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Witnessed another annoyed customer, so it was timely to see yet another explanation in the Sunday Times over the reason, which contradicts some of the answers folks have posted here.
“When tax and duty-free pricing for EU passengers was abolished in the UK, Heathrow decided to run a one price for all passengers regardless of destination. At the point of paying, passengers are asked for their boarding card (no matter how small the price of the purchase) so that retailers can record the destination, allowing them to reconcile those items sold on which they need to pay back the VAT later….”
Seems at odds they don’t need the information, as they clearly do. Albeit not saving passenger’s personal details.
Lack of transparency over the real reason and dealing with cheesed-off passengers at the point of sale, is just a saga that drags on.
Breathe folks, breathe…