Airport “duty free” prices for favourites such as gin and Toblerone are now likely to be cheaper at the supermarket, a consumer group has found
A 360g bar of Toblerone cost £4 at Bristol World Duty Free but just £3 at Asda, while an £18 70cl bottle of Tanqueray gin at Heathrow Terminal 2 could be found for £15 at Morrisons, Which? Travel found.
Despite a common assumption that airport shopping will cut out the VAT, shoppers could save £21 buying a 100ml bottle of Eternity for Men Eau de Toilette on Amazon for £25 rather than at Birmingham World Duty Free for £46, according to the watchdog’s study.
Toy bargain hunters can buy the Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon for £20 less at Toys R Us online than at Gatwick South World Duty Free.
And Which? said it was “stunned” to find the SanDisk Extreme Plus 64GB camera memory card selling for £73 more at Glasgow International’s Dixons Travel than at Currys online.
The organisation checked all the prices between March 10 and March 13, including the cost of delivery on online orders and rounding figures to the nearest pound.
The watchdog said consumers could find savings at airport shops, noting that it found the iPad mini 2 and Fitbit Flex 2 both for £10 less at Dixons Travel at Glasgow International airport than online at John Lewis.
But it urged shoppers to “always do your research before you head to the airport to make sure the ‘deal’ is not actually dearer than you find on the high street or online”.
Dixons Travel said the pricing of its memory card was an “error which is being corrected”.
It said: “At Dixons Travel we have a clear pricing policy in place.
“We follow the common practice of non-duty free airport retailers in offering one single, great value price across products, regardless of destination, underpinned by our price promise.
“We offer online beating prices with big brand products such as tablets, laptops, cameras, mobile phones, speakers and premium headphones typically 5% to 10% cheaper than other retailers, both in-store and online.
“If on the rare occasion one of these products is found cheaper at a competitor, we will double the difference instantly at the till.”
In a statement given to HuffPost UK, a spokesperson from World Duty Free said: “The very small selection of offers identified does not undermine the World Duty Free proposition of offering consistent savings across a wide range of brands and products in our airport stores throughout the year.
“No retailer can ever promise that all its products will always be the cheapest in today’s fast-moving retail world and we do not make this claim, nor do we state that our products will always cheaper than those bought from online retailers.
“The price comparisons made in the report may well include products that are on price promotion for a very limited period of time in major supermarkets.”