London Heathrow Terminal 2

Heathrow Terminal 2 Duty Free | LHR T2 Duty Free Shopping

Tax Free Travel Guide to London Heathrow Terminal 2

Travelling through the old Heathrow Terminal 2 (T2) wasn’t an experience many passengers wanted to repeat in a hurry. The Europa Building as it was called back then opened in 1955 when air travel was still a novelty for the rich. By the time it closed in 2010 this dingy, cramped and decrepit building with its low ceilings and tatty carpets was coping with nearly eight times more travellers than it was originally designed for.

The bright, shiny, new £2.5bn T2, which opened in June 2014, is as different from its crumbling predecessor as a flea-bitten donkey is to a thoroughbred racing horse. In addition to a quick, efficient security check process and big, airy spaces, the new Queen’s Terminal (as it now known officially) offers a truly fantastic line-up of shops and restaurants.

Let’s start our shopping tour of the new Queen’s Terminal with the main World Duty Free (WDF) store (open 05.00-22.00 hours). which can’t be missed thanks to an enormous plasma screen which runs across the top of the shop entrance, flashing up ad messages and price promotions. The huge beauty hall features 15 personalized beauty areas from a mix of big brands such as Chanel, Dior and Estée Lauder and some more niche products such as Dr Sebagh, an anti-ageing skincare range promoted by a celebrity-feted Harley Street doctor, and BareMinerals, an award-winning make-up line.

A great feature of the new WDF store is the range of free beauty treatments on offer, which could be just what you need to arrive at your destination looking radiant rather than bedraggled. Treatments typically last 5-10 minutes and no bookings are necessary. Treatments include skin consultations, hand massages, make-up tutorials and mini-facials. Also recommended is the handy touch-screen fragrance finder, ideal for nervous male travellers trying to find the right scent to take home as a gift for the woman in their life!

Fashion and jewellery are also strong product categories. Thirty-seven different sunglass brands are stocked including the likes of Gucci, Ray-Ban and Oakley. Jewellery brands available include crystal specialist Swarovski, the reasonably priced but pretty Pandora, and Buckley. Some 14 watch makes are present too, including three brands new to Heathrow: Marc Jacobs, Dreyfuss & Co. and Vivienne Westwood.

Not everything is great, however. The selection of British souvenirs and gifts is a bit tacky. Whether it is key rings, mugs or fridge magnets, everything seems to have a Union Jack flag printed on it. A better selection of British gifts and brands can be found at Terminal 2’s John Lewis store (open every day from 05.30-22.00 hours). John Lewis is a well-known UK department store, which sells everything from high-end fashion to curtains and lawnmowers.

At Heathrow, however, the focus for John Lewis is on high-end British brands well-known around the world such as outdoor fashion label Barbour, a must-have for the country-set, Orla Kiely, known for her delightful retro prints, luxury chocolate maker Charbonnel et Walker and stylish British menswear label Hackett. Also look out for John Lewis’ own understated, classy Weekend womenswear and Croft homeware Collections.

Other stores with a specifically British slant include the floral-print obsessed Cath Kidston, a big hit with many Asian travellers. Here you’ll find everything from china and bed linen to bags, accessories, stationery and kids clothing, and don’t forget celebrated British men’s fashion designer Paul Smith whose store sells great-looking shirts, socks, jeans and even spectacles. Other shops in the terminal include shirt retailer Thomas Pink, hot British fashion label Burberry, electronics retailer Dixons and newsagent WHSmith.

For a full rundown of what shops are trading at Heathrow T2 check out this online directory at http://www.heathrowairport.com/shop,-eat,-relax-and-enjoy/shops-a_z?terminal=Heathrow%20T2. Also note that T2 boasts the world’s first Personal Shopping Lounge, which features a team of multi-lingual sales assistants who can advise travellers on choosing the right gift for a loved one or a new outfit for a special occasion from any one of Heathrow’s 400 stores.

The Personal Shopping Lounge is is free to use, but appointments must be a made a minimum of 48 hours before you travel. The online booking form can be found here: https://boutique.heathrow.com/index.php/personal-shopper-form.

In summary the range of shops and restaurants at Heathrow T2 is really top-notch and along with the excellent retail selection at Terminal 5 the new Queen’s Terminal goes a long way to establishing Heathrow as one of the world’s best airports for shopping. Now that T2’s fortunes have been restored let’s hope the airport’s owners turn their attention the ageing Terminal 1 as soon as possible.

 

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Duty Free Stores Reagan Washington Airport | Duty Free DCA

Reagan National Airport – Shop in presidential surroundings …

Reagan Washington Duty FreeJust three miles away from the US capital, Washington DC, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airports 44 gates are spread across three terminals, and carry over 18 million passengers annually.The majority of its flights tend to be short-haul, as the lion’s share of the region’s flights (particularly the long-haul flights) are catered for by the far larger Washington Dulles International Airport, in efforts to reduce noise pollution around the capital.

The retail side of Ronald Regan Washington National Airport has previously won many awards, including Airport Retail News’s Best Overall Airport Concessions programme. The high-class shops, enticing dining options and bars such as Cibo Bistro and Wine Bar are concentrated in the National Hall, between Terminals B and C. With an incredible 54 soaring domes and expansive windows, make this your first port of call.

To save the tax on your luxury item and gift purchases, visit the Duty Free Americas store. It’s just beyond security in Terminal A • a building which, incidentally, is on the US National Register of Historic Places, so you can sightsee and shop simultaneously. Perfumes and fragrances include new-releases and classic scents for her from Dior, Estée Lauder, Yves Saint Laurent, Lancôme, Issey Miyaki, Dolce and Gabbana, Diesel and Chanel. For him, think Armani, Hugo Boss, Davidoff, Calvin Klein and Jean-Paul Gaultier.

