Duty Free Immigration Lane inbound at SYD

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Mal

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I havn't had any real delays in SYD airport this year when returning from any of my trips overseas.

I'm off the plane early and straight to duty free (sometimes) or straight to the SmartGate gate. I'm a fast walker and normally have good exit seats so can be off fairly early.

That only takes a couple of minutes, then I'm out waiting for the bags to start rolling. Bags start rolling while only a few people are out waiting for them most of the time (gotta love Smartgate!)

My bag normally comes out relatively early, so I grab it and go straight to the queue.

Havn't had more than a few mins wait in Syd for an x-ray this year. (Oh and most of the times I've been just waived through without any search at all!).

This is with flights arriving at between 6 and 9 and various times during the afternoon etc.

I must have just been lucky!
 

JohnK

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Generally I don't have a problem with Sydney although on a few occassions I have not been treated properly because of my mediterranean appearance. The officers have been rude but I still get out of there fairly quickly.

The last few times I have come back into Australia through BNE and MEL and have had no problems there although the immigration lines in BNE can be a mess. With future trips I will be coming back into Australia through PER so it will be interesting to compare experiences.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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auriga said:
if only the arrival process into Sydney can be like the process in Singapore!!

Agreed. I think I once had to wait as long as 1 minute. Every other time its been through in seconds (plus you get free sweets).
 

NM

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I have not had any immigration, baggage or quarantine delays at Sydney T1 for many years.

Oh, come to think about it, I have not been inbound through Sydney T1 for many years, so perhaps there is a correlation :p . I choose to use BNE or MEL for my inbound international flights. I suppose if I was to be departing LAX for Australia I may choose to risk a SYD arrival in order to avoid TBI- now which is lesser of the two evils?

Thankfully all my trips to the LOTFAP in the last 4 or 5 years have been ATW and I have either routed eastbound or returned to SWP via Asia.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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NM said:
I suppose if I was to be departing LAX for Australia I may choose to risk a SYD arrival in order to avoid TBI- now which is lesser of the two evils?

For me, SYD would be lesser of two evils. Incremental pain on arrival over BNE or MEL say 30 minutes queuing. Vs an hour or more of TBIT horrors.
 

JohnK

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Agreed. I think I once had to wait as long as 1 minute. Every other time its been through in seconds (plus you get free sweets).
I guess you haven't been waiting in the queue in SIN when there have been 20+ people in front of you! It takes well over 1 minute to process each person!
 

NM

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Kiwi Flyer said:
For me, SYD would be lesser of two evils. Incremental pain on arrival over BNE or MEL say 30 minutes queuing. Vs an hour or more of TBIT horrors.
Yep. I guess that would be the case unless I knew I was connecting through T4 and could avail myself of the FLounge there.

I did choose to use TBIT and take CX LAX-HKG (the daytime flight) for my last west-bound LAX departure. But that all changed when my MIA-LAX inbound became a MIA-MIA-LAX re-routing that arrived as the CX flight was departing. That left me 12 hours to kill at LAX. Luckily I knew to visit the T4 AC service desk to sort out the missed connection and hence spent the majority of the time FLounging. That was before the TBIT lounge closures.

Since I prefer to use CX trans-Pacific, I think I will end up with the TBIT departure rather than the SYD arrival.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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JohnK said:
I guess you haven't been waiting in the queue in SIN when there have been 20+ people in front of you! It takes well over 1 minute to process each person!

That has never happened to me. I guess I have been lucky. I've arrived (and departed) at all hours of day and night and almost every time the queue is zero people. Further processing my entry never takes more than several seconds. Swipe, stamp stamp stamp, rip, insert, hand passport back, have a nice morning/afternoon/evening/night.
 

kpc

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JohnK said:
I guess you haven't been waiting in the queue in SIN when there have been 20+ people in front of you! It takes well over 1 minute to process each person!

Kiwi Flyer said:
That has never happened to me. I guess I have been lucky. I've arrived (and departed) at all hours of day and night and almost every time the queue is zero people. Further processing my entry never takes more than several seconds. Swipe, stamp stamp stamp, rip, insert, hand passport back, have a nice morning/afternoon/evening/night.

The last time I was in Sin (6 weeks ago), I had the exact scenario that JohnK has described above.....first time ever that it took me 20 minutes+ to get through immigration at Sin (arrived at 530pm on a Friday evening....and I eventually walked up to the EMPTY immigration counter for Singaporeans and asked if I could use that counter as I was in a hurry;) )...I won't mention that it took nearly an hour to get into my CBD hotel through the massive traffic jam:evil:

PS: Also don't queue behind holders of certain passport holders (India and Phillipines are the 2 that I have seen)...or do so just for the fun to see how rude the immigration officers can be:shock:
 

JohnK

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Further processing my entry never takes more than several seconds. Swipe, stamp stamp stamp, rip, insert, hand passport back, have a nice morning/afternoon/evening/night.
Trying to explain my <3 hour transit visit ensures that anyone behind me in the queue waits at least an extra 5 minutes.
 
