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Some airport shops are keeping the extra money they earn when passengers show their boarding passes and are being urged to pass VAT savings on.

Customers show boarding passes so that retailers in the UK can avoid paying 20% VAT on purchases made by people who fly outside of the EU.

Buying without having to pay VAT is supposed to be for the benefit of travellers, said the treasury minister David Gauke. He also stated that it was not meant to provide a windfall gain for shops.

However, passengers do not legally have to show their boarding passes when they buy products at the airport. Passengers usually think that they have to show their passes but it is a request by shops so that they can avoid paying the VAT.

Boots is one of many retailers who operate in the UK airports and a spokesman said that the company did not claim back some VAT for non-EU passengers. This was to follow the rules that the government set out.

WH Smith on the other hand, said that having different pricing for travellers to EU and non-EU destinations would be impossible because it would mean distinguishing between each traveller.

Many shops were found to have some discounts in airports but still kept most of the savings.