The Tax Free Offer
Specialist & Designer/Luxury Products
The Tax Free offer in air travel is a pretty eclectic proposition. It includes specialist categories like electronics, cameras, leather goods, fashion jewellery and watches, clothing, sunglasses, accessories, etc. Most airports carry a range of these items.
In addition, at the major airports you’ll find designer and luxury items like expensive jewellery and watches, handbags, designer clothing, accessories etc.
Contrary to the name, though, these products are not always sold free of tax. I’ll explain this in the next section.
What Tax Free Products Can You Find Online?
These products represent a significant chunk of the Duty and Tax Free business. Despite that, you don’t see them much online, particularly at the high end. So checking prices in advance is difficult and has become even more so as online product presentations have been reduced due to the Corona virus impact. Your best bet is to have a price comparison app on your phone to check prices when you’re in-store.
London Heathrow has by far the best and widest Tax Free online presentation.
It includes the retail offers of 27 boutiques, including some very high end stores. Moreover, there’s a telephone “reserve and collect” pre-order option which lets you check availability and prices in advance.
Other than that, the possibilities are pretty sparse. In my opinion, only the following airports have a meaningful online Tax Free presence today:
- Rome Airport publishes an Airport Luxury Shopping Guide showing a selection of designer leather goods, clothing, jewellery, and watches.
- London Gatwick has a large range of mainly mid-level specialist shops, some of which offer a “reserve and collect” possibility similar to Heathrow’s. Several stores offer an interesting new Tax Free order in-store, pick up on return option which also includes home delivery. Have a look at the post about it.
There are also a few Duty Free retailers who present some specialist merchandise online in addition to the standard Duty Free offer:
- DFS – US, Asia, Middle East
- Duty Free Americas (US)
- Dubai Duty Free
- HK Airport Online Shop, (Hong Kong)
- iShopChangi, (Singapore),
- King Power (Bangkok)
- Lotte Duty Free and Shilla Duty Free (Seoul)
- World Duty Free (UK)
Plus there’s Dixon’s Travel which sells a wide range of electronics and cameras.
- Dixons Travel (UK)
That’s about it for airports. So your research possibilities are pretty limited. If you find any other online airport offers, let me know.
Regarding airlines, those with an online retail presence generally show their entire assortment (see the Find Duty Free Online section.) So you can research in advance or while you’re on board.
For more on this subject, have a look at the next section, the Free-Standing Boutiques.