Airways / Airports, Sydney
To get to Sydney I flew with Virgin Blue airlines. They have very cheap and competitive flights. If you want anything to eat or drink on the flight you have to pay for it (and headphones if you want to listen to music - good music channels too, plus a great comedy station), but the prices are reasonable.
The best thing about flying with Virgin Blue was the staff, they were fun and friendly... especially when we were told where to go to get our luggage "... and for those of you not listening, you can pick yours up in Bangkok in 3 weeks".
There is a shuttle bus service at the Sydney airport. The price is right, the delivery is "door-to-door" and on top of this they provide you with a free welcome city tour of Sydney. The later you are on the drop-off list the more you see of the city. Go for it!
All our Domestic Airlines depart from Sydney Domestic Airport located at Sydney's Kingsford Airport.
Our Domestic Airlines are:
The cheapest being Jetstar and Virgin Blue.
Outside the exit doors at the airport, there is a small company that offers $10 AUD per person to travel from the airport to downtown Sydney. They will find you and tell you about their service. Although you have to wait a few minutes for the van to fill up, during busy hours it is much cheaper than a taxi. (we took a taxi back to the airport at 5 am and it cost about $35 AUD for two people). The transfers drop you off right at your hotel and had no trouble carrying all of our luggage. It was a fairly quick ride and cheaper than a taxi and comparable to the trains. Highly recommended.
If you are flying into and out of Sydney, likely your journey will begin and end in the terminal of Kingsford-Smith International Airport. It is located south of downtown Sydney, with about a 20 minute cab ride into the downtown area.
International service is available from Sydney to a large amount of the world, serviced by the following airlines:
AR Aerolineas Argentinas +61 2 9234 9000
SB Air Calin +61 2 9244 2211
AC Air Canada 1300 655 767
CA Air China +61 2 9232 7277
AF Air France 1300 390 190
MK Air Mauritius 1300 658 572
NZ Air New Zealand 13 24 76
PX Air Niugini 1300 361 380
FJ Air Pacific 1 800 230 150
TN Air Tahiti Nui +61 2 9244 2799
NF Air Vanuatu +61 2 9299 9737
OZ Asiana Airlines 1300 767 234
BA British Airways 1300 767 177
CX Cathay Pacific 13 17 47
CI China Airlines +61 2 9231 5588
MU China Eastern +61 2 9290 1148
CZ China Southern +61 2 9233 9788
EK Emirates 1300 303 777
EY Etihad Airways +61 2 9231 8644
SJ Freedom Air 1800 122 000
GA Garuda Indonesia 1300 365 330
HA Hawaiian Airlines +61 2 9244 2377
JL Japan Airlines +61 2 9272 1111
JO JALways +61 2 9272 1111
9W Jet Airways +61 2 9244 2132
JQ Jetstar International 13 15 38
KE Korean Air +61 2 9262 6000
LA LanChile 1300 361 400
MH Malaysia Airlines 13 26 27
DJ Pacific Blue 13 16 45
PR Philippine Airlines +61 3 9650 2188
DJ Polynesian Blue 13 16 45
QF Qantas 13 13 13
BI Royal Brunei Airlines 1300 721 271
SQ Singapore Airlines 13 10 11
SA South African Airways +61 2 9287 8960
TG Thai Airways 1300 651 960
UA United Airlines 13 17 77
VN Vietnam Airlines 1300 888 028
VS Virgin Atlantic 1300 727 340
ZG Viva Macau 1300 848 262
Try this site and complete the "Plan Your Trip" section. Not too many options from around 11:30pm to 4:00am
Also see this site for other options
From the airport to central Sydney, many accommodations are offering a free transfer (but often with a minimum amount of nights)
The train from Sydney Central station to domestic airport is AUD to 17 (from January 2015, with a AUD 13 airport fee)
Shuttle buses picking you up at your accommodation from AUDo 14 (from domestic airport AUD 15)
Cheapest from Sydney Central station would be train to Mascot station, AUDţ 4 and walk about 1,5 km (for international airport train to Wolli Creek and walk about 2 km) or continue by bus # 400, AUD 3,80 (comes from Bondi Junction), the stop is at T3, about 100 meters to T2 on the opposite side and then to T1.
From the domestic airport you leave from arrival at luggage carousel #3, cross throu the car park and you see the bus stop, you might need to buy the ticket before, you can get it at the T3 terminal, go one stop to Bourke road (direction Bondi Junction), walk then about 200 meter in the same direction to the train station, alternatively go out of the T2 terminal to the right, after the car park the road turns then left, walk then straight on (O'Riordan street) until a street fork and turn into Bourke roaduntil the train station. If you don't have a lot of luggage it's a easy walk.
The Qantas Club in the domestic terminal is your standard Qantas Club. The coolest feature about it is they have a newsstand inside the club. A close second for cool feature, they have an APM. An Automatic Pancake Machine. No kidding. And the pancakes were pretty good after waking up at 4am to get to the airport for a morning flight.
As with any decent club you will have access to cleaner toilets, free beverages and enough food to tide you over.
Named after a pioneer Australian aviator, the Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport is Australia's busiest airport. Parts of the terminal have been renovated primarily to help passengers who might have a long layover in between flights. The shopping area offers a varied shopping experience for people might want to buy a list minute gift. There is also an extensive array of restaurants to cater to different tastes.
The immigration & customs staff may seem intimidating at first but they are actually quite helpful. Just be sure to answer truthfully and declare all items on your customs form and you should be alright.
The best way to travel to and from the airport will depend on how big your group is how much luggage you have. If you have a big group it would be better to take a cab as this would be cheaper. Smaller groups have the option of taking the Airportlink rail system which would be more economically. You do need to take into consideration that the system is not exclusive to people coming to and from the airport so the trains could be crowded with people commuting to and from work.
