Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 3:56 pm

Getting Through Sydney Airport - Time Factor

Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:15 am

i am flying into sydney, now on the A380 later in the year (yippee) and originally allowed 3hrs 40 to get through immigration, baggage etc, then across to T3 and checkin to Quantas.

now i'm thinking that is way to long and there is a flight leaving 70mins earlier giving me 2hrs 25 instead. the Quantas website says checkin upto 30 mins before and i know the terminals are not that far apart

what are my chances.....the 380 lands at 7am so i need a easy access seat and some good shoes to run to the front of the immigration line i reckon......just don't want to have to wait alomst 4 hrs in another airport

any suggestions

Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 5:41 am

RE: Getting Through Sydney Airport - Time Factor

Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:29 am

You going on the assumption that your plane will land on schedule. My last experience in Sydney was about 4 years ago. My flight from LAX landed at the same time as a Singapore and I thing Korean Air. All passengers hit customs at the same time and we waited about 30 to 45 minutes to get through customs.

Plus, I believe you need to take a shuttle bus between the international and domestic terminals

Obviously, some members who live in Sydney may have a different opinion, but I would highly suggest taking the later flight. Take the time to explore the airport or go to the perimeter for some great shots.
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:21 pm

RE: Getting Through Sydney Airport - Time Factor

Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:34 am

Firstly, I'd say that as they go, Sydney domestic isn't such a bad airport to wait in, so it wouldn't be the worst thing if you took the later flight.

Taking the earlier flight is definitely risky. Few things to consider:

--I don't know where the A380-compatible gates are, but I'd guess they're near the ends of the piers for easy access. Just getting from the plane to customs if you're out at the end can be a 10 minute walk at a normal pace. That's on top of however long it takes you to actually leave the aircraft.

--7am is massively peak time at Sydney international arrivals. There are a lot of flights from . . . well, just about everywhere arriving at exactly the same time. I would not anticipate getting through customs in any less than an hour, and depending on your luck with quarantine it could take longer. One tip: after you have your bag, normally you have to wait in a line to have your bag x-rayed. These lines can be epic, but if you find a uniformed quarantine officer in the baggage claim area, they can stamp your arrivals card and let you through. Be smooth about it, though--they're supposed to be picking people at random, so if you act too eager to see them, they may suspect you have something to hide.

--Don't bring any food of any type (or at least don't say so on the arrivals card)--that will seriously reduce your chances of getting waved through by the quarantine officer who stamps your card.

--There is no way to walk between the International and Domestic terminals. There are a few different bus services that connect the two, but I have no idea how long they take. The fastest option may well be to take the CityRail train that runs under the terminals; since you'll be headed in the peak direction for the morning commute, trains should be running frequently. You will however have to pay for this ticket. Depending on your luck with getting the train, this trip could take anywhere from 5 minutes to 15. The station is within the International terminal and a 2-minute walk from the Domestic terminal.

So . . . no, I really don't think you can make the earlier flight.

[Edited 2007-09-19 17:35:59]
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:26 am

RE: Getting Through Sydney Airport - Time Factor

Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:36 am

Early morning can be very busy through immigration at Sydney (like most longhaul destinations), so even if you land on time, you could be standing in the queue for quite a while.

And yes, if your connecting flight on QF is domestic, it'll be from their terminal on the other side of the airport, via the train (one stop), or shuttle bus (if that still runs).

As is the usual rule, allow as much time as you can!

I travel, therefore I am.

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