spantax
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SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:53 am

From Flightglobal:

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ht-458684/

Good news me thinks. I hope my bedside airlines do the same ASAP. Anyway in my (limited, intraeuropean) experience, on-board duty-free is almost irrelevant. In most of the flights I take, they don't sell a single item, I think.

By the way, how much weight are we talking about in a typical, let's say, A320 or 737? How much fuel could be saved this way?
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DUSZRH
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:59 am

On Schengen flights (except for CH) it’s not duty free anyway...
 
spantax
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:06 am

DUSZRH wrote:
On Schengen flights (except for CH) it’s not duty free anyway...


You are right. I think the most common expression nowadays is "Sales on board". But I wanted to refer basically to the technical part of the story (weight, fuel, galley space...) and not to the fiscal, legal aspects.

Regards,
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Someone83
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:14 am

DUSZRH wrote:
On Schengen flights (except for CH) it’s not duty free anyway...


This has nothing to do with Schengen, but EU or not-EU. Thus you can sell tax free to/from Norway as Norway is not in the EU, but are part of Schengen
 
VSMUT
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:41 am

Makes sense. Nobody really makes use of it anyway, and prices aren't even good.
BTW, Air France - KLM made this decision earlier this year.

I never quite understood the reason selling this stuff on the plane. These are hub airlines. Every passenger is likely to pass through one or two major hubs. Just put the shop in the airport!
 
FatCat
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:30 pm

spantax wrote:
From Flightglobal:

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ht-458684/

Good news me thinks. I hope my bedside airlines do the same ASAP. Anyway in my (limited, intraeuropean) experience, on-board duty-free is almost irrelevant. In most of the flights I take, they don't sell a single item, I think.

By the way, how much weight are we talking about in a typical, let's say, A320 or 737? How much fuel could be saved this way?

apart of FR.
they always sell something from the on board "duty free".
and prices are quite good, too. I used to buy cigs on FR flights - inbound and outbound the Canary Islands - prices were lower also compared to CI prices, about 50% cheaper than here. now they don't sell cigs anymore, too bad
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OA260
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:18 pm

FatCat wrote:
spantax wrote:
From Flightglobal:

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ht-458684/

Good news me thinks. I hope my bedside airlines do the same ASAP. Anyway in my (limited, intraeuropean) experience, on-board duty-free is almost irrelevant. In most of the flights I take, they don't sell a single item, I think.

By the way, how much weight are we talking about in a typical, let's say, A320 or 737? How much fuel could be saved this way?

apart of FR.
they always sell something from the on board "duty free".
and prices are quite good, too. I used to buy cigs on FR flights - inbound and outbound the Canary Islands - prices were lower also compared to CI prices, about 50% cheaper than here. now they don't sell cigs anymore, too bad


Prices for cigs are actually cheaper in the resorts in the Canary Islands these days. Onboard prices are always more expensive in my experience. I do not smoke but sometimes bring them back for family.
 
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sassiciai
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:49 pm

On-board prices for all this stuff that almost no traveler wants are generally not competitive with high street prices

Airport shops might be cheaper than on-board, but are still above the high street/supermarket price

Departing Brussels airport (my home airport), I am obliged to pass through most of the shops, especially if I am going non-Schengen. The prices there are almost criminal, compared with the local Belgian supermarket prices. Even the smallish supermarkets at the 3 main railway stations in Brussels can fill your needs for cheeses, choci, sausages, or whatever and even wine/beer/spirits at a large discount to the airport shops. Moreover, on the train, you have the opportunity to stuff the liquids into your checked bags!

These airport shops irritate me somewhat, and more and more often, I have no choice but to walk through them to get to the departures area. It is, I think, a relic of a bygone era, when such shops were genuinely "duty free".

I for one would vote to get rid of them all, and turn the departure terminal into, er, a departure terminal and not a glitzy and overpriced mall for stuff most people don't need at that moment! If Brussels has its problems in this area for me, I can only be happy that LHR is not my local airport! There, the entire shopping thing looks to be totally out of control!
 
LH658
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:52 pm

I think the idea of duty free is for travelers who want to buy items, that didn't get chance to do so in the airport or wherever they came from. Especially probably a PAX going back to LUD, PHC, DAC, or other cities where branded luxury goods, alcohol, and cigs might be more expensive, and quality so so, they can purchase it last minute on board. I have bought few goods before on duty free, though that was a while back.
 
B777LRF
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:12 pm

sassiciai wrote:
I for one would vote to get rid of them all, and turn the departure terminal into, er, a departure terminal and not a glitzy and overpriced mall for stuff most people don't need at that moment! If Brussels has its problems in this area for me, I can only be happy that LHR is not my local airport! There, the entire shopping thing looks to be totally out of control!


