Sydney Airport

One my way back from Australia, I transited at Sydney because the air ticket was cheaper than that via Melbourne.

I regretted it almost immediately after the purchase :) Unlike Melbourne airport, Sydney airport's international terminal is not walking distance from its domestic terminal. One would need to pay (oh yes, it's not free) to go from one to the other:
  • Bus - AUD 5.50
  • Train - AUD 5.80
  • Taxi - AUD 17-22 (yes, for a journey that takes up to only 10 minutes)
There are free bus shuttles provided by Qantas and Virgin if you're transferring between their own respective flights.

I took the train. I had to walk to to the station, purchase ticket and wait for the train. Compare that to Melbourne where I just need to walk...for free!

Once at the international terminal, here was what I found at the Air Asia counters:

Sydney airport 1

Sydney airport 2

There were 3 check-in counters and 3 baggage-drop counters. The queue for the latter was easily 4 times longer than the former. Does that makes sense? Air Asia was penalising people who checked-in via website or phone and rewarding those who chose to use the check-in counters. Mind-boggling. Later on, they did open an extra-baggage drop counter but that still didn't narrow the discrepancy sufficiently. It would be hilarious if people learn from this and start flooding the check-in counters in future. Bye Sydney airport!

Oh, one thing I did learn was that paying extra for Hot Seat also entitled you to express boarding too. That was so helpful because the normal queue was long and there was concern about getting to use baggage storage that was conveniently located near my seat.

After dropping my checked-in baggage, I'm off to hunting for lunch. Decided to go through immigration and baggage check first.

Sydney airport 3

On the directory, there were a number of F&B outlets but they were scattered all over the terminal. Some were even as far as 400m from the centre. So to scout all of them, you would need to walk about 2km in total. Ridiculous!

Predictably, the shops in the middle had long queue. I ended having a pastry beef hot dog as a snack:

Sydney airport 4

Gosh, such a badly designed airport.

So lesson learned: pay extra to transit at Melbourne, rather than Sydney. Also, shorter international flight duration from Melbourne.
2 Responses
  1. A Law Says:

    Good exercise though. ;)

  2. Jaded Jeremy Says:

    A Law,
    Lol but not after wasting lots of time queuing at the baggage-drop counter. Admittedly, if I had more time and wasn't hungry, it would be more tolerable to walk and check out all the F&B outlets. Anyway, Melbourne all the way next time :)