Santa’s Fulfilment Center Handles Over £162 Billion of Gifts in Single Day

It’s nearly Christmas!

Time for a festive post.

No expensive Christmas trees or private jets this year — I’d like to keep the number of people going into debt to fund Christmas down.

This year we’ll rely solely on Santa.

I’ve got used to Amazon Prime delivery, but even Amazon do not have the delivery capacity of Santa… yet.

Let’s start by looking at how many gifts Santa will be delivering this year…

Estimated number of households by continent

Download chart.

Examining total households (excluding persons living inside collective living quarters, such as hotels, rooming houses and other lodging houses, institutions and camps) there are 2,174,034,795 households.

There are 86,400 seconds in a day. So Santa needs to deliver to one household every 0.00003974177 seconds (86,400/2,174,034,795). No time for a snack break!

Lets for a moment ignore continents where the Christianity is less dominant (namely Asia), we have about 1 billion households. In this case Santa needs to deliver to one household every 0.0000864 seconds (86,400/1,000,000,000). Still no time for a snack break!

According to the UN, the world population in 2021 is 7.9 billion.

If we consider the official Premier League match ball, the Nike Premier League Flight which costs £125 at retail, Santa’s total bill for presents would be £987,500,000,000 (125*7,900,000,000) — almost £1 billion! Even if he chooses a relatively cheap £20 ball (or is able to negotiate a bulk discount), we’re still talking in the 100’s of billions of Pounds, £158,000,000,000 (20*7,900,000,000)

It’s hard to visualise that many people. Although I’m informed by National Geographic:

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder, the entire world’s population could fit within the 500 square miles (1,300 square kilometers) of Los Angeles.

But what do 7.9 billion presents look like?

In the interests of fairness, let’s assume each present is the same. This year everyone is getting a football (soccer ball). This makes it easier for Santa as it can be delivered in a cube shaped box.

Rules state that a size 5 ball must be 68 to 70 cm in circumference. So the maximum radius is 35cm. Let’s assume the box’s dimensions are 35cmx35cmx35cm (a cube).

Laid side by side the boxes would cover 2,765,000km (0.00035km*7,900,000,000). Placed around the equator (40,075km), the presents could be laid around the planet almost 69 times (2,765,000/40,075).

The earths surface area is 510.1 million km². One side of each box has a surface area of 0.00035km² and all boxes together, 2,765,000km². So all presents, each laid on the ground, the would cover 1/184 (510,100,000km/ 2,765,000km) of the earths surface.

ESO estimate the Pacific Ocean holds 707.5 million km3 of water. The presents, have a total volume of 2,765,000km3 (0.00035km3*7,900,000,000). They would 1/256 of the Pacific Ocean (707,500,000/2,765,000)!

Amazon’s sortable fulfillment centers are around 800,000 square feet in size (74,322 m2). Let’s assume that’s 743.22m (w) x 100m (l) x 30m (h) = 2,229,660m3 (or 0.00222966km3)… meaning Santa is going to need 6,166 of them.

An official size 5 football weighs between 410 – 450 g without packaging. Therefore accounting for the upper end of this allowance to cover potential packaging weight, the total weight of all the balls would be 3,555,000,000 kg (0.450*7,900,000,000) or 3.5 million tons.

The A380-800F (the Airbus A380 freighter) has a payload capacity of 150,000kg. So if the sleigh breaks down, Santa would need a minimum of 23,700 cargo flights (3,555,000,000kg/150,000kg). According to one source only 27 of these freighters have been produced, so would need 878 flights by each plane to distribute the presents.

Of course, the space vs weight ratio is an important factor. The A380-800F has a total hold volume of 1,134m³ (or 0.000001134km3). Yes, Santa would need A LOT more planes!

To put that into perspective, National Geographic estimate:

The world generates at least 3.5 million tons of plastic and other solid waste a day


Now, Santa can’t send these presents unwrapped.

A cursory glance at Amazon shows me a 4 pack of 500cmx70cm Christmas wrapping paper for about £10. Put another way £10 buys you 0.02kmx0.0007km (a total surface area of 0.000014km2).

Each of our presents has a surface area of 7.35e-7km (0.735 m2) (6*0.00035km*0.00035km).

So one pack of wrapping paper is enough for 19.048 presents 0.000014/(7.35e-7), wrapped perfectly with no overlap and no mistakes.

But we need enough for 7,900,000,000 presents!

In total, that’s 414,741,706 (7,900,000,000/19.048) packs. At £10, ignoring any bulk discounts, that’s £4,147,417,060 (£4.1 billion) just to wrap the presents!

Thinking about the environmental cost for a minute…

Thin and straight trees are used for paper making and the average log of such a tree would weigh about 50 kgs.

Roughly about 50% of the wood is converted into wood pulp. So 50 kgs of wood would make 25 kgs of pulp. Roughly, 1kg of pulp makes 1.2 kg of finished paper. Hence, 25 kgs of pulp would make 30 kgs of paper.

Assuming a 75 GSM (grams per square meter) paper weight, our pack of paper weighs 1050g (20mx0.7m*75g) or 1.05kg or 0.00105 tonnes.

The total weight of all paper required would be about 435,479 tonnes (0.00105t * 414,741,706), requiring 8,709,580 trees (435,479/0.05).

For a frame of reference, Nature report there are about 3.04 Trillion trees on Earth. According to

Throughout the world, about 900 million trees are cut down annually. This equates to about 2.47 million trees cut down every day.

So it would take 4 days worth of Earths tree-felling activities to supply the wood needed for Santa’s wrapping paper needs.

All that’s left now is tape. Let’s assume perfection, that is; we only need tape for one face (shout out to those who can neatly wrap presents, a skill I don’t posses). That’s 140cm of tape per box (35*4).

In total that’s 11,060,000km of tape needed (0.00140*7,900,000,000) — almost 276 times (11,060,000km/40,075km) around the world.

Quickly looking at Amazon, I can get 50m of Selotape for £1. Santa therefore needs 221,200,000km rolls of tape (11,060,000km/0.05km) at a total cost of £221,200,000.

I think we’ll save Santa Claus the need to write cards for each present this year…

  • Presents: £158,000,000,000
  • Wrapping Paper: £4,147,417,060
  • Tape: £221,200,000
  • Total cost (exc. Reindeer food): £162,368,617,060


Have a great Christmas for those celebrating!


