Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Heathrow responsibility free Chinese language discrimination 'unacceptable'

Heathrow responsibility free Chinese language discrimination 'unacceptable'

The shop reportedly required Chinese travellers to spend a minimum of £1,000/US$1,381 in order to get the discount, which was being offered to other customers after just £250/US$346 had been spent.

London Heathrow, the second busiest airport in the world, has now been forced to make an apology to the Chinese community after a part-time sales working within the travel and retail chain World Duty Free exposed the scam on social media igniting widespread anger among many Chinese shoppers.

However, there is a difference in the contents of the English and the Chinese versions of the statements, which were issued on Monday night on Facebook. He said he took a Chinese shopper to the counter to ask, and was told that they needed to spend £1,000 to qualify for the discount.

In a statement provided to The Independent, World Duty Free said: "As a global company we are committed to treating all our customers with respect and in a consistent and fair way".

"We have been made aware of this offer which we find unacceptable", the spokesperson said.

"After close self-examination and having made further investigations, we have taken urgent steps to correct the implementation of this promotion", said the latest statement from World Duty Free, which is based in Bern, Switzerland. The implementation of this promotion has been confusing which we sincerely regret.

It said staff had been "re-briefed" and the offer applied regardless of a customer's destination.

Heathrow Airport has also issued an apology on both Twitter and Weibo about the matter.

The promotion is run by Heathrow Airport's commercial partner World Duty Free.

Delia Williams, a spokeswoman for the world's second busiest airport, said: "We find this [practice] unacceptable.We are now working with our commercial partner to understand how this happened and ensure it does not happen again".

"I've been in England for seven years". Collectively, they spent £667m (US$923m), according to United Kingdom tourism authority VisitBritain.

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