The Joys of Travelling With Luggage & No Status

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TheInsider

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They would've known this was the case and shouldn't come to a surprise to Virgin management. But the SYD check-in issue seems to come up quite often in their facebook feeds about "no staff" and "long queues", not just today.

Also depending on how long the queues are to get to the front, may not even be worth lining up. Easier just to wait for the call from staff that the flight is closing!
 

Denali

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We flew on the 23rd Dec and was told that earlier that morning, the queue was outside the doors. We only had to wait about 2mins but there was about 100 lining up for Y check-in.

The security line was crazy so after check-in, we walked outside to the curbside lounge/security entry.
 

Dannyism

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Busy huh... Well at least they are selling tickets....

I recently started flying with Qantas, those checkin kiosks and auto bag drop thingos are great for domestic travel.
 

anat0l

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In a way, this should have come as no surprise to anyone, management or passengers alike. I don't know how early some of those queuing up are for their respective flights - if the answer is 60 minutes or less, then they must be joking (particularly if they are with kids).

I'm not sure what the traffic is like around SYD; I can imagine it is horrendous. Majority may be tourists so maybe they took the train in.


I wonder how QF is doing on the same day. Surely they must also have quite a backlog to get through as well. NGCI can only help so much, and that's assuming the large majority of users (passengers) can competently use the system.

And what's this about "Tiger and Jetstar appeared to be unaffected"? What? Either they aren't pulling any business, or maybe they have a better check-in handling system (no way!) or... I don't know, help me out here....


I haven't seen check-in lines go out doors except when systems shut down or the power goes out. One time I was queuing for check-in at an older PER QF domestic on the cusp of Christmas (so that explains that, plus the domestic operations overall at PER were relatively spartan at that time). You'd probably be more likely to be stuck in the drop off traffic flow at SYD than in a line for check-in, but there you go...
 

Standby

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VA Delays at SYD today

Virgin passengers stuck in 'world's longest check-in line' at Sydney airport - 9news.com.au

Busy periods with an increased volume of pax with checked bags coupled with cramped shared space with 3 other carriers impacts VA.The only "space available"
to alleviate this would mean encroaching on the Valet parking area on the departure level.VA really need to fix this

Really makes me appreciate the relative space and number of bag drops in the QF terminal at SYD
 

hydrabyss

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Re: VA Delays at SYD today

I always notice alot of the people checking in on these busy days are not well prepared, especially groups. One will not have ID ready, another with bag problems and before you know it what should be a few minutes turns into a very time consuming experience. Multiply this by a few hundred times and this is the outcome.
 

Denali

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Re: VA Delays at SYD today

I always notice alot of the people checking in on these busy days are not well prepared, especially groups. One will not have ID ready, another with bag problems and before you know it what should be a few minutes turns into a very time consuming experience. Multiply this by a few hundred times and this is the outcome.

I love the Facebook complaints of, "I lined up 45mins before my flight". I may waste time in the lounge but Ive never missed a flight - my anxiety would be through the roof with such small margin for error.
 

dk4

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Re: VA Delays at SYD today

Busy periods with an increased volume of pax with checked bags coupled with cramped shared space with 3 other carriers impacts VA.The only "space available" to alleviate this would mean encroaching on the Valet parking area on the departure level.VA really need to fix this
With Ansett holding about 40% of domestic capacity at its collapse Ansett’s collapse set decade of positive change for aviation in Australia – and beyond | CAPA - Centre for Aviation AND Virgin now exceeding that amount of capacity https://www.virginaustralia.com/au/...-information/traffic-and-capacity-statistics/ - Virgin is operating with less available space in the terminal than when it was wholly Ansett's, while carrying more passengers than Ansett did (assuming reasonably proportional SYD capacity on both networks). So presumably failures like this are likely to increase with VA at SYD T2, even given technology and productivity advancements since the days of Ansett?
 

anat0l

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Re: VA Delays at SYD today

With Ansett holding about 40% of domestic capacity at its collapse Ansett’s collapse set decade of positive change for aviation in Australia – and beyond | CAPA - Centre for Aviation AND Virgin now exceeding that amount of capacity https://www.virginaustralia.com/au/...-information/traffic-and-capacity-statistics/ - Virgin is operating with less available space in the terminal than when it was wholly Ansett's, while carrying more passengers than Ansett did (assuming reasonably proportional SYD capacity on both networks). So presumably failures like this are likely to increase with VA at SYD T2, even given technology and productivity advancements since the days of Ansett?

I'm assuming that Ansett had control of the entire T2, i.e. including the spaces used by JQ and TT?

If so, VA would, by this justification, be struggling considerably, but how does this explain that they seem to cope during regular times of the year (unless, they aren't)?

