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Duty Free Best Finds

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Old Mar 5, 08, 7:12 pm
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Duty Free Best Finds

Dear DiningBuzz Brains Trust , I'd like to pull together our combined knowledge, tips and traps in duty free - especially the drinks retailing.

Would you mind adding your own favourite Duty Free info below?
I'll save this and the next message for an index and updates.
Thanks to MissyDarlin for your attention, too.

Please report the rip-offs, too. Note SJU recently [Feb '10] jacked up prices.

Index:
  • Airport DF
  • In the air DF
  • Off-airport DF
  • Online DF
  • Cruise ports
  • Suggestions

Airport DF
In the air DF
  • United UA DF:
    - Johnnie Walker Blue $120
  • Emirates EK DF
  • Singapore SQ DF:
    - JW Blue, 75cl.: $128 (S$175.00 - per the catalog)
    - JW Gold, 75cl: $59 (S$81.00 - per the catalog)
    - JW Black, 1L: $31 (S$42.00 - per the catalog)
    - Remy Martin, 700ml: $104 (S$142)
    - The Macallan, 700ml: $99 (S$135)
    - Chivas Regal, 1L: $31 (S$42)
    - Jack Daniels, 1L: $28 (S$38) [all on xe.com 2.Jun.08]
    Details by SuperFlyBoy, here.

Products (all prices at posting converted to USD$ with www.xe.com)
Transporting Drinks (successfully)
  • Packing in checked luggage
    Packing tips (lots of tips there)
  • Freight, courier options

Miles Accumulation
Currency converter XE.com

Discussion
There are already a few good topics around DB and generally FT.
FT Duty Free Guide (new; please try it)
Best food finds in airport shops while transiting
Best places to buy cigars

Off-airport
Borders
Arizona-Mexico border. Organ Pipes NP - Bacardi 151 proof $10
Maybe cruises are the best source for drinks deals.

Special Offers
Any bogof offers? July specials at your airport / off-airport 'duty free'?
DEL offers including bogof or b2gof (thanks Raffles longhaul!)

Last edited by BiziBB; Jul 7, 12 at 12:10 am Reason: Thanks superflyboy for the Dom price hike SJU. Please add yours!
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Old Mar 5, 08, 7:22 pm
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Any additional info to the index I'll keep here.

This could include an index or link to carryon restrictions, strange rules peculiar to airports re security such as those which may be traps for unwary DF buyers.

Allowances:
Country Spirits Wine Cigarettes/Tobacco
Bali 1 Ltr or 1Ltr 200 or 100g
Canada 1.1 Ltr or 1.1 Ltrs 200 or 200g
China 1.5 Ltr or 1.5 Ltrs 400 -
Cook Islands 2 Ltrs or 2 Ltrs 200 or 500g
Fiji 2 Ltrs or 4 Ltrs 250 or 250g
Hong Kong 1 Ltr or 1 Ltr 60 (or 15 cigars) or 75g
[Edit: HK: No duty on wine any more!]
Indonesia 1 Ltr or 1 Ltr 200 or 100g
Japan 3 x 750ml 400 or 250g
Korea 1 Ltr or 1 Ltr 400 or 500g
Singapore 1 Ltr and 1 Ltr none none
Samoa 1 Ltr or 1 Ltr 200 or 250g
Tonga 2.25 Ltrs or 4.5 Ltrs 400 or 500g
United Kingdom 1 Ltr and 2 Ltrs 200 or 250g
United States 1 Ltr or 1 Ltr 200 or 100g

Australia t. 1300 363 263
Canada
How much duty would one pay on a $40 dollar bottle of scotch in Canada?

NZ
Allowances
  • Not more than 3 bottles of spirits (up to a maximum of 1125ml each)
  • 4.5 litres of Wine, port, Sherry, Champagne (six bottles) or beer (12 cans).
  • 200 cigarettes or 250 gms of tobacco or 50 cigars
  • NZ $700 of other goods purchased Duty Free or overseas
Other products of interest

Savings DF v Retail
Australia 35% (JW Blue is AUD$95 less ($35%) than low-price retail of AUD$270)
NZ: ?%

Last edited by BiziBB; Mar 24, 08 at 5:29 pm
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Old Mar 5, 08, 7:42 pm
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Johnnie Walker Blue Label (35%+ off street price)

Probably #1 on my DF list, once I know the best place to get it!
(All prices quoted in USD$ at time of posting, using xe.com calculator. Note: I'll always update the #1 post first, so check there, before checking here!)

Johnnie Walker Blue Label
  • Australia USD$155.47
  • Denmark (CPH) USD$
  • Ireland USD$
  • Malaysia USD$
  • New Zealand USD$
  • Singapore $167 (1L: USD$222)
  • Sri Lanka USD$
  • UK USD$
  • USA $135 (BOS & ORD)

Other sources?
  • AUH, BAH, DOH, DXB
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • South Africa

Last edited by BiziBB; Apr 2, 09 at 1:45 am
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Old Mar 6, 08, 3:33 pm
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I'm going to sticky this thread for the next couple weeks to see how it fares and if it needs a permanent home here in Dining Buzz
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Old Mar 6, 08, 3:43 pm
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A few years ago, (6?) we got some fantastic lamb filets, portion packed/frozen in a nice little sealed container with dry-ice, in SYD. It had all kinds of goverment "seals" of approval and the LAX customs were fine with it. (took it all the way to NAS and was still frozen when we arrived).
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Old Mar 6, 08, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by BiziBB View Post
Asia should have some deals, or do drinkers all buy their best deals OS?
Japan, Korea?
SIN, KUL?
I've foudn SYD better than KUL
In fact paid $14.95AUD recently for a 1125ml Grants Scotch
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Old Mar 6, 08, 4:45 pm
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SYD: Baileys 1.125L (& others) $27/$18 euro

SYD Duty Free's standard offer is currently a 2-for-$59 deal.
2x 1.125L @ $59 works out, per bottle:
USD$27/EUR$17.75

2 for $49 promo ($22.70 ea)
2 for $59 promo ($27 ea)
(URL indicates these are for Feb-Mar 08)

Plus promos: QF $2k shopping spree draw (QFF members only).
(There is also a spend $1 for 1 QFF mile bonus. Wish I'd given my QFF#!)
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Old Mar 10, 08, 10:13 am
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Originally Posted by BiziBB View Post
Probably #1 on my DF list, once I know the best place to get it!

