Minimum transfer time in sydney?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by laffer, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. laffer

    laffer Member

    Aug 21, 2008
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    Hi,

    I am flying in on QF2 from LHR arriving into Sydney at 6.25am. I am looking to make a booking on an onward QF flight to regional NSW leaving at 8.30 from T2. Do you think this is enough time to transit between the international terminal and domestic? The bookings are not linked (I am looking at cheap red e deal for the domestic flight) but do you think QF would check my bags all the way through or would I need to clear customs with them and then carry them over to the domestic terminal?
     
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  2. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    Even if they were on the same booking, you would have to collect you luggage and clear customs on arrival into SYD

    After collecting bags and getting landside, head to Qantas Domestic Transfer where you can drop your bags off for the onward flight.

    The minimum connecting time INT-DOM QF at SYD is, iirc, 90 mins. Since you are not connecting, but on separate tickets I would be inclined to leave some extra time

    Dave
     
  3. laffer

    laffer Member

    Aug 21, 2008
    272
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    Thanks Dave. If it is 90 mins then 2 hours should be enough. I hope. I do not fancy waiting another 4 hours for the next flight after being on a flight for 24 hours in WhY. I wonder if QF2 was late as to whether QF would be sympathetic and bump me to the later flight even if it is one of there red e deals. Hmmm...
     
  4. trooper

    trooper Established Member

    Apr 16, 2007
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    Canberra
    Others experiences may vary - of course - but on the one occasion I had that problem (and it was arriving in SYD on NZ, then a cheapie QF flight to CBR) the lady at the domestic transfer didn't seem to give a rats that I wasn't going to make my originally booked flight... she just tagged my bags and produced a BP for me very, very quickly... no questions, no drama..... of course on weekdays there are plenty of flights on that route... may have made a difference?
     
  5. bambbbam2

    bambbbam2 Active Member

    Feb 13, 2005
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    Perth, WA
    Would be nice if Qantas themselves didn't break that MCT.. look at a per-akl booking and you'll see they offer flights that are less than that.
     


  6. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    You should be able to Tag your luggage all the way through, but as Dave mentioned you will need to collect it before customs and head to Qantas Domestic Transfer where you can re-check your bags for the onward flight.

    However, at that time of the morning it can often take an hour to complete this transfer with queues frequently stretching out to the arrivals hall.

    Also note that it will take up to ¼ an hour get to T2 from the bus where it stops at T3. You need to re clear security before entering T2. Finally, your onward flight will commence boarding at ~8:10

    I would allow at least 2½ hours for such a transit, especially if on separate bookings.
     
  7. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    The MCT for INT-DOM at SYD may be typically more than that for DOM-INT.

    The problem is the frequent long waits at that time; firstly for immigration, followed by a wait for your bags, then customs and finally the transfer.

    Going the other way, there generally is only wait for tha bags and emigration than can be as time consuming.
     
  8. vt

    vt Member

    Mar 9, 2006
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    Melbourne
    I have on occasion waited 40 minutes for my bags...and I had prioirty tags.

    YMMV, but on separate tickets, I would make your onward travel closer to noon. Thats what I would do, thats just me.

    I have missed a 3 hour connection in Sydney prior...luckily it was on the same pnr.

    QF have no obligation to bump you if you miss the onward flight.
     
  9. I would want more than 2 hours from arrival in SYD to pass through immigration, collect baggage (the last time I arrived in SYD from OS I had J class tagged baggage and it didn't appear until 25 minutes after that flight's baggage appeared on the carousel - and it was the first J class bag) and then pass through immigration and transfer to T2 - just to be on the safe side!!:!:
     
  10. Hvr

    Hvr Senior Member

    Jun 27, 2007
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    Noting that you have the minimum connection time on your bookings have you considered ringing Qantas and asking them to link the bookings?

    I did this recently when travelling overseas. I had red e-deals for the CBR-SYD return trips and J for the SYD-BKK return trip. They were very happy to do it and when I got stuck in BKK I was comforted by the fact that becuase the bookings were linked Qantas would get me home.

    And they did. :D
     
  11. serfty

    Moderator

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    Methinks that may have been more do do with your SG status. ;)

    Linking booking helps when they look you up in cases like that and can be proactive.

    Linking separate bookings does not protect you per se.
     
  12. laffer

    laffer Member

    Aug 21, 2008
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    Thanks for your replies everyone.

    I have emailed Qantas to see what they say. Will let you know. I know the sensible thing to do would be to wait til the 12noon flight but the thought of waiting 5 hours at Sydney airport after a 24 hour Y flight is not at all appealing although I do have a complimentary invite to the Qantas Club following my Silver status attainment. Hmmm...

    I normally dont mind REX but they do not seem to fly to the place I need to get too...
     
  13. anat0l

    anat0l Enthusiast

    Dec 30, 2006
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    The MCT is 90 min at SYD for Int->Dom; this is what QF have told me.

    I had a AKL-SYD-BNE that were booked on separate PNRs, but I called QF to link them. The connection time between AKL-SYD and SYD-BNE was 95 minutes. These were the last flights at night (dep AKL 1800 arr SYD 1930; then dep SYD 2105 arr BNE 2235), so if I didn't make the connection the only choice I would have had was to take the first flight the next day (thereby completely whacking out my schedule).

