Executive Traveller exclusive
Premium passengers can once again skip the queue when jetting out of Sydney T1 international terminal, with the airport finally dusting off an Express Path departures lane.
However, its return may only be temporary – and frequent flyers are no longer on the guest list.
In the past, the Express Path was a handy perk designed and paid for by participating airlines, one which allowed first and business class passengers, as well as elite frequent flyer status holders, to bypass the main queues when passing through immigration.
All you needed was to wave your ‘Express Path’-branded paper slip and you were waived right through. During peak travel times, they were worth more than their weight in gold (and you’ve probably got a few stashed away for emergencies).
Due to ongoing resourcing challenges hitting security and immigration at the airport, and despite a continued resurgence of overseas travel, the Express Path of old remains shuttered.
To help ease congestion in peak periods, Sydney Airport has instead introduced its own ‘Priority Screening Lane’.
Originally intended for passengers with flights close to departure – staff would regularly ‘comb the queue’ and bring people forward in order of flight priority – the priority lane has since expanded to also include those travelling in first and business class cabins.
Frequent flyers travelling in other cabin classes, even those holding Qantas Platinum or Star Alliance Gold, are not included within the list.
“We are currently operating a priority screening lane for passengers with flights that are close to departure and for first and business class ticketed passengers,” a Sydney Airport spokesperson tells Executive Traveller.
“We are working closely with our international airline partners to see when it will be possible to bring back the ‘Express Path’ product.”
Sydney Airport saw 544,271 international passengers pass through T1 in April 2022. Though an impressive figure, it is still 61.1% down from the corresponding period in 2019.
There is no firm timeline on how long the Priority Screening Lane at Sydney Airport will remain open, though it’s expected to be at least until the end of the July school holidays.