Duty Free Liquor & Alcohol
Any liquids bought after security screening, including duty-free booze, are put in a sealed transparent bag for you to take onboard your flight. (In the US and some other countries your bagged duty-free purchase will be handed to you just before you board your flight at the gate).If you are catching more than one flight to get to your destination, then there is a real risk that your duty-free liquids might get confiscated by security staff when you switch flights regardless of whether your liquor is in a bag or not. The rules surrounding this issue are ridiculously complicated for passengers to understand so our advice is always to ask the sales assistant before you buy. It is their responsibility to know all the rules about who can and can’t buy duty-free liquids on any specific flight.Alternatively, for guaranteed peace of mind buy your duty-free wines and spirits at the transit airport. Similarly, buy on arrival if the country you are flying to offers arrivals shopping. The other consideration to bear in mind when buying duty-free wines and spirits is your personal allowance, which can vary considerably from country to country. Elsewhere on the taxfreetravel site you can find a handy guide showing the allowances for every country you are likely to being flying to. Don’t be tempted to exceed your allowance. Customs officials don’t have the reputation for being the most patient of people!
Now for a few recommendations of airports and shops that we think do an excellent job of selling wines and spirits to travellers:
Best airport store for fine spirits and wine: Le Clos
If you are a true connoisseur of fine wine and spirits then the two small Le Clos stores at Dubai international airport’s Terminal 3 will be paradise. They stock a superb range of fine wines and spirits chosen not just for their famous labels, but for their quality and excellence.
The multi-lingual sales team also are experts in their field, while the store’s website www.leclos.net has a full run down of the products stocked, and offers Dubai-based travellers a handy pre-order and pick-up service.
Best airport shop for whisky: World of Whiskies
This is a competitive field as many airport stores boast a superb range of whiskies these days, but for their in-depth selection and commitment to customer service we believe the UK’s World of Whiskies chain is still top dog.
With stores at all three London airports plus outlets at Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester, World of Whiskies features over 300 whiskies, including many rare and exclusive expressions. The store’s excellent website, www.worldofwhiskies.com, features news, promotions, expert recommendations and a handy pre-order service.
Best Asian airports for liquor: Singapore Changi and Hong Kong International
The fastest-growing market for duty-free liquor is Asia where wealthy travellers crave high-end whiskies, cognacs and Asian white spirits. DFS at Singapore Changi airport and Sky Connection at Hong Kong airport both do a superb job of selling these high-end range spirits and fine French wines. These two airport retailers often launch new spirits and wines before any other Asian retailer, and both provide excellent customer service.
For more information on DFS and Sky Connection, see http://www.dfsgalleria.com/en/singapore/liquor/ and http://www.freeduty.com.hk/.
Best airport shops for wine: Buy Paris Duty Free
The finest premier cru Bordeaux labels can be found at Buy Paris Duty Free’s stores at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. All the big guns, which wine investors drool over are there: Petrús, Lafite Rothschild, Margaux, Latour and Haut Brion. The selection of top-class Burgundy wines such as Romanée-Conti is also very good.
Sadly, the operator doesn’t boast a website, but any wine lover passing through either Parisian airport should definitely make a beeline to see what’s in stock.
The suggestions above are of course not an exhaustive list. You will find lots of other excellent places to buy duty-free wines and spirits in separate airport entries on this site. You will also discover plenty of information on specific types of wine and spirit here at taxfreetravel too. Bottoms up!