  1. Data sources + data used in this post.

In the USA, 20% of the Population Go Into Debt to Fund Christmas

Suppose you find out about a government program that was spending $80 billion per year, and suppose you found out that the $80 billion could have been achieved with $60 billion in spending. Would you be concerned as a taxpayer?

In 1993 Joel Waldfogel once wrote a paper titled The Deadweight Loss of Christmas, in which estimated that ill-chosen gifts caused between $4 billion and $13 billion a year in economic waste; for comparison, he cited an estimate that put economic costs of the income tax at $50 billion.

But how much does Christmas giving differ in traditionally Christian countries?


ING produce a range of yearly Christmas reports that produce analysis from survey’s they’ve commissioned.

For this post I used the latest available published reports in 2016 titled, Presents of Mind and Christmas and New Year.

It is important to note that the study only considers the countries explicitly listed.


How much do you plan on spending this year on Christmas presents? (2016)

How much do you plan on spending this year on Christmas presents? (2016)

Download chart.

Rank Country Median spend (EUR) Do not know (%)
1 United Kingdom 420 44
2 USA 360 33
3 Luxembourg 300 45
4 Austria 250 38
4 France 250 42
6 Australia 200 44
6 Germany 200 37
6 Italy 200 40
6 Spain 200 46
10 Czech Republic 180 39
11 Belgium 150 50
12 Romania 110 40
13 Poland 70 50
14 Netherlands 40 41

Full table.

The UK spend the most, 420 EUR on presents, that’s 60 EUR more than second place, the USA, where the population spends a median average of 360 EUR on gifts.

Citizens in the Netherlands spend the least by far — just 40 EUR on Christmas Day gifts. It is worth noting though, countries hold Christmas-type celebrations at different times. In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas on 5 and 6 December – the feast of St Nicholas – means less may be spent on 24 and 25 December than in other countries that focus on a single day.

Interestingly in all countries, between 30% and 50% of those surveyed has no idea how much they spent, which could mean spending being significantly higher than figures reported!

Potential wasted spending (2016)

Potential wasted spending (2016) 

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Country Wasted money EUR (assuming loss 20%)
United Kingdom 84
USA 72
Luxembourg 60
Austria 50
France 50
Australia 40
Germany 40
Italy 40
Spain 40
Czech Republic 36
Belgium 30
Romania 22
Poland 14
Netherlands 8

Full table.

Assuming Joel Waldfogel’s assumption of an average spend of about 20% being spent on unwanted gifts, UK citizens wasted 84 EUR on unwanted gifts in 2016.

Did you get into debt to fund Christmas celebrations? (2016)

Did you get into debt to fund Christmas celebrations? (2016)

Download chart.

Rank Country Went into debt for Christmas %
1 USA 20
2 Romania 16
3 United Kingdom 15
4 Australia 12
5 France 10
6 Spain 9
6 Poland 9
8 Italy 8
9 Czech Republic 7
10 Germany 6
10 Belgium 6
12 Luxembourg 5
13 Austria 4
14 Netherlands 3

Full table.

In the USA, around one-fifth of people spend Christmas in the red, while the people of the Netherlands are least likely to go into debt to finance the festivities (which is understandable given the reported spending).

The report found 40% of people say Christmas is the one time they spend money without worrying about it and also that a significant number of those polled feel forced to spend money.

What type of gifts did you receive for Christmas last year? (2016)

What type of gifts did you receive for Christmas last year? (2016)

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Country Practical gifts % Leisure gifts % Money % Gift cards % Luxurious or special gifts % Didn’t receive any % Can’t remember %
United Kingdom 50 31 26 25 22 10 13
USA 53 25 25 40 19 30 8
Luxembourg 40 37 26 14 17 15 11
Austria 41 31 32 34 12 16 7
France 38 30 23 15 12 18 9
Australia 43 21 15 28 11 18 15
Germany 38 25 27 26 15 20 8
Italy 50 23 17 8 12 19 12
Spain 58 30 17 7 15 18 5
Czech Republic 70 44 29 12 10 6 7
Belgium 33 20 18 20 10 25 10
Romania 57 17 14 1 6 18 13
Poland 52 23 18 8 11 15 11
Netherlands 21 14 5 11 10 50 8

Download table.

Across Europe, 46% say they got practical gifts such as household items for Christmas last year. Twenty-six percent received presents related to hobbies or leisure.

Twenty-one percent in Europe say they received money presents in 2015; 16% received gift cards, while 14% got luxuries or other “special” items. More Czechs (70%) are practical gift givers.

Half in the Netherlands say they received no Christmas gifts last year. Potential reasons may include the Sinterklaas festival, marked in the Netherlands and in parts of Belgium earlier in December, as noted previously.


This post considers aggregated statistics from a study conducted by ING in 2016. It would be really interesting to consider spending intentions in subsequent year, especially this year, where COVID-19 is likely to have a significant negative impact on spending intentions.


UK citizens spend the most on Christmas gifts (420 EU) with Dutch citizens spending the least (40 EUR). In all countries, a significant number of gift givers actually having no idea what they spend.


  1. Data sources + data used in this post.

The cost of 1GB of mobile data in 228 countries

When travelling, I’ll often purchase a temporary SIM card for data usage in that country.

It’s sometime surprising how little these cost, in reference to US mobile tariffs.

Which got me thinking; where does the USA sit in the mobile data league table?


Data from 5,554 mobile data plans in 228 countries were gathered and analysed by between 3 February and 25 February 2020. The average cost of one gigabyte (1GB) was then calculated and compared to form a worldwide mobile data pricing league table. Full methodology can be read here.

All prices shown in USD ($).


The country league table

Average price of 1GB of Mobile Data by Country

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Average price of 1GB (USD) vs Name

View interactive map.

Rank Name Average price of 1GB (USD)
1 India 0.09
2 Israel 0.11
3 Kyrgyzstan 0.21
4 Italy 0.43
5 Ukraine 0.46
224 São Tomé and Príncipe 28.26
225 Bermuda 28.75
226 Nauru 30.47
227 Falkland Islands 40.41
228 Saint Helena 52.50

Full table.

