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Have you ever gone shopping in South Korea? It's an experience, to say the least. And when you combine one of the country's favorite pastimes with discounts on luxury items as you find in Duty-Free, pardon our French but shit gets real. Real awesome. And soon you'll be able to indulge in duty-free shopping over South Koreaand indeed most of the rest of the worldas Korean Air is installing the world's first in-flight duty-free shops onboard their Airbus A380s.
Korea is crazy for duty-free; indeed there are entire malls in Seoul where you need to have an international trip planned in order to make a purchase, which you then can't pick up until you're safely inside the airport and headed out of the country with the goods. And these malls and special duty-free store levels are gorgeous places where big brands create their own mini luxury environments, so why not translate this success to something that fits on a plane?
Duty-free is not a bad word. In fact, it can be the sweetest thing you hear at the airport and onboard the plane, but for some reason, we find that it's mostly ignored by economy passengers on international flights to/from the US, when the catalog of goods is worth at least a little look. We still remember when we fell in love with duty-free; it was a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong, in the middle of which we outfitted ourselves both with new Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner and a prepaid, 3-day unlimited Octopus MTR card for the Hong Kong subways and airport train. There's gold in them there hills!
This week, The Esquire Blog is doing something we should've thought of a while ago: comparing duty-free prices to discounts on the same items from Amazon.com. Do you actually save money while buying Johnny Walker Red Label or a Bulgari watch from the skies, or are the deals sweeter online...?
Shopping Travel / Louis Vuitton / ICN / South Korea Travel / Fashion Travel / Seoul Travel / Duty-Free Products / → All Tags
There is no airport we've been to thus far that has more focus on duty-free shopping than Seoul, South Korea's Incheon International. Not only is there what seems like mile after mile of top luxury brands offering their products in mini version of their regular store, but there's even malls in the center of Seoul where you can go to purchase duty-free items and later (even weeks later) pick them up at the airport. We have a friend in Seoul whose family will even take short international flights just for the purpose of getting duty-free deals. That's dedication.
Incheon Airport has proved itself to be such a moneymakers for big brands that Louis Vuitton who just do not do airport stores, has given in and will open their first airport location here. LVMH prez Bernard Arnault personally swing through the airport earlier this year to check out the prospects, and apparently all met with his approval. Although there's no opening date set, the airport is already taking about increasing flights to China just because of the demand the LV duty-free shop will create.
What are made in Germany, exported from Gibraltar, only used at 35,000 feet and sold onboard Ryanair and bmibaby flights? That's rightthey're Smokeless Cigarettes, designed to satisfy the cravings of heavy-smoking airline passengers who can't go without for more than a few hours and are willing to pony up 6 Euro for a box of ten substitute sticks.
We first announced that Ryanair was bringing the Similar brand Smokeless ciggies onboard back in September, and we finally had a chance to hop a flight and purchase a pack ourselves.
So what are they and how do they work? Find out after the jump!