25th Nov 2011, 10:20
Seems to be more of the norm nowadays. Unfortunately.
I'm like you HT. All for there being shops to browse through if desired, but not to be forced into after clearing security.
25th Nov 2011, 13:56
To the attention of Birmingham Airport management:
It's one thing (which I already object to greatly) being forced to walk through the "Duty Free" shop from the security area to the main dark and uninviting cattle pen you describe as a departure lounge, but another when in doing so I am confronted no less than three times by different sales staff asking if I want to try this that and the other! I remained polite but have to admit that on the third occasion I was close to telling the person to piddle off. I have no problems with having shops in departure lounges as long as access is left at the discretion of the passenger. When I'm travelling I'm not on a shopping expedition and wish to be left alone!
25th Nov 2011, 16:01
Avoid Manchester (especially T1) and East Midlands then.
27th Nov 2011, 09:05
Didn't you know - airports are no longer provided for gaining access to flights, they are now shopping malls from which you can also fly if you can find the exit from the shopping mall part.
Personally I think airports should concentrate on being just that - yes passengers might like a drink or food prior to departure, or might like to buy a souvenire for whoever they are off to see, but that should be it.
If I want to go shopping then I will do it elsewhere, at normal (cheaper) prices and not in the airport.
Duty Free is just a name - whatever you buy from there is certainly available cheaper outside the airport even with duty added.
That will never happen though - passengers having a pleasant experience is secondary to making money via selling concessions to shops and retail outlets to operate on airport premises.
29th Nov 2011, 10:49
To be honest, I think there are only a few airports UK which don't force you though their shopping mall before before boarding. MME is one (only because the shops are boarded up, like the town centre) but they'll probably be the first with charity shops and a "Poundland".
29th Nov 2011, 11:40
Perhaps airlines should add 'avoid the retail assault course' to the list of benefits when flying first class - provided it's one of the airlines/airports where they offer private security channels and/or individual escorts from check-in to boarding.
29th Nov 2011, 11:47
I've always wondered if that's the reason why the Concorde Room at LHR T5 has that back door right after security....
29th Nov 2011, 11:58
Strangely I wanted to get into Duty Free but was refused entry.
Spent money in Duty Free on my way to Germany only to find the item was faulty. On my return to LHR there was no way to get back into Duty Free to complain!
29th Nov 2011, 15:54
These shops are not duty free. They are VAT free and they are more expensive than the high street. A rip off.
Supermarkets at the moment are charging £13 for a litre of Gordons, Bells, Smirnoff and recently were selling Bailey's for £9.85. The only reason for buying booze at the duty free is because of the 'no liquid' policy at security.
Perfumes are cheaper at Amazon as indeed are razor blades! The only good deal is VAT free electronics at Dixons.
Mrs ExXB wanted to buy her (British resident) mum a iPad, so I suggested she try Curries or Dixons (or whoever) at Gatwick. Told her the price (including VAT) I saw on the UK apple store and the price on the Swiss Apple Store (with 8% VAT rather than 20% in the UK).
The shop at Gatwick had some in stock and were charging more that the VAT inclusive price of the UK Apple Store. When asked why the difference they said their prices were 'competitive' with high street prices. Not.
We bought it in Switzerland and paid the 8% VAT. Had a small challenge with the plugs, but that was easily fixed.
29th Nov 2011, 18:34
Just an obvious question but one the CAA seems to ignore:
the no liquids through security policy for those boarding is fine at face value but if safety really is the issue then why are passengers allowed to buy litres of flammable spirits and then stow it in overhead lockers? Doesn't it seem too convenient that it requires everyone to buy more from the airport shops, which in turn pay more to the airport...
Any other cynics here?