The five most expensive countries in terms of the average cost of 1GB of mobile data are São Tomé and Príncipe ($28.26), Bermuda ($28.75), Nauru ($30.47), Falkland Islands ($40.41) and Saint Helena ($52.50).

The similarities between these five nations are both striking and obvious. They are all island nations. Islands are less likely to have an extensive fibre infrastructure, and since mobile networks normally rely on connection to a fibre backbone, other more expensive solutions such as satellite uplink have had to be instituted – a cost passed on to the consumer.

The five cheapest countries in terms of the average cost of 1GB of mobile data are India ($0.09), Israel ($0.11), Kyrgyzstan ($0.21), Italy ($0.43), and Ukraine ($0.46).

Conversely to the most expensive, none of these countries are islands. Further, they all either contain excellent fibre broadband infrastructure (Italy, India, Ukraine, Israel), or in the case of Kyrgyzstan rely heavily on mobile data as the primary means to keep its populace connected to the rest of the world.

The global mean average is $5.09, and median is $3.24 for 1GB of mobile data.

The region league table

Average price of 1GB of Mobile Data by Region

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Continental region Number of countries Average price of 1GB (USD)
ASIA (EX. NEAR EAST) 28 2.28
BALTICS 3 2.31
NEAR EAST 15 4.46
OCEANIA 20 7.85

Full table.

It’s notable when looking at the global league table how far down it you have to read before you get to Canada and the United States. The largest and richest North American nations are ranked 209 and 188 in the world in terms of the price of mobile data with 1GB costing an average $12.55 in Canada and $8.00 in the US.

The other two countries regarded as being part of Northern America are vastly different – there’s the north Atlantic island nation of Bermuda ($28.75), which is easily the most expensive in the region (and fourth most expensive in the world), and Greenland ($9.56), which sits mostly in the Arctic circle and has only one mobile provider.

The seven Northern African countries included in the research appear higher up the table than the majority of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, although none make it into the top ten cheapest in the world.

The cheapest country in the region is Algeria, with an average of $0.65, followed by Western Sahara and Morocco (both $0.99). These three all make it into the world’s top 40 cheapest and even Libya, the most expensive country in Northern Africa, still avoids the bottom 50 with an average of $4.73.


It’s important to stress the word cheap is used in relation to other countries throughout this post.

Whilst $0.09 is cheap for many Westerners, for a large proportion of the Indian population, based on income, this might not be the case.

It would therefore be useful to adjust the calculated cost based on the median income of each country.


India is the cheapest country in which to buy mobile data, with the average cost of 1GB at USD 0.09. The United States is one of the most expensive developed nations for purchasing mobile data, coming in 188th in the world, and with an average 1GB cost of USD 8.00 – well above the global average.


  1. Data sources + data used in this post.

The $6,500 Hotel Bed

Hotels should have a bed rating system.

Beds overflowing with soft pillows and a soft mattress. 1*.

Firm pillows and a firm mattress. 5*.

Many hotels beds are far superior to any store bought alternatives.

I remember one of my first ever stays at a high-end hotel for business when flipping through the information book I found the bed was for sale.

For a recent graduate, it wasn’t cheap.

Which explains why an astonishing 49 five-star hotels reported that mattresses had been stolen from their premises since January 2018.

Then I started looking at the prices of hotel beds and quickly realised the bed I saw for sale was, in fact, relatively cheap.


I used prices for mattresses from Casper, a popular mattress delivery company, as a baseline. I chose Casper as the company offers three types of mattresses that can be broadly classed into price points; basic to premium.

For hotel mattress prices, I went directly to the hotel for prices. If the hotel was not able to directly provide a price on their website, I did not include the mattress in this analysis. In total I selected 22 mattresses from 6 hotel chains.

All prices used are for full priced California King mattresses (I want total luxury after all!).


Cost of Casper Californian King Mattresses

Cost of Casper Californian King Mattresses (December 2019)

Download chart.

Model Cal King Price (USD)
The Essential $795
The Casper $1,195
The Wave $2,695

Full table (inc. links to buy).

Cost of Californian King Mattresses by Hotel (December 2019)

Cost of Californian King Mattresses by Hotel (December 2019)

Download chart.

Bed name Hotel Chain Mattress Price USD
Omni Suite Pillow Top Bed Omni Hotels and Resorts 1,114.00
Cape Breton Plush Mattress Wyndham 1,323.50
Cape Breton Pillow Top Mattress Wyndham 1,523.81
Hilton Bed Hilton Worldwide 1,795.00
The Sweet Dreams Bed Hilton Worldwide 1,795.00
Hampton Bed Hilton Worldwide 1,795.00
Sheraton Bed Marriott International 1,795.00
The Heavenly Bed Marriott International 1,895.00
Pillow Top Mattress Marriott International 1,989.00
Euro Top Mattress Marriott International 1,989.00
Home2 Mattress Hilton Worldwide 1,995.00
Sofitel Bed Accor Hotels 1,999.00
The Marriott Bed Marriott International 2,150.00
Courtyard Bed Marriott International 2,150.00
The JW Bed Marriott International 2,150.00
Waldorf Astoria Bed Hilton Worldwide 2,195.00
The Ritz-Carlton Bed Marriott International 2,995.00
The St. Regis Mattress Marriott International 3,495.00
The Luxury Collection Bed Marriott International 3,495.00
Signature Mattress Four Seasons 3,999.00
Signature Plush Mattress Four Seasons 3,999.00
Signature Firm Mattress Four Seasons 3,999.00

Full table (inc. links to buy).

Of the 22 hotel mattresses considered, all are more expensive than the Essential Casper mattress ($795).

Only 1 is hotel mattress is cheaper than The Casper mattress ($1,195), the Omni Hotels, Omni Suite Pillow Top Bed.

Perhaps surprisingly though, 6 are more expensive than The Wave Casper Mattress ($2695). The Wave is competing with some high end 5* hotel beds including those offered by the Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis and Four Seasons chains.

The Ultimate Luxury

Item Hotel Chain Mattress Price USD Quantity Total
Signature Firm Mattress Four Seasons 3,999.00 1 3999
Sheet Set Four Seasons 599.00 1 599
Down & Feather Pillow Four Seasons 199.00 4 796
Duvet Cover Set Four Seasons 649.00 1 649
All Seasons Duvet Four Seasons 499.00 1 499

Full table (inc. links to buy).