Arrival at Sydney Airport is straightforward, and like Singapore and Hong Kong, the process is simple and quick.
Immigration queues are rarely more than a few minutes for foreigners (are you listening China, USA and UK??!!). However, Australia is paranoid about foreign food getting into the country, and they seem more conrened that apples may get in than unwanted foreign people.
All incoming luggage gets X-rayed and this can take some time.
Finally, there is a question that is on the little immigration form asking if you have any criminal convictions. I understand that this is not now a requirement for entry, so it is best to just say "No" to this one.
We arrived in Sydney by plane once and departed from Sydney twice. Each time we flew QANTAS and each time I asked for wheelchair assistance.
We arrived early in the morning after an overnight flight from LAX. When we disembarked, one of the flight attendants was wheeling my 'wheelchair' and then she handed over to another lady who was dressed just the same and seated me in what looked like a scooter without a steering column. And I must say she had a terrible time with going around corners. I changed some more money and we went through customs and immigration. the wheelchair lady went in the express line each time. Getting our luggage the Luggie came out first and the lady started piling things on a cart. None of the rest of the luggage came for a long time, but eventually we got it all and it was all put into the taxi
Three days later we went to Perth. When we got to the airport the taxi driver unloaded the bags, and I went looking for my wheelchair. I had to walk across the airport to get to the wheelchair place and then someone had to bring all the bags to the oversized luggage which was where the wheelchairs were. They tried to get luggage tags but their computer was frozen and just would not do it. So the man there wheeled me in the wheelchair with the luggage except for the scooter bag, and checked the bags in and got us boarding passes there. Then we went back to put the tag on the scooter bag. Then he said that if my granddaughter would push, we could go to the gate and wait. So we went thru security and then had to go through an extensive maze of duty-free shops.
Apparently I had packed the computer too tightly to get it out of the bag, but we didn't have to take our coats off or our shoes off and we could take liquids through with no problem. After she pushed me to the gate (gate 10) she left to go buy a donut, I ate the sandwich. She came back with a frosty for her and a donut for each of us. We boarded the plane. The flight was 5 hours and we left at 10:15 and got there at 12:45 because Perth is in a different time
When we got back to the Sydney airport to fly back to LAX, the taxi driver put us out on the curb and sent my granddaughter to get a wheelchair. In the meantime I got a smart cart and put two of the bags on it. She came back with the chair and we got another cart for the Luggie and the other bag. The machine only took bills ($5.00) and gave us $2.00 change in coins. My granddaughter pushed the wheelchair and the wheelchair man pushed the bags. We checked in, but I did not have the flight number for the AA flight to Ft. Lauderdale written down on the e-ticket for Qantas, so they said we couldn't check the bags through. And I knew we'd have to retrieve them in LAX anyway to go through customs.
The wheelchair guy let us have the chair to go to the gate waiting area (we couldn't go all the way to the gate yet as they were using it for other things). She went and did some more shopping - she used up her Australian money and some of mine, and did not cash the rest of her traveler's checks. She also changed almost all of the Australia cash back to US (except for about $25.00 that hid and so didn't get changed) and we got something more to eat. While she was doing that I retrieved the flight information from my computer for the next flight - the airport had free wi-fi. Then she pushed me down to the gate
Sydney Airport Link is not part of Sydney Rail System. If you are using the Multilink Pass, you need to pay gate fee in order to use the Airport Link to go to the City.
It depends how long your travel and whether you have a multilink ticket with you:
Without Multilink Pass:
Airport Link's trains will cost each way:
Adult Single $15.00 AUD
With Multilink Pass, Gate Pass costs:
Adult Single $11.80 AUD
Adult Return $18.60 AUD
Adult Weekly Major $18.00 AUD
For other fare, please check on their website.
For me, I stayed in Sydney for 6 day including my trip to Blue Mountains. I bought Multilink 3 + Adult Weekly gate pass: Total: $57 + $18 = $75. $75 is my total cost of public transportation for 6 days including in/out of Airport. For gate pass, instead of paying $11.80 each, I paid $9 each way. Save $$
You can buy both multilink pass and gate pass at the airport train counter.
As we arrived to Sydney by air, we found out that Sydney Airport (SYD) was just 9 kilometers south of the centre of Sydney. This international airport is quite a modern airports and all kinds of facilities like bureaux de change, cash machines (ATMs), restaurants, gift, souvenir and duty-free shops, parking facilities and also at Sydney airport there is a choice of car hire companies.
When we arrived and left the plane we saw that the sign were pretty clear and were able to find our way easy. Finally some relatives waited for us to pick us up and they guided us to the entrance and we left by car. Once again we were surpised that such an international airport is only 9 kilometers away from its city centre.
I always fly from Melbourne to Sydney on Virgin Air - book early to get best rates but make sure you do not change your plans as cancellation or changes involve big penalties. It cost me about AUD100 for a one way to Sydney, but if you are looking for better bargains, now and then they have sales.
The airport Virgin has just moved into was the previous Ansett - so much better than months ago - in that tin shade!!! and also proper transit gates.
If you're in a hurry like most of us are, go by airplane. I flew Air New Zealand. That is a wonderful airline that, when I flew it 10 years ago, treated folks in economy class like other airlines treat first class passengers. I hear tell that Qantas has a good reputation too.
That depends on how far out from Sydney you want to go. In town, taxis are the best way to go. Some hotels, like mine, had courtesy vans that would take folks around town either free or for a modest tip for the driver (which is still cheaper than taxicab fare). If you want to travel far and wide, I would recommend hiring a car.