Help! Connection Question/Sydney-Cairns

Old Aug 8th, 2002, 07:25 AM
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Help! Connection Question/Sydney-Cairns

We are going to Sydney in November and are going straight to Cairns/GBF. We arrive at the airport at 7:50 am and our connecting flight leaves at 9:05 am. Our travel agent says there should be no problem and that we should be able to make it. Has anyone done this? Do we need to go through customs and pick up our luggage then check in again? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Old Aug 8th, 2002, 09:40 AM
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Arlene, I did the same thing last November. I can't say much on the luggage aspect, since I carried on.

What I did was fly in on United from LA, and arrived Sydney around 6:30 am. My flight to Cairns was on Qantas and did not leave until 11am. When I got in, I went to the domestic transfer counter for Qantas. They checked my bag for the Cairns leg, then shuttled us over to the domestic terminal. It took under two hours to do this (I even took some time to wash up when I arrived)....I remember waiting for quite some time at the Qantas terminal.

I'd think 2 hours is sufficient. You've got an hour and 15, and while it may be doable, it might be a bit stressful should anything go wrong. I made my transfer a bit longer in case anything delayed the flight in L.A.

Good luck!
Old Aug 8th, 2002, 11:31 AM
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You don't say where your flight to Sydney is originating from. I assume it's from a foreign country since you do mention customs.
As long as you stay in the secured area you should not have any problem. Since Cairns is an international airport, you can check your luggage thru to Cairns from your departure airport.
I'm a little nervous about the 75 minutes though. Doesn't leave much room for any delay.
Old Aug 8th, 2002, 12:52 PM
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Our travel agents in Australia allow at least 1 3/4 hours for that change over, therefore I think that you are cutting it too fine indeed. If you are coming in on Qantas and flying Qantas to Cairns they would be the ones to confirm whether this would be doable.

I arrived in Sydney from South America a couple of months ago and changed for a domestic flight to the Gold Coast - I had to collect my luggage and go through Customs and Imm. but just went to the Qantas desk who put through my luggage and we were transferred to the Domestic terminal and all was well - we had a gap of 2hrs 5 minutes.
Problem with Sydney at the time of day that you are arriving is that it is a busy time for flights and you would only need to be stacked for 10 minutes and you would miss your connection.
Check with your airline first though as they are the most knowledgable about these matters.
Old Aug 8th, 2002, 04:42 PM
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Hi, Arlene!
I think Liz's point about which airlines you are travelling on is a salient one; if, as she suggests, it's Qantas/Qantas, then you could well put your troubles in their hands and let them sort it out. If, however, you're changing to, say, Virgin Blue, then things might be a little tighter. I think you have real reason to feel uneasy... the domestic and international terminals are quite a distance apart, and checking your baggage out at the international terminal is often a time-consuming process, unless you can "backpack", and carry all your luggage on-board with you (which I always try to do... if I am going to a cheap destination, I decide in advance that I will buy a new wardrobe after I arrive... really, it saves such a lot of hassle!) There is no shortage of planes on the Sydney-Cairns route, so if your travel agent could book you on one leaving an hour or ninety minutes later, you would certainly have an easier flight out! Since September 11, air travel is stressful enough without your stomach sinking every time the pilot announces that there's a fifteen-minute delay!
Old Aug 8th, 2002, 06:03 PM
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Thank you all for your advice. We are flying from Honolulu to Sydney then Sydney/Cairns on Quantas/Quantas. I will check with Quantas and again with my travel agent on the connection. I might use your suggestion John in checking it all the way through - that's a great idea. Or if I can manage to pack light, I will carry my luggage on.
Old Aug 9th, 2002, 12:16 PM
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It's Qantas. Not Quantas.
Old Aug 10th, 2002, 10:33 PM
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WE landed in Brisbane at 0830 and took a 0910 flight to Cairns. We checked in bags too! Originally the schedule was to wait at the airport for 3 hours but when we got there I asked to get on the earlier connectionc and they let us go. No problems. This included lining up to change tix. We were business class though.
Old Aug 10th, 2002, 10:45 PM
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Unfortunately Sydney Airport is not like Brisbane and it does get very congested at times. Even on domestic flights you can go around and around for a while before landing.
It should be doable but I most certainly would ask the airline and as its Qantas they will organize it. If they feel that it can be done then all is fine.
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