If punctuality isn’t your strong point, Duty Free Americas also stocks a dazzling range of top-end designer watches from the craftsmen at Guess, Accurist, Seiko, Armani, Swatch, Police and DKNY. Forever Heather is a wonderful boutique that bursts with jewellery, hats and watches, so take advantage of in-airport deals and board your plane with a new tax-free timepiece. For unique jewellery, Taxco Sterling Co has something to appeal to the most discerning eye.

Speaking of which, make sure your fashion eye-wear is up to date with designer and performance brands at the Sunglass Hut. Choose from Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Bollé, Fendi, Guess, Salvatore Ferragamo, and their exclusive designs from Prada, Revo, Maui Jim, Oakley, Ray-Ban and Versace.Whether heading off with friends to a snowy winter cabin or to meet business associates overseas, gifts of liquor and tax-free tobacco never go amiss. Walk away with some serious savings on duty-free cigarettes and a clinking bag full of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jim Beam bourbon, Absolut vodka or Tanqueray gin.

To look the part, visit Brooks Brothers or Johnstone & Murphy for menswear, high quality fashions and footwear and classic American apparel. A diversion into Jos. A. Bank Clothiers is always worth it, to pick up one of their Wall Street Journal’s “Best Overall” wrinkle-free dress shirts. Perfect for packing! Whether you need a simple tie, a full executive suit or a more relaxed, country club wardrobe, these stores’ expert staff will have you suited and booted in no time.

If you love tech, tools and toys, the Airport Wireless outlet near Terminals B and C is the place to be. It stocks every conceivable accessory for your iPods, Apple products, BlackBerrys, cellphones, digital cameras, laptops and games consoles. The Brookstone store also showcases iPad and ebook gadgets alongside Pentax, Samsung and underwater cameras, and handheld HD cameras from Midland and Sony.

If you or someone close to you is a chocoholic, look no further than the delectable Godiva Belgian chocolate boutique. Other giftware options include the PGA Tour Shop, something educative from the Smithsonian Museum Store, ladies fashion, purses and wallets from Touch of Color or glassware, designer jewellery and wearable art from As Kindred Spirits.

Alternatively, pop into Pen and Prose, for pens by Mont Blanc, Waterman, Parker, Omas, Aurora and Schaeffer. And that’s an apt place to sign off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Also read our airport shopping guide to …

Dallas Fort Worth

Duty & Tax Free Shopping Dallas Forth Worth International Airport | DFW Airport Duty Free

Dallas Fort Worth: a big airport for a big city

Dallas International Airport ShoppingCows, cowboys, oil, cheerleaders and Miss Ellie, Yes, we are talking Dallas, or the “Big D” as it is fondly known Stateside. The second biggest city in Texas has always been a place where big is better whether it is hats, shopping malls, churches, football teams or indeed the local airport, Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), which in 2009 was the eighth busiest worldwide with over 56 million people using it.There is no other way of putting it• DFW is big, its entire site covers nearly 30 square miles and boasts five terminals connected by a futuristic Skylink shuttle service. There are also 174 gates, two hotels, a golf course, a multi-million dollar art collection and a public observation park. Oh, and let’s not forget the 100 or so shops to tempt the traveller with time to spare, as well as over 120 different restaurants and cafés.Feeling spoilt for choice on the shopping front? Well fear not: here are our top retail picks across DFW’s five terminals.

Terminal A (American Airlines)

If you want to buy a memento of your trip to Dallas hotfoot it to the Jethro Pugh Western Shop, where you can wallow in Americana to your heart’s content with everything from cowboy hats and leather belts to BBQ sauces and salsas. You will find similar rootin’ tootin’ fare at the wonderfully named, Ropin’ & Ridin’ outlet and Texas Marketplace.For local flavour of the sporting kind head over to the Official Dallas Cowboy Shop, where you can buy all manner of branded merchandise such as replica jerseys, t-shirts, caps, fleeces, jewellery and glassware. For a more complete picture of the type of gear available, see www.shopcowboys.com.Away from souvenirs, Terminal A boasts a kids’ toy shop (KidZoo), a beauty spa treatment salon called XpressSpa, and several book shops and news stands (Main Street News, News Express, DFW News Connection, Hudson Booksellers and Southwest News).

Terminal B (American Eagle)

Western gift shops are not in short supply either in this terminal• take your pick from JP’s Dude Ranch and the Lone Star Emporium. However, we particularly like the idea of the self-service Best Buy Express kiosk, where you can buy the type of electronic gadget it is all too easy forget to bring when packing your suitcase such as mobile phone and computer accessories, flash drives, MP3 players, headphones and so on. (You will also find Best Buy Express outlets in all four of the airport’s other terminals).

A welcome break from all the gift and souvenir shops is the Details, Gifts for Women shop at Gate B17, which stocks ladies fashion accessories and features brands such as DKNY and Calvin Klein. The bright and colourful Natalie’s Candy Bar will delight the sweet-toothed traveller, selling over 300 different types of candy from chocolates, sours and jellies to more unusual lines such as sugar-free confectionery and healthy nut mixes. Log on to www.nataliescandybar.com to find out more.

Terminal C (American Airlines)

The retail selection here is dominated by souvenir shops such as Texas Marketplace and Lone Star Attitude and new stands such as Sierra News, Fox News Channel, DFW News Connection and Wall Street News. Overkill perhaps, but remember well over 50% of travellers using DFW are headline-hungry business travellers.Brooks Brothers, the US’ oldest men’s fashion retailer, boasts a store in Terminal C (C14) selling both men’s and women’s fashion and accessories. Famous for its so-called “timeless classics” such as dress shirts, ties, blazers and sits, Brooks Brothers is a great place for those wanting to perfect that difficult look: “smart casual” (see www.brooksbrothers.com.

