Sydney Opal Card - $13.40 Airport Gate Fee?

21 Discussions

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

Just looking at terms and conditions of this card, what is the $13.40 Airport gate fee? Please explain.

victort

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 14 Feb 2017

Total posts 77

Sydney airport is privately held so stops are charged an extra fee. Just like some airports (eg. Auckland) - the taxi pickup automatically adds $15-20 to your fare for the use of the Airport pickup. Ridiculous i know right! 

themanfromoz

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 12 Jan 2014

Total posts 14

Yes.

The private operators of the stations at the airport charge an additional fee which is built into the amount the Opal card is debited.

If there are a few of you travelling a taxi to the Sydney CBD is likely to be cheaper - around $40 from international terminal to the city (suggest you get driver to take you via O'Riordan St which is more direct than the eastern 'loop' many will take you on).

Sydney Trains Info will assist you with train times.

markpk

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Nov 2013

Total posts 415

To expand on Victort's comment...

Airport line was originally built via PPP whereby it had a private operator and one of the concessions was that Green Square, Mascot, DOM, and INTL all had gate fees over and above the normal fare for regular stations on the line. This was supposed to provide the operator with the income they needed to fund the infrastructure etc etc etc. 

Well, that didn't work, the operator and its bankers took a bath and its now back in NSW State Govt hands - the gate fees at Green Square and Mascot have been abolished but DOM and INTL remain. 

For example:
  • Central to Wolli Creek (1st station past INTL) - 5.5k's, $3.38 for adult in peak
  • Central to DOM - 4.2k's, $17.18
  • Central to Lindfield - 17k's, $4.20

This might seem like extortion but in reality you're paying a premium for what is usually a very convenient service - particularly if you are looking to go to the city or Nth Sydney.

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

Thanks, extortion is a good word.

markpk

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Nov 2013

Total posts 415

Thanks, extortion is a good word.

True...think of it more like Uber surge pricing... You're in the CBD, its late afternoon on Friday, you know both the Eastern Disty and Redfern runs to the airport are going to be rubbish - the airport train is a good option. And you pay a premium for this! 

Steve987

Member since 23 Feb 2015

Total posts 246

The train is a great deal compared to all other options available. Cheaper (including wait times) and quicker.

The option is available to everyone to walk  to Mascot and get the cheaper train fare. I suspect most don't do this because, like me, they see value for money in the service provided at the established price point.

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

Yes.

The private operators of the stations at the airport charge an additional fee which is built into the amount the Opal card is debited.

If there are a few of you travelling a taxi to the Sydney CBD is likely to be cheaper - around $40 from international terminal to the city (suggest you get driver to take you via O'Riordan St which is more direct than the eastern 'loop' many will take you on).

Sydney Trains Info will assist you with train times.


It's a big fee, enough to make you take that cab, thereby almost discouraging the use of the station. Can't win them all I suppose.

hakkinen5

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Aug 2014

Total posts 120

You should be aware that that station access fee is capped at around $20 per week though.  So if you are doing a return trip inside a week, you'll pay the full $13.40 for the first trip, and only the balance for the return trip. And any further trips during that week you will not pay it at all.

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

You should be aware that that station access fee is capped at around $20 per week though.  So if you are doing a return trip inside a week, you'll pay the full $13.40 for the first trip, and only the balance for the return trip. And any further trips during that week you will not pay it at all.

Didn't know about the cap, would be good if you worked at the airport.

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 Oct 2014

Total posts 321

Via public transport from the city, the only other 'cheap' option on an Opal card is to catch the Route 400 Bus from Bondi Junction interchange (Stand F) to Burwood (and v.v.) which stops at the Domestic and International Airport Terminals.

If you are not particularly familiar with Sydney Public Transport, then you can download 'TripView Lite' free of charge (iOS, Android and Windows Phone versions are available) which is comprehensive, real-time and accurate. It also covers Melbourne public transport (see 'Settings').

markpk

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Nov 2013

Total posts 415

Yes.

The private operators of the stations at the airport charge an additional fee which is built into the amount the Opal card is debited.

If there are a few of you travelling a taxi to the Sydney CBD is likely to be cheaper - around $40 from international terminal to the city (suggest you get driver to take you via O'Riordan St which is more direct than the eastern 'loop' many will take you on).

Sydney Trains Info will assist you with train times.


It's a big fee, enough to make you take that cab, thereby almost discouraging the use of the station. Can't win them all I suppose.

Hardly...

  • Most cab drivers will want to take you via the ED in either direction which usually is a car park. 
  • The cab fare is rarely below $35-$40
  • Most cabs are death traps and stink (like Sydney Trains - I'll grant you that!)
As a commentator noted above, the issue with the gate fee is that if you're travelling with a work colleague or family, the cab becomes the cheaper option - something NSW Transport needs to sort out...

Nick Sydney 2

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 22 Jul 2015

Total posts 82

Extortion is a great way of describing this. But it sure beats the road nightmare that Sydney is becoming. 

ajd

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 27 Nov 2014

Total posts 21

Well, that didn't work, the operator and its bankers took a bath and its now back in NSW State Govt hands - the gate fees at Green Square and Mascot have been abolished but DOM and INTL remain. 

All those stations are still owned by the private operator, but the NSW government receives a proportion of the station access fees under the contract they have with Airport Link, and they agreed to abolish the fee on Green Square/Mascot.

ajd

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 27 Nov 2014

Total posts 21

Via public transport from the city, the only other 'cheap' option on an Opal card is to catch the Route 400 Bus from Bondi Junction interchange (Stand F) to Burwood (and v.v.) which stops at the Domestic and International Airport Terminals.

If you are not particularly familiar with Sydney Public Transport, then you can download 'TripView Lite' free of charge (iOS, Android and Windows Phone versions are available) which is comprehensive, real-time and accurate. It also covers Melbourne public transport (see 'Settings').


The 400 also stops at Mascot station, which no longer has a gate fee - Mascot station is only 3 or 4 stops away from the stop at Domestic.

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