Increased Security Delays Australian Travellers

Australian travellers have faced delays and longer waiting times at airports around the country over the past week after security was tightened. It follows the discovery of an alleged terrorist plot involving a flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi.

Following the arrest of four people last week, security was immediately enhanced at Australian airports. As the increased security measures resulted in lengthy queues at airports, travellers were asked to arrive at the airport two hours early for domestic flights and at least three hours before international flight departures.

The advice to arrive 2-3 hours early has since been removed. Flyers are now free to arrive any time before the airline’s check-in closes.

Over the past week, our members have provided the AFF community with regular updates on waiting times at airports across the country. It seems that some airports experienced greater delays than others, with Adelaide particularly affected.

Adelaide security is awful and I wonder why there is no priority lane. I will make sure I am early next time I leave Adelaide. Which will cost Qantas a fortune in alcohol.

Virgin Australia offers a premium lounge entry, including a dedicated security checkpoint, in Sydney and Brisbane. Business class flyers, as well as Gold and Platinum Velocity members can use these exclusive lounge entries. Qantas offers a similar exclusive entry to its domestic Business class lounge in Brisbane. At various other airports, both airlines offer priority security queues. Over the past week, these have been invaluable to frequent flyers as they have been largely unaffected by the lengthy waiting times.

Brisbane security queue longest I have ever seen it, all the way out to check in area. Used express entry for QF elites which was fine.

Sydney QF domestic had long lines at about midday, but (silver lining to a degree), several lanes were open and the Priority queue was being enforced. Better that many past Sundays with no priority line and once one lane open. The only obvious extra measure was perhaps double the frequency of “random” ETD.

Other travellers reported no queues, although this varied depending on the time of day.

Gold Coast security at 14:15 was a breeze, the least amount of time I’ve ever had to wait for security. There were extra explosive screening before security.

No delays at MEL domestic at 0430 this morning.

Authorities have advised that additional security measures – including some which will not be visible to travellers – remain in place. Thankfully, waiting times at most Australian airports have now returned to normal.

Join the discussion HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]