Terminal D (International Departures)

The International Departures lounge can only mean on thing• yes duty-free, or in the case of DFW, the aptly named Buckaroo Duty Free. Operating from two locations (D17 and D27), by all accounts Buckaroo sells the usual range of duty-free liquor, tobacco, fragrances, cosmetics, watches, jewellery and confectionery. Disappointingly, however, the retailer doesn’t run a consumer website, giving travellers no chance of browsing the range or latest launches or promotions before their departure.

On a brighter note the La Bodega Winery is a genuine rarity in the world of travel-retail• a bona fide bonded airport winery permitted to produce wine on site. Make a beeline for Gate 17 to try one of the family-owned company’s award-winning Texan wines. After a glass or two you may end up convinced that there is more to American wine than the Napa Valley. Accompanying nibbles offered will help soak up the alcohol.

Terminal E (Delta, Virgin America, US Airways and many others)

This terminal offers many of the same retail names as the other four terminals (Brooks Brothers, Texas Marketplace, Official Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop and Best Buy Express). We do however like the idea of the InMotion Entertainment store at Gate E16, where you can rent DVDs and portable DVD players to use on your trip and then return them using a handy pre-paid FedEx shipment service. The store, which has dozens of other US airport locations nationwide, also sells computer accessories, games, Internet tablets and MP3 players (seewww.inmotionstores.com for more details).

For information on US Customs rules please see our quick guide ….
United States Customs Allowance and Exemptions
Other Texas Airports …
Houston George Bush Intercontinental

Brussels Airport

Brussels Duty Free & Tax Free Airport Shopping | BRU Duty Free Shops

Brussels • a connoisseur’s delight

Brussels Airport duty & Tax free shopping Belgium often gets a bad press for being boring, but its beer and chocolate are world-renowned • and Brussels airport is one place to get a taste of both***Brussels is a city of bureaucrats. Ever since the European Union set up shop in the Belgian capital, and later swelled its ranks with several of its institutions, trade bodies and other lobby groups have swiftly followed behind. The European Commission and European Parliament together employ more than 30,000 staff.

As the effective capital of the EU, the city is host to a large number of business travellers coming and going on a daily basis and this is reflected at Brussels National airport where one in three passengers is travelling for business rather than leisure, and 7% of passengers are flying business or first class (source: The Brussels Airport Company).

Not surprisingly, this is reflected in the shopping offer, which features an array of high-end stores in two main areas: Pier A and Pier B. Chocolate is a big deal at the airport with sales in excess of 800 tons annually; hence The Chocolate Company’s two units, one in departures and the other in arrivals. Sky Shops, which operates them, guarantees the best prices for Belgium’s Neuhaus, Godiva and Corné Port-Royal chocolates: “Should you find cheaper anywhere in the world, we will pay back the price difference…twice.” Now there’s confidence • and a challenge for any well-travelled chocaholics among you.

Sticking with food, gastronomes will want to head for Gourmet’s delicatessen which stocks fine European delicacies such as variously smoked Scottish salmon, excellent duck or goose foie gras; plus products from brands such as Rougié and Fauchon. Then step into the extremely upscale Epicure for vintage or grand cru wines, champagnes or whiskies to accompany your food purchases, or to buy cigars from the glass humidor.The main duty free shop has an enticing and more regularly-priced choice of liquor including what the airport claims is “probably the biggest assortment of Belgian beers” not to mention a further choice of champagnes and malt whiskies. Tasting sessions are always on, especially for new launches, so don’t be shy to try.If you can’t wait to sample the beers, quaff on the premises at the Belgian Beer Café where dozens of varieties await you. Just remember the alcohol content of those deceptively disarming, sweeter-tasting ales can come in at a whopping alcohol content of more than 8%!

Other attractions in this pier include Gautam’s Diamond and Gold store Armani Jeans and its fashion shop. Diamond cutting is another of Belgium’s established industry’s and this store offers 18kt gold fine jewellery set with Antwerp-cut diamonds, and/or precious stones such as sapphire, ruby and emerald, or semi-precious stones such as blue topaz, citrine, amethyst and lapis lazuli. You can also buy certified Antwerp-cut diamonds as loose stones.

Gautam’s fashion store brings together very high-end leather and shoe labels including Church’s, Daniele Tucci, Fratelli Rossetti, Loake, Moreschi and Pollini. Also offering leather handbags footwear, jewellery and clothing made from fine Italian fabrics under its own brand is Uterqüe as does the Hermès boutique. More accessibly-priced brands such as Bric’s, Delsey, Guess, Kipling, Longchamp, Picard and Tumi can be found in the Leather Shop.

Other uxury fashion brands are showcased well here including Ferragamo, Hugo Boss, Longchamps, Tumi, Delvaux, Ralph Lauren and Zegna, alongside features by Victoria’s Secret, Coach, Michael Kors, Desigual, Mc Gregor, Sarah Pacini, Tommy Hilfiger, River Woods and Massimo Dutti.

In Pier B, the shopping is less extensive with some necessary overlap for products such as chocolate, gourmet food and fashion. The two main duty free shops there will give you the staples; a large selection of perfumes and cosmetics in one, and liquor and tobacco in the other. But also try the Leaders store if you are looking for electronics. This store (there is also one in the other pier) stocks top brands such as Apple, Canon, Casio, Nikon, Packard Bell, Panasonic and Sony for anything from memory cards to mobile phones. And again, the beer can’ be ignored. A stop at the Leffe Plaza, a bar named after the internationally famed beer, will be hard to pass up.

Factfile

  • Main international airlines: Brussels Airlines, Jetairfly, Jet Airlways, Easyjet, Royal Air Maroc, Europe Airpost, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium.
  • New developments: An underground rail link between the airport’s train station and the new Schaarbeek – Mechelen railway line.

Alicante Airport

Duty & Tax Free Shops Alicante Airport | ALC Duty Free Shopping

Viva Alicante ….

