Why you’ll need more time between connecting Qantas flights

After countless baggage delays, Qantas is adding 30 minutes to its minimum connection times.

By Matt Lennon, August 10 2022
Why you’ll need more time between connecting Qantas flights

Minimum Qantas connection times between domestic and international flights will soon be lengthened at Sydney and Melbourne Airports, as the airline continues to struggle to meet soaring demand for travel.

Currently, the shortest possible window Qantas allows its passengers to move between flights is 60 minutes. From 21 August, this will extend to 90 minutes to allow for any delayed domestic connections meeting outbound overseas flights.

The extra 30 minutes is being added by Qantas to ensure passengers and their bags are successfully loaded onto connecting international flights departing from Australia’s two busiest airports.

For most travellers from well-served home airports, the change may mean your otherwise efficient connection becomes a much more relaxed affair, leaving you more time to shop for duty-free or to spend in the Qantas lounge.

You'll now need more time to connect between Qantas flights.
You'll now need more time to connect between Qantas flights.

But for others with fewer Qantas services to Sydney and Melbourne, the change may now see you leaving home a day earlier and spending the first night of your trip at an airport hotel.

Travellers whose plans have now been disrupted by the extra 30 minute layover will soon be contacted by Qantas or their booking agent to move to earlier flights, with Qantas confirming it will foot the bill for any now-necessary overnight stays.

Bookings made using Qantas Frequent Flyer Points must also be changed or refunded via the Qantas call centre.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Qantas executives are already considering extending the new policy to arriving international flights.

The connection time extension is the second major operational change made by Qantas this week, having earlier asked up to 200 of its middle and senior management to reportedly swap their suits for high-vis gear and moonlight as baggage handlers to provide extra manpower on the ground.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1193

The arriving international - domestic connection time is already a mess.  I do this regularly and have always allowed a minimum 2 hour connection but the combination of luggage arriving very slowly into the baggage hall and the useless outsourced  landside terminal connection has meant I have never made the 2 hour connection in 3 attempts this year and have had to be moved onto a later domestic flight.  It's not a huge problem heading to MEL but it would be a pain if you were connecting to somewhere with less frequent connections.

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 232

Even 90min isn’t enough in BNE and SYD with a transfer via rail/bus and a 45min wait in security / customs 

06 Sep 2019

Total posts 30

I have a 1 hr 40 min transfer next week but will just have carry on baggage so hopefully I'll be ok.

05 May 2016

Total posts 630

I would like to book a 3+ hour connection flying from MEL via SYD outbound, but all too often I can only find very tight connection times are offered. Hopefully this will change with this change in policy.

Not as worried about the return leg arriving into Australia as if I don't meet the minimum connection time they will rebook me onto a later flight (which happened on my recent return to Australia. I booked a flight to go 2 hours after landing in SYD, but ended up getting rebooked onto a flight about an hour after arriving at the transfer desk).

06 Sep 2019

Total posts 30

mviy, I got around this by selecting multi city with MEL to SYD and then SYD to wherever you're going rather than just MEL to the end destination. It then gives you more choice of flights.

qld david

why on earth would you do this yourself ? An agent can do this for you & will often be much much cheaper & save you time wasted on dumb search engine sites. (the dumb computers, will only look for exactly what you ask for. Over the last 40 years, agents have saved us many tens of thousands of dollars. The secret is saying to agent, these are our dates, but we are a little bit flexible. Sometimes they say go day earlier or later. Sometimes they say have a short stopover & sometimes they say, go this day as very good chance of upgrading.


sounds like you need a good travel agent. Find one who specialises in where you want to go. Might mean using different agents for different parts of the world.


09 May 2020

Total posts 553

Considering my experience back in May with connecting at Sydney, you’ll be lucky to pass through the immigration and security screening process in 90 mins, much less the duty free experience or lounge stay. 

There would be plenty of time for the luggage, the wait is the pax snaking queue and the automated immigration gates shutting down every 10 mins


09 May 2020

Total posts 553

BTW the 90 min I mentioned above does not include the 30 mins to ride the QF bus connecting the terminal (15 minutes interval, 10 mins ride but takes at least 10 min for pax to embark and disembark, does not include lining up in the queue for the bus, probably about 30-40 pax capacity)

avoid awful SYD at all costs. Worst airport in OZ by far. If you can't allow 3.5 hours minimum to change terminals.

26 Mar 2020

Total posts 65

Considering boarding commences 60 mins (well it says on the boarding pass) the old 60 min connection time was never realistic and only causes anxiety for travelers.

I would allow at least 120 mins (if you want to transfer without any stress)


no no no

2 hours is not enough. 3.5 hours or more & go to qantas club. Many int destinations have 1 flight a day. If miss that could be day or 3 waiting in busy periods.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Nov 2019

Total posts 83

I would rather pay my worst enemy a years salary than haggle through that third world experience domestic to international ever again at Sydney Airport. Its complete Amateur hour with every conceivable part of the process outsourced to any Tom Dick or Harry who bidded lowest in the tender process. Even with the benefit of an APEC card and using the crew lane at immigration, its a half hour wait if there is a few flights due. I had Korean Air pilots in front of me who were absolutely mad, and I noticed that flight took off 2 hours late !The best part is the full to the brim Covid Skybus (another outsource) and the disorganised bus boarding process. All the while, Joyce sits at home with his beagle on his lap internet shopping for new homewares. Albo had 4 of a possible 24 immigration officers on for at least 700 pax. Its Australia, near enough is good enough.     

16 Dec 2016

Total posts 49

Typical lazy headline in ET’s email ‘Qantas delays connections’!?! They are increasing minimum connection time to help avoid customers missing flights because of security and immigration delays. Sounds very reasonable to me and I’d think some balanced reporting reflecting this would help take some of the hysteria out of the obsession to destroy our only Australian owned airline. 

there is absolutely nothing special about qantas & it's only 51% australian by govt decree, isn't it ?

I wish they would extend this in Heathrow currently you can book a through ticket with an onward connection with another carrier with a minimum connection of 90 minutes even if that is from a different terminal. It’s impossible to get from t3 to t5 on the internal transfer bus and through security in that time, especially with the QF01 and QF09 always late. This adds up to missed flights and then no possibility to rebook on BA as they have stopped ticket sales due to the cap. It’s a disaster every day if they could extend the minimum time to 2.5 or 3 hours even if temporarily it would help.

heathrow lady


Are you booking online ? That's silly. No agents would ever book such a tight connection.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 457

I knew the 1h30 to 2hr minimum existed for years but are there ways to avoid that packed to the brim transfer bus?I am think GM CAB or Train or Uber if transferring Domestic to International.

26 Oct 2017

Total posts 27

My daughter-in-law and I had a 70-minute connection from domestic to international in Sydney on October 1, but a call to Qantas's Hobart call centre a week ago resulted in being switched to an earlier domestic flight. Here's a shout-out to the fantastic Darren at the call centre!

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