Royal shortbread, posh tea and the famous red bus: the most popular gifts and souvenirs at London City Airport are best of British

  • Shortbread leads the top 10 of gifts and souvenirs sold at the airport, with sales up on special edition packs following Queen’s 90th birthday
  • YouGov survey reveals that British passengers are overall less generous than the Irish, Swiss, Italian and Spanish travellers when purchasing gifts on holiday
  • Each month on average 107,500 retail transactions are made at London City Airport
London City Airport has revealed some of its most popular gifts and souvenirs purchased by passengers, and British favourites including shortbread, toffee and tea dominate the shopping bags.
The recently compiled top 10 list of gifts items sold at London City Airport follows a YouGov survey of over 2,000 Brits which found that 66% of people have purchased a gift for friends or family in an airport, and 22% have picked up a travelling treat for work colleagues, however they were least likely to buy a gift for their neighbour, compared to the other six countries surveyed. Each month more than 107,500 retail transactions on average take place at London City Airport.
The Queen’s 90th birthday in June helped a shortbread sale surge at London City Airport, which comes in at no.1 on the list, with several Walkers special editions tins of the Scottish buttery biscuit adorned with Her Majesty’s face.
Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, said:
“We have passengers from all over the world come through our doors and many want to take home a taste of British tradition or an indulgent treat. Our quick check-in and security process of under 20 minutes means that passengers have even more time to find that perfect gift or souvenir to give their partner, kids, colleague or in-laws.”
Sweet tooths were satisfied by the thousands of toffees sold at the airport, and the giant Toblerone - a staple of the departure lounge – proved popular with passengers, the majority of whom travel on business, although presumably not to the airport’s Swiss destinations of Zurich, Bern, Basel and Geneva, where some of the world’s best chocolate is already in abundance.
As a nation of tea drinkers, the very finest Fortnum and Mason teabags appear at no.2 on the list, ensuring an indulgent cuppa for the lucky recipients. Indeed luxury items, including Veuve Clicqout and Laurent-Perrier champagne, flew off the shelves as celebratory gifts and appear at no.9 on the list. You would need to be a very good friend indeed to deserve the most expensive gift available at London City Airport - which does not appear in the top 10 list - a limited edition Delamain Le Voyage cognac, retailing at £6,200.
Other gift items on the list include Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum, which tops the fragrances sold at no.6, and Hendrick’s Gin, the most popular tipple among the whisky and spirits at no.4. 
As part of the wider YouGov survey, groups from Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and Spain were quizzed, highlighting continental contrasts in gifting habits. The UK was the least likely to bring back a gift for a neighbour - just 16% offer a gift over the garden fence – compared to a quarter of Swiss who do. Meanwhile just 1/3 of Spaniards buy an airport gift for friends and family compared to 2/3 of Brits. On the basis of the survey results, the most generous nation when travelling through an airport is Ireland followed by Switzerland and Spain.
The top 10 gift items and souvenirs sold at London City Airport
  1. Walkers shortbread
  2. Tea (Fortnum and Mason tea is most popular in 2016)
  3. Confectionery (Toblerone milk chocolate 400g is most popular in 2016)
  4. Whisky and spirits (Hendrick’s Gin 100cl is most popular in 2016)
  5. Men’s and women’s fragrances (Chanel Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum is most popular in 2016)
  6. Tins of toffees
  7. Biscuits (Fortnum and Mason biscuits are most popular)
  8. Cosmetics (Benefit mascara is most popular)
  9. Champagne (Veuve Clicquot and Laurent Perrier)
  10. Model red London bus and black taxi
Gift retailers at the airport include WH Smith, Aelia Duty Free and Dixons Travel, which in June 2016 opened a brand new store at the airport.