Can I see your boarding pass please?



  • martindow
    martindow Forumite Posts: 10,062
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    You're right bowlhead but the issue for many people is the underhand way shops have been doing this - happily giving the impression it was somehow related to security at the airport.

    Personally I would prefer to not produce a boarding card and make them pay the VAT which is the one tax that large companies find difficult to avoid. It is taxes that pay for all the things that make life civilised - education, policing, NHS, etc.
  • richardw
    richardw Forumite Posts: 19,452
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
    edited 14 August 2015 at 3:29PM
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • bagand96
    bagand96 Forumite Posts: 5,851
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    Martin Lewis and other journalists on this current bandwagon

    That's exactly what this is. Middle of the summer, not much news around, nothing like starting up the outrage bus... All aboard!

    I'm not excusing what the retailers have been doing. Although I'm not really sure the way it's being reported is giving the general public a full understanding of it. Also there a far bigger dodgy corporate tax regimes that could be reported on.

    At least it's giving people the sense of fighting for their civil liberties at the (now very common) checkout boarding pass standoff in departure lounges up and down the country.
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Forumite Posts: 15,118
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    bowlhead99 wrote: »


    For someone who is all about being a Money Saving Expert it seems quite bizarre to be proposing that a buyer and a seller engage in a transaction and the buyer, rather than do everything they can to ensure that every penny that they hand over to the seller is received for good value, should do what they can to make sure that the lowest proportion possible ends up in the hands of the person who is selling them the goods and the maximum proportion possible is leaked away to the taxman.

    Money paid in taxes is hardly "leaked away" but is used productively. Remember that many of these companies (Boots is a particularly extreme case) employ a range of underhand methods to avoid tax and in fact pay virtually no corporation tax.
  • bowlhead99
    bowlhead99 Forumite Posts: 12,295
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    Money paid in taxes is hardly "leaked away" but is used productively.
    It would be more accurate to simply say it is 'redistributed'. The extent to which you or I prefer high tax rates or low tax rates may differ based on political perspectives. But what is clear is that money taken from companies or individuals as taxation and spent by the government is not necessarily used any more productively than how the company or individual that paid that tax would have used it themselves.

    And when you are looking at a transaction between a supplier and a customer, and the supplier has a certain funds requirement to motivate him to supply, and the customer wants to hand over the minimum amount possible... it is certainly appropriate to characterise the payment of unnecessary tax as money 'leaking away' from the two parties who want to exchange the goods for mutual benefit.
    Remember that many of these companies (Boots is a particularly extreme case) employ a range of underhand methods to avoid tax and in fact pay virtually no corporation tax.
    All multinational companies generate a large amount of various types of taxes. This includes hundreds of millions of pounds of employment taxes and social security, hundreds of millions of pounds of value added tax on the value added, and corporation tax on the remaining profits.

    In Alliance Boots's case the underlying corporation tax in the last accounts was hundreds of millions of pounds and the effective rate in the 15-20% range. Since the beginning of the year they have been fully owned by Walgreens Boots Alliance, so going forwards you will have to look in the financial statements of that US-listed entity to see what corporation taxes are being paid. Have no fear, it won't be nil.

    But next time you are buying some toothpaste or paracetamol, take comfort in the fact that WBA might have had to charge you more for it to maintain their profit margins if I had refused to show them my boarding card and made them pay an unnecessary pound of VAT when I bought some stuff on my last ex-EU flight. Cheers, no problem, don't mention it.
  • agarnett
    agarnett Posts: 1,301 Forumite
    edited 26 August 2015 at 1:45AM
    bowlhead, I think you a bit out on a limb here, constructing a case for the non existent benevolence of the corporate interests in all this, unselfishly propping up our economy with their fantastic contributions to the country's exchequer :p

    The truth is that the very nature of airports invites those using them to think internationally and make international comparisons with what we find.

    Ryanair has mellowed considerably in the last 12 -18 months, but I find that now its the actual UK airport experience that is becoming equally as ruthless as Ryanair ever used to be in any of their interactions!

    I use Stansted quite a bit, now owned by Manchester Airports. I feel they really do now treat you as badly as cattle at market, quite unashamedly threading their never ending snake queuing corridors everywhere in order to spread out the demand on their minimal resources so they can save on staff while they keep you hanging around. It is no better than shoestring run call centres where the average wait time is currently 20 minutes, except in a call centre queue you can sit down and have a cup of tea! Try that in a Stansted snake queue and you'll probably get a pair of machine gun toting police-persons coming to talk to you about moving along and disposing of your liquids, or else.

