cokepopper
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Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:44 am

Starting tomorrow Delta will no longer offer/sell Duty Free inflight.

"A replacement duty free vendor is not being explored at this time and all duty free items, catalogs and inflight advertisements will be removed from the aircraft in the coming weeks. Customers and employees interested in purchasing duty free items are reminded that most international airports offer a wide selection of products at duty free retail outlets.”

http://www.runwaygirlnetwork.com/201...to-cease-duty-free-sales-tomorrow/
 
SonomaFlyer
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:47 am

Not selling enough stuffs and cuts down on the weight hauled all over the world. Makes sense.
 
S75752
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:50 am

Did duty free ever sell?
I've never seen nor heard of anyone buying it. Sounds like they can save on a lot of time and weight by stopping it.
 
Birdwatching
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:51 am

Ok this is awesome.
As a very frequent transatlantic DELTA passenger, I'm excited to hear this.

Nothing worse than an overnight eastbound transatlantic and you keep waiting for the lights to go off after the dinner service, and then they keep the cabin awake for another half hour for the duty free sale. Who buys that stuff anyway? Overpriced and useless. (but then again I'm neither a smoker nor a drinker)

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yellowtail
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:01 am

actually some asian carriers sell ALOT of duty free on board…..esp cigarettes.

I have bought a few models for my kids onboard from the duty free
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
S75752
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:07 am

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 4):

Whereabouts, the Asia shorthaul, or the Longhaul?
 
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airportugal310
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:09 am

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 4):
actually some asian carriers sell ALOT of duty free on board…..esp cigarettes.

and Dewer's Scotch, for some reason...
“They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash.”
 
LAXSTEW
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:15 am

I sold 3K on an LAX-NRT last month. Other than that, rarely over a couple hundred in sales per leg. I also agree with the post about the lights being left on for this...so annoying. (I always cut 'em and worked with my phone as a light.)

Won't miss it at all!  
 
TreeHillRavens
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:04 am

Quoting S75752 (Reply 5):
Whereabouts, the Asia shorthaul, or the Longhaul?

Try to fly Asiana Airlines or EVA Air.
 
SCL767
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:12 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 3):
Who buys that stuff anyway? Overpriced and useless. (but then again I'm neither a smoker nor a drinker)

When I flew to ICN last year on AA some of the F/As said that they have never seen so many duty free sales on one single flight!
 
TPA0822
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:21 am

It's a very rational decision. Delta is looking at profitable transactions, and I would surmise this ranks at the bottom. And, to echo what was said above, it's an absolute annoyance when they wheel the carts down the aisle with FA's who are clearly uncomfortable hawking duty free items.
 
PacNWjet
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:33 am

Not to take this thread too far off-topic, but what time period would be considered the "golden age" of in-flight duty-free sales if there ever was such a thing? Is it merely a sign of the times that Delta has decided to eliminate in-flight duty-free sales and, if so, in what era were duty-free sales most common on airlines? Any historians have any insight on this?
 
Transpac787
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:34 am

I wonder why the announcement gave only 24 hours notice?? Seems like a bit of an 11th hour decision.

I'd be interested to know what the fuel cost would be for hauling around the additional weight of all the duty free items, on a Trans Atlantic or TransPac flight. I'd imagine the revenues probably don't come close to even breaking even - much less profitable.

Quoting TPA0822 (Reply 10):
who are clearly uncomfortable hawking duty free items

It's "hocking"  
 
HeeseokKoo
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:48 am

This is so awesome.

You guys should know how much KE and OZ (and a few more?) flight attendants are feeling pressure because they "have to" sell some amount or more per flight. They sometimes had to buy out of their pocket and resale on ebay or to friends/family. I heard incentives for duty free sale are huge and sometimes more than their salary (a bit exaggerated I hope). For short flights such as NRT-ICN, they begin to sell before take off, and even before doors closed. Is it even legal or allowed in safety? I read on one blog that the incentive to FA was like 17% of the sale, but I don't remember which airline it was (it wasn't KE or OZ).

Anyway, I hope more and more airlines follow this.
 
timpdx
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:54 am

Thx LAXSTEW, fly DL transpac a bit and appreciate the lights out as you say you do. thx.

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AirAfreak
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:18 am

Could DL not keep their Duty Free Sales to/within Asia? I have flown 10 segments NRT-BKK-NRT since September and it seems quite busy in both directions (more on the Northbound flight). There is a catering department in Narita so I can imagine it wouldn't be too cost prohibitive, no?

And as much as I can appreciate "lights out" it does not always matter how long a service can take as I have experienced the following:

+ DL Businesselite Seat 9D ICN-DTW: Passenger in 9A kept his window shade 1/4 open on that sunny afternoon without any common courtesy to the remaining passengers which kept all of their window shades closed. After a conversation with a cabin crew member, I later found out he had some claustrophobia issue and needed to keep the window shade partially open.

