Why do I need to show a boarding pass when buying a magazine at the airport?Back to Forum
My understanding on this as follows:
Most UK airports now have mixed airside areas for Domestic and International passengers. Vendors will have to pay VAT (where due) on goods purchased by passengers travelling to a domestic destination.13 Jan 2013
Leaving from Schiphol last week, I bought my copy of The Times, that sees through a good hour on the flight to LCY.
This time i was asked for my Boarding pass!
When asking why, i was told that Schiphol are about to re-design and re-build part of the airport, and they are now making research of where passengers travel through the terminals, in order to accomodate this into the plans ahead.
It is now policy at Schiphol, brought in Jan 1st 2013.
This is usual for tracking purchasing and correct packing, regulations and article limits for Duty free, but never before for a mere newspaper!13 Jan 2013
Fastphil – thats not correct as anyone travelling on domestic services are able to purchase duty free at the same price as if you were travelling to say France.13 Jan 2013
I think you will find FDoS that sales airside are exempt from VAT as it becomes international in the same way that cross channel ferries are also exempt from VAT13 Jan 2013
Hmm, not all vendors ask for your boarding pass – especially catering outlets, so not sure about the VAT theory. Bit like a game of Call My Bluff this one – I’ll plump for the market research story!
Voting with your feet might be the compromise, especially for magazines and newspapers which are the same price landside and are still allowed through security!
At ABZ when buying liquids over 100ml airside in the World Duty Free shop they also ask if the destination on your boarding pass is your final one, re further security screening in transit remaining airside (which is just a nuisance, surely you’re either sterile or not). UK-LHR-International is ok (for any combination of arrival and departure terminals I think) but LGW even North-North involves landside then obviously security again. International-LHR-domestic airside transit with the second security is a national embarrassment, especially if originating in the EU, which is supposed to be the basis of the sealed liquids > 100ml permission. A bit of digression there sorry.13 Jan 2013
If Fast Phil’s explanation is correct (and it sounds like it might be) then a simple comms piece to store employees and travelers would go a long way, to creating better understanding
That said, with all flights out of LHR T4 being International, there should at least be no need for such to be shown there.13 Jan 2013
I am slightly surprised as many of you are such experienced businessmen, you wouldn’t have considered that it’s a way of tracking passenger purchases in the airport by flight. This gives BAA / airport operating company an understanding of who’s buying what and from which flights, which may help target offers and create specific marketing initiative, as well as to keep stock levels right and the right balance of product mix.
I would also suspect there may be kickbacks from airlines / airports and suppliers on products sold from passengers from specific flights.13 Jan 2013
NTarrant – there is no longer any duty free entitlement for sales for travel within the EU so domestic flights are treated the same as those elsewhere in the EU in so far as pricing is concerned. VAT where applicable is levied on such purchases. Some airports offer two prices for dutiable goods (eg. Cigarettes) for EU and non-EU travel. Apparently lower prices offered at airports for EU travel are offered on the basis that the retailer takes the hit or negotiates a good deal with their supplier.13 Jan 2013
Yes Tom I’m full aware of the duty element in the EU and the dual pricing, however when I inadvertantly forgot to pack my laptop charger on a trip a couple of years ago I had to purchase another in Dixons. When I asked for a VAT receipt I was told that there was no VAT and I was not asked for my boarding pass or where I was travelling to.
It is likely they guy was wrong. It is unlikely that outlets such as Smiths or the food outlets where VAT is applicable would not charge it if they wer not exempt.13 Jan 2013
Maybe the convergence technology will help and we can pay for the newspaper and scan the boarding pass on the phone at the same time!
Not much happening on the Apps for Passbook UK store though!
It must just be for market research purposes, there are too many inconsistencies across vendors, products and airports for it to be any kind of financial regulation or security requirement. (No joke intended there!)13 Jan 2013
If the production of a boarding card is for market reserch purposes, then it should be more of a “do you mind showing your boarding card” than a demand.
To be fair, on some occasions I am just asked for my flight number which has then been punched into the register.13 Jan 2013
Read an article which I think summarizes what has been mentioned in this thread. Basically
– retailers such as WHsmith will charge the same to every customer, however if that person if flying outside the EU the retailer doesn’t have to pay the VAT content. Not sure if this is correct, if it is, scanning the boarding card would help apportion revenue.
– pure market research
– another security check to stop staff ringing up 0% purchases for themselves
– random security check to ensure that everyone buying something is entitled to be airside.14 Jan 2013
I got so irritated by having to show a boarding pass every time I bought a newspaper or a magazine at Gatwick that I wrote to BT to complain, pointing out that the aiport operaator (BAA at the time) and the retailer (WH Smith) were the same as at Edinburgh, where you could buy either of these without needing to do show anything other than your money.
The only difference I could see was that the departure lounge at Gatwick was shared between international and domestic passengers, a point which seems to me to be entirely irrelevant as regards products which carry no VAT or duty of any other kind.
The reply sent to BT was along the lines of ‘your customer is a fool. Of course we must require a boarding card to be produced’. There, the matter stopped – this was about 5 years ago, I think.
I contiinue to find the practice thoroughly irritating. I continue to be unable to see why it is nececcsary.
The notion that it may have something to do with market research surely makes no sense. There is no way they are saying ‘we have got an Easyjet and a BA departure for Edinburgh at around 1800. We had better make sure we send someone to check we have enough (whatever it is) in stock in good time for those flights’.14 Jan 2013