exchange rate extortion

I was at the airport a couple of months ago, about to board a flight to New Zealand, and I'd forgotten to exchange any money before we left. When I saw the foreign exchange counter at the airpot I thought, "I'll just check it out and see how heinous the rates are - might be worth changing a little currency now so we don't have to find an ATM as soon as we land."

At the time the exchange rate was around AU $1 = NZ $1.23.

The currency exchange rate on offer was AU $1 - NZ $1.11.

Holy rip-off Batman!!


I asked, out of interest, whether they charge commission on top of that, and they confirmed that they do. So if I'd changed $400 Aussie dollars, it was going to net me around NZ $432, after exchange and commission.
There was a guy at the counter buying some currency at the same time, and I wanted to warn him against the extortion scheme at the foreign exchange counter, but he looked very serious-like. He wore a 'going to an important meeting' or maybe even 'going to a funeral' face, so I don't think saving a few pennies on the dollar was high on his priority list.

I got to Christchurch and withdrew NZ$500 out of an ATM, and it cost me AU $404, including the ATM fee. I felt so smug :)

Anyway, this is all coming out today 'cause I just read a travel article called "20 Annoying Things about flying". At number 6:

Head for the high street: airport kiosks are farcically uneconomical. A Which? report published earlier this year revealed that holidaymakers will lose as much as 10 per cent of their holiday spending money if they utilise airport bureaux.

I hope serious-face man read the same article.