New Zealand international departure fee

Sep 19th, 2007, 08:21 PM
  #1  
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New Zealand international departure fee

We just returned home today from the Auckland International Airport.

It was not until we were about to go through the security checkpoint that we learned about the NZ$25 international departure fee. You have to pay the fee and get a sticker before going through security.

Had we known, we would not have spent our remaining NZ dollars at the duty free shops.

Upon paying the fee, we learned that the fee has been in place since December 2005. Air New Zealand made no mention of the fee, even at check-in for our return flight.

I hope this helps others in planning their trip to New Zealand.

Woody
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Sep 19th, 2007, 09:49 PM
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Hi Woody -

The NZ departure tax has been in place at least since 2002 (back then it was $22 though).

A few weeks back when we checked in for our flight in Christchurch we were told if we had cash, we could pay at the airline check-in counter, if we had to pay with credit card, we'd have to go to another booth. We were aware of the fee, so had cash in hand, but it was good to know they also took credit cards.

Incidentially, we ran into a similar problem one year leaving Bangkok. We had no idea there was a departure tax, and as we'd only been there a few hours in an off airport hotel, we had no local currency. Unfortunately, the didn't accept credit cards and we did't have an ATM card, so we had to exchange money just for the tax. What an expensive pain in the butt.

Hope you had a good time in NZ.
Melnq8 is online now  
Sep 20th, 2007, 04:40 AM
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There aren't too many countries that have us pay our departure tax in such a way any more. Most departure taxes are now part and parcel of your airfare.

I agree it is a big pain and my understanding is that it is less than a half dozen countries that do it. Surely they could get on track with the rest of the world and have it included in the fare.
stormbird is offline  
Sep 20th, 2007, 06:14 AM
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Hi Woody!

Too bad you didn't know about that prior; it's something I have noted both in my client's documents and in their "overview" which lists helpful information.

At least as Melnq points out, you CAN pay it by credit card, which is very good to know -- I got "stung" myself a couple of years back, as the Cook Islands have the same policy and they will only accept cash. I had to make a trip into town the day prior to get to an ATM.

Melodie
wlzmatilida is offline  
Sep 20th, 2007, 06:23 AM
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Not every airline will accept credit cards. I used mine when checking in for a Qantas flight a couple of weeks ago and Qantas took the credit card (but only for business class pax I'm told) while a couple of days later Cathay Pacific wouldn't, regardless of ticket class.

Fortunately the CX check-in was next to Qantas' and I prevailed on the QF agent to let me use my credit card for the sticker, rather than going outside and queuing for a cash machine for NZD25.

Big pain and something the authorities should automate - why haven't they?
Gardyloo is online now  
Sep 20th, 2007, 07:08 AM
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Somewhat related question...in the topic of New Zealand travel requirements. Do we need a visa for a three-week trip? United airlines advised that we do, but everything else I have read says we don't. Thanks.
LBLB555 is offline  
Sep 20th, 2007, 08:44 AM
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If you're a US citizen, I've never seen that you need to apply in advance. They stamp your passport when you go through arrivals.
mlgb is offline  
Sep 20th, 2007, 03:06 PM
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Same thing happened to us leaving Hanoi on a Cathay Pacific flight, it was a shame the nearest ATM had run out of cash; these days I keep enough local currency, just in case.
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 20th, 2007, 03:36 PM
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LBL,

Don't listen to United - you do NOT need a Visa for travel in New Zealand (only Australia).

Hope this is helpful!

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie & Kiwi Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Sep 20th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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If it's any consolation, at least the NZ departure tax is reasonable...

Everytime I leave Indonesia I have to pay a 1 million rupiah fiscal tax (currently about US $112). They also charge a 60,000 rupiah international departure tax and a 25,000 rupiah domestic tax. They get you coming and going around here.

Stormbird - do you happen to know which half dozen countries charge departure taxes? I think I've been to most of them!