+ DL Businesselite Seat 79A Upper Deck NRT-LAX: Cabin lights were on the entire eastbound flight upstairs due to a technical issue. THAT wasn't fun for me either as I don't like to sleep with an eye mask.

Back to topic, I also like the convenience of having the option to purchase Duty Free articles as sometimes you might need to purchase that travel adaptor you forgot to carry, or the last-minute gift you suddenly remembered you needed, and maybe the sunscreen (Shiseido) that is very helpful on the flights to the tropics. Oh, and let me tell you how much I love to purchase the Godiva items.... yummmmmmmmmmmy with coffee!!!!!!!!!!  

Bon Voyage,

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blueflyer
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:36 am

Personally I think Air Canada does duty free best. Passengers can order off their web site before the flight and have their purchase delivered in a sealed bag at their seat in-flight. Easy to compare prices, and as an incentive to order on the ground, business class passengers get a discount and large orders earn more frequent flier miles than buying on board.
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willd
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:58 am

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 16):
Personally I think Air Canada does duty free best. Passengers can order off their web site before the flight and have their purchase delivered in a sealed bag at their seat in-flight. Easy to compare prices, and as an incentive to order on the ground, business class passengers get a discount and large orders earn more frequent flier miles than buying on board.

VS and I think BA also do this as well.
 
TheCommodore
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:01 am

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 1):
Not selling enough stuffs and cuts down on the weight hauled all over the world. Makes sense.

Agree, I was on TAP last week. They have an entire magazine devoted to inflight duty free, many many different products and choices. Half way through the FA's made an announcement that duty free was now available for purchase.
From my view down the cabin approximately 3 people bought stuff, that's all.
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seat38a
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:34 am

I think the days of duty free ended when most carriers stopped selling cigarette aboard. Also, in the USA, cigarette and liquors are much cheaper retail than duty free so most passengers are probably stocking up at Walmart or Costco. Duty Free only works in countries that have high tax on imports, cigarette, and liquors.
 
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Vasu
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:41 am

I personally wouldn't be too sad about this... The amount of times I've looked at things in the supposedly duty free sales brochure and thought "No, that's cheaper in Boots/ASDA/Currys etc..."
 
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TK787
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:45 am

Quoting S75752 (Reply 2):
Did duty free ever sell?

I always bought something on board just to pass time, especially on the JFK-IST flights on DL. It was nice to shop while sitting instead of fighting the crowds at the airport Duty Free shops with luggage at hand. Even though the selection was limited I actually liked the experience.
Once I have seen a couple buying a pair of earrings for the FA, I guess they really liked the service.
TK also stopped duty free few years back.
 
simairlinenet
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:51 am

As someone who studied the fuel cost implications of duty-free for Northwest, I will confirm what people have alluded to in their anecdotes--duty-free is almost never used across the Atlantic but is very popular across the Pacific. It's all cultural. At Northwest we kept duty-free due everywhere to product consistency--that may be the Delta rationale here for removing everywhere.
 
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LOWS
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:07 am

I sometimes buy cigarettes for people, as they are considerably cheaper compared to prices in Germany or Austria. I have also bought last minute gifts for my sister's children in the US. You'd be surprised how well a Lufthansa stuffed bear goes over with a 5 year old child. More than worth the 20€, that's for sure.
 
bennett123
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:10 am

Yellowtail.

I sometimes buy models, and I don't have kids.  

Seriously reduction of Alcohol sales is doubtless a good thing.
 
SCQ83
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:17 am

I flew Alitalia to Japan a while ago, and I noticed they had some leaflets (in Japanese only) with Italian stuff (mostly food) that you could order on-board and get delivered at your home in Japan (I can't speak Japanese but that is what I understood by looking at the cartoons). They had different packages. I imagine Alitalia gets just a commission out of this.

I don't know if this is common, but I thought it was an interesting way to boost revenue and tailor to the specific flight without packing/stocking anything in the plane (I guess in that case the "duty-free" thing obviously vanishes). It seemed to me more appealing (i.e. you are a Japanese tourist and after 10 days in Japan you "continue" your trip by purchasing some Italian food to get delivered at your home) that buying a Calvin Klein fragrance that you can get in any outlet / airport duty free / Amazon at any time anywhere.
 
nethkt
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:27 am

This onboard Duty-free sale is useless unless your majority of pax onboard is Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese and Chinese.
One clean example is that KE even installs the popup shop on all their 380s!
Try carrier like JAL, ANA, Korean, Asiana, EVA, China Airlines on your longhaul flights.
Or try to fly route in-out of Korea, Japan, Taiwan etc.
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
panamair
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:57 am

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 12):
I wonder why the announcement gave only 24 hours notice?? Seems like a bit of an 11th hour decision

From the IFS circular, "IFS had hoped to provide greater advance notice of this change. However due to legal considerations, that was not feasible. For the same reasons, Delta is limited in the detail it's able to share."

