Bargain of the week: shopping at Heathrow

Five years after tax-free sales within the European Union ended, airports operated by BAA still sell goods to European travellers as though they were VAT-free. For example, a camera costing £100 at High Street branches of Dixons should be available at the retailer's stores at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted for £85. Effectively, the shop pays the VAT for you, and you are free to re-import it into the UK at no extra charge.

Even so, many passengers prefer not to be burdened with goods intended to be brought back to Britain. So to encourage you to spend before taking off, a desk has been installed at Heathrow's Terminal 1 where you can leave your purchases before departure, to be picked up on your return.

The desk, marked "If it's too big, drop it here", is located outside the Wine Collection store, and wine buyers are expected to be among its biggest users - but you can deposit any size of item, including perfume. Upon your return you collect your purchases from the arrivals area (assuming you remember). The service is offered free.

Although other Heathrow terminals and BAA airports do not have similar desks, you can ask individual retailers if you can collect goods when you come back - they should be able to help.

Destination of the week: America's Love airport

The most romantic airport in America is Love Field in Dallas. Unlike the distant and confusing Dallas-Fort Worth, Love Field is much closer to downtown and remains small and friendly. Poignantly, President Kennedy's final flight landed here on the day he was assassinated in 1963.

British Airways and Continental fly from Gatwick to Houston; from here, Southwest connects you to the Love terminal.

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