Let's face it, there is not much else to do at most airports
than wander around looking at the shops, and occasionally getting
the wallet out. Most of us tend to know exactly what we need to
get, whether it be some aftershave, perfume, a bottle of whatever
or perhaps some cigarettes, but for these more regular items where
is the best place to buy them?
After all, any traveller on an International flight will
generally have three choices when purchasing his or / her duty
free. There is the airport of departure, the plane and then the
airport of arrival. Logically, some may think that the prices
would be similar, not worth comparing, but how wrong they
could be. Sometimes the price difference for exactly the same
size, brand and product can be quite large, and it is definitely
worth doing some homework before you spend your hard earned cash.
Don't believe us? Well let us give you an idea of what you
could save on a trip from Hong Kong to Bangkok. We have listed a
few regular items with the prices at Hong Kong International
Airport, China Airlines inflight Duty Free and the arrival Duty
Free at Bangkok International Airport. Please note that the below
prices are no longer valid but they still give you an example of
what the price differences can be. We will soon be updating the
examples with other products such as perfumes etc.
||Hong Kong Airport
|Mild Seven (200 x cigarettes)
|Dunhill Top Leaf (200 x
|Marlboro (200 x cigarettes)
|Davidoff Magnum (200 x
|Black Label Whisky
|Macallan Whisky 12yo (1 litre)
|Chivas Regal Royal Salute
See the differences? Of course with the cheaper items such as
the cigarettes the differences are quite small but still worth
thinking about. Take the Mild Seven cigarettes as an example
inflight they are only US$ 12 at HKIA they cost HK$ 120 which is
roughly US$ 14.8 and at BIA they are THB 480 which is roughly US$
12.2. By purchasing them online you save yourself over US$ 2 per
carton of 200.
If we then compare the more expensive item such
as the Chivas Regal Royal Salute bottle inflight it costs
US$ 62, at HKIA HK$ 800 (roughly US$ 103), and at BIA THB 5,320
(roughly US$ 136 !!!). This really is staggering as you could buy
two bottles inflight for less than one bottle at the Bangkok
It must be understood that buying duty free inflight does pose
one small risk and that is that the airline may not have the item
you want in stock, which would leave you with no other
option than buying on arrival. One example of this, is the new
Dunhill Limited Edition My Mixture cigarettes which are not
available inbound or outbound at Bangkok International Airport nor
inflight most airlines we have flown with. Hong Kong International
Airport does stock them.
note that due to much tighter restrictions and laws in Thailand
very few cigarettes are available on arrival. We would advise you
to buy them on the plane or in the Duty Free shops on departure.
Cigarettes are widely available however on departure from
Thailand's International airport.
Also, in Hong Kong, you are only allowed to take in 60
cigarettes per person over 18 years of age. We have not come
across any other country selling just three packets in Duty Free,
but such a small amount is available on arrival in HKIA's Duty
Cigarettes are simply not allowed to be taken into Singapore,
so while they are extremely cheap on departure from Singapore's
Duty Free, if you dp get caught taking any cigarettes in to the
city-state you will be fined.
It is always worth checking with your airline what products
they stock, and their current prices. Plus it is very important to
check the Duty Free allowance of the country you are flying to
(and the country you may have to stop in (if you will need to go
through customs) if it is not a direct flight). Hong Kong for
example has a ridiculous allowance on cigarettes of just three
packets, meaning you are forced to buy from the limited selection
at HKIA on your arrival.
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