United Airlines - Mileage Plus
Member since 20 Dec 2013
Total posts 18
My wife and I were originally booked on VA MEL-HKG but that service was cancelled and we're being re-routed through Sydney. What a pain! Three years ago on a trip from MEL-LAX we were ferrried by Virgin's bus which went out into the Sydney traffic. It was horrific and took ages, putting stress on us to make the international flight. When we did this transfer with Qantas 15 years ago, the bus took us across the tarmac, avoiding the traffic, and it was a very quick and stress-free trip with close-up views of a variety of aircraft. Does anyone who uses this facility know whether Virgin's bus is across the tarmac or out in the traffic? If it's the latter I'll probably pay to get the train.
Member since 24 Apr 2012
Total posts 1,118
Last time I did a 'domestic to international' transit with Virgin in Sydney (July 2019), the bus ran airside: taking much the same route as the Qantas transfer bus, and arriving in the same place at the international terminal. On previous occasions, it was a longer drive out onto the public roads, which wasn't as efficient.
Member since 06 Jun 2017
Total posts 43
I do the SYD transfer on VA many times per year. My last 4 trips around Nov last year all went on the public roads.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 30 May 2013
Total posts 150
I did an international to domestic transfer with Virgin last year and it was a slow slog through the traffic on public roads. The Qantas transfer on the other hand was all air-side and much quicker.
Emirates Airlines - Skywards
Member since 15 Jan 2020
Total posts 4
Virgin do have an airside bus from domestic to international. This is located by Gate 46 Transfer lounge, goes the same route like the Qantas domestic - international airside bus.
Virgin's transfer lounge does close by 8:30 - 9pm each night however.
Some responded by saying that the Virgin bus from Gate 46 goes out onto the roads in all the traffic while others said that it goes across the tarmac. I am confused!
Originally Posted by GoYouBlues
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
Member since 06 Aug 2017
Total posts 179
I did international-to-domestic last weekend and it was through public roads. Looks like domestic-to international is airside and international-to-domestic is “roadside” (if such a word exists!)
Member since 29 Feb 2016
Total posts 26
Different route Dom to Intl than Intl to Dom..
Transferring to Intl happens from downstairs at VA domestic gate 43 (from memory) so you are already airside, Probly a security thing - the bus can go around the tarmac, back behind the end of the N/S runway and drop off close to QF Intl bus stop because everyone onboard the bus has been security screened for flamethrowers, rpg's and shoulder-fired stinger missiles.
However, from Intl you get the VA bus once you are outside, thru customs etc, and no longer ‘airside' so the bus goes across to Dom by public roads..
Well, VA must have changed things because three years ago we went from VA domestic at Gate 46 on the Virgin bus to the international terminal using the public roads with dreadful traffic. I will be taking this trip to HKG in February so I'll let you all know which way I went.
Yes they have changed, so that now Dom to Intl goes internal roads around the airport. But the return, Intl to Dom, remains out in the traffic.
Member since 19 Apr 2012
Total posts 730
The issue seems to be where to put the security scan and bag drop. No obvious easy place at the international. Qantas has quite a big setup to do it and VA may not have the volumes or money to pay for it
Member since 07 Jan 2020
Total posts 2
Have also done this a number of times in the past 6 months and agree with others: Domestic to Intl was airside with bus departing from Gate 46.
Member since 14 Mar 2017
Total posts 159
Originally Posted by patrickk
Member since 21 Mar 2011
Total posts 433
... but for anyone else reading this.
From dom T2 to int T1, the bus goes from Gate 46 within the secure zone of the airport roadway, as people would have already passed dom security screening.
But on the way back from int to dom, as there is no VAd security screening at SYD T1, the bus will go via the public roadway, and drop pax outside T2 in the open zone, and this is where time has to be given, as all pax have to then go through Aust dom airport secreening, at SYD T2, either through the normal pleb line, or the Express line, which leads to the VAd the Lounge at SYD T2.
QF is different, from int to dom, as all QF pax are screened at T1 SYD int, while waiting for the QF bus.
Have done this many times, going to and from ADL on QF and VA int to dom and vice versa flights.
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on
Sydney Transit - Domestic to International Terminals Route
Already have an ET account? Log in below.
Signing up with Executive Traveller only takes a second and lets you
interact with our community. It's completely free and we'll never pass your information on to
Didn’t receive an activation email? Resend one to yourself here.
If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address
below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.
If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.
Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter to get the latest premium travel news, exclusives and inspiration right to your inbox.