Now that you’re convinced you need the ultimate in luxury, here’s what it will cost to buy…


… and that figure doesn’t include the bed frame.

Cost to kit out a hotel

According to this article (2011), the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, is the largest Four Seasons resort in the world.

The property boasts 444 rooms, 40 Four Seasons Residence Club units, and 90 Four Seasons Private Residence — about 574 beds in total.

Excluding bed frames, that’s $3,755,108 ($6,542*574) worth of bedding at retail price.


Price does not equal quality. It would be really interesting, should the data exist, to compare the reviews and prices of hotel mattresses to other retail manufacturers.


A Four Seasons mattress and bedding (excluding bed frame) will cost you $6,542 to bring home.


  1. Data sources + data used in this post.

Christmas Trees for Sale: From €80 EUR per Metre

Merry Christmas, everyone.

This year I decided to write a post for the masses, rather than for the 1% (if you are in the 1% see: Private Jet Buyers Guide).

So what does everyone want for Christmas? A Christmas tree of course.

Nothing beat that real tree smell. Or the time spent cleaning the shed needles. Or the hours spent figuring out how to dispose of it. Bah. Humbug.

But real trees aren’t cheap when compared to fake ones. My parents have owned there’s for over 35 years! At £50 new, that works out to about £1.43 per year.

Assuming you could go shopping anywhere in the world for a Christmas Tree; where would you get the best deal?


Bloom and Wild researched Christmas Tree prices in 11 cities around the world.

They researched prices for an “average” real six foot (1.83 metre) tree in these cities.


The most expensive city to buy a Christmas Tree

Christmas tree cost (6ft / 1.83 mtr) by city (2018)

Download chart.

City Ave. Christmas tree cost (6ft / 1.83 mtr) (EUR) Cost per metre (EUR) Cost per year (10 yr)
Prague €11.00 €6.01 €1.10
Salzburg €37.62 €20.57 €3.76
Copenhagen €42.40 €23.18 €4.24
Berlin €49.64 €27.14 €4.96
Aspen €56.35 €30.81 €5.64
Quebec city €64.11 €35.06 €6.41
Strasbourg €64.58 €35.31 €6.46
London €67.85 €37.10 €6.79
Belgium €74.52 €40.75 €7.45
New York €137.89 €75.40 €13.79
Dublin €145.92 €79.79 €14.59

Full table.

Prague is by-far-and-away the cheapest city for a tree. A 1.83 metre tree costs on average about €11, or €6.01 per metre.

Compare that to Dublin, where the same sized tree will cost you €146 or almost €80 per metre! You could buy 13 trees in Prague for the same price.

Assuming you could ship the tree from Prague to Dublin for less than €135 — a figure that sounds plausible — the tree would still be cheaper than buying locally.

The British Christmas Tree Growers state that:

A typical 6 to 7 feet high Christmas tree is between 10 and 12 years old

Assuming a 6 foot (1.83m) tree takes 10 years to grow, that’s is the equivalent of €1.10 per year at Prague prices. Even €14.59 a year at Dublin prices sounds fair to me.

Christmas tree sales (London)

The British Christmas Tree Growers association estimated 7 million trees are bought in the UK each year.

London has around 13% of the UK population, which as a rough estimate (13% of 7 million) could see 910,000 trees sold in London each Christmas (that’s 1,665,300 metres total @ 1.83 metres per tree).

Total value of Christmas tree sales in London: €61,782,630.

Update December 5th: the 80 foot / 24.39 metre tree erected in Trafalgar Square (although donated) would cost €1654.45 at London tree prices. Some would argue it’s not worth that much

If UK Political Parties Sold Christmas Trees…

UK Political Party Potential Christmas Tree Business Revenues

Download chart.

Party Number trees planted /yr Christmas Tree Value @ €67.85
Conservatives 30,000,000 €2,035,500,000
Lib Dems 60,000,000 €4,071,000,000
SNP 60,000,000 €4,071,000,000
Greens 70,000,000 €4,749,500,000
Labour 100,000,000 €6,785,000,000

Full table.

If you’re in the UK, you’ve probably seen the (important) tree planting policies by each party in advance of the upcoming General Election.

Let’s imagine for a moment each of the trees was a 1.83 metre Christmas Tree (Spruce, Pine, etc.) sold at London prices (€67.85)… and that millions more people needed trees (ignoring almost all proposed immigration policies).

Labour could generate tree sales of €6.79 billion every year (or £5.8 billion [December 1st 2019] for the “leavers”).


The Bloom and Wild report does not cover any real detail as to how the figures were collected, nor does it cover a large number of cities. Increasing transparency and amount of data collected would make for a more interesting analysis.

I’d also like to compare the value of real trees to their artificial alternatives.


Christmas trees purchased in Dublin are 13 times more expensive (€146) than those in Prague (€11).


  1. Data sources + data used in this post.

Gift Buying Guide: The Best Private Jets Under $500 Million

I’m fascinated by airline operations. Many major airlines have fleet sizes upwards of 800 aircraft. Now consider many of these planes operate non-stop, requiring hundreds-of-thousands of litres of fuel for each journey, and a small army of staff to keep running, operating costs can quickly add up.

Recently reading an article titled, “Qatar’s emir ‘gives $500m private jet to Turkey” (a Boeing 747-8i), I started exploring the costs of operating your own private jet.

With Christmas quickly approaching, I’ve created a (tongue in cheek) buyers guide for private jets. When a pair of socks won’t cut it, perhaps a private jet will suffice?


The following analysis uses aircraft data (including list prices, number of seats, and fuel efficiency) sourced from Jet fuel prices used to calculate fuel costs were obtained from IATA in October 2018.


List Cost of Private Jets

List Cost of Private Jets (2018)

Download chart.

Price Rank Manufacturer Model Price Ave (millions) USD
58 Cessna Citation 5
57 Cessna Citation M2 5
56 Cessna Citation CJ2 6
55 Embraer Phenom 300 7
54 Cessna Citation CJ3 7
5 Airbus A340 Private Jet 236
4 Boeing 777 VIP 280
3 Boeing 747 8 VIP 295
2 Boeing New Air Force One 390
1 Airbus A380 Private Jet 402

View full list.

