Arrivals at DPS Airport Bali: Visiting the XLAxiata Counter for SIM Card Collection. What to choose?

Traveling can be an exciting experience, but it’s not without its difficulties. For travelers flying into Bali’s Denpasar International Airport (DPS) one such challenge is setting up a local SIM card for your mobile device. There are a variety of options to consider from prepaid pickups to on-the-spot purchases. Here’s what you can expect based on the travel experiences of your fellow adventurers. For those travelers who tried their hand at picking up a SIM card from one of DPS’ XLAxiata desk, ahead, we learn from their experiences.

The Shift to XLAxiata Desk

Before, passengers who pre-booked their SIM cards through services such as Klook were met just outside, by the car park crosswalk. Lately, however, the pickup point has changed such that you now have to collect your SIM at the XL Axiata desk located inside the airport.This has left many travelers with the impression that they are beholden to the carriers to be met at the pickup point, particularly when connecting to other parts of Bali — such as Amed — where hotel delivery is not possible.

What Travelers Are Saying

The Queue Dilemma

Concerns that drew the attention of numerous commenters on blogs relate to connections: speculation that a visit to the XLAxiata desk might involve a long wait at the counter to collect a SIM at the airport forming particularly long queues at weekends. On Skyscanner, a popular travel comparison site used to find and book flights, accommodation and car rental deals, the average star rating for XLAxiata mobile is a rather dismal 0.7 stars out of five. Comments highlighted the ‘nightmare’ queues, adding to the air of a ‘shameful passenger frustration’. Skyscanner, which managed to get some airtime on what this ‘free’ mobile company gave away on free flights to Spain, also used the accompanying news report as a recommendation for potential customers.

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Alternative Pickup Points

If you’re looking to avoid the inevitable airport lines, the blogger suggests picking up a SIM elsewhere. Many travelers have managed to get their SIMs by having them delivered to their accommodations, where they were waiting at check-in. Others mentioned stopping at Grapari Shops or asking at local phone stalls in places like Amlapura, Ubud and Sanur.

The Local Phone Shop Experience

The prices at local phone shops such as Made Cell in Amed – once a no-go zone for foreigners – have won over many travellers. The initial stumbling block for foreigners to buy SIMs – government registration with police for each SIM – has apparently been smoothened out in the smaller stores.

The Klook Experience

The cheapest option seems to be to book the card via Klook ahead of time, but other travellers recommend the prepaid pick-up option, saying that the service at the XL desk is quick and there is hardly ever a wait.


  • How can I avoid long queues at the airport? – Choosing to have your items delivered to your place of stay or buying them from phone stores can be a good way to avoid waiting in long airport lines.
  • Why is the pickup point now at the XLAxiata desk? – The specific cause for the change is not explicitly stated,. It is probably due to operational or logistical considerations.
  • How do I ensure my SIM is registered correctly? – Make sure to check if the store you’re buying from takes care of registering tourists. Make sure to have your passport with you for registration.
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In summary, although getting through the SIM pickup process at your DPS is going to be a little rough, being educated and having options for alternatives are very helpful. Go to the airport early with a book and try it, or see about getting a local phone shop on your way into town, but above all, be prepared to take each step as it comes.

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