220,717 bottles [within the first year of the program]” Gregg Cunningham of the Chicago Department of Aviation told MSNBC back in 2011.

Although it’s taken a few years for other airports to catch on, the trend has finally caught on. As of June, Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport began installing 52 bottle refill stations throughout the airport. Many of the existing water fountains will be retrofitted with anti-microbial copper faucets. The airport is looking to include touch-free refill stations as well.

Because these water bottle refill stations have been so well-received in existing airports, many others are expected to follow suit. Next time you’re getting ready to enter a TSA security checkpoint, dump your water but retain the bottle. You just may save yourself a few bucks.

  • Airport Snacks on a Budget (livingbigonabudget.com)
  • Franklin and Marshall adds new water-filling stations (wgal.com)