I can certainly agree to the sentiment, and it's not just LHR - most UK airports I've been through have gone way overboard in allocating available space to shopping. But here's the thing: major airports derive the vast majority of their revenue from non-aeronautical activities, in particular real estate, parking and concession fees. The ration may well, depending on the airport, be near the 80/20 mark. That the income is so high, also tells us that whilst many regular travellers rarely avail themselves of the opportunities, more than enough do to make it very profitable. And whilst there is certainly an element of greed involved getting to those numbers; CPH, for instance, had a profit ratio approaching 30% before new tariffs were agreed with the airlines following a change of airport ownership, stripping the terminals of shopping opportunities would equal immediate bankruptcy.

The question is, obviously, how to balance it out. When the airports are wholly owned by a commercial entity, the result will be inevitable. That's why it's airports like Changi, Honkers and Inchon in Asia, and Munich, Zurich and Copenhagen in Europe, who usually harvest the best customer satisfaction results. Common denominator? They're all wholly, majority or partially government owned.
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davidjohnson6
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:18 pm

If a passenger buys items at the airport, the money goes to the duty free shop operator and the airport - the airline will see no money from that transaction

If a passenger buys on a plane, the airline sees some money.

The airline has no interest in helping passengers who didn't have time to buy at the airport. For an airline, selling alcohol / perfume is about trying to make some more profit for captive pax who are in an aluminium tube at 38,000 ft and a cabin crew who would otherwise likely be chatting amongst themselves at the back of the plane (ie zero marginal cost of labour)

An airline should ask whether on a particular route if the profit (not revenue) from these sales outweighs the cost of the extra fuel. If fuel costs are more than alcohol/perfume profits, then leave the duty free trolley on the ground. If fuel costs are less than duty free profits, then put the alcohol/perfume on the plane. Yes an airline might worry about consistency of product (route X has duty free sales while route Y does not and passengers then complain about confusion) but extra-fuel-costs v duty-free-profit presumably is the key metric to consider
 
oslmgm
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:24 pm

Someone83 wrote:
DUSZRH wrote:
On Schengen flights (except for CH) it’s not duty free anyway...


This has nothing to do with Schengen, but EU or not-EU. Thus you can sell tax free to/from Norway as Norway is not in the EU, but are part of Schengen


True. On the other hand, most people flying into Norway will do their shopping after they've landed, since there's a huge tax free shop right before customs, at least at OSL. I think that limits the on board tax free sales. Why struggle with liquor, wine and cigarettes on the plane, when you can do it at the airport while waiting for your luggage... And the selection at the airport is also much better.
 
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OA260
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:33 pm

oslmgm wrote:
On the other hand, most people flying into Norway will do their shopping after they've landed, since there's a huge tax free shop right before customs, at least at OSL. I think that limits the on board tax free sales. Why struggle with liquor, wine and cigarettes on the plane, when you can do it at the airport while waiting for your luggage... And the selection at the airport is also much better.


The very first time I took SK from LPA-OSL I was amazed at how many did this. Id say 70% of the flight were doing their duty free shopping on arrival back into OSL. Never seen arrivals duty free anywhere in the world as busy as OSL.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:41 pm

sassiciai wrote:
Even the smallish supermarkets at the 3 main railway stations in Brussels can fill your needs for cheeses, choci, sausages, or whatever...


One shouldn't expect duty-free shopping (be it on-board or at the airport) to show big discounts on low-duty items. In the U.S. and the EU there aren't too many categories of high duty consumer items any more - it's not the 1960s. Duties on goods between the U.S. and EU average less than 3%.
 
seansasLCY
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:51 pm

Because Norwegian taxes are so high on alcohol and cigarettes, the duty free stores do well. I heard that in the 80s Dan Air’s flights to Norway use to make more money on duty free sales than on the ticket sales. (Not sure if it’s true but any one who’s watched Norwegians in a duty free store will believe it).
 
YIMBY
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:14 pm

I cannot understand why is it legal to import duty-free alcohol and cigarettes when traveling. Carrying alcoholic bottles in planes is not only waste of energy and pollution of air but also a safety and security risk. Cigarettes are not that much risk but also unnecessary.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:34 pm

YIMBY wrote:
I cannot understand why is it legal to import duty-free alcohol and cigarettes when traveling. Carrying alcoholic bottles in planes is not only waste of energy and pollution of air but also a safety and security risk. Cigarettes are not that much risk but also unnecessary.

