Travellers arriving into Brisbane Airport's international terminal and being collected by friends or family won't be impressed by the new pick-up area which opens Thursday November 23.
Rather than being located at the terminal itself – as with the soon-to-be-closed pick-up road, conveniently found straight ahead as you exit customs – passengers will instead need to follow a maze of signs through the terminal and then outside, to reach the new collection point.
What's more, much of the walk to the new pick-up area isn't yet undercover: so if it's raining and you didn't pack an umbrella, prepare for a soaking.
Not impressed? Neither are we, although Brisbane Airport Corporation tells Australian Business Traveller that this walkway will be covered in the coming weeks, in 'Stage 2' of the transition.
In any case, here’s what arriving passengers need to do from November 23:
- After clearing customs, begin by taking the lifts or travelators down to the ground floor (level 1).
- Proceed outside, following the signs to ‘passenger pick-up’.
- Veer left through a covered walkway.
- When you see parked cars, turn right and follow the open-air pathway, keeping your fingers crossed that it isn’t raining. It’d make sense to have the pick-up area here, but this is a just car park – you’re not there yet!
- Veer left at the end of the pathway.
- Cross the road to reach a traffic island.
- Turn right on the traffic island and cross a second road.
- Wander forward and left, underneath the Airtrain bridges, to find the pick-up roadway and your driver.
Brisbane Airport Corporation’s Head of Parking and Transport Services, Martin Ryan, oddly describes the change as “providing a more efficient experience for all”.
We're not sure arriving passengers will appreciate the new convoluted process, particularly after stepping off a long-haul flight.
It's so complicated that BAC has created a 1.5-minute instructional video to help travellers make sense of the new procedure.
While you shouldn't need to watch a video to learn how to get into a car, here we go:
On pick-up duty instead? As you approach the terminal, follow the green ‘passenger pick-up’ signage, and take a ticket as you approach the boom gates.
During peak times – typically 7-11am and 6-8pm – drivers will not be allowed to stop unless the passenger they’re collecting is ready and waiting, with ‘kerbside officers’ on duty to move stopped cars along.
Outside of these times, drivers can stop inside the pick-up zone for up to 10 minutes, while remaining with their vehicle.
No charge applies if you're inside the pick-up zone for less than 10 minutes, but stay longer and “fees will apply”.
If your passenger isn't ready for collection, you can exit and re-enter the pick-up zone as many times as you like, provided you exit before the 10-minute timer is up each time.
Still not sure about the process? There's a two-minute instructional video for drivers, too:
Ryan justifies the move by sharing that “traffic on the Level 2 (arrivals) roadway has grown to be chaotic and unpleasant for drivers and passengers alike, as well as being unsustainable for the passenger growth expected in the future.”
“The narrow roadway at the terminal face was not designed to cope with the amount of traffic we’re currently experiencing and expect in the future, so we needed to find another solution.”
While a further walk from the terminal than the current pick-up road, the new zone does at least have more space for vehicles to stop, with room for 16 vehicles as opposed to three at present.
Passengers with disabilities won’t be required to use the new pick-up area, and can instead take the lifts up to level four, for collection from the airport’s main departures road, which remains in its current location nearby check-in.
Pick-up points for taxis, buses, Ubers and limousines remain in their current locations for international passengers, with no change for passengers arriving at Brisbane Airport's domestic terminal.