Duty free prices at Heathrow T5

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Bucksnet 16 May 2013
at 19:24

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

  • Anonymous


    I wonder if anyone else has noticed how the DF prices at Heathrow have increased recently.

    I have a standard purchase every time I am flying outside the EU and until say 18 months ago it was £28 in the DF shops in T5 and £26 on BA flights. Not much in it and perhaps the greater range in the shops, plus the greater reliability that they would have it in stock, is worth the extra 7% or £2.

    Since then Heathrow DF has raised the price 3 if not 4 times. The current comparison is £28 on a BA flight and £39.40 in T5 shops, a price differential of over 40%. When I observed this to the shop assistant I merely got the predictably inane answer that it was still cheaper than the High Street.

    But the High Street is not Heathrow’s competition here – BA is, or the airports at the other end. For the record, the same item is now cheaper in high price Zurich Airport than it is at Heathrow – and costs a mere £10 in Hong Kong.

    OK so the comparison with HK may not be fair. But has Heathrow never learned that one can be too greedy? They have certainly lost my custom for good.


    Interesting. Maybe it is an idea for Business Traveller to investigate Duty Free again in the magazine, and provide comparisons of items at various global locations.


    Good idea, sparkyflyer.

    Here is a £5 voucher for those who enjoy a tipple:



    Duty free products are of course free of duty, but because duty is so high in the UK which makes the pre-duty price so low, the duty free shops can charge a much higher price and still be cheaper than the high street. The profit margin must be really good, especially at T5 which now seems to be a total rip off.

    What was the item you were buying Cedric?


    Although the prices at UK airports maybe duty free the mark up is substantial when you compare to other airports around the world.

    For example 200 Marlboro Lights at LHR is about £24 whereas in DXB they are approx $16 and in CAI approx $15 and this is just one example I can think of and I think the obvious reason for this is the high levels of rent charged by the operators for retail space.

    I for one never buy anything at LHR Duty Free as its nearly always cheaper at my destination


    Another major issue is that at LHR, only very few whiskeys (for example) are priced lower for non EU destinations.

    The Pax travelling to the USA is entitled not pay the VAT and excise duties on these exports but is in fact charged the same price as a domestic pax on a flight to Manchester.

    I’d like to know where this unclaimed vat and duty actually ends up?

    In Dublin airport all liqueur is priced differently depending on either in Europe or outside EU destinations.


    It doesn’t end up anywhere as no VAT or duty is charged. The retailer is simply charging more, but the price is lower than the high street because they do not have to add taxes, which in the UK are substantial.

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