Departure tax going, but a bad job doesn’t help

Thank goodness. Auckland airport’s embarrassingly poor departure tax system is for the trash heap – and rightly so. For example – what can’t you see in this photo of the departure tax place next to the immigration entrance?

Auckland airport

That’s right – the price. You can’t see the price. A simple sign saying “Departure tax – $25” would speed the queue up substantially, as customers can ave their money ready to pay before they get to the counter.

When I asked about the prospect of a sign (and I was polite) I got a really aggressive “don’t you fly often” and “there is a sign (“A” sign) downstairs. My answers, which I didn’t give as I noticed the person stopped working when talking, would have been 1: yes – I fly all the time and damned if I can remember every piddly airport’s tax and 2: one sign is not a communications strategy.

Travelex seems much more interested in their pushing their useless money changing services rather than accepting the $25, and their marketing reflects that. A more competent system (e.g. why not provide kiosks) would have given them a longer lasting franchise, and I suppose meant more forex business.

Oh – and why is the the forex service useless? The exchange rates offered by these places are usurious when you take fees into account, and the breadth of currencies is insufficient. Foreign ATM’s are the way to go.

Published by Lance Wiggs


One reply on “Departure tax going, but a bad job doesn’t help”

  1. Usurious is an understatement….a 15-17% spread? you could drive a tank divison through that price.

    and a monopoly at Auckland airport. I’d like to know how they get authorised for that. Maybe the airport takes a nice kickback.

    Whereas the BNZ in Christchurch charges a more understandable 2.5-3.0% which sometimes gives you the chance to deal at market rates given the daily volatility in the currency markets.

    Now where I can I buy shares in this profit printing company? :-)


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