5 Tips for Christmas Gift Buying at the Airport | ExpatWoman.com
 

5 Tips for Christmas Gift Buying at the Airport

Left your festive shopping until the last minute? If you’re flying there’s still a chance to do it all.

Posted on

18 December 2019

Last updated on 14 January 2020
5 Tips for Christmas Gift Buying at the Airport

All Credits: PA

If you’re catching a flight in the run-up to Christmas and haven’t yet mustered the energy to buy presents for your family, a speedy shopping spree at the airport might solve your problems.

In recent years, terminals at both Heathrow and Gatwick have been revamped, with many quality outlets you’d expect to find on the high street. Lots of other departure ports across the country also have a good selection of stores.

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Here’s how to fly through the festive mayhem before you even board a plane.

If you’re catching a flight in the run-up to Christmas and haven’t yet mustered the energy to buy presents for your family, a speedy shopping spree at the airport might solve your problems.  In recent years, terminals at both Heathrow and Gatwick have been revamped, with many quality outlets you’d expect to find on the high street. Lots of other departure ports across the country also have a good selection of stores.  Here’s how to fly through the festive mayhem before you even board a plane.

1. Give yourself plenty of time

It’s recommended to arrive at the airport an hour ahead of European flights, and a minimum of two hours before longer journeys. But passenger numbers swell drastically during the festive period, so it’s advisable to allow even longer. Use that excess time wisely to do your shopping, and you won’t be left twiddling your thumbs airside.

2. Consider placing orders in advance

To speed up your airport shopping, you can pre-order gifts in advance. World Duty Free have a website where you can browse items and arrange for collection – ideal if you have internet access en route to the departure lounge. Visit uk.worlddutyfree.com to see which products are available at your chosen airport.

If you’re travelling through London, Heathrow offers a complimentary Reserve & Collect service. You could choose to pick up your presents before your flight out – or on your return journey, if you are making a short trip before Christmas.

3. Make the most of Christmas elves

Choosing the right gift can be stressful – especially under pressure. Sales staff at major airports are familiar with the stock available, and have been trained to offer tips to indecisive customers. The range of expertise covers beauty, sunglasses, food and drink – everything you’d expect from walking into a department store.

For even more personal attention, Heathrow offers a complimentary luxury shopping service, available in all terminals in private shopping lounges. Book an appointment 48 hours in advance at boutique.heathrow.com. They also offer a free gift-wrapping service.

Make the most of Christmas elves

4. Use loyalty cards to your advantage

If you’ve clocked up air miles, consider using them to purchase gifts in Duty Free. Some schemes have partnered with shops in the airports – eg Emirates customers can use their Skywards points in Duty Free outlets.

Loyalty cards are also a great way to collect points as you spend, and there are often deals available to make your money go further. Until January, you can collect up to 10,000 extra Heathrow Rewards points in certain shops. Visit rewards.heathrow.com for details on how to join the scheme

Some airlines, such as British Airways, have their own stores, where you can use Avios points to make purchases and have items delivered straight to your seat when you fly. Alternatively, do it all on the plane – an even better option if you’re really short on time.

5. Arrive looking unfrazzled

If you’re flying directly to a festive gathering and haven’t had time to smarten up, you could also potentially fit in a beauty treatment before boarding. Some big terminals have express hair salons, where you could have a speedy blow dry.

World Duty Free offers free beauty services in store, including mini facials and hand massages. The treatments usually take between two and 10 minutes each and don’t need to be pre-booked – just ask what’s available.

This way, you can arrive with gifts and looking poised and completely in control of Christmas.


 
 

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