Chinese tourists slam Heathrow Airport for discrimination over unfair discount voucher policy
Several Chinese tourists were outraged over the discrimination they experienced at London’s Heathrow Airport concerning unfair treatment in availing discount vouchers.
Some tourists complained that they needed to spend £1,000 (around P72,300) to receive a 20 percent discount at the World Duty Free store in the airport, unlike other shoppers that were not Chinese who had £250 (almost P18,100) as their shopping limit, CGTN reported on Monday.
The issue caught people’s attention on Saturday when one tourist complained about the treatment Chinese tourists have received over the discount.
Having bought some items weighing over 300 pounds, the unnamed tourist was assisted to the counter but was refused to be given the voucher unless the specified amount was paid. When he complained to the store manager, the latter said it was their policy for shoppers on their way to China.
Netizens poured out their frustration on Twitter. One said that the airport was showing “racial discrimination,” while another raised that the airport (officials) should be ashamed since British Prime Minister Theresa May herself just visited China.
Chinese customer have to spend more than 1000£ to get a voucher while others only need 79 in Heathrow world duty free. Racial Discrimination?@HeathrowAirport
— xiangm (@xiangm1) February 11, 2018
Shame on you! Racism airport! So disgusting! Your country’s leader just visited China and then your airport is racism to Chinese. Make money needs the right way instead of cheating and racism. Shame on you and all chinese will boycott it.
— charles (@charles51531992) February 12, 2018
Another netizen shared that she was denied the voucher because she did not reach the spending limit. When she asked about the policy, she said, “The manager became aggressive and couldn’t give any reasonable explanation.”
“I thought Heathrow and the partner World Duty Free would take prompt actions to deal with the consumer rage, but unfortunately they didn’t,” @Shirley_XIE_ said. “To be honest, I am more than disappointed.”
I was in Heathrow T5 World Duty Free on 11th Feb around 4pm. #disception #inequity #racialdiscrimination Please see the photo for the whole story. Explaination required. @HeathrowAirport @WorldDutyFree pic.twitter.com/VUQ02I0Xqv
— Shirley XIE (@Shirley_XIE_) February 12, 2018
When asked for comment, one spokesperson for the airport stated that the discount system is “unacceptable.”
“We are currently working with our commercial partner to understand how this happened and ensure it does not happen again,” the Heathrow Airport spokesperson told the BBC.
— World Duty Free (@WorldDutyFree) February 12, 2018
World Duty Free also posted a statement on its Twitter page and has since apologized to its Chinese shoppers. “We have investigated this straight away and have identified an issue which we have corrected with immediate effect. The programme applies regardless of the destination customers are flying to.” Katrina Hallare/JB
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