To help you with this question, I went on a duty free adventure at Heathrow on my way to the US last week. This is what I found….
Heathrow Airport Duty Free- Should You Buy Jack?
No, I mean, really buy Jack… When it comes to a few popular adult beverage options, this is how it goes…
First I checked out a bottle of Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey.
At a US airport you can get .75 litres more for $41.00.
At WineAnthology.com it is $24.99 for 750ml, excluding shipping.
Next, I compared a bottle of Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial, 75cl.
US Duty Free = $79
Heathrow Airport = £32.99 This is around $55.
US Duty free is = $79
Heathrow Airport Duty Free- Adding Up the Scents
Another popular Duty Free purchase is perfume and cologne. So, here’s a few labels for you to see.
The bigger size of 80ml was £60.60 (an advertised sale price of £15.15 less). And this equals around $101.
US Duty Free 80ml = $93
Heathrow Airport = £76.60. (Advertised as a £19.20 savings). This is around $128.
US Duty Free = $124
Heathrow = £43.25. This is around $72.
To smell like a legal ‘Alien’ in the US duty free shop, you’d spend $99.
Heathrow Airport = £33.65 for 100ml. This is around $56.
US Duty Free = Not found
Sephora.com = Not found.
Heathrow Airport Duty Free- Smoke if you got ‘em
At a Sheetz petrol station in Pennsylvania = $61.08. Three cartons would be $183.24!
The ginormous ‘Smoking Kills’ warning on every pack of smokes in the UK… PRICELESS!
Heathrow Airport Duty Free- Money Bags
For kicks, I checked out my fav affordable bag designer, MichaelKors.com at Heathrow Airport.
You can find a similar bag for $297-$358 at Macys.com.
Duty Free Items- Last attempts for Souvenirs/Gifts:
There are also the items that are extremely difficult to get in your destination. This means duty free could be your last chance to grab those country’s treasures and prices might not matter too much…
Sunny friends, what do you think? Does this change your outlook on Duty Free? Will you leave earlier for the airport the next time you have an international flight to save a few dinero at Duty Free?
*US Duty Free prices were taken at the Detroit, Michigan Airport (DTW). Exchange rates were calculated on May 26 at the daily rate of $1.68 = £1.00
If you’re visiting London for the the first time (especially the NFL in London Games this Fall), see the blog’s Guide to London for Americans Visiting the First Time.Or you can subscribe to Sunny in London emails. I’m happy to help Americans find their way here faster, so please share this post if you or friends are travelling to London. You can read more about the expat experience on the blog. Be sure to see the review of an international shipping company, which includes a discount for you.
- Update (January 10, 2016) : There’s a new blog post featuring Chanel, Gucci, MacBook Pro, headphones and more Michael Kors at duty free prices. Prices feature the exchange rate of £1=$1.49
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