With that logic, why it is necessary to travel with cloth, toiletry, or medication? All can be purchased onsite once you've arrived. :roll:
 
Bricktop
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:48 pm

Personal experience warning!!! May not apply to you!!!!

There was a time in my life where "duty free" meant something, particularly regarding tobacco. I don't smoke, but my parents did, so whenever I flew (TATL) I would get them cigarettes. But they could have got them much cheaper than duty free if they had gone down to North Carolina and bought them, because they were paying all kinds of NY and NYC taxes. But I did it because it was a nice pseudo-gift for them. Never once did I buy on board, usually it was at the duty-free at AMS or FRA which were my destinations of work.

Nowadays the only things I buy "duty free" are the special runs of Scotch that are only available in the duty free stores, and are not available at retail in the US. But they are in the airport stores, not on board. So based on my buying habits (again, personal experience warning) SAS is very smart in ditching this "feature".
 
questions
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:54 pm

What are the current destination markets where purchasing duty free makes since? And on which categories?
 
Bostrom
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:03 pm

FatCat wrote:
spantax wrote:
From Flightglobal:

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ht-458684/

Good news me thinks. I hope my bedside airlines do the same ASAP. Anyway in my (limited, intraeuropean) experience, on-board duty-free is almost irrelevant. In most of the flights I take, they don't sell a single item, I think.

By the way, how much weight are we talking about in a typical, let's say, A320 or 737? How much fuel could be saved this way?

apart of FR.
they always sell something from the on board "duty free".
and prices are quite good, too. I used to buy cigs on FR flights - inbound and outbound the Canary Islands - prices were lower also compared to CI prices, about 50% cheaper than here. now they don't sell cigs anymore, too bad


That is not because of FR, it's because the Canary Islands are not part of the EU VAT area.
 
alggag
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:10 pm

seansasLCY wrote:
Because Norwegian taxes are so high on alcohol and cigarettes, the duty free stores do well. I heard that in the 80s Dan Air’s flights to Norway use to make more money on duty free sales than on the ticket sales. (Not sure if it’s true but any one who’s watched Norwegians in a duty free store will believe it).


I was in Oslo about a month ago and also noticed that just about everybody from my flight went into the duty free shop to pick up a bottle of wine or liquor. I typically walk right by the shops without a thought but if I had known how expensive/inconvenient it is to something as simple as a bottle of wine at that time I would have gotten one also.
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:32 pm

questions wrote:
What are the current destination markets where purchasing duty free makes since? And on which categories?


I always buy 2 bottles of spirits when flying into Australia because local taxes on spirits are so high that it is much cheaper. I don't bother buying duty free when going to the US though. In some states the local prices are quite considerably lower than duty free prices.
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YIMBY
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:33 am

WayexTDI wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
I cannot understand why is it legal to import duty-free alcohol and cigarettes when traveling. Carrying alcoholic bottles in planes is not only waste of energy and pollution of air but also a safety and security risk. Cigarettes are not that much risk but also unnecessary.

With that logic, why it is necessary to travel with cloth, toiletry, or medication? All can be purchased onsite once you've arrived. :roll:


How is that even remotely related?
 
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chunhimlai
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:01 am

davidjohnson6 wrote:
If a passenger buys items at the airport, the money goes to the duty free shop operator and the airport - the airline will see no money from that transaction

If a passenger buys on a plane, the airline sees some money.



Many airport have revenue-sharing scheme on with the dominant airline, like STN with FR and CLT with AA
 
upperdeckfan
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:11 am

sassiciai wrote:
On-board prices for all this stuff that almost no traveler wants are generally not competitive with high street prices

Airport shops might be cheaper than on-board, but are still above the high street/supermarket price

Departing Brussels airport (my home airport), I am obliged to pass through most of the shops, especially if I am going non-Schengen. The prices there are almost criminal, compared with the local Belgian supermarket prices. Even the smallish supermarkets at the 3 main railway stations in Brussels can fill your needs for cheeses, choci, sausages, or whatever and even wine/beer/spirits at a large discount to the airport shops. Moreover, on the train, you have the opportunity to stuff the liquids into your checked bags!

These airport shops irritate me somewhat, and more and more often, I have no choice but to walk through them to get to the departures area. It is, I think, a relic of a bygone era, when such shops were genuinely "duty free".

I for one would vote to get rid of them all, and turn the departure terminal into, er, a departure terminal and not a glitzy and overpriced mall for stuff most people don't need at that moment! If Brussels has its problems in this area for me, I can only be happy that LHR is not my local airport! There, the entire shopping thing looks to be totally out of control!