    I made the connection, although it was starting to border on close call. It took me around 50 minutes to complete all the international arrival formalities, which was only helped due to an unusually generous customs. It also helped that I didn't have any checked bags for my SYD-BNE sector (I put my luggage into storage before going to Dom transfers). Of course, it also helped heaps that my AKL-SYD was on time!

    For the above situation I was a QF PS, so status probably didn't help much. My AKL-SYD was on a J ticket; not sure if this had much impact (apart from getting my bag fairly early when they finally decided to unload the bags.)

    The "on time" part is the biggest fear I have for making (or breaking) a connection.

    When I called QF about my connection and fear of missing it, they assured me that should I miss my connection (due to delay of my AKL-SYD or other reason), they will reaccommodate me on the next flight without charge. (The next flight in my case was actually the first flight the next day. I don't think they said anything about providing accommodation for me, but this doesn't apply to you.) They basically seemed to imply that as long I was within the rules (i.e. MCT rules) then if anything unusual happens then I'll be looked after. Linking PNRs may not help much if at all but it doesn't hurt to do so.

    As always, YMMV.
     
  14. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    If the other domestic carriers don't provide an option with more time, I would suggest getting a flexi saver ticket for that sector and book it for the later service; if you get through in time for the earlier service, then assuming it isn't full, you can get on the earlier service. Will cost more though

    Dave
     
  15. laffer

    laffer Member

    Aug 21, 2008
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    Looked at the flexi saver. 4 times the price of course. Still waiting on QF to email me back. Will keep you all informed but I might consider the flexi saver option if necessary...
     
  16. laffer

    laffer Member

    Aug 21, 2008
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    Just an update. QF responded to my email by advising that 2 hours was more thsn enough time to transt in Sydney. They said that I should advise check in at LHR of my connecting flight and ask them to tag the bags accordingly. I noted with interest that they chose to ignore my pointed question about them bumping me for free to a later flight should my incoming flight from LHR be late for whatever reason. Hhmmm.
     
  17. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    I would not have expected them to commit to that last part. You are assuming the risk by booking separate tickets; they may assist or you may have to buy a new ticket. How much of a gambler are you?

    Personally I wouldnt book separate tickets unless I had something like an overnight stay or if the saving was enough to get a flexible onward ticket

    Dave
     
  18. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    Nothing has changed; 2 hours meets the MCT for this connection.

    Qantas, may, at their discretion, rebook you on a later flight if they are late. But since you would be on separate bookings, Qantas are under no obligation to do so.
     
  19. BVMS

    BVMS Newbie

    Sep 20, 2009
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    #19 BVMS, Sep 20, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2009
    what about if an international pax coming from USA and going to another International destination (akl in NZ)? do they still have to collect their bags go thru customs, recheck the bags and then go to their international departure gate?


    I'll be traveling on a ek ua RTW ticket June 1, 2010.

    I will be transiting in Sydney in a few months time from ua 839 to ek 412.
    ua 839 lax-syd arrives in sydney @6:10 and ek 412 departs syd-akl @7:50.

    that's 1 hour 40 minutes.

    USA and Australia are good buddy trading countries. yet not with standing this close relationship.

    Since I'm not desireous of the hassle of first going through aussie customs (having experienced aussie customs first hand @ 2-3 times a year) 1:40 min is quite tight to connect to ek 412).

    the question naturally arises:

    1) does Internaitonal pax coming in transit from usa to NZ or vis versa (as new codeshare ek with VA is all about), have to 1st go through customs before boarding the connecting international flight or not?

    2) if indeed so (God only knows why aussie customs would do that, but then again aussie customs fellas are boiund to do many strange things),

    A) a one day gap from arrival on ua 839 to ek 412 would be in order (if customs must be gone thru first)

    B) if *no customs are needed* (due to international transit) then yes, I see that the 1 hour 40 minutes is perfectly ok for going to ek lounge to wait for the flight syd-akl.

    anybody have an idea what's the answer here?

    My Best Regards to You, Yours

    Martin Steven Law

    bvmadhavswami@gmail.com
     
  20. anat0l

    anat0l Enthusiast

    Dec 30, 2006
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    First up, welcome to AFF, BVMS. Great to have you 'on board', but here's a tip: it's not a good idea to post your PNR and personal details online. I'd edit your post and remove them - if people want to give you personal advice they can use Private Messaging.

    Now to answer your question. The answer is No, if you are transferring from an international to international flight at SYD, you do not need to clear customs etc. first. All you need to do after you land in SYD is find International Connections. From here, you'll clear a security screening (yes, liquids rules applies at this point, so take note) before heading up back to the departures level. If there are no delays to your inbound UA flight, 1h 40min (or 100min) should be sufficient time for you to make the connection.

    There are a few caveats on this, though. Firstly, for this technique to work, you'll need to make sure that your bags are checked in all the way to AKL. If you can only check them in as far as SYD, then unfortunately you'll need to go through customs, claim your bags then re-check in. In this case, 1h 40min is a bit too short to make your connecting flight (e.g. if EK requires you to check in 60 min before departure, then that only leaves you 40 min to get your bags and clear customs - at that time of the morning, that's hardly enough time). Next, I'm not sure how UA and EK click together, but it'd be good if you can get boarding passes for both your UA and EK flight before leaving on your SYD-bound flight. If you can't do this, you'll need to collect a BP for your onward EK flight; the international transfer desks at SYD should help you with this.

    Others here might have a better idea of what should happen. Otherwise, it might be a call to UA and EK.
     

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