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First there was road rage, then air rage, now it appears duty free rage has been born. And given the variance in LAGs regulations around the world – and the interpretation of them – should we be surprised?
According to today’s Manchester Evening News, a near riot occurred after ‘around 100’ travellers faced the seizure of their duty free liquor and tobacco when their flight from Las Vegas stopped at Glasgow Airport this week en route to their final destination of Manchester.
According to the report, ‘trouble flared’ when the travellers were told that as their purchases were in stapled rather than sealed bags, they would be confiscated.
“Police were called as angry holidaymakers argued with customs staff who eventually agreed to let the duty free travel in the plane’s hold after airline bosses stepped in,” the report said.
The aircraft reportedly ended up being delayed for almost two hours because of the time taken to resolve the dispute and seal the bags.
Two passengers, Norman and Georgina Lloyd, describe the affair as ‘a total shambles’.
“We were told we had to get off, show our passports and everything and then get back on again,” Norman Lloyd told the newspaper. “Then they confiscated all this duty free – it was a disaster.”
A spokeswoman for Thomas Cook apologised to passengers and blamed Las Vegas Airport [where The Nuance Group is the duty free retailer] for the problems.
She said: “The bags had just been stapled and not properly sealed and under Department for Transport rules this isn’t acceptable. Some of the passengers got a bit angry when they were told that their duty free would have to be taken off them but fortunately we sorted everything out.
“We’ll be following it up with Las Vegas Airport, we don’t want it to happen again. The passengers weren’t at fault.” She added that no passengers were arrested.
The story may appear comical, certainly farcical. But there’s a serious point here too. Every time a travelling consumer is sold goods that they aren’t allowed to carry beyond an airport transfer point, or their goods are seized wrongly as sometimes happens, industry credibility is eroded and a customer is potentially lost for the long-term.
The Moodie Report constantly tracks consumer correspondence to national newspapers all around the world on the subject of airport shopping. Time and again we read about consumer confusion and anger over the LAGs regulations.
Nearly five years on from the original terrorist alert that sparked the LAGs issue, too often the industry is still not getting it right.
[To read the full story click here.]