International departure at Melbourne - how long to allow

Ms_KH

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I'm flying out of Melbourne airport with Qatar (in J) in early September. Does anyone have experience with how long to allow to get through all the formalities at the moment?

I will fly from Canberra with QANTAS. I am trying to work out how long I will actually need and the risk of cancelled and reduced flights. My employer has suggested flying down the day before to avoid any risk of missing my flight. I would prefer not to - but if I do it will be over 24 hours between my flights. In this case would I need to pick up my bags and re-check in?

How much of the pre-departure checks and paperwork can be processed in Canberra or will Qatar want to see it all (e.g. PCR test results)?

Thanks!
 

MEL_Traveller

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I agree with your employer. With the current round of cancellations due to covid, flying on the same day with a tight connection (anything under 3 hours) would be risky. At least with a flight the day before you could drive if there was no alternative flight available.
 

jb747

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If you’re in Canberra, I don’t think you’d be allowed to drive to Melbourne airport.
 

Ms_KH

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Thanks for this - might stick with the day before flight particularly if things are looking dicey with lock downs.

Any advice on how long it will take to get through check in and border checks?
 
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dajop

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Thanks for this - might stick with the day before flight particularly if things are looking dicey with lock downs.

Any advice on how long it will take to get through check in and border checks?

If you applied and have been granted an exemption to leave (with letter etc) I believe the check in process is fairly quick, probably only take 15 mins tops (others probably are in better position to confirm this than me, I was just basing this on what was happening around me when I checked in to depart on SQ), and getting through security and immigration is very quick, as there are very few departing passengers.

It may take longer if you are automatically exempt (and not required to apply), that was my situation and it took me about 40 mins in January from arriving at check in desk to having a boarding pass in my hand.
 
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Ms_KH

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Thanks so much dajop - I'm automatically exempt so I'll give myself a bit more time.
 

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