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Double-checking duty free

We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve arrived early for your flight, or perhaps you’ve landed at an unfamiliar airport for a brutally inconvenient stopover. Whatever the reason, the only thing standing between you and hours of boredom is aisle upon aisle of duty-free goods.

Given the captive nature of most duty free shoppers, The Register team had to wonder – does duty free shopping really deliver on discounts? We looked at the online stores of Auckland Airport’s new retailers Aelia Duty Free and The Loop Duty Free to compare prices on some items commonly purchased duty free.

Aelia and The Loop, owned respectively by LS Travel Retail Asia Pacific and Aer Rianta International, replaced long-standing duty free providers DFS and JR Duty Free at the start of this month.

One litre of Bombay Sapphire gin was the first product we looked at.

Aelia Duty Free: $37

The Loop Duty Free: $38.90

Glengarry: $46.99

Liquor King: $52.99

The Mill: $58.99

Perfume is a traditional last-minute airport gift. We chose to research 50ML of Viktor & Rolf’s coveted ‘Flowerbomb’ in eau de parfum form.

StrawberryNET.com: $136.50

Aelia Duty Free: $140

Smith & Caughey’s: $179

Farmers: $183

The Loop Duty Free: N/A

Toblerone seems to have achieved global airport penetration, and we’re sure there must be somebody out there who buys it at home. We looked at 100g bars of the gold milk chocolate variant.

Aelia Duty Free: $3.30 ($19.99 for a pack of six)

Countdown: $3.79

The Loop Duty Free: N/A

Headphones come in very handy on long flights. Skullcandy isn’t our brand of choice, but the Hesh 2.0 headphones model was convenient for comparison purposes.

Aelia Duty Free: $129

JB HiFi: $129

Mighty Ape: $149

The Loop Duty Free: N/A

So far, it looks like there might be something in the duty free promise after all.

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