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. In addition, there are 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 Can You Find Online?
Although these products represent a significant chunk of the Duty and Tax Free business, you don’t see much of them online, particularly at the high end, so it’s pretty difficult to check prices in advance.
London Heathrow has by far the best and widest Tax Free online presentation. It includes the retail offers of 25 boutiques, including some very high end stores. Moreover, there’s a telephone “reserve and collect” pre-order option at another 18 stores, which let’s you check availability and prices.
Other than that, the possibilities are pretty sparse. This is what you’ll find online:
- Frankfurt Airport’s Online Shopping Site presents a limited offer of electronics, watches, jewellery, luggage, and toys. Most of these products are Tax Paid.
- Copenhagen Airport shows a small range of cheap electronics, plus some watches, jewellery, and sunglasses under the Accessories section.
- Schiphol Airport has a special offer page on its website as well as an e-mag promotional offer brochure. These covera wide range of items including a selection of moderately priced electronics, watches, jewellery, fashion, and luggage.
- 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. Seven 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.
- London Stansted has a small range of electrical goods, cameras, and sunglasses.
There are also a few Duty Free retailers who present some specialist merchandise online in addition to the standard Duty Free offer:
- Abu Dhabi Duty Free
- DFS – US, Asia, Middle East
- Duty Free Americas (US)
- Dubai Duty Free
- Everrich (Taipei) – Chinese only
- Fa-So-La and JAL DF (Tokyo Narita)
- 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 electronics and cameras.
- Dixon’s 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.