Airlines are complaining to Narita Airport officials about numerous delayed flights due to Chinese passengers who liked to buy in bulk at pre-departure duty free shops. These Chinese tourists embark on last-minute shopping sprees at duty free shops inside the airport. The result are oversized and excessive carry-on baggage that has to be resolved by the airlines prior to departure.
Chinese Bulk Shoppers photo courtesy of STOMP
Airline crews are faced with the challenge of cramming oversized luggage in the passenger cabins. While each airline has set its own rules on the size and number of carry-on items, this has not stopped these Chinese tourists from their shopping spree.
Chinese tourists like to buy in bulk at the airport to avoid cumbersome luggage on their way to the airport. They also buy the most unlikely items like rice cookers and heated toilet seats. Because of these erroneous practice, about 30% of flights are normally delayed over the past several months.
The practice has been called to the attention of airport officials and they have placed numerous signs in both English and Chinese across the 300 duty free stores warning shoppers that there are limits to carry-on baggage.
This has not deterred Chinese tourists though and while the influx of tourism is welcome, Narita airport officials vowed to implement stricter rules regarding carry-on baggage.