Sunday, August 13, 2006

Airport duty free and the new carry-on restrictions

Gulf News reports:

Industry statistics put sales of liquid items at 20 per cent of all airport retail sales.

The new UK rules do not forbid passengers flying from Dubai into London from having carry-on luggage if they terminate their journeys in the UK; however, passengers with connecting flights out of the UK are barred from having carry-on luggage.

Dubai Duty Free, the world's third largest airport retailer in terms of turnover, said it was monitoring the situation but had not detected a 'noticeable impact' on its daily sales.

A manager at Bahrain Duty Free said there was slight decline in the sale of beverages and other liquid items on Friday. He said the outlets were still processing the sales data. "This is a fluid situation. We are still monitoring it to see if it will have any impact on our sales," said Ramesh Cidambi, a Dubai Duty Free manager responsible for logistics.

Dubai Duty Free refused to say if there was any decline in liquid product sales due to the UK rules.

"This is a fluid situation." Pun unintended I presume.

Here's the latest carry-on rules at British Air (emphasis added):
With immediate effect, the following arrangements apply to all passengers starting their journey at a UK or United States of America airport and to those transferring between flights at a UK airport.

All cabin baggage must be processed as hold baggage and carried in the hold of passenger aircraft departing UK airports.

Note:Passengers are advised that ALL electrical or battery powered items including laptops, mobile phones, portable music players, remote controls etc cannot be carried in the cabin and must be checked in as hold baggage.

Passengers may take through the airport security search point, in a single (ideally transparent) plastic carrier bag, only the following items. Nothing may be carried in pockets:-
*pocket size wallets and pocket size purses plus contents (for example money, credit cards, identity cards etc (not handbags));
*travel documents essential for the journey (for example passports and travel tickets);
*prescription medicines and medical items sufficient and essential for the flight (eg diabetic kit), except in liquid form unless verified as authentic.
*spectacles and sunglasses, without cases.
*contact lens holders, without bottles of solution.
*for those travelling with an infant: baby food, milk (the contents of each bottle must be tasted by the accompanying passenger) and sanitary items sufficient and essential for the flight (nappies, wipes, creams and nappy disposal bags).
*female sanitary items sufficient and essential for the flight, if unboxed (eg tampons, pads, towels and wipes).
*tissues (unboxed) and/or handkerchiefs
*keys (but no electrical key fobs)

Every other item must be carried in customer’s hold luggage.

All passengers must be hand searched, and their footwear and all the items they are carrying must be x-ray screened.

Pushchairs and walking aids must be x-ray screened, and only airport-provided wheelchairs may pass through the screening point.

In addition to the above, all passengers boarding flights to the USA and all the items they are carrying, including those acquired after the central screening point, must be subjected to secondary search at the boarding gate. Any liquids discovered must be removed from the passenger.

Customers travelling to the UK from overseas airports may be subject to local airport restrictions and therefore customers should plan to travel with the very minimum of hand luggage.

There is also this Baggage Advice:
To minimise disruption, British Airways advises customers that they should reduce to a minimum the number of bags to be checked in (maximum of 32 kgs per bag). They should also minimise the amount of electrical equipment contained within their hold baggage.

Certainly if these restrictions were applied to every flight out of Dubai, then Dubai Duty Free would take a very severe hit. Including in the liquid libations department. Of course would still be the incoming business. (Though Dubai Duty Free clearly is geared to out-going business.) That might even pick up some since few passengers are doing their duty free purchases in London anymore:
AS long queues continued at Heathrow’s security and check-in points many shops remained empty because of the stringent security measures forbidding electrical goods, perfumes, drinks and other liquids as hand luggage.

BAA said that passengers could purchase goods in the airport after passing through security, but those travelling to the USA were banned from taking any liquids. As well as the new rules, sales assistants said that the queues were another deterrent, with passengers reluctant to spend time shopping in case lines became even longer.

The rules quoted above appear more restrictive.

Some background on the airport duty free business:
Airports act as landlords, letting out retail space for high rents. This attracts a range of shops, from chemists and electrical retailers to luxury-goods companies keen to take advantage of "dwell time", when bored travellers waiting for their flights indulge in retail therapy.

"Is it significant? Yes, it's very significant," said Andrew Fitchie, an analyst at Collins Stewart.

"The whole global airport model is predicated on keeping charges for the infrastructure down by cross-subsidising from retail. That's the case with BAA and with regional airports in the UK, and it's one of the reasons low-cost carriers have been able to grow.

"It's been the cornerstone of the airport industry for the last 20 years or so."

Mr Fitchie said it was hard to put a figure on revenues garnered from retail by airports, but conceded: "We're talking not tens but hundreds of millions of pounds."

Here's a good summary of the current state of air travel transport security in the U.S., arguing that there should be less focus on bad things and more focus on bad people. Can you say profiling?



Anonymous bath mateUS. said...

nice posting..............


2:25 PM  
Anonymous Norma said...

It will not truly have success, I feel like this.

8:04 AM  

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