The A380, the largest commercial passenger plane with a potential capacity of 900 passengers, is offered by Airbus as a private jet. The company has reported 5 orders, potentially worth almost $2 billion. Many articles detailing the incredible configurations of private A380’s exist online (including flying garages).

At the other end of the scale, smaller regional private aircraft with ranges below 5,000 kilometers (London to New York is 5,567 km) can be purchased for under $10 million.

List Cost Per Seat of Private Jets

List Cost per Seat of Private Jets (2018)

Download chart.

Rank cost per seat Manufacturer Model Cost per seat (millions) USD
57 Cessna Citation M2 0.70
56 Cessna Citation 0.95
55 Boeing BBJ 0.99
54 Cessna Citation Encore 1.09
53 Embraer Phenom 300 1.11
5 Boeing New Air Force One 3.82
4 Airbus A340 Private Jet 3.93
3 Dassault Falcon 7X 4.78
2 Boeing 777 VIP 5.71
1 Boeing 747 8 VIP 9.22

View full list.

The current Air Force One (a highly modified Boeing 747) has room for 102 passengers. Each seat, based on the list cost of $390 million, is worth $3.82 million each. A modified Boeing 747 8 VIP with an average cost of $295 million has just 32 seats, making it the private aircraft with the highest cost per seat at $9.22 million each!

Only 3 planes have cost per seat less than $1 million. The Boeing BBJ, is the only mid to long-range jet (range 7,223km) with a cost per seat less than $1 million.

Private Jet Fuel Efficiency

Private Jet Fuel Efficiency (2018)

Download chart.

Fuel cost p / litre / pax rank Manufacturer Model Fuel cost p / litre USD Fuel cost p / litre / pax USD
51 Boeing Business Jet $1.57 $0.02
50 Boeing BBJ $2.16 $0.03
49 Dassault Falcon 2000 LX $0.76 $0.04
48 Dassault Falcon 900LX $0.80 $0.04
47 Dassault Falcon 2000 DX $0.82 $0.04
5 Embraer Legacy 450 $1.12 $0.14
4 Airbus A340 Private Jet $8.62 $0.14
3 Boeing 777 VIP $7.39 $0.15
2 Embraer Phenom 300 $1.08 $0.18
1 Boeing 747 8 VIP $8.62 $0.27

View full list.

Don’t forget, even after spending millions on a jet, you’re going to need to fuel it too (along with all the other ongoing costs). The most fuel efficient jet in our list is the Boeing Business Jet. Assuming it flies at full capacity (63), each passenger will cost $0.02 per kilometre they travel. In contrast, each passenger on a 747 8 VIP will cost $0.27 per kilometre they travel (max pax 32).

The A380 Private Jet costing $10.35 per kilometre to fly and Air Force One costing $8.62 per kilometre to fly are much more fuel efficient when compared to the 747 8 VIP because they all have the potential to carry significantly more passengers (both over 100).


In some cases, the aircraft pricing data seems slightly inaccurate (perhaps out-of-date). For example, Boeing and Airbus publish the list prices of aircraft on their website. The lists do not include private jets, but in some cases the private jet cost is lower than the commercial (which does not appear correct). As such, the accuracy of this analysis would be improved if pricing and specifications were obtained directly from the manufacturers, if possible.


Long-range private jets (range greater than 10,000km) can be purchased for upwards of $39 million (Gulfstream V) to $402 million (Airbus A380 Private Jet). Don’t forget the operating costs though. An A380 will cost around $160,000 to fuel.

Get the Data

Get all the data used in this blog post on Google Sheets.


In Madagascar Tourists Spend Over 10 Times The Countries Average Income

In most cities and top tourist destinations areas have emerged selling variety of wares to tourists.

A boom in tourism can change the fate of local populations.

Chinese travellers spent a record $165 billion USD abroad in 2014 – an exceptional 27% increase over 2013 ($36 billion USD). Second are US travellers who spent a total of $111 billion USD abroad in 2014.

Which countries benefit the most from tourist spending?


Every year the UN World Tourism Organisation publishes a report titled “Tourism Highlights“. For this post I used the 2015 version (data reported is for 2013). The report contains tourism statistics for 217 countries, including inbound tourist arrivals and receipts.

In 2013 Gallup posted data on median incomes for countries which I used to compare against tourism receipts.

Similarly, the World Bank publishes yearly data on GDP by country (I used data from 2014).


Receipts total per tourist

revenue per tourist usd map

Full size map.

Some countries, as expected, make very little per tourist. Take the Democratic Republic of Congo which earns on average $5.24 USD per international tourist. Others, strangely, make a very large amount per tourist. International tourists in Belarus, using UNWTO figures, spend over $5,700 USD each during their trip!

Did you know? The countries that earn the most per international tourist are: 1. Belarus ($5,773 USD), 2. Luxembourg ($5,131 USD), 3. Australia ($4,897 USD).

Did you know? The countries that earn the least per international tourist are: 168. Lesotho ($121.88 USD), 169. Swaziland ($13.43 USD), 170. Democratic Republic of Congo ($5.24 USD).

Full rankings.

Yearly incomes

median per capita income worldwide usd map

Full size map.

Did you know? The countries with the highest median salaries per capita are: 1. Norway ($19,308 USD), 2. Sweden ($18,632 USD), 3. Luxembourg ($18,418 USD).

Did you know? The countries with the lowest median salaries per capita are: 128. Mali ($165 USD), 129. Burundi ($129 USD), 130. Liberia ($118 USD).

Full rankings.

Income vs. tourist receipts

median income per capita income per tourist

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Most countries (83) have higher median salaries compared to the average a tourist would spend in the country, unsurprisingly. However, in 31 countries receipts per tourist actually exceed median incomes. In 7 of these 31 countries receipts per tourist exceed median income per capita by over $1,000 USD, and 2 by over $2,000 USD (India and Madagascar).