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simongr

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My only immigration experiences into SIN (ok its only been twice so far) have been in J, and I have quite long legs and a purposeful stride so I normally skip past most people and am towards the head of Immigration and both times there has been no-one in front of me at immigration. The same was true outbound once (still in SIN so yet to experience it a second time).
 

JohnK

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kpc said:
PS: Also don't queue behind holders of certain passport holders (India and Phillipines are the 2 that I have seen)...or do so just for the fun to see how rude the immigration officers can be:shock:
Doing a few BKK-SIN-BKK trips, it is always interesting in SIN immigration to be standing behind any woman arriving from Thailand. How much money do you have with you? How long are you staying in Singapore? Where are you staying? Are you here on holiday or business?

Sometimes I look out for them and stand behind them in the queue just for laughs. :D :oops:
 

Kiwi Flyer

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JohnK said:
Trying to explain my <3 hour transit visit ensures that anyone behind me in the queue waits at least an extra 5 minutes.

What is there to explain? If I am asked anything (by no means every time) an answer of grabbing some food is sufficient in my experience.
 

JohnK

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Kiwi Flyer said:
What is there to explain? If I am asked anything (by no means every time) an answer of grabbing some food is sufficient in my experience.
They are entitled to ask the question and assess the situation based on the answer. I have no problem with it as I am doing nothing wrong. But it still takes time to go through the question and answer process and it delays any people behind in the queue.
 

acampbel

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I think this digression has about run its course, so let's agree on the following statement :-

Leaving aside "privileged" travellers, the arrival experience in Singapore is fantastic (.95 probability) and the arrival experience into Sydney is diabolical (.99 probability).

Techniques to minimise the delays caused by the pussweak organisation at Sydney T1 include :-

1.) - Book a forward aisle seat on the RHS of the cabin (and be prepared to grab your carry-on and wriggle forward if the elites who are slumming it in economy are too lazy to get their bags down until the person in front of them moves.)

2.) - Do your duty free purchases at your point of departure, but slip into the DF lane at immigration. If it makes you feel better you can put the single malt you purchased into an old Sydney DF bag, but to be honest they really couldn't give a damn.

3.) - Don't check any bags, otherwise steps 1 and 2 are a waste of time.

4.) - Try and think of something to declare (e.g. - "I picked these toothpicks up in Bangkok - are they OK?") as it may get you to the X-ray machines a little quicker.

5.) - Relax and drink the scotch when all the above still fail to get you out of T1 in the same time that you could be eating pepper crab at ECP in Singapore.


Cheers,

Andrew
 

Kiwi Flyer

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JohnK said:
They are entitled to ask the question and assess the situation based on the answer. I have no problem with it as I am doing nothing wrong. But it still takes time to go through the question and answer process and it delays any people behind in the queue.

Of course they are entitled to ask. But it seems the way you answer leads to it taking "at least an extra 5 minutes"? Whenever I'm asked the conversation is over in seconds.
 

JohnK

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Of course they are entitled to ask. But it seems the way you answer leads to it taking "at least an extra 5 minutes"? Whenever I'm asked the conversation is over in seconds.
Well you must be a real expert then!

Immigration Officer: Ah, Mr John I see you left Bangkok in afternoon and you are returning again tonight!
John : Yes I was hungry and decided I wanted authentic Singapore Noodles for dinner.
Immigration Officer: But I see you were here yesterday as well!
John: Yes I missed the sirloin steak from Three Monkeys in Orchard Plaza.
Immigration Officer: And last week. And I also see you visited Hong Kong as well!
John: Well you see, I wasn't really hungry. I am a QF FF and I am wasting money flying from city to city, to collect FF points and SC's and soon I will have a plastic Platinum card in my wallet.
Immigration Officer: (This guy is nuts) OK Mr John enjoy your stay in Singapore!
John: Thank you kindly!
 

Kiwi Flyer

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I've never had them ask about where I've been, only about the purpose of my visit to SIN (and once or twice why I stayed in the airport overnight when my flight arrived late the previous day).
 

Bolman

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one9 said:
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.

The Duty Free lane bugs me - because it is discriminatory, but I bought some duty free anyway, so I was lucky ;) - but when I got to quarantine, the guy asks me what I have in my bag - i told him, he opened it up, pulled a couple of things out and left them there on the bench and said "OK thanks, I'll leave it with you then". what an a-hole.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Based on my observations of others getting personal checks, it seems most prefer to repack themselves - which suits the officers since they can't get blamed for not repacking carefully enough. That said, I think they should at least offer to repack.
 
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