Alicante airport duty free shopping Spain’s sixth biggest airport opened a new terminal in April 2011. Except that it’s not just a new terminal……. it’s effectively a new airport for Alicante. The Spanish tourist resort that is so popular with the Brits, Germans, and increasingly Russians as well, now has a gleaming new terminal, that not only dwarves the old ones, it has replaced them because they have been closed.The new building is six times as big as the original two terminals, and would not look out of place at London Heathrow or Paris Charles de Gaulle airports. The L-shaped structure has 26 departure gates and almost 100 check-in counters, double what was there before.

At a cost of €630 million, Spain’s airport operator AENA has pumped in a lot of money to create a prestige airport for the region. This is at odds with the fact that around 80% of traffic comes from low cost carriers who usually balk at the idea of fancy terminals because they mean expensive overheads.

From the passengers’ point of view, however, the terminal is a godsend after the cramped conditions endured over the years at T1 and T2 • especially in the peak summer months of August and September when close to 30% of annual traffic meant the airport was stretched at the seams.

The new terminal is a vast airy space of glass and natural light where capacity has been doubled from 10 million to 20 million passengers. Its glass curtain wall overlooks the aprons with views to the sea beyond the coastal high rises, and it raises the comfort factor at the airport considerably.

Shopping too is now a delight thanks to 20 shops spread over an 8,000 sqm area. The airport has opted for a walk-through duty free store called The Shop which 100% of passengers have to enter after security in order to get to their gates. This is the way more airports are building their main store as they try and increase shop penetration, but it is also useful for picking up items you might otherwise have forgotten.This 1,650 sqm store, operated by Aldeasa, is laid out so that perfumes/cosmetics and fashion/accessories are the first categories you will see on entry. There are almost 100 perfume brands in the beauty section and a large Lacoste open-plan area which sweeps around to the right where, unusually, tobacco products have a prominent position because they are so popular. Next comes an impressive liquor section at the corner of which is a promotional Bacardi bar where free mojitos are on the menu. The area also has a selection of good regional wines from suppliers such as Vicente Gandía Plá and Bodegas Murviedro. At the end of the store you will find local products and confectionery.Essentially the shop offers everything you would want to find in a traditional duty free shop, including some extras. The regional area for example is called Thinking Alicante and is designed to reflect the region with fixtures like domed roofs, columns and gondolas inspired by the Castle Square of Benidorm, one of the main tourist areas in Alicante.Thinking Alicante’s products include a great collection of hand-painted wooden fans from Abanicos Folgado, olive oils and vinegars from Torrevella Explotación Agrícola, turrón, a sweet local delicacy, plus fig bread, nougat, rice, olives, cheeses and sausages, as well as an excellent selection of more top-end wines from Valencia. Aldeasa is collaborating in various projects, to showcase regional suppliers and products which means that different local brands will always be available.

Once outside the main shop there is a long wall of fashion and accessories to the right and a central bank of stores dedicated to a mix of retail from books and news (Relay), confectionery (Sweet Shop), fine foods (Sibarium), gadgets and design (Superskunk), jewellery and accessories (Las Lilas), luggage and bags (Travel Mate), crystal (Swarovksi), music and games (Crystal Media) and children’s products and clothes (Tuc Tuc).

The fashion section features three key units: Your Fashion Store which has a mix of brands including Hugo Boss, Pepe Jeans, Polo Jeans and Armani; a giant 800 sqm space devoted to the creative Spanish fashion brand Desigual most of whose designs are a riot of colour and which is developing a growing following around the world; and El Corte Inglés the Spanish department store chain which has opened in an airport for the very first time selling fashion and footwear in one shop, and health and beauty in another. Its Gloria Ortiz boutique is notable for its collection of shoes, bags, scarves and costume jewellery.

The 230 sqm Express Shop, a cut-down version of the main duty free shop at the farthest departure gates, allows last-minute purchases and completes the departure offer. One final note is that the new terminal also has an arrivals shop in the baggage reclaim area in case you want to stock up at the start of your holiday.

Alicante airport fact file ..

  • Passenger traffic 2010: 9.4 million
  • Airlines: More than 30, of which the biggest (by number of routes) are Ryanair, Easyjet, Thomson Airways, Thomas Cook Airlines, Air Berlin, Norwegian Air Shuttle.
  • Unusual fact: For a terminal that is overwhelmingly geared to low cost airlines there is a tapas bar called Aire from Michelin starred chef Quique Dacosta.

Hong Kong International

Hong Kong Duty Free Airport Shopping | Tax Free Hong Kong | HKIA Duty Free Shopping | Chek Lap Kok Airport Duty Free

Hong Kong International • definitely not faking it ….

Duty Free Hong Kong AirportThere are some airports that are a pleasure to spend time in, and this is one of them. Hong Kong International airport (HKIA), built in 1998, has gone from strength to strength and regularly picks up Skytrax awards for customer satisfaction.For shoppers this is also one of the best airports in the world, so it is worth building some time into your travel plans to explore all it has to offer. Terminal 1 has the biggest selection of stores: around 200 plus over 60 food and drinks outlets, while the much smaller Terminal 2 has about 80 stores and 20 places to get fed and watered.It’s not just a question of scale though • the shopping here runs from the seriously high-end, to mass market high street brands; the latter found mostly in the landside SkyPlaza in T2 which is accessible by everyone at the airport.

Essentially T2 has no gates (they are in T1), just check-in facilities. However the building acts as an easy-access shopping and entertainment complex complete with a 4-D Extreme Screen cinema, a large interactive sports area and Aviation Discovery Centre. The stores are dominated by souvenir units and trendy, but not pricey, brands.

