Prague Airport commits to better currency exchange rates for travelers

In a bid to improve its overall service, the airport will introduce a type of cap that prohibits grossly unfair exchange rates.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 15.06.2023 16:10:00 (updated on 15.06.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

Prague Airport has announced a new tender procedure to select a new operator of foreign currency exchange services and ATMs to offer services that are more advantageous for travellers. The new operator will get a five-year contract.

In its press release, Czechia’s largest airport writes that the operation of currency exchanges and ATMs "will be fundamentally changed and improved by capping the exchange rates of three core currencies at a maximum 15-percent spread from the midpoint of the Czech National Bank."

A currency exchange intervention

In basic terms, to cap an exchange rate at a maximum of a 15-percent spread means that an exchange rate between two currencies cannot deviate more than 15 percent above or below the value set by the Czech central bank. Notably, for online currency-conversion reservations (and later collections at the airport), this cap will be as low as 5 percent.

At present, exchanging CZK 1,000 at the airport will get you around EUR 24 in return, according to the website of one of Prague Airport's main currency-exchange operators InterChange. The de facto exchange rate means that CZK 1,000 is worth EUR 42.

“We require the new operator to have experience in providing foreign-currency exchange services and value-added tax refunds at a minimum of three international airports, and that the spread for the euro, U.S. dollar, and British pound are contractually set”

Jakub Puchalský, Member of the Prague Airport Board of Directors

Additionally, Prague Airport will also introduce a fine of up to CZK 10,000 for each violation of exchange rate caps. The airport handled 10.7 million passengers in 2022, more than double year on year. Almost 18 million passengers passed through the airport in pre-Covid 2019.

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