Quoting TPA0822 (Reply 10):
It's a very rational decision. Delta is looking at profitable transactions, and I would surmise this ranks at the bottom

Based on the liniked article, it appears that the reason for the discontinuation is a disagreement between DL and the Duty-free provider on terms of the agreement:

".........In an internal message to flight attendants, obtained by RGN, Delta’s inflight service unit said, “The decision to end the program came after Delta and its duty free vendor, DFASS, were unable to agree on terms to resolve disagreements over how the program would be administered.."

The only flights I could see having some impact would be the intra-Asia and transpacific flights where duty free sales can be quite large. The only other major international carrier I have come across in my travels which doesn't sell duty free on board is Air New Zealand....
 
philvardon
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:06 am

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 12):
It's "hocking"

Actually, etymologically speaking, it was 'hawking' originally. In many parts of the world street vendors are described as hawkers. 'Hocking' is a derivation due to mishearing/slang pronunciation of the original word.
 
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scbriml
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:15 am

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 24):
Seriously reduction of Alcohol sales is doubtless a good thing.

In what way do you mean?
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brilondon
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:28 am

I have never understood the allure of buying duty free on an airplane and I won't miss it for a moment. I would like to know who thought of it and why they thought it was a good idea.
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
uberflieger
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:01 pm

Quoting panamair (Reply 27):
it appears that the reason for the discontinuation is a disagreement between DL and the Duty-free provider on terms of the agreement


  
DFASS handles the program. Airlines occur very little cost and get a nice cut. Delta obviously had a falling out with the vendor and couldn't line up a new provider fast enough. It's coming back, no doubt.
 
homer787
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:07 pm

I've never understood the point of duty free. Pay a 25% premium in order to save 7-10% on tax. The only things that might be cheaper is the Tobacco and Alcohol, but declaring them to US Customs is a hassle. Hopefully, other airlines will follow DL's lead.
 
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LatAmFlyer
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:38 pm

Quoting S75752 (Reply 2):
Did duty free ever sell?
I've never seen nor heard of anyone buying it.

I bought a watch once whilst on-board. It was a model that I'd never seen before and I was pretty stoked to see it not only advertised in the magazine but also available on that flight.
 
airbazar
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:18 pm

Quoting SonomaFlyer (Reply 1):
Not selling enough stuffs and cuts down on the weight hauled all over the world. Makes sense.

Duty Free on flights originating to/from the U.S. is completely pointless. Likewise for Duty Free stores at U.S. airports. The U.S. has such low taxes that, with very few exceptions, you can find the same products at any retail store for less than what it costs you at a Duty Free location. The opposite is true in Europe which is why European hubs have become Duty Free shopping centers.
 
johns624
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:19 pm

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 12):
It's "hocking"

Wrong

Quoting philvardon (Reply 28):
Actually, etymologically speaking, it was 'hawking' originally. In many parts of the world street vendors are described as hawkers. 'Hocking' is a derivation due to mishearing/slang pronunciation of the original word.

Correct
 
klm672
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:20 pm

My parents (both smokers) would always buy cigarettes on board. When I was little, they bought my a KLM model that would light up and make sounds as if it was taking off and landing. It kept on going off in the overhead bin and everyone got nervous that it was the actual aircraft's engines. We removed the batteries and made it to YMX unharmed!
 
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AA777223
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:30 pm

I have only used it once, and it was because I was restocking the liquor cabinet of an American friend, who was working in Dubai for a few months. They only had one of the items he originally requested in his "order" through the inflight duty free, but I went ahead and bought it on board and picked up the rest after I landed, in the airport. The price was about the same, and I earned a few extra MileagePlus miles because Chase considered the purchase from United.

Not much, but I would have been fine if it hadn't been available on board. Most of that gedgety stuff is available at Brookstone.
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usa330300
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:45 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 3):
(but then again I'm neither a smoker nor a drinker)

Never trust anyone that doesn't have a drink.
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:51 pm

I think more airlines need to look at this, with the increase use of the internet, order on line before the flight enables the airline to meet the exact demand and reduce weight and fuel burn, everyone wins.
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EMB170
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:20 pm

I have bought duty free only once, flying BOG-JFK on AV. Bought a bottle of Issey Miyake cologne that I later found out could have bought for the exact same price (maybe 4-5 $ less) at Saks.