So for example, if fashion is your bag take your pick from regional retailers like Kinja, Kaiser and Pelle Borsa to international brands including Tie Rack, Lacoste, and Shanghai Tang. For a more casual high street offer that extends to accessories, the list is long: G2000, Levi’s, Swatch, Giordano, Le Coq Sportif, Bossini and many more. Jewellery is also in good supply from Chow Sang Sang, Enzo or House of Amber, and lingerie lovers will feel at home in Private Shop which, despite the name, is all very above board. Most of these stores are concentrated on Level 5, with food and drink outlets, plus all the entertainment, on Level 6.

It’s when you get to T1 that your realise where the real shopping is! An ultra-prestige selection of brands resides here and you might want to raise your credit card limit before browsing this area. Individual boutiques in the East Hall include Alfred Dunhill, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Daks, Gucci, Hermès, IWC, Jimmy Choo, Loewe, Montblanc, Omega, Pal Zileri, Prada, Ralph Lauren and Valentino. The list goes on • and on! At the last count there were more than 30 high-end designer boutiques here and in the West Hall and Northwest Concourse where Agnès b, Coach, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Swarovski and Vertu are located.

Beauty fanatics are also catered for extremely well. There are at least five giant Temptation Duty Free stores filled with top international cosmetics brands and HKIA also boasts standalone locations for Giorgio Armani Cosmetics, Kiehls and MAC in T1. Temptation is known for getting many new launches before the local market which makes its stores a must-visit, especially for mainland Chinese passengers.Clearly T1’s East Hall is for those who want to splash a lot of cash. The only regular fashion store nestled in all that luxury is Zara • for some peculiar reason. On the west side though there are a few more accessible brands including G2000, Juicy Couture and Links of London. On the next floor up (Level 7/8) the shopping is a bit more mixed. Here you can find Folli Follie jewellery, Muji, Le Sportsac and Swatch alongside Bose, Leica, Torino Lamborghini and Tissot boutiques.This is just a snapshot of what HKIA has to offer. The retailing facilities are vast and you would do well to research what you want to buy before you are at the airport. Also, given that Hong Kong is still a low-tax region of China, it’s best to compare prices of specific items both downtown and at the airport before deciding where to shop. After all Hong Kong also has downtown duty free shops so there may be several options for finding the best deal on a designer handbag or the latest smartphone.

HKIA Factfile

  • Passenger numbers, 2011: 53.5 million.
  • Terminals: Two, plus a north satellite.
  • Airlines: More than 100 going to about 160 destinations, including around 40 in mainland China. Among the biggest (by number of routes) are Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, Dragonair, Hong Kong Express, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines.
  • Worth knowing: If being web-connected at all times is your thing, the airport has free wi-fi in both of its terminals as well as the north satellite concourse and SkyPier.

For information on Duty Free Allowances for travellers to Hong Kong: see Hong Kong Duty Free Allowances Check Our Tax Free Travel Shopping Guides to …

Helsinki Vantaa Airport

Duty Free Shops Helsinki-Vantaa Airport | Helsinki Airport Shopping

Helsinki: a Finnish gem ….

Helsinki Airport ShopsHelsinki: a Finnish gem ….This northern European capital has a design ethos that runs very deep and which is palpable across the city. It can also be witnessed at its striking airportLike other airports in Europe close to Russia, the CIS states and Asia, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport has benefited from its eastern proximity. Its main hub airline, Finnair, is a partner in the Oneworld alliance and has been developing its route network by marketing its faster flying time to many Asian destinations compared with other European hubs.According to the airport operator Finavia, Helsinki-Vantaa is the leading long-haul airport in northern Europe with over 120 non-stop destinations around the world. About 90% of Finland’s international air traffic uses the airport, not surprising when you consider that a quarter of the country’s entire population lives in the greater metropolitan area of the capital.
As a regularly award-winning airport that’s also proud of its architecture and interior design, it comes as no surprise that a strong design theme infuses the shopping offer; but first the regular duty free shopping. There are three Helsinki Airport Duty Free stores which sell the three duty free staples of liquor, tobacco and perfumes/cosmetics plus another two units called Airport Shop where you can find more perfumes/cosmetics, a wide variety of sweets, and gift items as well as Finnish-made gourmet products. Finnair’s Tax-Free shop (Gate 28) has a similar offers from well known international brands and has monthly offers and discounts for Finnair Plus members.

But stick to design and you won’t go wrong. Head for Luhta where you can find plenty of fresh Finnish design, clothes and things for your home. An essential stop is Marimekko, whose famous bright graphics are featured on all their fashion items, accessories, handbags and gifts. The interior design retailer, Pentik, also has a store at the airport packed with its in-house designed dining and tableware, accessories, candles, gift items and interior decoration products.Pick up the perfect souvenir • whether it’s for a child or not • from The Moomin Shop where the rather weird and wonderful Moomin characters, created by Swedish-Finn illustrator Tove Jansson, adorn a range of goods from toys and books to more practical Moomin dishes and glasses.Stockmann, Finland’s best known department store retailer has three units at the airport; two of which sell the usual women’s and men’s fashion, accessories, plus world-renowned Iittala products and Arabia glass, while the other, Stockmann Herkkumyymälä, offers an extensive selection of Finnish and foreign delicacies, including reindeer meat, salmon and caviar.Widening out to Scandinavia, there are two ARG Airport Fashion stores that stock a healthy variety of northern European labels (including jewellery) mixed in with more recognisable international names. So take your pick from the likes of Sand, Snö of Sweden, Malene Birger, Long Island, Park Lane, Björn Borg, Tiger of Sweden, Oroblu, Esprit and Day, as well as Boss, Gant and Guess Jeans. If you really need your fix of international high-end brands there is Luxbag where labels like Loewe and Celine are sold, while Mulberry and Lacoste are also present in their own stores.

