What is the FASTEST time i can zoom through customs at Sydney International airport?

22 replies

charlieg

QantasFF Platinum

Member since 16 Feb 2012

Total posts 134

What is the FASTEST time i can zoom through customs at Sydney International airport?

I am Travelling in Business QF11 SYD-LAX (A380 Service) departing at 1:05pm on a SUNDAY in 2 weeks.

I am QF Platinum, and only travelling with hand-lugguage. Although connecting from ADL in the morning, i will have my QF11 boarding pass, but i have plans to leave the airport and get back at 12:30pm - I am familiar with Sydney airport and know where the QF A380 Gates are, and not concerned about the lounge access......

Will 35 mins before departure be adequate for me to get on board? or should i cancel and book VA1 which leaves at 13:40? Comments please!

Mal

Member since 14 Jun 2013

Total posts 109

So you're departing from Sydney Airport on a 1.05pm flight and want to get to the airport at 12.30pm? You are cutting it way too fine.

30 minutes before take-off is about when QF is doing their final boarding call. If you were at the gate at 12.30pm you'd be fine but still to go through customs? That time of day can be pretty busy in the lead-up to afternoon flights.

Even if you have an Express Card in your hand, and I would definitely hope so, there can still be lines at the Express Lane area, then longer lines for body scanners, and then you have every chance of being pulled out for the manual inspection.

Meanwhile QF is getting reading to offload you because you're a no-show and are hand luggage only, so there's no bother with unloading checked luggage.

I think you are cutting this one way too fine, Charlie.

charlieg

QantasFF Platinum

Member since 16 Feb 2012

Total posts 134

I should also mention that i have the weight of 9 passengers also on the flight (travelling PE / Business on different tickets) with the same last name that may be brave to wait for me at the boarding gate! 

Hugo

Member since 12 Jun 2013

Total posts 217

Oh great, so your backup plan is to attempt to delay an entire A380-load of people? How considerate of you!

Change your plans, dude, because this one is unworkable. Even the 13:40 flight is pushing it.

Mal

Member since 14 Jun 2013

Total posts 109

Yeah, sorry Charlie but that doesn't impress me much. And if push comes to shove QF will offer to offload them as well as you.

Wests Tigers

Qantas

Member since 23 Apr 2013

Total posts 14

I totally agree with what Hugo said...."the hide of the man!"

I can see all the "Charlie  and party" being bumped for loitering, and attitude!

charlieg

QantasFF Platinum

Member since 16 Feb 2012

Total posts 134

Thanks for your comments - Considering there is no delays and i have express pass, have you got anything to suggest what is the FASTEST time i can get from front of terminal, thru customs, and to the gate?

LAXflyer

Member since 29 Jul 2013

Total posts 2

Sir, good question - you are cutting it fine

As you say considering there is no delays you could get thru in 5-10 minutes with total clear run.

My advice: Advise your airline crew at the boarding gate to pass on message to boarding gate.

In my experience with Qantas to LAX, you should just make it. All the best!

Hugo

Member since 12 Jun 2013

Total posts 217

I'm not sure the question is meaningful, because it's not sensible to make travel plans based on the best possible case scenario. I'm guessing English isn't your first language, because "considering there are no delays" isn't the same thing as "assuming there are no delays".

Could you do it in 35 minutes in the best possible scenario assuming no queues, a favourable tailwind through the terminal and a lower-than-usual concentration of judiciously placed goods in the DFS obstacle course? Probably, but it would be insane to make plans on that basis. I'm not even sure what kind of magical form of transport you're planning to use that will get you back to the airport at 12:30 on the dot.

Plan for the worst likely case scenario, not the best possible case. And worst likely case scenario I'd make sure I had at least an hour to get through the terminal, even assuming I knew exactly when I'd get to the terminal.

Mal

Member since 14 Jun 2013

Total posts 109

Fastest possible time from walking into the terminal to walking onto the plane? Best-case scenario of you arriving at a time between peak hours so there is nobody to slow you down as customs or security, maybe 10 minutes from arriving at the airport to getting out of the duty-free maze, then it depends on where your gate is. It might be a 2 minute walk or a 10 minute run. 

Hugo

Member since 12 Jun 2013

Total posts 217

I'm not sure why the comments suggesting the intrinsic impoliteness of attempting to delay an A380-load of people for your own convenience are all being downvoted. Perhaps charlieg also has conveniently-placed family members on this forum too...

Wests Tigers

Qantas

Member since 23 Apr 2013

Total posts 14

You can only HOPE there are no delays. Allow for them. Sydney airport is horrendous when under stress. Like everything in life, things WILL go wrong when you dont want them to. Latest check-in time on the QF site is 90 minutes, and you want 35 minutes?!!)

Plan A, get to the airport NO LATER than 120 mins prior. (Assume there will be accidents on Southern Cross Drive and/or the M5 East too and that there will be a train breakdown!).  Gotta love Sydney!

Plan B. Get an earlier flight from ADL.

Plan C. Dont even bother with the Virgin flight. Its not an option.

htc

Qantas P1

Member since 18 Jan 2012

Total posts 40

If you were go to through customs at about 12.15pm I'd say you would be allright.... but 12.30pm is, like everyone else is suggesting, cutting it too fine.

I've done 40mins from checkin to take-off before but you don't need the stress or things going wrong.

Get to the airport by 12pm to be sure.

David

Member since 24 Oct 2010

Total posts 993

Charlie, I pretty much agree with Mal and others here, this is just too tight a timetable. You can never count on anything being a cert in this game. 

But as you have asked: "Considering there is no delays and i have express pass, have you got anything to suggest what is the FASTEST time i can get from front of terminal, thru customs, and to the gate?"... I've not recently been through SYD at the time you're asking about, and that could well be the crux of things, but from arriving at the airport at 10am I've been able to go from the check-in counter (with nobody in front of me) to the lounge in under 15 minutes because there are no queues at that time of day.

Assuming the same conditions of bugger-all travellers and thus zero queues – and that you would shave a few minutes off standing at the check-in desk because you already have your boarding pass, and that your gate is close by (eg Gate 10) – then I reckon you could do that in 10 minutes. 'Could' being the operative word. It could also take 20 minutes, or 40 minutes. I truly think it's just not worth it.

johnaboxall

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 24 Aug 2011

Total posts 385

Doomed to failure. What if there's a failure with your method of transport to get you back to the airport? Unattended package at Green Square shuts down the Airport Link railway? Truck loses a load on Botany Rd? China Airlines flight gets cancelled and 200 psycho tourists create a melee past security? Bikie riot? The tighter you play it, the more chance you'll fail. 

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