A number of airlines and airports pitch an online home delivery offer. The airlines seem to be particularly focused on this.
However, contrary to much of the advertising, home delivery is not Duty Free. It’s Travel Retail – either Tax Discounted or standard Duty and Tax Paid like the Singapore Airlines KrisShop offer above.
Technically speaking, you have to be a current, recent, or future passenger to be eligible to buy Travel Retail Tax Discounted merchandise. But there seems to be a fair bit of flexibility about that, particularly with the airlines. In general, though, there will be limitations on what products you can buy, your itinerary, and where the goods can be shipped.
Airline Home Delivery
Singapore Airlines told me you don’t have to be a passenger to take advantage of the KrisShop offer. Unless, that is, if you want to buy some travel exclusive cosmetics. For these you need to have been a passenger during the last 30 days. Delivery will be free in Singapore if you spend more than SGD 100. They’ll also ship overseas, but the shipping and local taxes will kill you. In addition, the fine print says that you’ll be charged the 6.5% Singapore Goods & Services Tax (GST) on deliveries in Singapore.
The British Airways High Life Shop offers a reduced product range for home delivery in the UK, which is free over GBP 60. You don’t have to be a passenger to buy from this range.
Other airlines which offer home delivery are:
- Cathay Pacific
- EVA Air
- Hong Kong Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Saudi Arabian Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
Just to confuse things further, several airlines offer a home delivery service separate to their in-flight Duty Free offer. This is essentially general Domestic merchandise mail order. It includes concepts like Lufthansa’s World Shop, Swiss’ Swiss Shop, and Air France’s Air France Shopping. There may be more, but I haven’t bothered to look. That’s because they’re neither Duty Free nor Travel Retail nor do they require you to be a passenger. Their main benefit for you (and particularly the airline) is that you can pay with your frequent flyer miles.
Airport Home Delivery
Heinemann Duty Free, the main German airport retailer, offers delivery within Germany if you’re a passenger on any flight within the EU. They also offer free shipping of orders over €75.
Singapore Airport has created a website – ishopchangiwines.com – which offers wines online at Duty and Tax Discounted prices to all Singapore residents, whether or not you’re a passenger. You can either pick up the goods at the airport or have them delivered to your home in Singapore. If you spend over SGD 150, you get free home delivery in Singapore.
The following major airports also offer an online home delivery service:
In addition, at London Gatwick Airport a number of Tax Free specialist stores offer a slightly different home delivery option. You place your order online from the store’s website, but you do that in-store at the airport. You get the Tax Discounted price and free delivery to your home or a nearby store in the UK. To see what it’s all about, check out my post Tax Free Shopping at Gatwick is a Great Deal.
London Heathrow also has home delivery service, but only for purchases made in-store at the airport. They told me that it applies to all their stores, but it doesn’t. The stores that offer Tax Free prices only to non-EU travellers won’t do home delivery in the UK. You should check directly with the store you’re interested in to make sure that they offer this service.
Whether any of these are a good deal for you depends on your frame of reference, as I’ve said before. However, they’re all viewable online except for some Heathrow stores. So you can easily check the products and prices in advance to decide for yourself.