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Kutjara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:35 PM
Original message
Duty Free Terror.
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 01:37 PM by Kutjara
Anyone who has passed through Heathrow (or indeed through any of the major airports in the UK and Europe) will be aware of the huge Duty Free shopping areas in these airports, which are generally located inside the secure zone of the airport. The shops sell everything imaginable, from drinks and grooming products to electronics and alcohol.

Just after 9/11, I was flying through Heathrow and had my razor confiscated by security staff, not twenty feet from a clearly visible display of exactly the same razors for sale in the Duty Free area just past where I was standing. So I gave them my razor and immediately bought a new one. The security person saw this and, when I pointed out the absurdity, simply shrugged in a 'not my job' way.

Presumably, it won't be long before some 'terrorist' figures out a way to construct a device from items readily available in airport Duty Free shops. I'm no chemist, but I've seen enough cleaning products sitting around in 'secure zone' bathrooms to wonder if these areas are really as secure as they're meant to be. Certainly, the existence of Duty Free shops makes it much easier for someone with malicious intent to buy what they need in the safety of the 'secure' zone.

I'll bet we don't see a curtailment of Duty Free shopping, though. The airline industry in Europe depends on it for it's profitability and ticket prices would have to rise sharply to fill the gap left if Duty Free disappeared. That would drive many in the industry to the brink of bankruptcy. It will be interesting to see if this is even mentioned in the coming days.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. there will be a curtailment of duty free
you are wrong, even in usa today's notice says they will not allow you to bring liquids you have bought after passing security onto the plane

i hope this is changed in days to come but right now those shops are going to be so busted, since you won't be able to buy the wine or the perfume or the other little gifts to take with on the plane

in london apparently nothing is coming with at all except your ID, credit card, money, keys in a clear ziplock, apparently not even a purse is allowed

the duty free shops might as well close doors right now, their expensive concessions are worth nothing unless this rule gets changed back
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Kutjara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It can't last.
Unless they change the whole system so that you pick up your Duty Free items after landing (a logistical nightmare, I'd imagine), one of the major sources of funding for European commercial aviation will disappear. That will cause more of a crisis than any number of real bombs.
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don954 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. yes, but what happens when the security level is back down
to normal?
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Ah HA!
*dashes away to buy stock in Johnson & Johnson (Makers of Ziplock brand storage bags)*
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tenshi816 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. They're also allowing
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 01:50 PM by tenshi816
"female sanitary products" (their wording) - out of the box and in a clear plastic bag, baby milk (which must be tasted by the adult passenger), prescription meds (no liquids) and eyeglasses (no cases).

I'm flying out of the UK next Wednesday and checked with the airline today. We also have to check in 4 hours early.

Edited to add that I was also thinking about Duty Free and all the other airport shops today, and wondering how long the current restrictions will last. UK airport shops obviously depend on passengers for their livelihoods and if people can't take their purchases on the plane - well, you can see where this is going. I don't believe the airports can handle the losses if all the stores were to close due to lack of revenues.
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. How will they check?
You pass through the security check point and buy some bottled water and put it in your carry on bag. How will they know unless they start searching every body while you board the plane.
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