Traveling to AUS fron US

Feb 28th, 2016, 02:15 PM
  #1  
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Traveling to AUS fron US

Hello All-
I have never traveled out of the US, so I have no idea what to expect on my upcoming trip to Australia. Any advice/help/tips etc. will be greatly appreciated. I will be traveling from Chicago O'Hare to Perth Australia on Quantas Airlines and American Airlines in the US. All of my connecting flights are within the US and Australia. To give you guys an idea of my travels, my itinerary is as follows:

Departing:
Chicago IL (O'Hare) to Dallas(TX) Fort Worth to Sydney then on to Perth
Returning:
Perth to Sydney to San Francisco (CA) to Chicago (IL) O'Hare

Customs- At what points of my travels will I need to pass though? Which airports? Also, what all will it entail?

Baggage- If I were to check my baggage, will it make it to Perth on its own? Will I have to get it and re-check it? If so, will that have to happen at each connecting airport-- I'm debating on whether I should carry-on verse checking my bag. I'll be in Australia for 2 weeks so I'd rather check the bag, but it appears that all of my layovers range from 1 hour to 2. I just worry about missing a connecting flight ...

Thanks in advance to whomever responds--I'm sure I'll thing of though question/concerns.
lmn02 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2016, 06:04 PM
  #2  
 
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1. You will go through Australian Customs and Immigration in Sydney. When you land in Sydney, you will first go through Immigration where they will check your passport and your ETA. (If you have not yet obtained your ETA--Electronic Travel Authority--go to the official Australian government website to obtain it, http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/601- )

Next, you will pick up your baggage from the carousel, if you checked any, and take all your luggage thourgh Australian Customs. You will then be directed where to return your checked bags so that they can be loaded on your plane to Perth.

I assume that you have booked all these flights on one ticket, i.e. Chicago - Perth and Perth - Chicago. If so, your bags will be ticketed for your final destination, but you still need to pick them up in the first entry point in the country (Sydney for Australia and San Francisco for the U.S.) for Customs.

If you booked your flight from Chicago to Perth on one ticket, then the airline should have provided enough time in Sydney for you to go through Customs and Immigration prior to your flight to Perth. Thus, there's no reason you couldn't check your luggage.

2. Coming back to the U.S. from Perth, you will go through U.S. Customs and Immigration in San Francisco. The process will be similar to what you did in Sydney, i.e. go through Immigration, pick up your bags, go through Customs, return your bags.
longhorn55 is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 06:13 AM
  #3  
 
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You can expect to be exhausted when you arrive in Perth! It's a VERY long haul.

I made that trip once or twice a year for seven years and it never got any easier (I flew to/from Colorado).

Don't forget to apply for your ETA visa a week or so before your flight.

You'll love Australia!
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 02:43 AM
  #4  
 
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It is indeed a long flight but Australia is wonderful so it will be well worth it. Qantas is a great airline so expect to be well taken care of with decent meals and snacks. To ensure things go smoothly allow yourself plenty of time at the airport in case the lines are long. Read the Qantas website to know what you can bring through security (size of containers with liquid,etc.) and have that stuff handy in your carryon. Keep your boarding pass and passport handy as you will have to present them at various points.

On the international flight you will be given a customs declaration to fill out and present on your arrival in Sydney.(Same on your return to U.S.) Read it carefully and answer it accurately. In my experience Australian customs officials are a pretty friendly lot, but don’t try to guess whether something you have is allowable or not, just declare it and let them decide. Fruits and vegetables are often an issue, and if the sniffer dogs discover anything you haven’t declared it could mean a more thorough inspection. You won’t be fined or put in jail or anything, but it is an extra hassle you don’t need after a long flight.

In Sydney you will need to change from the international to the domestic terminal, which includes a shuttle bus. It is a large and busy airport but the route is well marked so just follow the signs and if you are confused or anxious, just ask someone in uniform. The Perth airport is quite small and if someone is meeting you chances are they’ll be standing by the luggage carousel when you arrive. No formalities there as you have already cleared customs and immigration. Get off the plane and you are good to go.
eliztravels2 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 07:09 AM
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<< Fruits and vegetables are often an issue >>

No. They are ALWAYS an issue coming into Australia.
BigRuss is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 01:38 PM
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One other thing: You are not allowed to board a plane to Australia with water, even though you have acquired it after going thorough security. So drink up before you board.
eliztravels2 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 02:08 PM
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What??? I've taken water aboard flights to Australia on every single one of my countless flights. Is this an airport specific policy for Dallas?

I've also brought duty free liquids aboard from Singapore. You just pick up the goods at the gate, where they're bagged and waiting for you.

