Train between Sydney Domestic and International

fairhsa

Intern
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
61
Points
5
As an Australian who lives overseas, I sometimes come back to visit, as I did this week. Spent 5 days in Sydney and purchased an Opal card to get around. Leaving this morning from my hotel near the Domestic Terminal, I followed the advice of Citymapper and all the adverts around town which told me I could get to the International Terminal from the Domestic Terminal by train for just AUD6.40. However, my Opal card (which had a balance of around AUD10 on it) would not let me into the station. Apparently, my only open was to buy ANOTHER ticket for AUD6.4 (thus wasting the money already on the card) or top up the Opal card to AUD18 which was even worse, because the system "didn't know I was only going to the international terminal". I offered to show staff my airline ticket which proved that point, but they were not interested.

In the end, I just left the station and caught a bus, leaving me late arriving at the international terminal, hot, frustrated and very angry at what happened.

People on the bus told me they made the changes because scammers had been going through with low value cards and then throwing them away in negative balance - but surely the solution is to just not let those people out of the station, not prevent legitimate travellers from using the train? Or at least providing a system whereby you can override if someone provides proof, as I had, of an intentional to only to the international terminal? Any why oh why spend a fortune on advertising a service that does not actually exist for Opal card holders? This was just utter stupidity.
 
Now with contactless delivery, shop online to get drinks delivered to your door or pick up in-store in 30 minutes. Lowest Liquor Price Guarantee. Biggest Range.

AFF Supporters can remove this and all advertisements

kpc

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Messages
6,822
Solutions
1
Points
1,015
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
You can get a refund on the balance on the Opal card.
 

fairhsa

Intern
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
61
Points
5
Having purchased an Opal card for convenience, it seems ridiculous that the only way to use it is to get a refund and then buy another type of ticket!

Anyway - I got a response from the NSW Transport Department. They "don't take complaints" about anything to do with the Airport Link and I should address my complaint directly to the airport link.

So much for Governance.
 

Forg

Active Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Messages
782
Points
285
Odd ... could probably just have used your credit card, credit cards were enabled for trips using the Opal scanners a few weeks ago.
$6.40 between Domestic & International is pretty ouchy though!
 

moa999

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
11,741
Solutions
1
Points
1,200
Only $2.15 with Opal on the bus. Better choice and less walking, except for the peak.

The $6.40 advertising is actually for the paper ticket. Opal would cost $4.47 or $5.54 depending on the time, but I think it's always been the case that you have to cover the minimum fare and gate fee on Opal at airport stations.

(People throwing away cards has cost the government heaps - currently $2.6m/yr and growing - Negative balances on Opal cards amount to $2.6 million loss annually - Trainsfare )
 

Spongbob

Established Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
1,200
Points
470
In the end, I just left the station and caught a bus, leaving me late arriving at the international terminal, hot, frustrated and very angry at what happened..

To save the price of a good cup of coffee, you selected to bus option that resulted in your late arrival, frustration and anger. I am not too sure how this can be blamed on Opal. Consider the saving of the train versus a taxi.
 

ozbeachbabe

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
6,459
Points
855
As an Australian who lives overseas, I sometimes come back to visit, as I did this week. Spent 5 days in Sydney and purchased an Opal card to get around. Leaving this morning from my hotel near the Domestic Terminal, I followed the advice of Citymapper and all the adverts around town which told me I could get to the International Terminal from the Domestic Terminal by train for just AUD6.40. However, my Opal card (which had a balance of around AUD10 on it) would not let me into the station. Apparently, my only open was to buy ANOTHER ticket for AUD6.4 (thus wasting the money already on the card) or top up the Opal card to AUD18 which was even worse, because the system "didn't know I was only going to the international terminal". I offered to show staff my airline ticket which proved that point, but they were not interested.

In the end, I just left the station and caught a bus, leaving me late arriving at the international terminal, hot, frustrated and very angry at what happened.