For watches and jewellery fans there is the prestige Aseman Kello store or Timanttiset, a Finnish jewellery chain retailer, where brands like Guess, Gant, Esprit, Nomination, Pandora, Thomas Sabo, and Gucci can be found. Finally, one of Finland’s fading, but still iconic, brands is Nokia and at the Air-Foto store its latest phones can be bought or hired.With the shopping done, it’s worth remembering that Helsinki-Vantaa also has one of the best airport spas anywhere so before you take off, have some down time and relax with a treatment • anything from 10 minutes to a half an hour • or have a traditional hamam bath. You can also choose from four different saunas: spruce or stone from the Alps, a steam sauna and traditional Finnish sauna which has views to the aircraft taxiways. There’s also a pool if you fancy a dip to round things off • but don’t forget you have a flight to catch!

Helsinki-Vantaa Airport

  • Lounges are provided for all passengers. Panorama lounge is is on the third floor (above Gate 27) and the Suvanto lounges are at Gates 16, 17, 26 and 36.
  • Free Internet. There is free Wi-Fi at Helsinki Vantaa provided by Finavia. The connection will appear as “Free-Wi Fi Helsinki Airport”.
  • Airlines: 33 of which the main international airlines are Finnair and subsidiaries, Blue1, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ait Finland, TUIfly Nordic, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia
  • Recent Recognition: Style and culture magazine Monocle named the airport best for connections while Skytrax was voted top airport in Europe in 2010.
  • Smoking Areas at Helsinki Vantaa. For the smokers you will find 6 on the departures level, and 1 in arrivals. They are modern, well furnished and well posted.

Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport

HAN Duty Free Shopping | Hanoi Nội Bài International Airport Shopping

Hanoi Nội Bài International – Made in Vietnam

If any airport has got ‘destination merchandise’ sussed, it’s Hanoi Nội Bài International Airport. Nowhere has this reporter seen more souvenir shops airside than here, oddly juxtaposed against traditional Duty Free shops and designer boutiques.Originally built for the Vietnamese Air Force, Hanoi Nội Bài became an international public airport after reunification of Vietnam in 1975, while also continuing to serve the military. The biggest airport in northern Vietnam, and second busiest in the country, it is located 28 miles (45km) from down-town Hanoi. The current international Terminal 1 opened in October 2001 but, designed for just 6 million passengers a year, is had become increasingly overcrowded as the country opens up to tourism.

The number of international airlines now using Hanoi (Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Tiger Airways, Qatar Airways Japan Airlines and , to name just a few) and ultra busy destination board with flights pretty much all over Asia is indicative of just how popular this part of Vietnam is becoming…and the current airport really can’t cope, particularly land-side where there is just not enough seating or facilities. Updated runways mean that the airport is now coping with some 10m passengers a year and while the addition of a new domestic terminal Extension ‘E’ completed in early 2014 has helped a little, checking in is not an overly pleasant experience.

But relief is at hand. Driving to and from the airport the new Terminal 2 under construction can be clearly seen. Funded with loans from Japan, and with a capacity of 16 million passengers per annum it’s testament to North Vietnam’s determination to continue developing its tourism business – a must in order to bring investment and jobs into this region still very much divided into those who have and those who have very little. The new Terminal is due for completion in early 2015, but judging by progress in May 2014…there’s considerable work to be done. A new highway connecting the airport to down-town Hanoi should also help relieve the traffic congestion at least on the way to the city if not within it!But back to the shopping on offer at the current Terminal 1.

Visitors to North Vietnam are more than likely to have visited at least one local market: in Hanoi itself or whilst visiting regional attractions such as the Bac Ha market, Cat Cat village with its onsite artisans near Sapa, or the string of stalls at Tam Coc in Ninh Binh province. Only the strong willed will have resisted the sales-charm of the locals and come away with nothing…but if you have, or if you still have some Dong to dispose of, then Nội Bài is the place to do it.

Everything here is priced in US$ but you can pay in local currency if preferred. You may even pay in Dong and be offered change in $ (everyone knows that you’re more than unlikely to be able to change the currency back when you get home).

The Departures Lounge is divided into two with gates on either side and shops to both, sweeping round in an almost circle. There’s also an upstairs level where you’ll find food-service areas and more shops. It’s rather impersonal and very much serves a purpose..but there is plenty of additional seating up here, though not much in the way of air conditioning.

So, as mentioned, immediately on entering the Departures Lounge from security (there really is nothing landside to speak of) you’ll be faced with an onslaught of ATS and Vietnam Souvenir Shops, which run the middle length of the area on both sides as well as at each end and upstairs. The strange thing is that almost all shops sell pretty much the same thing…and the same thing is everything! Everything local with odd elements of international brands peeking out here and there. Made in Vietnam covers everything, it seems, from bags, belts and beads to biscuits, beer and models of bicycles and boats; from t-shirts and tea to cigarettes, carvings, chocolate and coffee. There’s an awful lot of local vodka available – Hanoi, Men, Lua Moi and Ner Moi were just some of the brand names we found, at around $6 for an odd 600ml size. With prices starting at under $2 for a lucky wooden tortoise to $499 for a beautifully carved wooden Buddha, there really is something for every budget here! With very little shelf organisation, products really are mixed and matched, so you do feel like you’re back in the market. But, unlike the markets, here the price is the price.As said, this flea market style approach sits in stark contrast to the designer boutiques present which include Coach, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bally. Tumi and Le Sportsac,

If you’re looking for traditional duty free there are several different stores situated on both sides of the departure area, mostly selling liquor and tobacco. One fragrance and cosmetics outlet sells a predictable range of world brand leaders (most of them anyway) – no surprises here. Liquor and tobacco stores are run by NASCO and NAC (Northern Airports Corporation) Duty Free all focussing on premium whiskies and Cognac (Chivas Regal 12/18 yo, Johnnie Walker Black, Royal Salute, Hennessey, Remy, Martell all dominate). Large sizes are very much in vogue and if you’re in a position to be able to carry 450cl of liquor, then there are various options here such as Chivas Regal 12yo for $176. Leading tobacco brands are in the region of $19 for 200 (the souvenir shops also sell single packs and shrink wrapped 200s of local and main brands for about the same price). One liquor and tobacco shop was also offering body care products including The Body Shop – an odd and interesting version of cross merchandising.

