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Duty Free, Delivery At The Gate  
User currently offlineNYC-AIR From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 140 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 8331 times:

How common is this?

Background:

Until recently I had never shopped duty free in the US - I usually do duty free shopping in foreign airports on the way home. In most places you give your boarding pass to prove you're an international traveler, buy the merchandise, and carry it to your flight.

Shopping duty free at EWR recently I was surprised by the fact that they don't hand you your purchase, but deliver it to you upon boarding at the gate. Does this occur at all US airports? Any other countries? I know schengen countries typically have two prices (one taxed and one not taxed) at duty free shops and you are charged one or the other depending on your boarding pass, but you still get to carry your own purchase to the gate.

I assume it's done so that you can't pass your purchase to someone on a domestic flight - the US has no exit control so most terminals mix international and domestic travelers.
What about terminals that have only international departures (say T1 at JFK or Tom Bradley at LAX)?

~NYC-AIR

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21851 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 8320 times:

They did it at at T7 at JFK when I flew out of there a few days ago - not sure about elsewhere.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5805 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 8308 times:

In Australia & New Zealand (and many others) it depends on if you buy your duty free before or after outwards C&I. Before outwards it is delivered to a collecction point near the gates after outwards control. If you buy it after outwards or before inwards C&I (on arrival), you take it with you.

Given the USA has no outwards C&I, delivery at the specific gate would seem reasonable.

Gemuser



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User currently offlineIke From Brazil, joined Aug 2007, 17 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 8303 times:

In Sao Paulo (GRU) the international terminal is sterile and has a passport control. You can buy your stuff and take with you on board. They do seal the bag and also request the boarding pass.

User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26124 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 8275 times:

Procedure is common in the US where merchandise is given to you at the gate while boarding.
Its basically comes down to the fact that otherwise nothing would stop you from taking the merchandise from the store and walking out of the terminal with it. By delivering after you have technically boarded at the gate, you have basically left the country and entitled to its purchase.
(For reference I have had many occasions over the years, where a flight might have a mechanical issue, or return to the gate where Duty Free must return and collect the merchandise back if passengers are offloaded.)



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineNYC-AIR From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 140 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 8256 times:

Interesting. Impressive that they have this whole operation in place, which obviously requires personnel.

I guess they cover the staff with a hidden 'tax' on the merchandise.


User currently offlinePilotboi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 2366 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 8236 times:



Quoting NYC-AIR (Reply 5):
Interesting. Impressive that they have this whole operation in place, which obviously requires personnel.

One person per flight usually. I'm sure it's all built into their staffing. No need to have a 'hidden' tax, other then what the company regularly charges in order to keep their business operating.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 4):
By delivering after you have technically boarded at the gate, you have basically left the country and entitled to its purchase.

 checkmark 

At MCO, you receive it in the jetway AFTER you've had your boarding pass and/or ID checked.


User currently offlineTransIsland From Bahamas, joined Mar 2004, 2046 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 8151 times:



Quoting Pilotboi (Reply 6):


At MCO, you receive it in the jetway AFTER you've had your boarding pass and/or ID checked.

Same at MIA



I'm an aviation expert. I have Sky Juice for breakfast.
User currently offlineORDagent From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 823 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 8058 times:

ORD is the same even at T5 as the rather basic shop is located land side. Duty free isn't a big deal for U.S. pax. The deals aren't that great as VAT/Sales taxes are lower here. I have noticed my smoking friends are now more than ever buying tobacco products duty free as a pack of smokes in Chicago goes for about $8.50.

User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 8048 times:

Yeah, I think cigarettes are the best deal at US Duty Free. Where else? (other than thru native Americans) can you grab a carton of American Spirits for $35?

Maybe I'm wrong.. but I seem to remember it used to be you could pick up duty free right after security at T4 at JFK.. but now they deliver it to you at the gate, after BPs are checked, in the jetway.

-A



What now?
User currently offlineSmi0006 From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 1552 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 8013 times:

An even more interesting procedure is in place for flights that depart from DXB with EK to destinations that have the liquids gels and aerosols bans in place, your duty free if liquid and over 100mls is checked in in special security sealed boxes (at the gate or the store I'm not sure which) and you pick it up from the baggages services counter at your destination, thus is simply goes in the hold. It is very popular with up to 80 coming off a flight!

User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7921 times:

Strangely enough the first time this happened to me was at YYZ. Boarding commenced before the duty free arrived at the gate, so I did not join the queue of those passengers who were in line to get on board the aircraft.

About 15-20 minutes later the queue had disappeared and there was still no sign of the duty free. The gate agent informed us that we had to board immediately as they would be closing the gate in a few minutes, and did not seem unduly bothered by the fact that we had not been given our duty free purchases. Fortunately the duty free then appeared and I quickly boarded before the gate closed, but it was a close shave.

But what would happen if they were closing the gate and your duty free had not arrived? You could not then go back to the shop and request a refund, and if the duty free arrived after the plane left the chances are someone else would take it home. Who could refuse an unclaimed bottle of Scotch or 200-pack of Marlboros?
  

