Muscat: Frustrated air travellers are hunting for old OMR1 notes at the Muscat International Airport so that they can pay for parking.
Parking machines in the long stay car parking area of the airport neither accept the new OMR1 note, nor do they accept debit or credit cards.
Long lines of frustrated Omanis searching for the old-style notes so that they can pay the parking fees and drive their cars home after getting off flights can be seen at the airport.
Notices stuck on the front side of the machine state that they do not accept the new notes. When travellers head to the nearby ATM to get cash, they are invariably given more new notes rather than the old ones they need for the parking machine.
The newer OMR1 note is quickly replacing the old one, which is becoming scarcer.
One traveller told the Times of Oman: “I knew the cost would be around OMR7 as I had checked the fees online before parking there. I had the cash in my wallet, but one of my OMR1 notes was a new one. I went to the ATM and was given more new notes. At the same time at least five other people were doing the same thing.”
Waste of time
“One Omani was walking up and down a line of parked cars asking people if they had any old OMR1 notes to swap. Eventually, a very kind fellow flier gave me an old bill so I could pay the fee and exit the car park. The whole thing took at least 25 minutes. I was tired and it was a hassle we could have done without.”
“The machines should take cards and all notes, whether new or old.” A spokesman for the Oman Airport Management Company (OAMC) said the machine will be updated soon to accept the new notes.
‘Working to update’
“The company is working with the vendor to update the ticketing machines to accept the new OMR1 note, and it will be accepted very soon,” the OAMC official said.
Also, OAMC is prepared to further serve its visitors by advising them that the car park station at the airport can exchange the new notes for old ones.
“For those who want to exchange the new OMR1 note for the old one, the car park station can assist them,” the official stated.