Government now asking airport shops to pass on savings

12 August 2015

delays airport We talked about airport shops doing you out of money, and now, the government have actually noticed. No, honestly.

Government people are now joining in the complaints that are saying airport shops need to cut their prices after it turned out they weren't passing on VAT discounts to passengers.

Treasury minister, David Gauke, said: "The VAT relief at airports is intended to reduce prices for travellers, not as a windfall gain for shops. While many retailers do pass this saving on to customers, it is disappointing that some are choosing not to."

"We urge all airside retailers to use this relief for the benefit of their customers."

Of course, you can urge businesses all you want and they still might not listen. Obviously, to make something happen, you need to threaten them with something. As yet, no-one at the government is promising to do anything official, other than moan about it and hope that businesses have a sense of fairness.

Steve Baker, a Conservative member of the Treasury select committee, echoed the sentiment of being diddled out of pennies, saying that passengers were being "ripped off", adding: "Consumers are entitled to expect that tax savings will be passed to them rather than become another addition to the bottom line for companies."

"I always thought that showing a boarding pass was an official requirement."

The boarding pass issue focuses on the fact that airport shops ask to see your boarding card, even though it isn't an actual requirement. Basically, the only reason airport shops ask to look at them, is so them can use them to claim VAT relief on all sales relating to people who are travelling outside the EU.

Seeing as it isn't a legal requirement for passengers to show their boarding cards when buying stuff at airports, next time you're in one, try telling them that you're not prepared to show them and see what happens.

TOPICS:   Travel   Tax

5 comments

  • Albi
    "Steve Baker, a Conservative member of the Treasury select committee, echoed the sentiment of being diddled out of pennies, saying that passengers were being “ripped off”, adding: “Consumers are entitled to expect that tax savings will be passed to them rather than become another addition to the bottom line for companies.” Hold on. Isn't a Tory meant to be all about the bottom line for his mates in business?
  • jaffacake
    This really isn't anything to do with the government! all laws are being obeyed. it'd be pretty complicated to re-label the entire shop with two prices for every item and every special offer, and to have a chart showing which prices apply to which holiday destinations. anyone flying off on hols who isn't organised enough to buy suncream before they reach the airport isn't going to worry about an extra pound on the price of it. surely better to just average out the 20% discount amongst all the goods? everyone knows that the airport shop will cost loads more than a local supermarket, don't they?
  • Raggedy
    Ah but Albi, if they can highlight the little issues and look like they're standing up for the general populace, they can, hopefully, get away with the much larger scandals. Like selling off a bank for £1 billion below the general going price. Nice little earner for someone's mates in business. Allegedly.
  • Suncream
    Jaffacake, apparently you have not been to an airport in the last 20 years. They now cover a few things other than suncream. Here's the list of retailers at Heathrow, for example : Alexander McQueen, BHRC Tourist Services, BOSS, Bally, Beauty Studio, Boots, Bottega Veneta, Bulgari, Burberry, Cartier, Case, Cath Kidston, Caviar House & Prunier, Chanel, Collection D, Dior, Dixons Travel, Dunhill, Ermenegildo Zegna, Etro, Excess Baggage Company, Fortnum & Mason, Glorious Britain, Gucci, Hackett, Hamleys, Harrods, Hermès, Jack Wills, Jo Malone London, John Lewis, Kurt Geiger, Louis Vuitton, M&S Simply Food, Michael Kors, Miu Miu, Montblanc, Mulberry, M·A·C Cosmetics, NOP, Paul Smith, Post Office, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Reiss, Rituals, Rolex, Rolling Luggage, Rugby World Cup store, SIM Local, Salvatore Ferragamo, Shoeshine Express, Shoeshine.co, Simply Chocolate, Smythson, Sunglass Hut, Sunglasses Boutique, Swarovski, Ted Baker, Thomas Pink, Tiffany & Co., Travelex, Valentino, Voyager Entertainment, WHSmith, Watches of Switzerland, World Duty Free, World of Whiskies, and Zara.
  • Inspector G.
    I feel for the poor retail staff, probably getting an earache from all sorts of passengers. Anyway, renting retail space at an airport can't be cheap, and I'd imagine that the nice 20% bonus had been factored into their profit and loss sheets. And now they're fucked.

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