A time-saving shortcut for Qantas' Sydney T3 security line

By David Flynn, September 12 2017
A time-saving shortcut for Qantas' Sydney T3 security line

TRAVEL TIP | The next time you arrive at Sydney Airport's T3 domestic Qantas terminal only to face a long line at the security checkpoint, cast a glance to your far left for a time-saving shortcut.

T3 has two security channels, you see: the main, centrally-located one which just about everybody heads for (shown below in the calm between the peak-hour storms)...

... and a lesser-known lane opposite the Qantas priority baggage check-in zone.

This secondary security checkpoint is usually open during peak hours and favoured by Qantas crew as well as frequent flyers in the know.

There's no premium lane for business class travellers or Platinum card-holders, but depending on the length of that snaking slow-moving queue at the main security checkpoint, this secondary lane can prove faster and less frustrating.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Dec 2014

Total posts 46

Always love that sneaky second lane, has saved me 20 minutes some times which equals extra time in the lounge. There used to be one in T2 as well next to the Regional Arrivals, not sure if it's still there as I haven't used it since QantasLink moved.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

What, the one past baggage reclaim next to where the 'dirty' regional arrivals are spewed forth? It's still there—it's an excellent way to get in quick.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2011

Total posts 58

Don't tell people! It is a great little secret. Last time I went through, a group of people walked up to it and then turned away as they thought it wasn't the right way to go. Love it!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2014

Total posts 135

not so sneaky anymore now is it....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jun 2015

Total posts 25

Grrr you had to tell everyone....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Nov 2016

Total posts 76

That's fine, now everyone will head to that one and the regular security check line will reduce. Reminds me when Qantas opened the Premium boarding lane to Gold. It became quicker to go in the Economy queue. 

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 271

My standard (until this article!) way of entering the terminal :))

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Apr 2016

Total posts 11

Now the cat is out of the bag - that lane was brilliant !

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1021

I don't think I've ever been on the land side of SYD T3. Have always come in at the back on the International connections bus.

13 Sep 2016

Total posts 183

I love using this 'secret' lane but note that because it's also used by crew, if you see a Qantas crew bus pull up outside or offloading its passengers you want to hot-foot it to this checkpoint to beat them!


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1398

David there is a premium lane it is just that it includes Gold (as does Melbourne) unlike international which more exclusive.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

To this day I'm still confused why they didn't build a 100m link between T2 and T3. Yeh I guess there would be lots of pros and cons of doing so but it would make transfers between carriers even easier in Sydney and eliminate the need to reclear security.

13 Nov 2015

Total posts 51

Thank goodness I did not have to suffer the long T-3 security waits when I arrived at T1 and transferred using the QF recheck counter. No lines, minimal wait for bus to T3. Wonder if people with QF tickets will simply go to T1 and use that as their check-in, but it is only supposed to be used for transfers to QF from international flights.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

I can confirm that the staff at the T1 QF transfer facility don't check if you've actually arrived off an international flight, so you can absolutely do this. I had occasion to test this out when I saw my mother off for her international flight before hopping over for my domestic flight. I wouldn't recommend using this as a standard channel, though--it's a bit rude, and the bus isn't all that frequent outside the morning peak (though at quiet times, like in the afternoon before the JNB and SCL flights get in, the bus effectively runs on demand).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 214

I've used that 'short cut' for years.  

21 Dec 2012

Total posts 33

to the people bemoaning this little shortcut being let out of the bag, if people are travelling frequently enough to be following AusBT articles - they're probably savvy enough to know SYD's pitfalls, or at least not hold up the line with the "slowly puts back on belt... oh my laptop? take that out... BEEP BEEP x-ray, oh yeah wallet... BEEP BEEP my phone? and so on"

20 May 2013

Total posts 4

This is where Virgin's premium entry gets my vote whenever I fly out of SYD. I even use it when I have check in luggage by checking in first then walking out and around.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Nov 2016

Total posts 76

To all the concerned frequent flyers who fear their sacred secret is out, I won't be joining that line. It's all yours. I never spend more than 5 minutes in the "plebs" queue and its near enough to the business lounge for me. Enjoy

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