There’s also a Watch and Jewellery shop with a useful selection of brands including Swatch, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Guess and a Sunglasses shop sporting brands including Gucci, Dior and Ray Ban.Upstairs you’ll find yet more souvenir shops, an ATS book stall, and ‘The World of Carved Wooden Products from Vietnamese Artisans’. To be fair, alongside the usual market stall type stuff, we were impressed at some of the utterly beautiful wooden carvings here including some superb models of the type of boat wanderlust travellers could see themselves living on one day to motorbikes, aeroplanes and – yes – more Buddhas. Tempted though we were, they were just a little too big and heavy for already full to bursting hand luggage.

Upstairs there are also plenty of food service outlets including Burger King, Big Bowl, Star Café and the Nội Bài International Restaurant. This level serves a purpose…that’s really all you can say about it. It’s very hot and sticky up here and singularly lacking in atmosphere.

Nội Bài is by no means the world’s greatest duty free/travel retail outlet but its certainly one of the most geared we’ve seen to selling local merchandise for the benefit of local people and there’s nothing wrong with that. It will be interesting to see if the new Terminal, once completed, gives the same amount of floor space to local handicrafts – to be honest, we doubt it.

Our last minute purchase at Nội Bài was a wire model of a Vietnamese fisherman for just US$3. We still had some 45,000 Dong left…about $2. We could have spent it, but preferred to keep it in the hope that one day we will return to this most beautiful of countries.

Hamburg Airport

Duty Free Shops Hamburg Airport | Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel Airport Duty Free | Duty Free HAM

Hamburg International: 100 years young and still going strong …

Hamburg Airport Duty Free ShopsHamburg airport lays claim to being the oldest airport in the world still operating at its original location. When Germany’s fifth busiest airport first opened its doors back in 1911, airships rather than airplanes were the main mode of aerial transport. Aviation technology has certainly moved on from those pioneering days. In fact, Hamburg is now all ready to handle flights from the giant A380 superjumbo, unquestionably the most cutting-edge passenger plane in the skies today.And for a centenarian, Hamburg airport is in rather sprightly shape. The airport handled nearly 13 million passengers last year, a healthy 6% increase on the year before. Sixty airlines operate from the airport, linking Germany’s second largest city to 115 destinations around the globe. What’s more, frequent flyers rave about the airport’s bright, airy design; its above-average selection of shops and restaurants (more of them later); its friendly, efficient staff, and speedy train link downtown (it takes just 25 minutes).
As for the airport’s layout, it is logical and fairly easy to navigate.There are only two terminals: Terminal 1 and 2. Terminal 2 is allocated to Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners, while Terminal 1 is the newest of the terminals, having only been refurbished in 2005. A recently expanded and refurbished Central Plaza, which houses the central security and immigration area, is sandwiched in the middle, connecting the two terminals.

Hamburg international is the home airport of Germany’s largest airport retailer Gebr. Heinemann. This family-owned company started out way back in 1879 as a ship chandler, and is still proud of its maritime roots, proudly displaying a sailboat as a key part its shop logo.

Now Heinemann may be an old company, but there is nothing old-fashioned about its main 1,350 square-metre anchor store at the airport, which is located on Level 1 of the Airport Plaza. Open less than three years, this modern, well laid out shop stocks a wide range of fragrances, cosmetics, skincare, liquor, wine and cigarettes. It is open early from 4.30 each morning to 21.30 at night, seven days a week. With the exception of tobacco products, every product has a single price no matter where you are travelling.Heinemann operates a helpful English (and German) website for this store, http://www.heinemann-dutyfree.com/hamburg_en, which is well worth browsing before you travel as it offers a handy pre-order service and has details of special offers and competition. Deals as of August 2011 included a 1-litre bottle of Hennessy VS cognac for €21.90 (@19.25), a 1-litre bottle of Tanqueray gin for €13.90 (£12.20), a 100ml Davidoff Cool Woman eau de toilette for €37.80 (£33.20), and a 50ml Cacherel Noa eau de toilette for €29 (£25.50).Before we leave Gebr. Heinemann, we should also like to draw the attention of malt whisky collectors to a limited-edition vintage Glenfiddich expression, which was released earlier this year by brand owner William Grant & Sons to mark the airport’s 100th birthday. Priced at €495 (£435), Glenfiddich 1982 Vintage Limited Edition is only available at Hamburg airport and only 100 bottles were released. There are still some bottles left, but not for long we wager.

On the gifting front, Destination Hamburg is a great store to pick up a souvenir or gift to remind you of your stay in this historic German city (Terminal 2, Level 1). It sells clothing, including strips branded to local football teams such as HSV, as well as home ware and humble local northern German gastronomic specialities such as eel soup and labskaus, a one-dish meal of mashed potato, corned beef and beetroot.

If you have more of a sweet tooth, check out Boutique du Chocolat (Pier, Level 1), which stocks both local chocolate varieties and a classic selection of Belgian pralines. Alternatively, if you are after something a little healthier, head to Level 2 of the Airport Plaza and seek out the sleek, minimalist eatery Gosch Sylt, which serves up superb lobsters, oysters, prawns and salmon, alongside a great range of wines and Champagnes.
Centenarians aren’t particularly renowned for their fashion sense, but Hamburg international is the exception to the rule. The roll call of fashion names trading at the airport is undeniably impressive for an airport of middling size, and certainly testament to the spending power of the local Hamburgers. Designer fashion names include the likes of Hermes, Hugo Boss, Gant, Picard and Marco O’Polo.

