Qantas scraps a long-standing in-flight service

It's part and parcel of most Australians' flying routines - find your seat, get yourself comfy and then have a flick through the duty-free magazine to see what luxury items are available to buy in-flight.

From expensive watches to Swiss chocolates, browsing the array of products will eat up a valuable five minutes as the plane sits on the tarmac, regardless of whether you're interested in buying something or not.

But Qantas has now called it a day for the onboard shop, not because it distracts most from the safety demonstration, but as a result of declining sales.

Qantas has called time on in-flight shopping. Source: Getty

Lenelle Williams from Alpha Flight Services, which was in charge of Qantas' in-flight duty-free operation, revealed the news of the shake-up.

"I can confirm that Qantas have made the decision to discontinue their traditional offering of in-flight duty free, and are taking the opportunity to realign their retail channels in response to changes in customer demand and retail-buying patterns,"she told TRBusiness.

The chance to shop on board will be withdrawn as of the new year, with January 1 the first day without the option.

Alpha Flight Services general manager Pat Osborne told duty-free trade publication, DFNI, the availability of products in airports, and online with websites such as Amazon, contributed to the decline of onboard shopping.

"If you look at what has been happening in Australian retail over the last year or two, there has been a lot of pressure on retailers with online ordering," he said.

Qantas passengers will need to find a new way to pass the time. Source: Getty