Well, more and more high-end brands are becoming the norm on large hubs especially in Asia and Europe, since millions and millions of people transit these hubs there are always wealthy pax with limited time to shop that will have time to burn and willingness to spend money on these high-end items regardless of pricing. For some reasons you don't see hig-end brands on most of US big hubs.
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:38 am

Bricktop wrote:
Personal experience warning!!! May not apply to you!!!!

There was a time in my life where "duty free" meant something, particularly regarding tobacco. I don't smoke, but my parents did, so whenever I flew (TATL) I would get them cigarettes. But they could have got them much cheaper than duty free if they had gone down to North Carolina and bought them, because they were paying all kinds of NY and NYC taxes. But I did it because it was a nice pseudo-gift for them. Never once did I buy on board, usually it was at the duty-free at AMS or FRA which were my destinations of work.

Nowadays the only things I buy "duty free" are the special runs of Scotch that are only available in the duty free stores, and are not available at retail in the US. But they are in the airport stores, not on board. So based on my buying habits (again, personal experience warning) SAS is very smart in ditching this "feature".


You're right & there was quite a long time that duty free, WAS inexpensive vs local purchases, especially flying into countries with high alcohol & tobacco taxation, someone mentioned the Canaries. For many, these are a needed list of items for a good time while on holiday.

A long time ago & I mean at least 2 decades, my AA sales representative informed me that every on-board item had to earn it's keep, the American Way magazine, liquors they stocked, sodas that they take on-board are given in set rations, so if there are more than two Fresca drinkers on-board any flight I am on, it becomes he who drinks the quickest, drinks the most.

So admittedly, I assumed that level of bookkeeping was how all airlines determined their on-board items like meals or BOB.

Items that are necessities, like TP, water, first aid kits, all on-board & installed safety features would need to justify their weight by the profits off their on-board sales quotas. I am surprised how many carriers still schlep tons of stuff all over the globe, just in hopes someone buys an item or two, seems rather unprofitable & unless a route can support the duty free sales then they can offer it ad hoc on certain routes.
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senatorflyer
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:04 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
sassiciai wrote:
Even the smallish supermarkets at the 3 main railway stations in Brussels can fill your needs for cheeses, choci, sausages, or whatever...


One shouldn't expect duty-free shopping (be it on-board or at the airport) to show big discounts on low-duty items. In the U.S. and the EU there aren't too many categories of high duty consumer items any more - it's not the 1960s. Duties on goods between the U.S. and EU average less than 3%.


VAT is the answer here not just the duties. Regardless, prices in so called duty free shops can be sometimes higher than in the local supermarket/shop.
 
Someone83
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:14 pm

alggag wrote:

I was in Oslo about a month ago and also noticed that just about everybody from my flight went into the duty free shop to pick up a bottle of wine or liquor. I typically walk right by the shops without a thought but if I had known how expensive/inconvenient it is to something as simple as a bottle of wine at that time I would have gotten one also.


The duty free shop at arrival at OSL is by far the largest selling point for alcohol in Norway, and the single most important revenue generator for the airport
 
WayexTDI
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:58 pm

YIMBY wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
I cannot understand why is it legal to import duty-free alcohol and cigarettes when traveling. Carrying alcoholic bottles in planes is not only waste of energy and pollution of air but also a safety and security risk. Cigarettes are not that much risk but also unnecessary.

With that logic, why it is necessary to travel with cloth, toiletry, or medication? All can be purchased onsite once you've arrived. :roll:


How is that even remotely related?

Yes. People carry alcohol and tobacco on board (regardless where they bought it) because it was cheaper to buy it where they came from than where they're going to (or at least they believe it is). You do not buy at destination if you already have it on hand or can buy it cheaper during the trip.
 
FCOTSTW
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:47 pm

I think that Duty Free sales made sense when retail commerce was conducted in stores, before the internet era, with pricing aligning to each other. Back then, taking the sales tax out (especially in Europe, where VAT rates are around 20% or higher) made very sense. Today, online buying makes all of this obsolete as consumers can sometimes shop for any price they want.

I believe it is a good call.
 
aarbee
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Re: SAS scraps on board duty free to save weight

Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:23 pm

Bricktop wrote:

Nowadays the only things I buy "duty free" are the special runs of Scotch that are only available in the duty free stores, and are not available at retail in the US. But they are in the airport stores, not on board. So based on my buying habits (again, personal experience warning) SAS is very smart in ditching this "feature".

Yes the marketing arm of distillers are earning their paychecks , creating "duty free exclusive". JW started with Double Black and then JW Explorers edition and then a lot of them have jumped into it.

:)

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