Holidaymakers flying abroad over Easter are being offered as little as 0.78 euros per £1 at airports.
With as many as two million people expected to jet off this weekend, currency firms were last night accused of cashing in on the Bank Holiday rush by offering the worst exchange rates on record.
An investigation by online currency provider FairFX has revealed airport bureau de change are paying an average rate of less than one euro per pound – or 0.98 euros – to those who buy their currency at the desk.
This is already 16 per cent less than the official market exchange rate of 1.156 euros per pound.
With as many as two million people expected to jet off this weekend, currency firms were accused of cashing in on the Bank Holiday rush by offering the worst exchange rates on record
A graphic shows how poor exchange rates have become over the Easter period
But some currency firms offer even worse deals, pushing up the cost of holidays for families or forcing them to rein in their spending so they can stick to their budget.
According to the report, passengers flying from Leeds Bradford airport are being offered the lowest rates in the UK.
Currency giant Travelex is offering just 0.78 euros per pound for someone exchanging £500, almost a third less than the market rate.
This equates to just 390 euros on £500 – £165 less than if the passenger was able to exchange their currency at the market rate. FairFX said 0.78 euros is the worst return on a pound it has seen since it started analysing rates ten years ago.
But nine of the thirteen airports it looked at are offering less than a euro to the pound.
Southampton offers the second worst rate, with currency firm Moneycorp paying just 0.91 euros per pound, while at Gatwick the same firm is offering 0.96 euros.
An investigation by online currency provider FairFX revealed airport bureau de change are paying an average rate of less than one euro per pound
As many as nine of the thirteen airports it looked at are offering less than a euro to the pound
In contrast, at Norwich airport ICE offers 1.13 euros per pound.
All currency firms take a cut when they sell currency, so customers always get less than the official exchange rate.
But FairFX called it a ‘Bank Holiday rip-off’ and said ‘holidaymakers are being shortchanged’.
Chief executive Ian Strafford-Taylor said airport bureau de change desks were ‘ripping holidaymakers off with extortionate exchange rates, leaving people considerably out of pocket’.
Pauline Maguire, of Moneycorp, said higher airport rates were due to ‘significant costs’, including ground rent and additional security. She said customers are encouraged to pre-order money online and collect at the airport. Travelex were approached for comment.