And refreshingly, domestic flights within Australia have no such liquid rule.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 07:10 PM
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Just to add to the fruit/veg food thing - Australian Customs are really strict on what food is brought into Austraila. That means anything you can eat - cooked or uncooked. If you have anything with you at all, even sweets or crackers, you must tick the correct box on your customs form (they will hand out the forms). Not declaring food is a big no-no and if you have anything with you, Customs will let you know what you are allowed and what will be taken off you for disposal. Generally unopened, packaged food, for example, a block of chocolate, is OK but meat, cheese, fruit, veg etc is not allowed in and if undeclared there is a fine.

One other thing, the sun here can burn you very quickly so be prepared with a hat and sunscreen. You will find Australians are usually friendly and helpful, have a great trip.

Kay
KayF is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 10:23 PM
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Kay makes a good point. We live on an island with a fragile Eco system & have thus far managed to avoid many of the diseases that exist in less vigilant places.

We take our bio security very seriously. What may appear harmless to someone may infect our crops, wildlife or stock.

If you happen to have left-over food from your flight - a piece of fruit or a cake, for example - throw it in the rubbish on the plane or if you forget, there are bins before you get to customs & quarantine. Throw it in one of those bins.

Because of our care & attention on those points, we have a beautiful country with wonderful produce - which we hope you will enjoy while you are here.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2016, 11:36 PM
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elizatravels-"you won't be fined"-
That's just not true - plenty of people are fined for making a false declaration and bringing in food.
There are also restrictions about what you can't take from state to state so read any signs when arriving or departing and make us of the bins for disposing of non allowed food.
northie is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2016, 03:10 AM
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I stand corrected, Northie. I should have said “unlikely to be fined’ thinking of the inexperienced traveller who forgets, or thinks it not necessary to mention,the orange they have in their back pack or the souvenir made from coconut shells. And it is helpful to mention the state-to-state restrictions too; I suspect even Australians are not always aware of that one.
eliztravels2 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2016, 07:30 AM
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The DFW to SYD leg actually isn't bad, even in steerage. Qantas (note spelling - it's an acronym for Queensland And Northern Territory Air Service) provides about as many entertainment options on your personal screen in coach as most airlines provide in business class. The seats are relatively comfortable. And the food sucks less than it did about a decade ago (and back then we were in biz class). Plus, the flight attendants are more than happy for you to stuff yourself full of Tim Tams - the Aussie food item for which Australia would be better off being known for (instead of that sludge mentioned in a famous song by Men At Work . . .).

Take something to knock yourself out and your flight won't suck. We did it with TWO hobbits in tow (7.5 and 5 - you're da-n right we dosed the little blighters) and managed fine.

P.S. - That water restriction didn't come into play on our flight, so I dunno what eliztravels is on about there . . .

P.P.S. - I realized at the last moment that I had an orange I'd packed in my carry on and came clean to the customs inspector in SYD. He gave me a dirty look but just tossed the offending citrus and let me bugger off. This occurred on my first trip, back in '99.
BigRuss is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2016, 10:15 AM
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I'll take a dirty look over a fine anytime
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2016, 01:59 AM
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I asked DH about the water restriction. He membered it too but thought it was at Pearson in Toronto when boarding a AA/Qantas flight to LAX. He members it only once, I think it was twice and not in Toronto. So who knows? Airports are pretty much all the same to me. At least I didn’t make it up.
eliztravels2 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2016, 11:27 PM
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The fine for attempting to bring undeclared food in, is several hundred dollars so don't take the risk. We have really good food here, somewhat more expensive than in the US and the portion sizes are usually smaller than in the US, but it's nice food. The fine is purely for not declaring it. If you declare, say nuts, and they are confiscated you loose the nuts but won't be fined.

Regarding water, Qantas will give you free bottles of water on board so it doesn't matter much anyway.
cathies is online now  
Mar 23rd, 2016, 09:24 PM
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It is true that if you have something on you that's not allowed into Australia, you'll get a bit of drama. They take the environmental protections pretty seriously. But as said, unless you're trying to sneak it in undeclared, you'll not usually be fined. It IS possible to get fined though as I understand it, if you get an agent that's particularly strident.

No fruit or veg. Also nothing handmade from wood. Best just avoid bringing wooden stuff all together. Even painted wooden christmas decorations got inspected, sprayed and tagged when we moved to Australia. We don't ever bring back hand carved wood souvenirs like we used to love bringing back to the US.

Never had a problem bringing a bottle of water on Qantas at LAX. A gate agent even brought me back a bottle once when I started to go back out to get water. But cathies is right. They're great about bringing you stuff. And the A380's even have a self-service galley in the back so you can wander around and get whatever you want from the fridge yourself.


As far water
CounterClifton is offline  
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