It was nice that they had it, and I was out of my cologne, but it just went to show that duty free isn't really worth it if you live in the US anymore.
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:37 pm

Does anyone remember when TWA in the late 80's or early 90's had a similar in-flight sales cart domestically during the Icahn days? It was similar to duty-free and had a bunch of overpriced useless junk being sold as a way to put more $$$ into Icahn's pockets? It was fairly short-lived and was derisively dubbed "Crap From A Cart" or "Carl-Mart" by the TWA employees.
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ikramerica
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:42 pm

For US-based carriers I can't see that it's very profitable. Flying to and from the United States and flying to and from Europe, you're more likely to find a deal on those same goods when you land. but for Asia based carriers with high tariffs and import duties it's more likely you'll find a deal that's on a knock off and the duty free prices are a good deal and a way to ensure you are buying the real McCoy.

"I like to shop at the duty free shop! I like to shop at the duty free shop!"

Quoting johns624 (Reply 35):

Hawking is when someone sells something on the street etc.
Hocking is when you sell something you already own to a dealer/broker.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
masseybrown
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:51 pm

Quoting S75752 (Reply 2):
Did duty free ever sell?

Before the Kennedy Round of GATT negotiations, "duty-free" represented a substantial savings for US citizens. Since then the savings have shrunk to insignificance domestically and are now important only vis-a-vis prices in foreign countries.
 
traindoc
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:14 pm

The duty free selection on the major, non US, carriers (BA, AF, KL, LH, SQ, etc. is so much better than on AA, DL, or UA. Especially the quality of the products. I rarely buy duty free products on UA, but I just bought a Luminox watch on LH just last month. Try finding one on AA, DL, or UA. So I would not be surprised if AA and UA also get out of duty free. Again, their problem is quality of merchandise in my opinion. That may sell in America, but it won't in Europe or in many parts of Asia.
 
MIflyer12
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:16 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 34):
Duty Free on flights originating to/from the U.S. is completely pointless. Likewise for Duty Free stores at U.S. airports. The U.S. has such low taxes that, with very few exceptions, you can find the same products at any retail store for less than what it costs you at a Duty Free location.
Quoting uberflieger (Reply 31):
DFASS handles the program. Airlines occur very little cost and get a nice cut. Delta obviously had a falling out with the vendor and couldn't line up a new provider fast enough. It's coming back, no doubt.

airbazar explains why there may be real doubt if it's coming back.

An aircraft is very expensive retailing real estate. Space-constrained; carrying weight costs money. The universe of items that meet the criteria of:

- high taxes or duties at the home aiport

- small, lightweight, and relatively high value

- being selectable in moments from a quick look at the catalog or in seconds as the cart passes

is really pretty small. How many airline duty-free watches does anyone want to buy?

It's not just the cut between DFASS and Delta that's is a problem: it is the entirety of competitive retailing available to DL passengers, U.S. residents accustomed to aggressive discounting, and foreign visitors expecting a full-on American retailing experience in NYC, CHI, etc.
 
jreuschl
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:38 pm

How are airlines able to tell if a credit card was authorized for the purchase? Without live connectivity, you wouldn't know.
 
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CrimsonNL
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:54 pm

I really see on board Duty Free as something from the past. When it actually used to be cheaper and not at normal retail prices. The only flight I've been on in the past 10 years where I've seen any significant duty free sales was on VIE-MSQ. I don't know why but the Belarussians on board bought out nearly the entire trolley and the crew ran out of time to sell due to the short flight. I won't be surprised if more airlines will follow DL's approach.

My big question is, will they keep the SkyMall catalogs on board? There's nothing like shopping for a couch with a built-in beer fridge or an automatic breakfast cereal dispenser while cruising at 37.000ft!!

Martijn
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Andy33
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:00 pm

Cards not being accepted are low risk, really. First of all, they know exactly who you are and have a large chunk of your personal data, because it is an international flight. Second, if you have subsequent flights on your itinerary they'll most likely have discovered the transaction is not accepted by the issuer before you take or complete them, and so can demand you pay the outstanding money at the airport. Thirdly most people are, surprisingly, honest. Finally, the stuff they sell is marked up so far above cost they can afford to take the occasional hit on declined cards.

[Edited 2014-08-08 09:06:57]
 
qqflyboy
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RE: Delta To Discontinue Inflight Sales Of Duty Free

Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:11 pm

According to Mary Kirby at RunwayGirlNetwork.com, who posted a copy of an internal DL memo on her site, the move is being made as DL and DFASS, their duty free provider, are having a dispute, which is why the move is sudden and immediate. DL went on to say in the memo they are not looking for a replacement vendor, indicating it wasn't worth it in the first place. I wonder what this means for UA and AA? Will they follow suit? Time will tell.

http://www.runwaygirlnetwork.com/201...elta-ceases-duty-free-sales-today/
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Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos