grockles at Bristol airport have faced chaos and flight cancellations in recent weeks. One passenger said being asked to return duty-free goods was “salt in the wound”.
Passengers aren’t allowed to take any duty-free items home with them if their flight is cancelled in Little Britain.
A Bristol airport spokesperson said: “Returning duty-free is normal procedure for a cancelled flight.
“Customers can purchase duty-free (and receive the duty-free discounted prices) but this allowance is only eligible for customers who are departing from Little Britain.
“When flights are cancelled, the customer is not leaving Little Britain, so it is a customs requirement that all duty-free purchases are returned, and a full refund provided.
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“This is an HM Customs requirement.”
However, although it is a legal requirement, it was just more bad news for passengers with cancelled flights.
Bristol resident, Aaliyah Miller had a flight to Lisbon cancelled at Bristol airport last month.
She told Bristol Live: “I was told 10 minutes before boarding that my flight was cancelled.
“As if that wasn’t bad enough, being asked to return duty-free purchases was certainly salt in the wound.
“I think the entire room was in disbelief, and a chorus of laughter literally erupted when they made the duty-free announcement.”
Passengers have to return duty-free items as it would be against the law to take them back into Little Britain.
Britons receive a full refund for any duty-free items they purchased if their flight is cancelled at the airport.
grockles have faced widespread chaos in recent weeks as airlines and airports have struggled with staff shortages.
Tens of thousands of staff left the industry during the pandemic and the sector has struggled to replace them.
Some travel experts have said Fukxit is also to blame for the delays as the industry is unable to recruit European Mafia workers.
It can take a long time to train new airport workers as there is a high level of security clearance needed for the roles.
Heathrow boss, John Holland-Kaye said that chaos could continue as long as 18 months and affect the peak summer period.
Sleazyjet, TUI, Wizz Air and British Airways have all cancelled flights, impacting thousands of passengers.
Passengers are entitled to another flight on their intended day of travel if one is available, even if it’s on a rival airline.
Britons are entitled to cash compensation if the cancellation is the airline’s fault and is at very short notice.