10 countries with biggest difference in median income and tourist revenue

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rank Destination Revenue p/tourist (USD) Median Income p/Capita (USD) Median Income – Tourist revenue (USD) Per Tourist Revenue as % of Median Income
1 Madagascar 2,928.57 205 (2,723.57) 1428.57%
2 Mali 1,253.52 165 (1,088.52) 759.71%
3 Tanzania 1,768.58 384 (1,384.58) 460.57%
4 India 2,640.21 616 (2,024.21) 428.61%
5 Burkina Faso 701.83 168 (533.83) 417.76%
6 Benin 818.18 237 (581.18) 345.22%
7 Uganda 978.44 296 (682.44) 330.55%
8 Sierra Leone 728.40 233 (495.40) 312.62%
9 Angola 1,898.46 720 (1,178.46) 263.68%
10 Yemen, Rep. 949.49 400 (549.49) 237.37%

Full table.

Madagascar receives a staggering 1428.57% more from tourists than the median income of its residents — in dollar terms a difference of $2,732.57 USD.

GDP figures

gdp per capita map

Full size map.

Did you know? The countries with the highest GDP per capita are: 1. Luxembourg ($113,727 USD), 2. Norway ($102,832 USD), 3. Qatar ($96,077 USD)

Did you know? The countries with the lowest GDP per capita are: 185. Central African Republic ($326 USD), 186. Burundi ($259 USD), 187. Malawi ($240 USD).

Full rankings.

GDP vs. tourist receipts

gdp per capita income per tourist

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As with income, most countries have a positive difference between GDP per capita and income per tourist. However, 10 countries have a negative difference — that is, tourists spend more than the countries GDP per capita.

10 countries with biggest difference in gdp and tourist revenue

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rank Destination Revenue p/tourist (USD) GDP p/Capita (USD) GDP – Tourist revenue (USD) Per tourist Revenue as % of GDP
1 Madagascar 2,928.57 462.97 (2,465.60) 632.56%
2 Tanzania 1,768.58 910.38 (858.20) 194.27%
3 Mali 1,253.52 659.52 (594.00) 190.07%
4 India 2,640.21 1,455.10 (1,185.11) 181.45%
5 Ethiopia 911.89 503.90 (407.99) 180.97%
6 Haiti 1,352.38 810.33 (542.05) 166.89%
7 Uganda 978.44 674.34 (304.10) 145.10%
8 Solomon Islands 2,541.67 1,889.99 (651.67) 134.48%
9 Niger 471.54 418.49 (53.05) 112.68%
10 Moldova 2,354.17 2,243.98 (110.19) 104.91%

Full table.

These are the 10 countries that receive more per tourist than their GDP per capita. Comparing tourism revenue as a percentage of GDP per capita Madagascar comes out with a difference of 632.56%!


I realise that using median income against tourism receipts is not a truly representative metric. Many countries have significant poverty and large gaps between incomes, all of which would be hugely beneficial context to add into the comparison.


In 2013, Madagascar welcomed 198,000 tourists who spent on average $2,928.57 USD each. That’s 633% more than their GDP per capita and 1429% more than the median income of their residents.

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  1. Data sources + data used in this post.

The Price of A Big Mac Is Just $1.57 In Ukraine — 75% Cheaper Than In Switzerland

McDonalds has a huge global footprint. How many countries have you visited without one?

Economists have even created the Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention — that is: no two countries that have McDonalds have ever gone to war (the theory has since been disproved).

The Economist has gone so far as creating a Big Mac Index, comparing the price of a Big Mac hamburger around the world.

But which country sells the cheapest Big Mac?


For Big Mac pricing I used The Economists Big Mac Index dataset (1986 – 2016). This includes local cost, exchange rates, dollar price and dollar purchasing-power parity.


Current Big Mac Index (July 2016) – Cheapest vs. Most expensive

Big Mac Index (July 2016)

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Rank Country USD Price (Jul 2016)
56 Ukraine 1.57
55 Malaysia 1.99
54 Russia 2.05
3 Sweden 5.23
2 Norway 5.51
1 Switzerland 6.59

Full list.

There’s almost $5 USD difference between the cheapest Big Mac found in Ukraine ($1.57 USD) and the most expensive in Switzerland ($6.59 USD).

The mean average for a Big Mac in July 2016 is $3.61 USD — about the same price of a Big Mac in Pakistan ($3.58 USD, ranked 28/56).

Big Mac Index 1 Year Change (2015 – 2016)

2015 - 2016 Big Mac Index Change

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Rank act Rank pc Country 1y actual change USD 15-16 1y % change 15-16
55 56 Mexico -0.74 -31.01%
56 55 Philippines -0.79 -27.88%
52 54 Taiwan -0.40 -18.37%
3 3 India 0.58 24.09%
2 2 Sri Lanka 1.02 28.00%
1 1 Venezuela 2.71 80.20%

Full list.

Venezuela saw a dramatic rise in the price of a Big Mac between 2015 – 2016 ($0.67 – $3.38 respectively) — although I suspect this may be an error in the raw data.

Mexico and the Philippines saw a dramatic fall in the cost of a Big Mac in dollar terms, a drop of around 30% in both countries.

Big Mac Index 10 Year Change (2006 – 2016)

2006 - 2016 Big Mac Index Change

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Rank act Rank pc Country 10y actual 06 – 16 10y % 06 – 16
41 41 Norway -1.54 -27.88%
38 40 Taiwan -0.18 -8.32%
39 39 Mexico -0.19 -8.08%
9 3 China 1.48 53.03%
6 2 Thailand 1.84 54.14%
1 1 Uruguay 2.31 56.66%

Full list.

15 countries did not have data for a 10 year comparison (only 41 displayed). For those considered, Norway has seen the largest Big Mac price reduction by dollar value. Uruguay, Thailand, and China have seen the price of a Big Mac increase by over 50% in dollar terms.

Big Mac Index 30 Year Change (1986 – 2016)

1986 - 2016 Big Mac Index Change

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Rank act Rank pc Country 30y actual 86 – 16 30y pc 86 – 16
13.00 13.00 Japan 1.07 30.77%
10.00 12.00 France 2.04 45.28%
11.00 11.00 Spain 1.90 49.39%
3.00 3.00 Canada 3.24 70.47%
4.00 2.00 Australia 3.23 75.14%
1.00 1.00 Brazil 4.60 96.24%

Full list.

Over 30 years the Big Mac dollar price has almost doubled in Brazil. In all 13 countries considered the Big Mac has increased in dollar terms. Inflation over this period in the US was 120.2% meaning Big Mac are actually getting cheaper in real terms (in the US anyway).