Also, VA created a specific space that elites could use, which reduces the traffic flow in the main area. Also, not everyone has to drop a bag (the proportion of people so doing this would be larger than the Ansett days) and online check-in has been much more apparent since Ansett's days (even if Ansett had city check-in or check-in by fax or what not); again, this should reduce check-in traffic flow. Understandably, the demographic of travellers on the day in question would largely be non-elite, travelling in groups (i.e. more than two) and had bags to drop - notwithstanding that they would not be seasoned travellers by our measures - so kind of a perfect storm.
 

alviau

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Re: VA Delays at SYD today

Having just returned from Mexico and the USA makes me thankful how easy it's to travel in Australia. There, scenes like these can be a daily occurrence. Out of LAX T2 there was a queue in a separate area to join the actual queue for check in. Interestingly out of LAX TB via the priority security screening queue they told us to keep all items in our bags, not to remove laptops, belts, liquids, shoes, etc unless told to do so. They also used the standard screening gates, not those full body scans; made the process very quick.
 

nlagalle

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Re: VA Delays at SYD today

IIRC correctly the space was shared with some of the offshoots of AN for regional flights. JQ didn't exist back then and I didn't fly VA until later.. It may have been in T2? I am pretty sure they weren't in T3 at MEL when they first started.

I'm assuming that Ansett had control of the entire T2, i.e. including the spaces used by JQ and TT?

If so, VA would, by this justification, be struggling considerably, but how does this explain that they seem to cope during regular times of the year (unless, they aren't)?

Also, VA created a specific space that elites could use, which reduces the traffic flow in the main area. Also, not everyone has to drop a bag (the proportion of people so doing this would be larger than the Ansett days) and online check-in has been much more apparent since Ansett's days (even if Ansett had city check-in or check-in by fax or what not); again, this should reduce check-in traffic flow. Understandably, the demographic of travellers on the day in question would largely be non-elite, travelling in groups (i.e. more than two) and had bags to drop - notwithstanding that they would not be seasoned travellers by our measures - so kind of a perfect storm.
 

deepblerg

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Same scenes this morning at Sydney. Got here around 7.30am and the VA check-in area is completely packed with a long line out the door! Absolutely incredible, and as several people have said - I have never witnessed this before at Sydney. Jetstar and Tiger on the other hand are empty and seem to have more staff on than actual customers checking in. Can't imagine how many infrequent travellers today will be vowing never to fly VA again.
 

RB

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My previous experience at SYD has been that the lack of separation of check-in and bag drop causes the hassles. Is that still the case?
 

Denali

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Co worker went to Syd Int today to pick up her son and said traffic was a nightmare and on exiting the carpark, the system crashed for at least half an hour (if not more/before she got there).

Once fixed, people were being charged for the time stuck in the carpark trying to exit and that ensued many arguments between staff and users.

Gotta love the joys of holiday travel in peak hour.
 

docjames

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Bag drop was chaos on 27th Dec in MEL. Same issues. VA staff pulling pax out of queue (yelling!) 5min before cutoff from checkin. Queue stretching out of roping into main terminal floor.

Clearly the lesson is show up 10min before cutoff and just get pulled out of queue to drop bag.....:evil:
 

anat0l

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Can't imagine how many infrequent travellers today will be vowing never to fly VA again.

I don't know - depending on how infrequent they are travelling, they may not actually have an idea how long check-in should take. Most of them are probably aware that it is the holiday season (or near the end of it). For them it is surely an inconvenience, but unless one travels enough to know how long it probably should take at check-in, I don't see them "never flying VA again".

Unless, they had plenty of friends tell them that the QF experience on the same day was polar opposite. Anyone able to comment on how T3 operations were?

My previous experience at SYD has been that the lack of separation of check-in and bag drop causes the hassles. Is that still the case?

I thought check-in and bag drop were normally different counters, the latter for those already checked in (via kiosk or OLCI). The premium counters are never those separate types.

Not that it might matter - people may queue irrespective of the exact service they require, and were probably served anyway (i.e. if someone turned up to bag drop without a boarding pass, they'd be likely not refused service and told to go back to a kiosk).
 
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AustraliaPoochie

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There was always a T3 at MEL.
T1 QFd. JQ was at T1 when they first started.
T2 int
T3 ANd. DJ took over AN.
TT was at at the turnstyle T4.
 

moa999

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They would've known this was the case and shouldn't come to a surprise to Virgin management. But the SYD check-in issue seems to come up quite often in their facebook feeds about "no staff" and "long queues", not just today!

Not that I fly VA much these days, but used an Amex free flight in Dec.

At Syd despite all the machines stating Carry-on or Bag drop on the screensaver, when you went to the next screen at least half couldn't actually print a bag tag.

Then the signage had arrows both ways for check-in and bagdrop. Struck me as amateur hour.
 

xen0n33

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I find it a bit frustrating that VA at SYD/MEL still have this slow, manual process while at OOL they have an easy self-service bag drop (shared with TT).

With the manual bag drop, all it takes is for the 3 or 4 desk operators to be hit by "problem" passengers (big groups, lots of kids, no ID, no BP, assistance needed, etc.) at the same time and the whole thing comes to a complete stand-still. Looking forward to May when I should hit Gold and finally be able to skip the queue.

On the topic of JQ and TT being quiet - that's the wonderful bonus of both airlines charging for checked baggage! ;) The last time I flew JQ out of Sydney I was about the only person in the vicinity of their bag drop, while VA had a decent line.
 
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