Fashionistas should also be aware there are some multi-brand fashion outlets too such as menswear fashion concept SØR and Attitude, which stocks both men’s and women’s lines from high-end brands such as Escada, MCM, René Lezard and Bally (both outlets are located in Pier, Level 1). In the same location and for more affordable youth fashion and casual styles Tom Tailor, a popular Hamburg-based fashion brand, could be worth a look. See http://www.tom-tailor.com/index.php?page=TomTailor&lang=English for more details.

Mycell (Terminal 2, Level 0) is the place for all things Apple-related (iphones, ipads and associated accessories), as well as cameras and notepads from other brands. Over in the Pier, the Sound & Vision outlet is one of the newest shops to open at Hamburg International and features dedicated Sony and Apple areas, as well as other consumer electronics, including digital cameras and videos.

Shopping can be an exhausting business so if you are in need of a little R&R before your flight, can we suggest the Akurpressurmassage outlet in the Pier next to Gate B20 and Gate C15 (Level 1)? Combining elements of traditional Chinese and Western massage, the treatments are claimed to be great for those with a fear of flying. Prices start for as little as €1 (£0.88) per minute.

Related links

Official Hamburg airport shopping site
http://www.airport.de/en/shops_and_restaurants.html

Tax Free Travel Airport Shopping Guides …..

See our shopping overview of Frankfurt International, and our detailed shopping guides to Frankfurt Terminal 1 Tax & Duty Free Shopping and Frankfurt Terminal 2 Tax & Duty Free Shopping

Hainan Duty Free

Tax Free Shopping Sanya, Hainan Island – Haikou Meilan Airport Duty Free | China Duty Free Hainan

Hainan raises the retail bar

Hainan Tax & Duty Free ShoppingHainan raises the retail bar ….New legislation has given the island, the most southerly point off the China coast, a new lease of life.It is starting to become a fashion that Asian countries find an island in the sun, revamp it, and then raise a flag saying ‘I’m duty-free, shop here’. So it is with Hainan, the tropical paradise that is turning into a giant shopping mall following its designation as a pilot duty-free location for domestic Chinese consumers.
The government move is a clever way of keeping spending inside the PRC. Wealthier Chinese consumers often travel outside the country looking for luxury brands to buy – often because they don’t trust the provenance of products found in the local market, and also because they are a lot more expensive. By creating an internal duty-free destination, the Chinese government hopes to empty Chinese wallets in its own backyard instead of in Singapore, Japan and South Korea.

There are terms and conditions to this benefit. Duty-free goods can only be bought if travel to the island is by air and spending must not exceed CNY8,000 (effective from November 2012) plus the bonus of a single item above this amount. Shopping sprees are also limited to twice a year and once for residents of Hainan province • the province comprises some 200 small islands of which Hainan island is the biggest, hence the name.

So what’s in store – literally? Well, because the legislation is new – and also ties in with a wider ambition to make Hainan an international tourism destination – the duty-free offer is expected to get bigger all the time as more retailers try to enter the market. In May for example, Hainan-based HNA Group, opened an airside duty-free shop selling mainly beauty, liquor and tobacco products at Haikou Meilan International Airport – Haikou is the provincial capital – to target departing Chinese passengers.

But the main focus is in Sanya, the southern town where most tourism and the best beaches are located. Here China Duty Free Group (CDFG) has been developing a giant store complex since the start of 2010 which was finished at the end of that year and covers more than 7,000 square metres.

It is wall to wall luxury with boutiques for many big name fashion and jewellery brands • something you do not see in airports in China where they tend to have smaller positions or corners. Among the labels are Bally, Burberry, Coach, Dunhill, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci, Hugo Boss, MCM, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany, and Tumi. Gucci and Tiffany both made their debuts in Chinese duty-free in Sanya and the Coach store is its only duty-free boutique in the PRC.

Among the watch brands present with boutiques are Omega, Montblanc and TAG Heuer while fragrances and cosmetics is well served with 1,500 square metres that includes the leading brands such as Biotherm, Christian Dior and Lance, some never before on the island. In fact the five best-selling categories at the CDFG store have been cosmetics, watches, luggage and leather goods, perfume, and small leather goods.

The problem you may find here is that demand for luxury brands is so high that queuing to enter boutiques is common and is considered a fact of life • not surprising perhaps if you know you are going to get 30% off a thousand dollar handbag!

Watch out for promotion while you are on the island. In summer 2011, the Mandarin Oriental hotel, in association with CDFG ran a Spend & Save promotion in which it invited guests to double their duty-free savings with a complimentary credit of CNY1,500 (US$230) to use at its restaurants and bars or spa when they shopped at CDFG’s store, a 10-minute drive from the hotel. As CDFG has deals with around 100 travel agencies for bringing tourists to its store, other promotions are bound to pop up.

Finally if you think all this dedication to shopping is a bit over the top, CDFG has only just begun! At Haitang Bay, also in Sanya, the company is going ahead with plans for an ever bigger retail complex that will dwarf the current one. That is still some time off but it is quite possible that, with all the development planned, Hainan will eventually become a global luxury shopping hub.

Factfile

  • Tourism traffic 2010: Overnight tourist numbers to Hainan reached 25.9 million, 663,000 of which came from outside China. Some 4.06 million visited Sanya in the first half of 2010 (+19.5% year on year)
  • International airports: Haikou Meilan International and Sanya Phoenix International.
  • Airlines at Sanya: Just over 20 of which the biggest (by number of routes) are Hainan Arlines, China Southern, Deer Jet, China Eastern and Shanghai Airlines.
  • Worth knowing: Russia has become the top overseas market for Sanya, accounting for a third of total overseas tourists. It is also the fastest growing market.

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