[Edited 2009-06-25 05:30:46]


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User currently offlineNYC-AIR From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 140 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7855 times:



Quoting BCAL (Reply 11):
Strangely enough the first time this happened to me was at YYZ.

I take it you were boarding a flight to somewhere other than the US?

I bought duty free at YYZ in December and I carried it to the gate myself. However, I was at the duty free store in the US preclearence area, past US immigration/customs - so I had basically left Canada already.

Makes sense that Canada would deliver at the gates for flights leaving for non-US, intl destinations - Canada, like the US, has no exit controls.

Quoting BCAL (Reply 11):
Boarding commenced before the duty free arrived at the gate,

Also interesting that you were aware of this before approaching the gate. At EWR the duty free agent was in an alcove behind the door to the jetway. I had no way of knowing whether she'd be there until I got to the front of the boarding line.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26124 posts, RR: 50
Reply 13, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7788 times:



Quoting BCAL (Reply 11):
But what would happen if they were closing the gate and your duty free had not arrived?

Happens more often then you would think. Standard procedure is for them to issue you a refund, normally back onto your CC.
As I recall the receipts issued by DFS at LAX have some advisory on them about this, and means to call/email if you arrive at your destination sans your merchandise.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineGr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3129 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7754 times:

I had this experience many years ago at JFK and was surprised by it....but as the duty free shops were before the security points and could be accessed by anyone, including visitors, it made sense that the delivery was at the gates.....

Quoting BCAL (Reply 11):
Strangely enough the first time this happened to me was at YYZ.

I'm a bit surprised to hear this, because at T1 and T3, the duty free shops are beyond the security checkpoints....meaning, only passengers can visit those shops....


User currently offlineGoaliemn From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 463 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7607 times:



Quoting Gr8Circle (Reply 14):
I'm a bit surprised to hear this, because at T1 and T3, the duty free shops are beyond the security checkpoints....meaning, only passengers can visit those shops....

But if you're not on a US bound flight, you can leave the concourse and the terminal. If you're on a US bound flight, you've cleared pre-clearance and can't easily leave. There, they give it to you as soon as you buy it.

With the booze tax in Canada, Duty Free can be quite a bit cheeper, from what I've seen.


User currently onlineFWAERJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 3824 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7573 times:

Funny that some brought this up... At DFW in July of last year, they gave me my bottle of Issey Miyake L'eau d'Issey Pour Homme cologne at checkout because I was on a domestic flight (Eagle DFW-FWA, of course) that was boarding shortly, even though the gate for my flight was in the same terminal (D) and was directly across from the shop. Has it changed at DFW since?

Oh and I've noticed that the selection of fragrances seems to be much better at airport Duty Free than at many US fragrance retailers (with the exception of Sephora, and high end stores like Saks and Neiman Marcus). Has anyone else noticed?



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User currently offlineReadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3356 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7540 times:



Quoting Pilotboi (Reply 6):
At MCO, you receive it in the jetway AFTER you've had your boarding pass and/or ID checked.

Don't you think that DutyFree shop is kinda small, surely they need more choice in there apart from the usual booze fags and smells. I do the trip about 6-8 times a year and always think it is a missed oportunity



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User currently offlineNaritaflyer From Japan, joined Apr 2006, 549 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7536 times:

What I loike most is "duty free" shops in places like Hong Kong and Singapore because the whole city is duty free. But for some reason people still think they get a better deal at the airport.

I like the arrival duty free shops in Asia. The one in Hong Kong is right by the immigration control. Okay, tobacco products seem to be a tad cheaper at the airport than in the city.


User currently offlineEXCOASA1982 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 164 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7509 times:

I was transiting CDG once and after I purchased my bottle of sauce, I left it at the counter and walked to my gate. As I waited to board for my duty free to show up, I realized they don't deliver it to the gate. Luckily the shop wasn't very far away and the cashier still had my purchase!

User currently offlinePilotboi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 2366 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7484 times:



Quoting Readytotaxi (Reply 17):
Don't you think that DutyFree shop is kinda small, surely they need more choice in there apart from the usual booze fags and smells. I do the trip about 6-8 times a year and always think it is a missed oportunity

Honestly, I'm not sure as I've never really been in there and looked around. But MCO doesn't have as many intl passengers as a lot of other major intl airports. And some of the intl flights leave from Airside 1.


User currently offlineKiwiandrew From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 8624 posts, RR: 13
Reply 21, posted (5 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7477 times:
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personally I prefer the system in New Zealand and Australia where you can buy duty free on arrival , it is less hassle for pax because you are not stuck with the stuff while onboard , and obviously from a safety aspect it is much better because there are a lot fewer bottles of flammable liquids in the overheads in the event of a 'less than optimal' landing. I assume that it must save the airlines a bit of weight as well - in New Zealand you can bring in up to 3 bottles of spirits per person , multiply that out across a couple of hundred people and it adds up to a pretty substantial weight


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