Perth’s new airport train derails Qantas passengers

The WA capital has a railway line to the airport at last, though there are still gaps for some travellers to navigate.

By Staff Writers, October 11 2022
Perth’s new airport train derails Qantas passengers

Following a two year delay, Perth’s newest Metronet railway line linking the CBD and the airport in under 20 minutes is finally open – but it’s going to sidetrack Qantas and Jetstar passengers.

With the new Airport Central station nestled beneath the Terminal 1 and 2 precinct, and only a few escalators between the check-in counters and baggage carousel, it’s highly convenient for Virgin Australia travellers and anyone on international flights.

Airport Central station is positioned directly underneath Terminals 1 and 2.
Airport Central station is positioned directly underneath Terminals 1 and 2.

However, there’s no direct access from Terminals 3 or 4, which are used not only by domestic Qantas, Jetstar and QantasLink flights but also some international Qantas services.

Domestic flyers at Terminals 3 and 4 will need to hop an additional 11-minute shuttle bus ride which runs every 15 minutes in order to catch the Perth-bound train – an impost likely to result in more frequent fares for taxis and rideshare drivers.

(It’s a $40 Uber fare one-way between the Perth CBD and the airport, with the journey taking around half an hour door to door.)

Trains on the new line run every 12 minutes along the line during peak times and twice per hour in the evening, with tickets capped at $5 per person or $4 for holders of the reusable SmartRider fare card.

Airport Central is one of two new stations for travellers flying to and from Perth.
Airport Central is one of two new stations for travellers flying to and from Perth.

Buses connect Terminals 3 and 4 with Redcliffe Station, one of three new interchanges on Perth’s shiny railway line to the city centre and onward to Claremont in the south-west.

In both directions, the line runs along Perth’s major commuter thoroughfares and stops at all stations including East Perth, Claisebrook, McIver and main Perth interchange.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1175

The issue with T3/4 is the joint fault of Qantas and PAPL.  The whole plan was for the terminals to be consolidated in the central terminal complex and the quite aged T3/4 closed down.  There was never any thought that the the old terminals would need to be serviced by the new rail line.  

Unfortunately, there have been numerous disputes between QF and PAPL and the consolidation is still years away.   Hopefully the opening of the rail will galvanise parties to get on with the new terminals.  T3/4 won't be missed.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2017

Total posts 119

Couldn’t agree more re T3/T4 it’s such a poor experience. I have flown out of Qantas international T3 4 x times since May and it’s just a all round unpleasant experience each and every time. Qantas should be engaging Perth Airport to get their new terminal ASAP. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2016

Total posts 7

I think Qantas and engaging is classed as an oxymoron

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2022

Total posts 1

Any updates on when QF might move to T1?

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1444

I can’t see it before 2025. 2024 could be possible but they would have to get cracking in the next few months.

07 May 2021

Total posts 10

I think it also needs to be pointed out that at a capped $5 per trip it is just about the cheapest airport-CBD train possibly anywhere in the world and most definitely it is the cheapest in Australia by $10-15.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Aug 2017

Total posts 1

The Prime Minister of Westralia did point out the price difference to "over east" several times in the bit of press I saw.

11 Sep 2018

Total posts 16

Can't blame him though. May as well capitalise where he can.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Nov 2016

Total posts 32

DFW to downtown Dallas is cheaper at USD3

11 Sep 2018

Total posts 16

$3USD is pretty much $5AUD or will be in a couple of months

19 Feb 2020

Total posts 5

That's WA in a nutshell - anything to make it difficult for those dirty infected eastern states residents to cross the border.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 441

What they could and should do is have access to all terminals similar to Sydney.I am thankful Adelaide all carriers are integrated in one terminal and the bus is within walking distance of the areas.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1175

The plan is for all terminals to be in the one spot with the terminal complex in a crescent shape.  If you look at T1/T2 from above, you can see where the new QF terminal would fit.  Given work hasn't started as yet, it will be at least 3 to 4 years before a new Qantas domestic terminal is built in the central terminal complex.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 459

Both the rail extension and the terminal consolidation have been significantly delayed.  In the case of the rail extension there have been numerous technical issues with tunneling through sand and under the water table.  In the end I believe that rolling stock availability was also a source of delay, but the State has succeeded in covering that up.  The reason for further delay to the terminal consolidation is obvious - COVID.  While the T3 and T4 rail-terminal transfer is not ideal, I would hope that the buses are well aligned with the train schedule and it is made as painless as possible.  Building a T3 rail station would have been a poor investment by the State.

Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

20 Jun 2013

Total posts 47

Thanks for the excellent location description, the only decent one giving a frank idea of where the station is and the ease of terminal access.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jul 2017

Total posts 17

Going to try it out tomorrow, will be interesting to see how we go, flying out of T1

QFF

03 Sep 2014

Total posts 16

Perth Airport have to be dragged kicking and screaming to do anything. They are making too much money on developing the surrounding land and car parking. Qantas have invested in T3/T4 as Perth Airport won't commit on the 3rd runway and the T1 expansion.  Nothing in the entire airport complex is integrated nor passenger friendly, just look at the T2 fly in/ fly out complex, no covered walkway to T1. Usual WA half assed shambles.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

01 Mar 2019

Total posts 3

yes it does, are you serious 🤦🏻‍♂️

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

07 Mar 2018

Total posts 17

Always so interesting to see the vitriol flung at Western Australia and Mark McGowan.  The reality is until the airport corporation and Qantas get things moving the current T3&4 arrangement will remain.  No government should/would  waste millions of dollars investing in infrastructure that is only temporary and very poor return on investment.  The current location of the Redcliffe station will serve the local community as well as the charter air services on the west side of the airport long after T3/4 are de-commissioned - whenever that might be.  It's really no worse than the dreadful situation in Sydney Airport with International/Domestic transfers that just got worse with the transfer now fighting highway traffic outside the airport to get between Domestic and International terminals.  The best airports in terms of ease of transfers in Australia seem to be Adelaide and Melbourne.  I look forward to when Perth has the same.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Feb 2015

Total posts 38

The problem with that argument is your temporary arrangement ALWAYS becomes permanent . It will be years .

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Feb 2015

Total posts 38

IM not from Sydney but in my opinion they are the best hands down. 15mins into the city. Beats taxis by $40-$50

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

07 Mar 2018

Total posts 17

Paully, I'm not going to engage in a slanging match, I am simply pointing out the reality of the situation.  We are no more excited with the lack of progress of the T3/4 situation than you are but this is a problem between the Airport Corp and Qantas not the public or government of WA.  Clearly you don' t like WA/Perth and I can't change that which is a shame.  As for Sydney being best, I concede it is a short train journey but last time I used it the cost was double what it is in Perth.  Just saying.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1175

Melbourne is good for transfers but is now too small for the pax that go through it.  Eventually a new international terminal will have to be built.  Chances are this will be where the VA (T3) terminal currently is merging with the existing T2.  VA will be moved to a new terminal (T5) planned for south of T4.  At this point, the Melbourne terminal complex will be over 1km in length and require either a bus or, hopefully, a smart-train transfer.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Jan 2014

Total posts 5

Took the airport line yesterday to catch a Qantas flight. Had my check bag and one carry on and found itwas really easy to navigate. 

Transperth advises that journey from Redcliffe Station to T4 is 4 minutes (not 11 mins stated in the article - the whole round trip of the bus 11mins) 

Bus was waiting for us after the train arrived. Looking at the timetable to bus runs every 12mins during peak times. 

Of course nothing beats being dropped off at the front of the terminal by car. 

But when you take into account the 4 mins bus ride from Redcliffe to T3 & T4 vs a 4 minute walk along the walkway from Airport Central to T1 & T2 it’s much of muchness for me.

13 Oct 2022

Total posts 1

Maybe it would be helpful if all the staff at both terminals Knew what the new arrangements are.

Yesterday my sister arrived from Adelaide into terminal 3 and asked numerous people at the terminal where to catch the shuttle to terminal 1 to access the new airport train to the city so she could connect with the Australind train to bunbury.

Nobody was able to help her, most giving her quizzical looks.

A good samaritan eventually drove her to the central perth station and she caught the train with 3 mins to spare.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Feb 2015

Total posts 38

Taxi drivers will do it for a flat fee of $50 . When you tell them what you want to do ( go to T4-T1) they will refuse then you have to tell them I’ll pay . Also the terminal bus Does Not always run . For many months I have had to pay the $50 to get to the other terminal . Perth is a disgrace . 

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 441

ask Uber or Didi or Ola if you have their apps when you get into Perth to take you to this train station.I am thinking at most you won't pay more than say $25 on a good day push the button on arrival.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

02 Feb 2015

Total posts 38

The drivers when they find out you are going to the other terminal will not take you. Hence they ask you for $50 to take you across . This is the reality . So Perth ….


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