Duty Free Immigration Lane inbound at SYD

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by simongr, Nov 18, 2006.

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  1. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    Just a quick one. I was Coming into SYD on Tuesday morning and I stunned at the length of the inbound immigration queue. I have never had more than about 5 people in front of me inbound at SYD (unlike outbound). As I came into the immigration area I saw a sign that said "dedicated immigration lane for duty free purchases". I wasnt sure what this meant but I think it was a lane from downtown-duty-free direct to thefront of immigration. Is that correct?

    I am not it is appropriate for SYD airport to be somehow compromising the independence of the immigrations function - but I am now trying to work out if it is worth getting my DF in SYD just so I can skip any queues that have formed. Is this lane there every time?
     

  2. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
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    You can use the duty free lane to save some queuing; given that you are a frequent traveller, why not get an APEC card ( cost $155 for 3 years ) and then be able to bypass the queues at both inbound and outbound immigration by using the APEC lanes

    Dave
     
  3. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    Not Australian Citizen - otherwise I would have that by now :(
     
  4. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    just buy something, anything, from duty free
     
  5. kpc

    kpc Senior Member

    Mar 11, 2003
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    ...there is nothing wrong in "browsing" the store, deciding that nothing takes your fancy, and then using the express "duty free shop lane";)
     
  6. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    ... or, if you have one of the new ePassports, using the Smartgate lane(s) (contrary to what may have been advised ;) )
     
  7. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    There may be a "guardian" watching the queue, but I think they're more interested in making sure people don't jump into the queue without going through the store than people who shortcut through the store.

    If any comment is made. "Sorry, the prices are too high for my liking" (which could well be true in SYD ;) )
     
  8. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    Of course, if/when the balance changes and the 'short' DF queue becomes longer than all or some of the regular queues then some rethinking/fine tuning may be required.
     
  9. acampbel

    acampbel Member

    Oct 31, 2005
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    Last time I came through T1 there was an opening in the lane just after the DF checkouts. This means you don't even have to feign interest in a bottle of scotch to get to the DF immigration lane.

    I don't think they really care whether you actually have any DF. One time I stumbled to the end of the "others" queue before realising my mistake, so I cut right under a few tape barriers to join the shorter DF queue. No reaction from the superfluous queue "organisers".


    Cheers,


    Andrew

    .
     
  10. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    I always offer to bring back cigarettes for friends, at their cost not mine, and have used this dedicated lane since it's inception.
     
  11. Febs

    Febs Established Member

    Aug 15, 2006
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    The only time I used the dedicated DF lane, the queue was as long as all the others. :confused:

    I find it's best to buy your DF elsewhere (especially if travelling in Asia), then rush off the plane and beat almost everyone to immigration. :) I did this yesterday coming from SIN and was off the plane, past immigration, baggage and customs in under 20mins. :)

    Cheers,
    - Febs.
     
  12. one9

    one9 Active Member

    Sep 14, 2005
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    It doesn't matter how quickly you get through immigration, because you still have to get through Quarantine.

    Quarantine at Sydney airport in the morning is one of the most mismanaged and unorganised experiences that I am forced to experience. When I speak to people who are in Australia for the first time, a large number of them complain about the Sydney airport arrival. Recently someone commented that it makes Australia seem like a third world country. I feel embarassed that Australia makes such a poor image to visitors arriving in Australia.
     
  13. Febs

    Febs Established Member

    Aug 15, 2006
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    Can't say I've ever experienced anything of that nature with Australian quarantine/customs. It's always been a speedy and friendly process for me.

    Cheers,
    - Febs.
     
  14. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Agree rush hour into SYD (especially and lesser extent MEL) is chaotic at xray. However, as noted elsewhere, sometimes I can skip the xray upon saying my origin and showing my card. Speedy is not a word I'd use to describe the process.
     
  15. one9

    one9 Active Member

    Sep 14, 2005
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    Do you arrive in Sydney weekdays during 6-8 am?
     
  16. kpc

    kpc Senior Member

    Mar 11, 2003
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    Touche...:p
     
  17. Febs

    Febs Established Member

    Aug 15, 2006
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    One of my trips this year - yes. One on a Friday morning, the other on a Saturday morning. My recent trip was Saturday ~8pm.

    Cheers,
    - Febs.
     
  18. auriga

    auriga Active Member

    Nov 6, 2005
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    if only the arrival process into Sydney can be like the process in Singapore!!
     
  19. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
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    I think you've said it all, Febs.

    :)
     
  20. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    I did get a tad nervous when the immigration staff at SIN last night pretty much insisted I take a mint before he stamped my passport - perhaps that glass of wine (or two) on the plane was a bit pungent for him :oops:

    We do have to remember though that immigration/quarantine is there to protect both our borders and our natural heritage - places like the UK/EU and Asia have trafficed so much carp around that they cant even spell indigenous flora/fauna...
     
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