I SERIOUSLY think there is a need to set up more ATM machines by different international banks, apart from a local bank namely Baiduri Bank, at the Brunei International Airport. Fewer ATM machines of selected banks are causing a huge inconvenience to travellers, especially foreign tourists.
About two weeks ago, as I was queuing up for security check at the airport, I encountered two young Swiss backpackers, who ran into serious problem because of ATM machine.
They’re not aware that each had to pay $12 as airport tax and as luck would have it, they didn’t have Bruneian dollars on them.
They went to withdraw money from the Baiduri Bank ATM machine but no luck as the machine refused to accept the ATM card of any other bank. Since it was the only ATM machine available at the airport, they’re ready to pay the inter-bank's transaction fee. But to no avail.
Being in such a desperate situation, they had no choice but to borrow money from me –a “friend” who they had met just a few minutes ago. Mind you, all this was happening when there was a long queue of passengers waiting to check-in.
After borrowing money from me, they checked in and thanked me profusely for this timely help.
They said if I had not helped them they would have been forced to cancel their travel and book ticket for another date which would have upset their travel schedule and the budget as well.
I wish relevant authorities take notice of this issue and set up more ATM machines of international banks at the airport.