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At many (most?) EU airports, some items in the duty free shop show different prices for people flying to EU vs non-EU destinations, and some items simply aren't for sale to people flying within the EU.

I'll be flying from a big EU airport with a good duty free selection, onwards to another EU airport with I think a less good one, and finally connecting onto a a flight out of the EU. I'll have boarding passes for both legs.

At my starting airport, am I able to buy "non-EU duty free" by showing both boarding passes to the staff in the duty free shop? Or would I be restricted to only buying the "non-EU duty free" items before the second flight, the one that actually has me leaving the EU?

(Hopefully there is an EU-wide rule about this, if not, I'm specifically interested in the case of departing LHR for another EU airport, to connect to a flight out of the EU)

  • The funny thing about "non-EU priced" duty-free is that you can buy a throwaway ticket (e.g. a fully refundable fare for later in the day), get your cigarettes/alcohol, and merrily continue on to an EU airport of your choice. – JonathanReez Oct 15 '16 at 17:30
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    @JonathanReez Technically you would then need to go to the Red customs channel on arrival at that other country, declare it and pay the missing duty.... – Gagravarr Oct 15 '16 at 17:32
  • (+1) I vaguely recall that this was indeed possible, don't have any authoritative source for this though. – Relaxed Oct 15 '16 at 18:52
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Yes, you can do this. I do this every time from AMS when connecting to the USA or Asia through another EU airport (CPH mostly in my case, though I've done it through LHR too). As long as you show them your boarding pass for the non-EU leg and explain you're connecting, you should have no problems.

  • It's great someone knew this! Bravo! – Fattie Oct 16 '16 at 15:04

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