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Express through customs / immigration for Platinum FFs

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duffshot

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Apr 27, 2005
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I heard a rumour recently that Platinum frequent flyers can (or soon will be able to) us the same arrangements as cabin and flight crew as far as customs etc goes. Anyone know anything about it as I'm keen to get through that one last gate as quick as possible!
 

Mal

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Plat FF used to be able to use an express lane at "outgoing" immigration in Bris, Syd and Mel but that got removed when the APAC card was introduced and customs needed the extra lane.

This was kindof replaced by Smartgate for incoming trips. This trial is closed for new enrollees now but was only open for Plat FF's.

Not sure if something new is on the agenda but I havn't heard anything.
 

serfty

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Mal said:
Plat FF used to be able to use an express lane at "outgoing" immigration in Bris, Syd and Mel but that got removed when the APAC card was introduced and customs needed the extra lane.

This was kindof replaced by Smartgate for incoming trips. This trial is closed for new enrollees now but was only open for Plat FF's.

Not sure if something new is on the agenda but I havn't heard anything.
Enrolment for the the smartgate trail was advertised to First Class passengers and QFF Platinum.

There is a thread on this site regading this: SmartGate...a faster way to clear Customs (on trial).

I, as a mere SG was able to enrol and it worked quite well, saving me heaps of time in the five times I have used it since.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Unfortunately smartgate (or regular lines for aussies for that matter) not available to kiwis despite NZ allowing australians to use the fastest lines :(
 

dajop

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Unfortunately Smartgate is for arrivals only, which is great if you only have hand luggage! If not (I've used it five times now), you pass through immigration very quickly, then still have to wait for luggage on the carousel and wait in the queue to get through customs (at least at the woefully understaffed MEL).

Where it would come in handy would be for departures, where you can wait (again at the woefully understaffed MEL), 20+ mins to get through immigration.
 

AlwaysUpThere

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It was called the "APAC" card above - actually the "APEC Business Travel Card" http://www.immi.gov.au/business/apec.htm is possibly the best card to have next to your passport :D .

It provides express immigration processing (in AND out) in Australia as well as Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong (SAR China), Indonesia, Japan, RO Korea, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, People's Republic of China#, The Philippines, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Thailand.

# Another significant benefit will be China when they start operating - means you won't need a visa.

It is so helpful to get through what at most airports is the diplomatic or crew channel. In HKG, you line up with the residents - much quicker. KL, you go "Premium" channel. Many airports also have a more efficient baggage delivery system than we have in Oz so there's not too long spent waiting for the bags - or if you're travelling without bags, so much the better. ESPECIALLY hand when you have several flights arriving at the same time - just cruise through. Often on departure, as the APEC Channel is over to one side, you can use the crew/Diplomatic/VIP security clearance as well :D .

If you travel often with in APEC region, its a must have for FTs.
 

HardieBoys

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The Smartgate, even though limited to inbound trips, still beats the hell out of queuing during the Sydney peak arrival periods.
 

ioki

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Unfortunately smartgate (or regular lines for aussies for that matter) not available to kiwis despite NZ allowing australians to use the fastest lines :(
not sure if its the fastest line.. =)

as i go back and forth between australia and auckland at least once a month, i've noticed the NZ/OZ special counters (just before escalator) can take quite a while to clear.

for example, i inbounded to auckland with my wife last sunday and saw the queue at the NZ/OZ special section, decided against it and took the escalators, saw only 2 ppl in the queue at the "All Passport" section, was through it in no time. =p
 

serfty

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ioki said:
Kiwi Flyer said:
Unfortunately smartgate (or regular lines for aussies for that matter) not available to kiwis despite NZ allowing australians to use the fastest lines :(
not sure if its the fastest line.. =)

as i go back and forth between australia and auckland at least once a month, i've noticed the NZ/OZ special counters (just before escalator) can take quite a while to clear.

for example, i inbounded to auckland with my wife last sunday and saw the queue at the NZ/OZ special section, decided against it and took the escalators, saw only 2 ppl in the queue at the "All Passport" section, was through it in no time. =p
I believe there is also a special queue downstairs for NZ/OZ pax.
 

ioki

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Kiwi Flyer said:
I believe there is also a special queue downstairs for NZ/OZ pax.
indeed and even that had a greater head count than the one we took. altho i did wonder at the time if NZ custom ppl would tell us to re-join the NZ/OZ queue.
 
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