    Ryanair again has broken down class barriers between types of seating in aircraft, but it is kind of happening generally now. You can pay extra for fast-tracking security, but some things you just have to endure like the rest of the sheep or cattle.

    Take the new car rental offer at Stansted. It is now as no other international airport I've visited. Seems car rentals is now a very "yesterday" requirement at an airport! You can't pick up a car anywhere near the terminal anymore. There's no car hire office in the terminal. They're all half a mile away (or more like a mile the way the bus takes you when it eventually turns up!). People who hire cars are generally go ahead ABC1 types not given to hanging around or being pushed around like cattle or sheep. Yet at Stansted, until you actually arrive at the car hire office well away from the terminal, you are indeed still being "processed" like cattle or sheep now. And as a reminder that you are very ordinary and due no particular respect, you are forced to wait for the car rental bus right next to the smokers puffing away in their designated black hole of an area like there is no tomorrow.

    Even If you have been clever enough to arrange to be picked up, that costs the driver £2.50 at least for a maximum 15 minutes I think, and if the driver is fool enough to pay £2.50 and go round again, then the ANPR machines will know and levy a charge of £20!

    But back to retail, they've completely revamped the whole layout under the main terminal roof, and particularly expanded the retail area to push every traveller through WDF. Why? Because they're not much interested in renting cars it seems, they only wish to rent space to so called high street names, but they control them very closely indeed, for a hard-nosed negotiated significant cut of the profits I believe. WDF is the centrepiece, but who owns WDF anyway?

    Irrespective of who the big winners are (and none of it is for customers' wallets' benefits now is it?) it seems to me that pretty much all of the businesses under that roof exploit labour mercilessly. Much of it is migrant labour. The workers are paid a pittance, working damned hard and wholly unsocial hours, with no proper facilities or adequate breaks, many required to constantly hustle, either to sell, or to process bodies and possessions through security protocols and machines, or through the airport itself. Until it is your time that is being used, then you stand around. Yesterday I got stopped at the metal detector screen with a random beep. Take your shoes off I was told gruffly. I was wearing North Face sports shoes which are little more than sandals through which you could see 60% of my socks! Never mind that. Take them off I was told. Put them in there and collect them there (pointed there and there). Next! Why do we subject ourselves to these stupid damned things. WHy do they treat us like that? Is it just because they want to tick boxes for HMG or is it more sinister? Are we being conditioned for WDF? ;)

    The most po-faced of the airport retailers, WDF, constantly mislead customers with their ridiculous shelf label pricing comparisons with so called high street prices (breach of CPR2008 Regulation 5).

    This especially applies to alcohol.

    The way they have systematically hiked the price in that airport of whisky, cognac and now rum over the past few years is absolutely ridiculous. I used to buy a bottle every time I cam through but not now. Apparently the Chinese got a taste for it and we as buyers have to pay more to get supplies retained here in Europe - seriously - that's what WDF told me!

    The most ridiculous price I think I saw today was their price for Ron Zacapa 23 years old for I think £52 with the claim that if you buy one you've saved £34 on the high street price! Where is this mysterious high street where suckers actually pay such a price? What is its validity as a true and/or fair comparison even if one sucker somewhere paid that price last week? Absolutely no validity at all I say. So if you see it written anywhere on a promotional display, train your brain to immediately think "Rip Off Alert! Walk on by ..."

    Bloody crooks. The last time I bought an exactly similar bottle earlier this year it was just thirty quid at the EU airport I was travelling to an hour away. And that's an hour further away on the plane from the Caribbean where supposedly the rum was made up, and brought down, (... some mountain I read about on the bottle or the box, I forget which ... maybe both!) and it is several hours further away via donkey and container ship! But at these prices they probably can afford to fly it in, donkey and all!

    So they rip the customer off at the sharp end with misleading price comparisons, and then force the customer to disclose their boarding pass to make sure WDF retain as much of the the entire hiked element of the price by telling the taxman tough titty - the customer took his tipple to Turkey!

