Duty-free on arrival: where, when and how

Everyone loves a good bargain, that’s why duty-free shops are must-stops for most travellers. However, increasingly tougher regulations and more crowded flights have taken a lot of the fun out of shopping before departing as many travellers would have come across airports with tough (and sometimes confusing) liquid rules or they would have faced difficulties finding overhead locker space on crowded flights. That’s why more and more travellers leave their shopping until they land at their destination: duty-free on arrival is the new buzz word.

Surely duty-free shopping on arrival saves all the hassle of complicated liquid regulations or luggage restrictions, but it has its own challenges: passengers won’t know if the arrival airport even has duty-free on arrival facilities. It’s a detail, but an important one. Luckily there’s the internet and with it you will find sites like “Duty Free on Arrival“. This particular one, for example, allows you to search for over 4,000 destinations and their duty-free facilities. It’s a great resource helping you to decipher the different regulations and airport practices. As an example, did you know that Los Angeles International (IATA: LAX; LD reviewed) doesn’t allow for duty-free on arrival, but Dubai (IATA: DXB; T3 LD reviewed) does?

Another great resource is the duty-free on arrival page from TaxFreeTravel.com. The page also argues that shopping on arrival helps the environment as arrival purchases don’t add weight to your plane and therefore safe fuel. A good point! The page goes on in also highlighting that often times the arrival sections of the duty free outlets have a smaller product range than their departure sisters. With more and more travellers shifting their shopping to the end of their journey this might change in the future though.

[Foto from Flickr – Some rights reserved by shortie66]

  • There are over 60 countries around the world where you can buy your duty free on arrival, more than 150 airports. You can now also pre-order your goods from many airport websites.

  • At last…. a website with some common sense! Now I will check this every time I will travel so I don’t have to buy duty free in the expensive UK duty free shops. Well done keep up the good work!!!!

  • Amanda Malin

    i agree – takes so much time to get through customs etc these days… v slow and particularly horrible in USA, those inland securities people are pigs!