LBLB555 - as already mentioned by mlgb and Melodie - United is incorrect (no surprise there). US citizens don't need a visa to visit NZ.
Melnq8 is online now  
Sep 21st, 2007, 07:33 AM
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wlxmatilda - If we are flying from the US to New Zealand, with a brief layover in Australia (two hours both directions), do we need a visa for Australia. Perhaps that was what UAL was referring to? Thanks.
LBLB555 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2007, 04:27 PM
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Hi LBL,

ah ha! I think we've cracked the Visa question -- yes, if you're flying into Australia, even as a stopover, you WILL need a Visa.

Hope this helps!

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie & Kiwi Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Sep 21st, 2007, 04:28 PM
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just to clarify - that's an AUSSIE Visa, still none needed for NZ.

Melodie
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Sep 21st, 2007, 05:08 PM
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Melodie -

An OZ visa needed for a two hour layover? I can't imagine needing a visa if one stays airside and doesn't go through immigration, no?
Melnq8 is online now  
Sep 21st, 2007, 08:30 PM
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To All:

Yes, we had a fantastic time in NZ, and would return in a heartbeat.

We didn't mind paying the departure fee. It's just that there was no mention of it until just before the line for security.

Fortunately, they take cash and credit cards, and there are ATMs and currency exchanges nearby.

It's just an easier pill to swallow if you know in advance. That was the purpose of the heads up in my original post.

Cheers!
Woody
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Sep 22nd, 2007, 11:24 PM
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Hi Melnq8,
No sorry I'm not familiar really with all the countries that charge their tax this way.

Ouchie pooh on the departure tax in and out of Indonesia though. I wonder if the counts as the most expensive departure tax?
stormbird is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 12:08 AM
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Hi stormbird -

It's certainly the most I've ever had to pay to leave a country!

Fortunately, our company began reimbursing it's employees for the fiscal tax a few years back. Good thing too, since we're in and out of here every two months or so. We pay the departure taxes, but they're cheap at 60,000 - 100,000 rp per person.

The 1 million rp tax is a fiscal tax, originally designed to increase revenue, but it's a mystery as to where that revenue goes. They certainly haven't used it to improve the airport we fly in and out of.

Incidentially, if you don't want a receipt for the fiscal tax, they'll only charge you 500,000 rp - hummm, wonder where that money goes???
Melnq8 is online now  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 04:59 AM
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Here's information on transiting through Australia to another destination from the http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/transit/no-visa.htm

When a visa is not needed
Some travellers do not need a transit visa if they:

depart Australia by air within 8 hours of the scheduled time of their arrival
and
hold confirmed onward booking and documentation necessary to enter the country of their destination
and
remain in the transit lounge at an airport.
The following categories of travellers are covered under this arrangement:

Citizens of the these countries:
Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kiribati, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of South Africa, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, U.S.A., Vanuatu and Vatican City.
People holding Chinese Taipei normal passports only.
People holding British passports (irrespective of endorsement in passport regarding national status)
People who are nationals of the People’s Republic of China and who hold Hong Kong (SAR China) passports.
People who hold diplomatic passports. However, this is not applicable to nationals of these countries:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Comoros, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, the Republic of Yemen, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Zimbabwe, Arab Non-National Passport Holders (ANNPH) or Chinese Taipei holding diplomatic or official passports.
islandpaddler is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 11:49 AM
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Thank you all - and in particular Islandpaddler for the website link. I always feel better being able to see the source documentation and I couldn't find it on my own. I am printing it all an putting in my travel documents...
LBLB555 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 08:03 AM
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Hello Woody and all readers:

Woodie here. No we are not twins.

My wife and I have travelled each winter for two months and to various places each year.

We have found that departure taxes by any name are very common and collected in any which way. Here at home it is called an "airport fee" but it is a departure tax with another name as it is only due when we fly out of here - to anywhere, even in our own counry!

As a traveller, I take responsibility on myself to know the rules of where we travel to.

The world does not owe me perpetual care. I expect to take care of myself and to blame myself if I do not take the initiative to inform myself.

Get with it. Do your research. Ask your questions, ask in advance and don't expect others to baby sit you.

Woodie
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