How to get banned from Duty Free

Ever been banned from entering the duty free shop at an airport? Ever even considered that it might happen to you? Probably not on both accounts, and unless you’re the leader of one of a handful of countries it seems unlikely that such a ban will hit any time soon. But if you do happen to be the leader of Germany, Japan, the UK, the USA, Canada, France, Australia or Ukraine then I’ve got some bad news for you: No duty free shopping in Vladivostok.


For the seven western countries it is only the leader who is banned from the shop; for Ukraine there are six who are named. And, of course, this is meaningless in the real world given that those people aren’t going to be in the far eastern edge of Russia any time soon and also not likely to be doing their own duty free shopping much of anywhere. But when it comes to the world of political maneuvering and posturing the popular thing to do in Russia right now is to be mad at the west. And this particular airport shop went the extra mile to make sure their version of the sign announcing such looks really, really good.

As for me, well, I’m just wishing that one day I could get to an international departures terminal and not have to navigate the maze of duty free shops to get to the lounge and departure date. I wonder if getting myself banned would entitle me to expedited handling through the shop and straight out the other side. And if I could get such without being also banned from the airport as a whole.

Also, if you happen to be one of those banned shoppers and are actually reading this, feel free to leave a comment. 😀

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Fly TXL. The most awesome airport in the world when it comes to avoiding Duty Free and the ability to pretty much drive up to your Gate.

  2. TXL rulez! Leaving your cab at street level, it’s only 15-20 meters to get to the the gates! Counter, security, gates are in immediate vicinity! Most efficient airport anywhere!

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