Who is off to MEX?

How about our CMB-SYD-AKL-SIN flyers?
JWB Aussie DF USD$155.47, EUR$102.31 [AUD$168 @ USD$0.9254, EUR$0.609 ]

Where is a great deal on DF JWB in the US?

What about your best Middle-East DF sources?
AUH, BAH, DOH, DXB?

Asia should have some deals, or do drinkers all buy their best deals OS?
Japan, Korea?
SIN, KUL?
I was on a ORD-FRA run a few weekends ago and checked-out the DF stores both in the US and in FRA.

ORD DF had a 750mL JWB for $135 (which is what I remember seeing at the BOS DF store too - operated by the same company, I think).

In FRA, JWB was 125-130 Euros, which is almost $200 USD.

When I was on a cruise a few months ago, JWB was about $130 on the ship and about $120-140 at the stores in the Grand Caymans.
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Old Mar 10, 08, 10:23 am
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Help! BiziBB! What is the name of that wonderful port made in Australia that you can get at the DF in SYD?

Worth flying 12 hours to get!

Bravo to the Australian airports that have Duty Free shopping for ARRIVING passengers! A wonderful idea!
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Old Mar 10, 08, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by BiziBB View Post
How about our CMB-SYD-AKL-SIN flyers?
I used to fly in & out of CMB quite often (unfortunately, before I knew about, or joined FT), but chocolate prices there (arrivals DF) were the lowest I had seen for Duty-Free (definitely better than SIN!)...I did buy some whiskey/wine, but I cannot recall how good the pricing was, but I think it was decent...

Time for the FT'ers MR'ing down there to advise...I've refunded 2 of mine already...

Don't discount Indian airports nowadays either - they used to be outrageous, but have come down to market levels, I think-will check next time I fly & report!
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Old Mar 10, 08, 8:39 pm
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Originally Posted by JY1024 View Post
I was on a ORD-FRA run a few weekends ago and checked-out the DF stores both in the US and in FRA.

ORD DF had a 750mL JWB for $135 ...

In FRA, JWB was 125-130 Euros, which is almost $200 USD.

...$120-140 at the stores in the Grand Caymans.
Thank you JY - I have linked your finds to the index.
Keep them coming - there must be some good ones around.

Hopefully some especially good deals from Euro zone countries or more realistically, former eastern states that are now in the EU.

(Even Shannon Airport, Ireland, if it is feeling the sting of reduced flight traffic thanks to the US flights being able to stop in DUB instead)
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Old Mar 10, 08, 8:44 pm
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Originally Posted by oldpenny16 View Post
Help! BiziBB! What is the name of that wonderful port made in Australia that you can get at the DF in SYD?

Worth flying 12 hours to get!

Bravo to the Australian airports that have Duty Free shopping for ARRIVING passengers! A wonderful idea!

Penny, I'll have a look over Easter.
Will also look in at MEL airport's duty free, for all the normal stuff and any good local finds.

SYD has a pretty big red wine selection, so I'll just look for the fortified wines section.
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Old Mar 10, 08, 8:57 pm
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Generally, I've found the best liquor prices at non "DF" stores in places with low liquor taxes. Cruzan rum (light or dark) at $2.99 US at the K-Mart in St. Thomas, for example. Non-local liquor wasn't quite as much of a steal, but still better pricing at K-Mart and the grocery store than at any of the "duty-free" stores, and much better prices than the local stores here in Florida.

Italy also had good pricing, again better at the local stores than the DF.

Best price I've seen on Kahlua was $8.00 a liter at a grocery in Tijuana.

Edited to add, I found this thread from last July on CruiseCritic.com, listing these prices at a place called Riise in St. Thomas or St. Johns.
A 1 ltr bottle of Absolut cost 9.95
1 ltr. Grand Marnier 22.95
1 ltr. Baileys 17.95
1 ltr. Jose Cuervo Gold 13.95
1 ltr. Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch 24.95
1 ltr. Bombay Sapphire Gin 14.95

Last edited by djk7; Mar 10, 08 at 9:14 pm
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Old Mar 10, 08, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by BiziBB View Post
Penny, I'll have a look over Easter.
Will also look in at MEL airport's duty free, for all the normal stuff and any good local finds.

SYD has a pretty big red wine selection, so I'll just look for the fortified wines section.
Thank you! BiziBB! We drank it all!
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Old Mar 10, 08, 11:09 pm
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Originally Posted by oldpenny16 View Post
Help! BiziBB! What is the name of that wonderful port made in Australia that you can get at the DF in SYD?

Worth flying 12 hours to get!

Bravo to the Australian airports that have Duty Free shopping for ARRIVING passengers! A wonderful idea!
I can't think of the port you're thinking of, oldpenny.
Brown Brothers?
Can you remember anything about the location of the wine label in Australia, the label itself or any story that would help?


As for SYD DF, seeing as the arrivals gate IS the DF shop, it's hard to miss.
I wish there was still the immigration gate for DF shoppers.

When in an Aussie airport DF, have your QFF number ready in case you score miles .
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