Why do I need to show a boarding pass when buying a magazine at the airport?Back to Forum
AnonymousGuest13 Jan 2013
A complete source for irritation, in many airports is the need to produce a boarding pass when buying something akin to a copy of Business Traveller. It is a particular irritant at the self service terminals at WH Smith in Heathrow and Gatwick, where you must scan your card along with your purchase.
Whilst there may be a logical reason for asking for boarding card for duty free products, I can see no reason for this.
Can anyone enlighten me, as removal of this procedure would be a huge bonus to both passengers and outlet customer service staff.13 Jan 2013
Would guess there is no NEED for this, rjbrownmalta. The only earthly reason I can think of is market information. If far more passengers on flight x buy copies of BT than those on flight y, this ultimately gets rolled into airport negotiations with a) airlines and b) suppliers. Maybe not BT but certainly higher value items……13 Jan 2013
Even more irritating was being asked for my passport when trying to buy a bottle of vodka at LGW.
Having queried why, I was informed that it was to stop under age people buying liquor, by providing proof of age. (I am 56.)
I informed them, politely but directly, that I did not need to deal with companies who had idiotic policies like this one.13 Jan 2013
The reason you used to show your boarding card, especially for duty free (although the reason may have changed) was if the flight didn’t go and passengers are returned airside it was easy to make a report to see who has bought duty free items, with a need to either rand them, or keep them airside should the flight depart at a later time.
This was in the days before you could by tax free for any destination!13 Jan 2013
The other day after buying magazines, I was in a silly mood and when asked for my boarding pass, I said I was travelling as a hexadecimal alliteration on behalf of the KTR and therefore didn’t have one. The girl keyed something into the machine, took my money, and I walked off. I hope she didn’t see my face!13 Jan 2013
I’ve given up discussing the issue with cashiers, who are simply following orders. I tend to hold my boarding pass between my teeth, if a cashier wanst to see it I gesture they should take it from my mouth. Sometimes they do, sometimes they say its ok.
I just play the silly little games and move on!13 Jan 2013
I hope the morons who make these decisions read this message board, so they can appreciate just how irritating this is.
They should try and do their market research some other way.13 Jan 2013
Capetonian at 09.55am
Martinsiclaire at 11.22am
Does it make you feel big and superior to the cashiers who are only doing their job, and may well have to explain when they do not follow process.
I can only imagine what they, probably young females and males say to their friends and parents about the pathetic behaviour of old middle aged men. Goodness knows who would want to handle your spittle or smile at sad behaviour.
And we expect good manners and behaviour from the young. Imagine how you would feel if it were your child who had to put up with such bullying behaviour from old middle aged men.
If you feel so aggrieved. Take it to the board of the shop/ company concerned using the same behaviour with them. I am sure you would not offer spittle or demonstrate pathetic behaviour which is supposed to be amusing. Also they would tell you where to go. Irritating maybe, but have the courage to take it to the appropriate person.13 Jan 2013
Be_Nice – you are probably 100% right, it is sad and pathetic behaviour by anyone of any age.
The fact is that travellers are being faced with hoops and hurdles from arriving at the airport to departing the airport. Some are for our safety, which I fully accept and appreciate whilst other barriers are for no other reason than “a process”.
When faced with this day in and day out, you tend to eventually get extremely fed up, especially when there is no valid reason.
On the basis that many people ask the same question and the cashiers have no answer, probably explains the frustrations. The managers probably dont have an answer either – they do it for the sake of it.
Airside pass workers merely show ID cards and as they obviously dont have boarding cards – so whats the difference.
Remember, it works both ways – I am always polite when people are polite back to me!13 Jan 2013
Pleased with your reply and respect your words. It does work both ways at all times, but often when you look around as we travel its the passengers shouting etc…
But I always do worry how my teenagers are treated by older people, whom I have asked them to respect. Yet it does upset me when they recite at times what they have either seen or experienced. But they do also tell me to toughen up as they are not fragile toddlers anymore.13 Jan 2013
I often wonder this when I am in WHSmiths and I buy a magazine or a puzzle book, they are not duty free.
Also when I go through as crew we do not have a boarding pass and we show IDs I think that this is merely for discount reasons as in most airports we get some additional staff discount. Airports that do not give discount do not ask for ID when buying duty frees and mostly if it is an outstation they know the flight number and type it in…
Also in response to people being rude, in my experience on the aircraft, it is usually the middle aged male business men that are the rudest passenger profile that we have, and certainly was on my last 5 flights, the rudest passenger on each sector was the middle aged business man. I find that the younger passengers are extremely well behaved onboard13 Jan 2013