Onboard Duty Free (BA) + connecting flight in USA

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This topic contains 25 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Papillion53 17 Feb 2014
at 17:20

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)

  • Anonymous


    On the LHR – MIA sector I asked the cabin crew on the duty free round, whether I could buy a bottle and take it through on a connecting flight.

    Answer was a positive YES. I was told it is allowed because BA seal the bag and the receipt is visible..

    TSA said otherwise and confiscated the bottle. A “soooowwwp” said BA were wrong to advise me otherwise. The bottle was binned…

    Emailed BA for a refund…. due to incorrect information being given to me at point of purchase on board….


    Martyn – I think this procedure is only allowed through UK airport transfers. Perhaps someone could advise if the same can be applied to EU airports. This would be valuable information for travellers.

    Good luck on getting a refund but don’t hold your breath. The Duty Free service is not owned by BA but Tourvest. I guess onboard crew act as ‘Agents’ for this outfit.

    Clearly, transit sales guidelines given to crew by Tourvest are at fault here although, correctly, your first point of contact is the airline as you have done.

    Please let us know how you get on.


    It’s important to note that all EU (UK included) airports will also confiscate and dispose of the anything that exceeds 100ml.

    If you are going to be transiting anywhere you should wait until your last transit point for buying liquids (alcohol, perfumes, etc).



    Your statement is not correct and so I publish a link to clarify the rules for you and others.

    The third and fourth bullet points refer.



    MartynSinclair – 12/01/2014 02:38 GMT

    Good luck with the refund, it seems the crew forget they were flying LHR-MIA and not MIA-LHR, there you would have been fine, connecting.


    I’ve had no problems transiting through Frankfurt, Budapest or Amsterdam with sealed items and visible receipt also sealed in the bag. Security officers have a couple of times done a double take, but never had anything confiscated. It was my understanding that when transiting through an EU port from another EU port, this is allowed, as long as you remain air-side. I have no idea what the rules in the US are.


    Str8Talking – 12/01/2014 18:28 GMT

    US rules are that you have to put it in your checked luggage or it will be confiscated.

    Martyn, were you travelling with hand luggage only? Otherwise I thought it was necessary to go through Customs before your connecting flight.


    I was only travelling with a small briefcase.. After Customs, rather than staying airside, you go landside and are subjected to a TSA search. I had presumed I would get a correct answer when asking cabin crew and with the certainty she gave me her answer, who am I to doubt her….

    It is very rare I buy duty free onboard….


    I’ve read that all connections from overseas have to go landside before getting the domestic flight

    I have only ever been in transit in the US with checked luggage which enables you to ‘hide’ any duty free purchases once landside.

    Martyn, you have ‘travel light’ down to a fine art!


    Hmm, A “mixed fleet” route.

    The policy for bagging the liquid items of duty free only works for flights into london.
    Perhaps the inexperienced flight attendants that fleet have not been told this but there you have it.

    I doubt you will receive a refund but perhaps a few avios points may make up the difference.

    Good luck with it!


    A cynic might say the person making the sale is probably on commission so doesn’t really care whether the advice they give you is right or not (ie buyer beware).

    They also know the duty free is provided by a separate company so if you try to complain you will likely be passed around the houses until you lose the will to live. Particularly as Tourvest appears to be a South African group……

    Interesting that the BA High Life website has nothing about this (the WDF one does) but does usefully give you details of how you can recycle your old electricals!!


    Martyn, the crew were correct, in a sense, but missed out a vital piece of information. You CAN take duty-free through onto connecting flights in the US BUT you have to put it into your checked luggage. Since luggage (even if through-tagged) must be collected at your first point of entry into the US so you can clear customs, and then be rechecked, it is perfectly possible to stash the duty-free into the suitcase before rechecking it and thereby take it on with your connecting flight.

    Now, since you were hand luggage only, you would of course have realised (if you had been told that piece of information) that this wasn’t going to work for you. But BA weren’t technically wrong in what they said, but they did make a very substantive omission which effectively – in your particular circumstances – made it “untrue”

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)
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