    You can tell how hiked WDFs prices are by the fact you can almost always find a coupon online to save a fiver off £70 or £75 and sometimes you can even embarrass them into reaching under the counter for the latest coupon version if you've forgotten. It's only money! I suppose that's the human side of their setup, but when I came through, they'd printed up A4 laminated notices at the tills reminding of their peculiar HMRC requirement. Conveniently sited they were, for staff to immediately point at should anyone mention withholding their boarding pass (I have a picture of it should anyone be interested), and the expression on their faces at the mention of Martin Lewis was another absolute picture :money:!
  • Smokeyone
    Smokeyone Forumite Posts: 149
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    I thought I would mention that I recently travelled out via Stansted and that WDF are still insisting upon boarding cards - for the aftershave I did not purchase. However almost certain the aftershave I then purchased on my Ryanair flight was less expensive than WDF.
  • duchy
    duchy Forumite Posts: 19,511
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    Talk about first world problems....buying in duty free is not compulsory (and often not the best priced option either).
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  • jackieblack
    jackieblack Forumite Posts: 10,220
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    agarnett wrote: »

    I was wearing North Face sports shoes which are little more than sandals through which you could see 60% of my socks!

    I stopped reading at this point
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  • esperluette
    esperluette Forumite Posts: 44 Forumite
    the cashiers said the duty ha dbeen paid and they wouldnt serve me if i didnt show the pass.
    i emailed wdf
    To answer your query about the reason our team request your boarding pass prior to any purchase at World Duty Free, I hope the following information makes this clear
    Firstly, and unlike all other airport retailers, World Duty Free’s UK stores operate under a specific 'export shops’ regulation. Under that regulation it is an HMRC requirement that World Duty Free asks all customers to present their boarding card (which clearly states their flight number and destination) when making a purchase.
    Therefore, all relevant products sold in World Duty Free’s stores are already discounted by the equivalent of VAT as a minimum, and for some product categories the savings are even greater. So all passengers benefit from VAT free prices regardless of where they are flying (either inside or outside the EU).
    All VAT applicable on purchases by EU passengers is fully accounted for to HMRC by WDFG - not the customer, and VAT is not charged and therefore not applicable to those purchases made by customers travelling outside the EU
    Savings vary by category and are as follows:
    Fragrance – 20% off all fragrance and up to 40% on selected fragrances* Champagne – 20% off all Champagne (non-vintage)* Spirits – between 20 - 50% off * Skincare & Cosmetics – you save the equivalent of VAT on these items* Sunglasses, Watches, Jewellery & Bags - you save the equivalent of VAT on these items
    *These savings on these items are compared to the Average UK High Street price where applicable.
    All other items are compared to the manufactures’ RRP.
    World Duty Free asks all passengers to show their boarding pass (which clearly states their flight number and destination) when they make a purchase. This is a legal requirement specified by HMRC, as mentioned above, and this process enables WDFG to make the correct payment to HMRC where applicable - this is in line with accepted practice at airport duty free stores across the world.
    World Duty Free uses the flight destination information on the boarding pass to ensure that any applicable customs, excise duty &/or VAT (as highlighted above) is fully accounted for to HMRC. This process does not allow WDFG to reclaim any tax from HMRC, on the contrary and as mentioned before, it is the system agreed with HMRC that enables WDFG to make the correct payment to HMRC where applicable.
    A copy of the regulation can be found at:
    Additionally, this is supplemented by a separate, legally enforceable agreement between WDF and HMRC (the Bespoke Retail Agreement Scheme) which stipulates that boarding passes must be presented when purchasing all products in order to enable WDF to correctly account to HMRC for Customs duties and VAT as appropriate.
    The above regulations are valid across all UK World Duty Free export stores. Should you wish to check this information, may I suggest that you contact HM Revenue & Customs on 0300 200 3700 where the officers will corroborate the explanation I have given you.
    So, in summary, you do not pay tax on your purchase, as all prices in World Duty Free stores are without VAT added - World Duty Free (not the customer) pay any appropriate VAT or other taxes to HMRC dependent upon the product purchased and customer destination.
    I sincerely hope this has clarified your query properly - I would suggest you check our Frequently Asked Questions section of our website by clicking this link if you require any further information Thank you once again for your feedback
    Kind Regards
    Lisa Morley | Customer Service Leader

    t: + 441784 475509 | f: +441784 475501
    Runnymede CDC, 1215 Windsor Road | Egham | Surrey | TW20 0AE| UK

    I m still confused as to why they cant have clear dual eu and non eu pricing.
    in any case their alcohol is ridiculously priced!even my local waitrose is cheaper.
    I ended up only spending 50 p in Boots on a travel toothpaste and next time i wont buy anything at WDF, will save the hassle of carrying it as hand luggage.
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