08 March 2010
Get Ready to Fly Through Departures
If you are leaving New Zealand from Christchurch Airport on or after 1 July 2010 you will be delighted to learn you no longer need to pay a NZ$25 international departure fee after check-in at the airport. This is as a result of the long awaited transition to a Passenger Service Charge (PSC), where the departure fee is included in the airfare costs. The shift from one system to another will occur at midnight on June 30th 2010.
“Travellers and airlines have been telling us for quite some time that the old departure fee process was a real hassle,” said Christchurch Airport Chief Executive Jim Boult. “This new system streamlines the departure process, and makes it simpler and easier for passengers, airlines and Customs.”
“This change also brings Christchurch International Airport into line with Auckland, and with other major gateways around the world,” said Boult.
The travel and tourism industry has welcomed the move. “Any initiative which makes a trip to New Zealand more enjoyable and streamlined for international visitors is advantageous to our industry”, said Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler. “New Zealand has some of the best tourism attractions and experiences in the world, and we applaud any move that improves the visitor experience.”
For flights up to midnight on 30 June 2010, departing international passengers will still pay a departure fee after check-in and before proceeding to Customs. However if they are returning after 1 July 2010, they will generally only need to pay half the departure fee, as the other half will already be included in the airfare costs.
Passengers who purchase tickets before July 2010, and who travel after 1 July 2010, will have the PSC included in their airfare costs. There are exemptions from the departure charge for infants, children aged under 12 years, diplomats, government officials, military personnel, airline crew on duty, and transit passengers who stop in Christchurch Airport for less than 6 hours and stay in the departure lounge.
Information on the new system of charges is available here, and can also be obtained from travel agents, airlines, check-in counters and the BNZ airport branch.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How is the departure fee changing?
From 1 July 2010, travellers will no longer be required to pay an international departure fee at Christchurch Airport. Up to this date, travellers will pay the usual NZ$25 international departure fee at Christchurch Airport before boarding their departing flight. From 1 July 2010, this fee will be included as part of the airfare costs, which means the departure fee no longer needs to be paid separately at the airport.
How much is the new Passenger Service Charge?
The new PSC is NZ$12.50 including GST. This levy is payable for both departing and arriving travellers, and will be included as part of the airfare costs from 1 July 2010. On a return airfare, the total PSC would be $25. On a one-way airfare, the PSC would be $12.50. The policy of having no charge for children aged under 12 years will continue.
Why is Christchurch Airport doing this?
Having a PSC will bring Christchurch Airport into line with Auckland Airport and other international airports around the world, and will greatly improve the departure process for departing travellers. Feedback from travellers shows that the current departure fee collection process is a major inconvenience for them.
When do the changes take place?
For travels from 1 July 2010, a Passenger Service Charge (PSC) will be included in the costs of an airfare and collected by the airlines. From that date onwards, travellers will not have to pay a separate international departure fee at Christchurch Airport.
What does this mean for travellers?
It will significantly improve the traveller experience. It will improve the ease and simplicity of the departure process, and reduce traveller processing time. Airline travellers will have a much more streamlined departure process and therefore an improved travel experience.
What happens to those travelling either side of 1 July 2010?
There is no change for travellers leaving Christchurch before July 2010, and returning before 1 July 2010. They will pay the standard $25 PDC. However if a traveller leaves Christchurch before 1 July 2010, and returns to Christchurch after 1 July 2010, there is the potential for them to pay both the $25 departure charge, and the $12.50 PSC for their return flight as part of the airfare costs. To ensure this does not occur, all international travellers who leave Christchurch before 1 July 2010 will be asked for their return date when they pay their departure charge at the bank. Relevant travel documentation such as an itinerary will be required. If the return date is after 1 July 2010, they will only pay $12.50 departure charge, as the PSC for the return leg of their trip will be included in their return airfare costs. In most cases however, Air New Zealand passengers who leave Christchurch before 1 July 2010, and return after 1 July 2010 will continue to pay the $25 PDC, as the PSC is not included in their airfare costs for the return leg of the trip. Any passenger who thinks they have paid both the departure charge and the passenger service charge can request a refund from Christchurch International Airport Ltd. Further information is available here.