Big Mac Index PPP (July 2016)

It is important to point out that I used a simple USD price converted from local currency to compare prices in the last three charts. This does not necessarily mean the price of a Big Mac “increased” in local currency. For example, a Big Mac might cost me £1 GBP in 1986 and 2016, but because of fluctuations in exchange rate values the dollar value of the same burgers might vary significantly (e.g $2 in 1986 vs. $6 in 2016).

Calculating purchasing-power parity can show if the Big Mac is undervalued or overvalued compared to the USD (in USA).

Big Mac July 2016 Dollar Valuation

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Rank Country Jul2016_dollar_price Jul2016_ppp Jul2016_dollar_valuation
56 Ukraine 1.57 7.7 -68.8
55 Malaysia 1.99 1.6 -60.58
54 Russia 2.05 25.8 -59.32
3 Sweden 5.23 8.9 3.74
2 Norway 5.51 9.3 9.33
1 Switzerland 6.59 1.3 30.79

Full list.

In many countries the Big Mac is undervalued. As an example, anyone travelling from the USA with a pocket full of USD would pay 68.8% less for a Big Mac in Ukraine when compared to home (USA).

In only 4 countries out of 55, is the Big Mac overvalued compared to the USD (USA) — Finland, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland. In Switzerland the Big Mac is over 30% more expensive.


In the interests of fairness, comparing fast-food retailer prices around the world in the same way could make for interesting reading. Does McDonalds huge logistic networks mean they can better compete on price?


The cheapest Big Mac is found in Ukraine ($1.57 USD) — that’s 69% cheaper than buying in the USA.


  1. Data sources + data used in this post.

1 Litre of Beer Costs Just 1 USD in Slovakia

Economists use a range of goods to gauge consumer prices in different countries around the world.

Beer is one consumable that can be used for such purposes, although not often omitted.

I believe this is because unlike a bottle of Coca-Cola, the local varieties of beer can result in significant price differences. Which left me wondering; where can you visit to find the cheapest beer?


I used GoEuro’s Beer Price Index (2015 and 2016) for beer costs around the world. This index includes both supermarket and bar costs for a 33cl beer. GoEuro’s data also calculates a mean average beer price using the calculation (supermarket cost + bar cost) / 2.


Cost of beer around the world 2016

Overall Average Price for Beer in USD 2016 Histogram

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A 33cl beer will cost you anywhere between $1.14 and $6.59, on average. Lausanne, Switzerland is the most expensive where a beer at a bar will cost you $12.20. That’s over 6 times more expensive than the cheapest city for a beer at a bar, Kiev ($1.82).

Cheapest beers 2016

Beer Price Index 2016 map

Interactive map.

Overall rank (overall ave) City Country Average Price for 33cl Beer (Supermarket) in USD Average Price for 33cl Beer (Bar) in USD Overall Average Price in USD Bar – supermarket diff Bar – supermarket diff pc
1 Bratislava Slovakia 0.35 1.93 1.14 1.58 451.43%
2 Kiev Ukraine 0.47 1.82 1.15 1.35 287.23%
3 Cape Town South Africa 0.46 2.12 1.29 1.66 360.87%
4 Krakow Poland 0.57 2.02 1.30 1.45 254.39%
5 Mexico City Mexico 0.46 2.48 1.47 2.02 439.13%
6 Belgrade Serbia 0.30 2.73 1.52 2.43 810.00%
7 Cairo Egypt 0.69 2.61 1.65 1.92 278.26%
8 Warsaw Poland 0.60 2.79 1.70 2.19 365.00%
8 Ljubljana Slovenia 0.75 2.64 1.70 1.89 252.00%
10 Budapest Hungary 0.28 3.13 1.71 2.85 1017.86%

Full list.

Most of the cities in the top 10 (7) are all found in Eastern Europe. In Bratislava, Slovakia a 33cl beer can be bought for $0.35. At a bar in Bratislava the same beer might cost you $1.58 — a 451% increase! In Budapest the difference between supermarket ($0.28) and bar ($3.13) is 1018% (Paris is the worst — a 1270% increase).

Year-on-year beer price changes

2015 - 2016 beer price change

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Price change rank City Country Overall Average Price % Change 15/16
1 Rio de Janeiro Brazil -43.27%
2 Geneva Switzerland -42.80%
3 Munich Germany -42.05%
4 Cape Town South Africa -39.72%
5 Bucharest Romania -37.81%
6 Ljubljana Slovenia -37.34%
7 Tel Aviv Israel -37.10%
8 Dublin Ireland -34.32%
9 San Francisco United States -34.01%
10 Barcelona Spain -33.90%

Full list.

GoEuro’s price index records beer prices falling in 63 of 64 cities between 2015 and 2016! Only Malaga in Spain saw beer prices increase, by 23% — sorry packaged holiday makers.

The fall in beer prices was actually fairly significant with an average price decrease of 24%. The top 10 cities ranked by falling beer price all saw price decreases of over 30%. In Rio De Janeiro, Geneva, and Munich average beer prices fell by over 40%! Oktoberfest is looking cheap in 2017!

Beer consumption 2016

Beer consumption 2016 map

Interactive map.

Did you know? Out of the 70 countries considered in GoEuro’s Beer Price Index, the top beer consumers in 2016 were: 1) Czech Republic (144 litres person / year), 2) Poland (127), 3) Serbia (119).

Biggest spenders on beer 2016

Average spend on beer consumption 2016

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Av spend rank City Country Av. Annual Consumption Per Capita (litres) Av. annual spend per capita (Supermarket only) Av. annual spend per capita (Bar only) Av. annual spend per capita (average)
1 Lausanne Switzerland 56 166.30 2,070.30 1,118.30
2 Helsinki Finland 105 381.82 1,753.18 1,067.50
3 Sydney Australia 99 540.00 1,398.00 969.00
4 New York United States 85 265.30 1,645.91 955.61
5 Miami United States 85 182.88 1,602.12 892.50
6 Toronto Canada 116 376.12 1,395.52 885.82
7 Prague Czech Republic 144 318.55 1,444.36 881.45
8 Venice Italy 106 212.00 1,532.18 872.09
9 Moscow Russia 106 395.09 1,323.39 859.24
10 Frankfurt Germany 107 220.48 1,420.18 820.33

Full list.

