Sydney Airport has reintroduced the fast track Express Path lane from the arrivals zone at its international T1 terminal.
The airport copped plenty of flack over its decision late last year to remove the Express Path facility in favour of 'green' and 'red' exits based on whether incoming travellers have goods to declare.
It wasn't just first class and business class passengers as well as top-tier frequent flyers who were impacted by the move, with several airlines also unhappy that their premium passengers were forced to join the same snaking queue as everybody else after baggage pickup.
However, on recent inbound flights we've noticed that the Express Path is back.
In the main arrivals hall of T1 – the one used by Qantas – look for Express Path signage near the left-most 'No Goods to Declare' green exit.
Outside of peak hours there's an Express Path line feeding into the above green channel.
PREVIOUS [30/12/14] | Sydney Airport has removed the fast track Express Path lane from the arrivals zones at its international T1 terminal in favour of 'green' and 'red' exits based on whether incoming travellers have goods to declare.
The airport has retained a fast track lane at the initial Australian Customs Service passport check prior to collecting your baggage.
However, most returning Australians – as well as many New Zealand, US UK and Singapore citizens carrying a recent-issue smartchipped passports – use the automated SmartGate passport checkpoint to sidestep those queues and head straight down to the baggage carousel.
And this is where things have changed. Those Express Path slips issued to first class and business class passengers as well as top tier frequent flyers have no currency once you're past baggage pickup, with travellers joining the back of the same queues as everybody else.
"Sydney Airport, Customs and Department of Agriculture are trialling improved passenger wayfinding and facilitation processes in the baggage halls and at the secondary line screening, based on feedback from our passengers and our airlines" a spokeswoman for Sydney Airport told Australian Business Traveller.
In addition to installing "internationally recognised red/green channels for Goods to Declare and No Goods to Declare exits", the arrivals area is also being fitted with "new large LED dynamic screens, new static signage and rationalisation of existing signage, as well as providing clearer access routes through the secondary line."
The red and the green
As you’d expect, the red exit is for those who have answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions on the incoming passenger card, and is found in the centre of the arrivals hall and in place of the previous Express Path lane.
Travellers with nothing to declare will head for the green No Goods to Declare lanes – located at either end of baggage claim – and will be funnelled straight to the exit, although there's still the facility for customs officers to carry out a baggage scan for any passenger.
The Express Path lane for departing passengers remains available to eligible travellers.
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