Have you ever had to show your boarding pass when purchasing something in an airport shop? Have you ever thought you legally had to?
Often, customers are under the impression that presenting your boarding pass is for security reasons and many have even been told this by retail staff when trying to purchase items at the airport.
It has emerged, however, that the actual reason behind the request is so that retailers can identify who is flying to non-EU countries and avoid paying 20% VAT on customers’ purchases.
The reduction on VAT was originally intended to reduce costs for travellers; however, it turns out retailers in airport terminals are profiting from this tax discount.
This means, that if a customer travelling outside of the EU purchases something from the airport, the retailer pockets the 20% tax usually paid to the government.
As a result of this, travellers have begun refusing to show their boarding passes as part of a “grassroots rebellion” with the intention of putting pressure on retailers to pass this saving on to their customers.
While there is nothing illegal about the retailers profiteering from this, travellers feel cheated and want to challenge their way of working.
Top airport retailer, WH Smiths, said that it would be impossible to distinguish between travellers to EU and non-EU destinations and have a pricing system which reflected this.
What do you think about this news? Will you be showing your boarding card on your next On the Beach holiday?