People on the bus told me they made the changes because scammers had been going through with low value cards and then throwing them away in negative balance - but surely the solution is to just not let those people out of the station, not prevent legitimate travellers from using the train? Or at least providing a system whereby you can override if someone provides proof, as I had, of an intentional to only to the international terminal? Any why oh why spend a fortune on advertising a service that does not actually exist for Opal card holders? This was just utter stupidity.

If you come back to AU regularly I would just top up your Opal card to $18.00 or more then have it deduct the slightly cheaper fare of $4.47 to $5.54 for your dom to intl journey as moa999 suggested above. I would rather do this method for the sheer time saving aspect rather than get the bus and arrive much later at the airport.

If you don't come back to AU that often then get the refund as suggested by kpc. Either way it's probably to go easy on yourself and go with the least stressful option on yourself and/or travelling party.
 

Forg

Active Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Messages
782
Points
285
If you come back to AU regularly I would just top up your Opal card to $18.00 or more then have it deduct the slightly cheaper fare of $4.47 to $5.54 for your dom to intl journey as moa999 suggested above. I would rather do this method for the sheer time saving aspect rather than get the bus and arrive much later at the airport.

If you don't come back to AU that often then get the refund as suggested by kpc. Either way it's probably to go easy on yourself and go with the least stressful option on yourself and/or travelling party.
Pretty sure all Opal sensors in Sydney can do credit cards (or debit cards I believe) for the same fare as on the Opal card.
The Opal is still worth it for weekly commuting (no weekly fare limit if you use credit) or for concession (no pensioner nor child concession paying by credit); but if you’re an adult & you’re not going to use the train more than (say) 8 times a week it’s not really worth having the Opal card once your current one runs out of money.
 

Ewing

Established Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
2,471
Points
580
Qantas
Platinum
Pretty sure all Opal sensors in Sydney can do credit cards (or debit cards I believe) for the same fare as on the Opal card.

Kind of. Credit card payments are only available on train, light rail, and ferries - buses don't accept them yet. Nor do train replacement buses, but besides StationLink I've never seen them accept Opal either (always free trips).

All fares are peak (no off-peak travel) when paying by card. You also don't get the weekly travel reward where after 8 trips all future trips are half price (but you do get a weekly cap of $63.20 excluding the airport access fee).

A moot point for once off travel between Dom<->Int though :)
 

moa999

Enthusiast
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
11,741
Solutions
1
Points
1,200
(and has only been available on trains for 14 days - since 26 Nov 2018).

Hopefully next year it will roll out to buses (and most if not all of those differences will go away.
 

Forg

Active Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2017
Messages
782
Points
285
I didn’t rralise the buses hadn’t caught-up yet; the place I live is serviced by buses not trains, that could’ve been rather embarrassing ... :)
 

fairhsa

Intern
Joined
Feb 3, 2012
Messages
61
Points
5
I didn't see any information on using my credit card instead of buying an Opal card - that would absolutely have been my preferred approach (simply for convenience) had it been obvious. It was not mentioned to me on either occasion when i asked - the first day when I asked where to get an Opal card and the last day when the above fiasco occurred. On the other hand, the AUD6.40 fare between Domestic and International was on several large signs I saw while travelling in the city.

I mostly object to the fact that something that was clearly advertised was not actually available without significant inconvenience (I consider having to go and get a refund on the card and then queue up to buy another ticket quite considerable inconvenience!). The whole point of buying the Opal card was to just walk through the turnstile, and when I purchased it I spent a bit of time discussing the trips I was planning to do so I got one with "enough" balance.

It's frankly ludicrous to have such a complicated system. Most train systems in the world that connect terminals of an airport do so for free, not insist on people paying AUD 18 just to enter the station.
 

Enhance your AFF viewing experience!

From just $6 we'll remove all advertisements so that you can enjoy a cleaner and uninterupted viewing experience.

And you'll be supporting us so that we can continue to provide this valuable resource :)


Sample AFF with no advertisements? More..
Top