#OTD in 1947 – The world’s first duty-free shop opened at Shannon Airport, and began as a simple kiosk measuring just a few square metres, selling souvenirs and gifts.

The Duty-Free shop became an immediate success and has been copied worldwide.

In its heyday, the tarmac and terminal welcomed leading Hollywood screen stars and celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, Gene Kelly and Yul Brenner.

John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie graced the runway on their historic visit to Ireland to trace their ancestors in June 1963, just five months before his tragic death. And legend has it that the inaugural Irish Coffee, an integral part of the Gaelic gastronomic culture, was first served in the midst of the departure lounge.

Shannon Airport is situated at the most westerly point of the European continent, making it geographically important and the ideal stepping stone between Europe and America. Transatlantic and European flights run throughout the year, direct to cities such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago, as well as to numerous destinations across Europe.

SaveSave

Advertisements

Posted by

Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.

4 thoughts on “#OTD in 1947 – The world’s first duty-free shop opened at Shannon Airport, and began as a simple kiosk measuring just a few square metres, selling souvenirs and gifts.

  1. Just to be sure, I checked on Wikipedia; FWIW, it agreed with me. It also related the story of the passengers on a thwarted trans-Atlantic flight returning cold and miserable to Foynes, where they were ‘warmed up’. This was in the early 1940s. It always surprises me that it was possible then to fly to the US despite the Emergency/WW2.

    Like

Comments are closed.