Whilst Czech Republic, Poland, and Serbia have the highest beer consumption per capita, the relatively cheap price of beer means that they don’t spend as much ($881 per year, $652 and $546 respectively).

Unsurprisingly Lausanne, Switzerland – where a beer at a bar can cost you more than $12 – comes out top for most spent per person on beer each year at $1,118 (even though consumption is relatively low at only 56 litres p/person p/year).


GoEuros dataset has aggregated beer prices. Having access to the raw dataset with prices by brand would be particularly useful in comparing like-for-like differences in prices around the world.


33cl of beer is cheapest in Bratislava, Slovakia at an average cost of $1.14 ($0.35 in a supermarket or $1.93 in a bar).


Data sources + data used in this post.

Checked Bag Prices On Budget Carriers Are Too Cheap

Budget travellers have come to expect the added costs associated with checked bag prices — and are likely to have developed the ability to pack one-weeks worth of clothes into a single carry-on bag.

Though with cabin baggage allowances regularly being reduced, it’s getting harder. Perhaps so-much-so you start wondering how much it would cost to ship some items by courier to your destination.

The concept is nothing new. Over the past few years a number of companies have set out to do just this. Airlines have also entered the space.

How do budget airlines compare with shipping your bag with a courier?


Checked bagged costs on European budget carriers were obtained via TravelSupermarket (sourced in March 2016). 16 different products from 11 budget airlines were reported (some airlines offer different price bands based on checked bag weight).

Checked baggage minimum and maximum charges at booking Mar 2016

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Europe’s budget airlines are imposing ever more complex prices for placing a bag in the hold. Where flat fees were once the norm, carriers now charge by an array of variables including time of year. Depending on when you fly, Norwegian has the cheapest possible checked bag cost per flight (£7 GBP / 20kg) , whilst Ryanair has most expensive (£45 GBP / 20kg) — that’s £90 GBP for a round-trip!

Given this analysis considers European budget airlines I then drew up a list of European cities to use as destinations for comparison. Cities were selected based on popularity and wether or not they were served by at least one of the budget airlines I collected prices for.

Full list.

Using MyParcelDelivery I then calculated the cost of shipping a suitcase of dimensions 76cm x 48cm x 29cm (a “large” case) with shipping weights of 15kg, 20kg and 25kg on 1, 2 and 3-5 day services from London, UK to this list of destinations.


1 day services from London

Cost to ship 20kg cheapest hold courier 1 day March 2016

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Courier companies are arguably more price sensitive to the distance your bag travels — they are not receiving additional revenue for carrying passengers.

That said, couriering a bag from London to the Netherlands (£80.17 GBP / 378.89km) is slightly more expensive than shipping it to Ireland (£79.68 GBP / 589.28km), a country further away by straight-line distance to each countries central point (210.39km).

Bulgaria or Romania, are the most expensive destinations to courier a 20kg bag from London. Using UPS International Express Saver service (1 day) this would cost you £147.30 GBP. Checking this bag at the most expensive Ryanair price would only cost you £45 GBP — a difference of £102.30 GBP.

Out of the 21 courier routes researched, only 5 cost less than £140 GBP to courier a bag in 1 day.

Therefore, airlines could be missing a significant amount of potential revenue by checking your bag instead of using the space to take time-sensitive cargo — you’re actually getting a great deal in comparison.

2 day services from London

Cost to ship 20kg cheapest hold courier 2 day

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2 day services using MPD International Export are slightly cheaper than 1 day services as you would expect. However, they are still all more expensive than even the highest price for checking a bag on a budget airline (Ryanair / £45 GPB).

Croatia is the most expensive destination for 2 day services at £135 GBP, only £10 GBP cheaper then a 1 day service (£145.81 GBP).

This time the Netherlands is the cheapest destination to ship to via courier (£82.19 GBP).

Strangely, to ship to Ireland via courier on 2 day services from London will cost £108.47 GBP — more expensive than most central European countries.

3-5 day services from London

Cost to ship 20kg cheapest hold courier 3-5 day

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3-5 day courier services are the only ones that compete on price with checking a bag.

Even so, the cheapest checked bag prices on most budget airlines (7) are still lower than the 25 courier routes researched.

Rank Service 3-5 cost courier / checked airline 20kg cheapest GBP
1 Norwegian (20kg) 7.00
2 Jet2 (22kg) 11.00
3 Germanwings (20kg) 11.60
4 Wizzair (23kg) 12.00
4 Aer Lingus EU (20kg) 12.00
6 easyJet (20kg) 13.00
7 Monarch (20kg) 15.00
8 London-France 16.79
9 London-Austria 17.40
10 London-Belgium 17.99
11 Flybe (20kg) 19.00
12 London-Denmark 19.19
12 London-Germany 19.19
12 London-Ireland 19.19
15 London-Poland 20.39
16 London-Netherlands 21.59
16 London-Portugal 21.59
16 London-Spain 21.59
19 Thomson (20kg) 22.00
19 Thomas Cook (20kg) 22.00
21 London-Sweden 22.20
22 London-Hungary 23.99
23 Ryanair (20kg) 25.00
24 London-Switzerland 30.76
25 London-Norway 31.47
26 London-Finland 38.39
27 London-Estonia 43.19
27 London-Latvia 43.19
27 London-Lithuania 43.19
30 London-Croatia 44.27
31 London-Romania 45.49
32 London-Greece 46.79
33 London-Bulgaria 52.79
34 London-Malta 103.19
35 London-Italy 142.86
36 London-Czech Republic 145.81

Full list.

All services

Average cost by service ave courier ave hold

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Many argue that checked bag prices are too rigid. On Easyjet you have to pay for a 20kg bag (minimum price £13 GBP), even if your bag weighs less. Though in Europe all courier services I analysed also charged a flat fee to ship 15 – 20 kg from London. Therefore, you won’t make any savings by choosing a courier if your bag weighs slightly less than the max allowance either.


The aforementioned door-to-door luggage services offered by some premium and long-haul airlines would not only give both a wider geographic view, but also a comparison between budget and premium airline charges.


  • Checked bag prices are much cheaper than courier companies one or two day shipping services.
  • If you’re prepared to ship your luggage 3-5 days in advance it might be cheaper to use a courier, but most budget airlines will still be cheaper!


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