Qantas Frequent Flyer - Int'l to Dom connection @ BNE
Jun 16, 10, 7:55 pm
Hubby & I are headed to MEL. He's on a BA Exec Club award ticket and I'm on paid ticket booked directly with QF. We fly LAX-BNE-MEL (QF0016 and QF0611) and have 95 mins for connection in BNE.
Is that enough time to connect?
Do we clear immigration & customs in BNE or once we get to MEL? (United pax to MEL don't clear Immigration & Customs until they reach MEL; just second security screening at SYD and on to departure gates)
Is transit route easy to spot and follow?
If Int'l flight is delayed will QF accommodate us on later flight to MEL automatically? (Neither of us has status on OW or QF)
Any tips to make things run smoothly also appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Jun 16, 10, 8:01 pm
You clear immigration & customs in BNE.
Transit route is fairly easy to spot and follow. It usually involves catching a train.
Personally, I would not be comfortable with 95 min connection, mainly due to the potential customs/quarantine queue.
I am fairly certain that QF will accommodate you on a later flight to MEL, assuming you are on a single ticket for both flights. The frequency of flights is high so you shouldn't have to wait too long. If you booked these flights separately, it may be a little different, but if missing the connecting flight is due to a delayed QF flight (as opposed to slow quarantine processing etc), most likely you will be fine.
I'm not sure what will happen if you miss the flight due to a reason other than a delayed QF flight, although I do suspect QF will look after you.
Jun 16, 10, 8:15 pm
Since you are booked though, Qantas will accomodate you should your inbound be delayed (or your passage through immigration/customs be hindered) such that you would miss your onward QF flight.
These flights depart hourly so if you miss your connection the wait should not be too long.
More on connecting here: Qantas - Brisbane International Airport (http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/airport-guide-brisbane-international/global/en)
Jun 16, 10, 9:00 pm
you will use the Qantas 'T' bus rather than the train now.
Jun 16, 10, 9:07 pm
The easiest way to transfer between the international and domestic, i have found, is by the bus.
As you come out of customs, walk straight ahead to the exit of the terminal and you will see a orange sign on the footpath on the right hand side of the exit for the inter-terminal bus. You can't miss it. It is free when you show your onward QF boarding pass to the driver (otherwise pay $5 to the driver). You can't get lost, but if you do have queries, there are a few "information" people standing around who will help you out. I haven't had to wait more than 5mins for the bus.
It goes directly to the domestic terminal, where it will stop twice - once for Qantas and once for Virgin and Jetstar (although they are barely 100m apart). It drops you directly infront of the check-in area.
The bus is very direct. With the train, it is a bit of a walk (a few hundred metres at least).
With regards to immigration and customs, I have found BNE to be much more efficient and pleasant than either SYD and MEL. It is becoming my favourite Australian airport.
With your domestic flight being early morning, you will be placed on the next flight if there are any major delays. Assuming you arrive on time, take 30mins to clear customs and immigration, then allowing 15mins for the bus transfer, that still gets you to the domestic terminal 50mins before departure. The security lines at BNE domestic, in my experience, tend to be reasonable (ie, less than 5mins).
Jun 16, 10, 9:26 pm
Be sure to recheck your bags for the domestic flight at the international terminal (or you can carry bags with you to the domestic terminal, but there isn't a need to do so). You will need your BP (BNE-MEL) for the bus to be free (otherwise it charges a fare). All much easier and more pleasant than it sounds. Of course the LAX-MEL non-stop is a lot better way to go (but charges a higher fare).
Jun 16, 10, 11:06 pm
Thanks for the quick & detailed responses!
To answer a couple questions: couldn't get award seat on the LAX-MEL direct flight (perhaps because it's an A380 on Sundays?) so picked shortest total travel time for award ticket and then bought my ticket to match; we are ticketed straight through although obviously we have 2 separate PNRs with one being award tix and other paid tix; and I'll make sure to collect both BPs in LAX to speed connection in BNE.
Hubby's tourist ETA already on request through kind services of GuyBetsy and I have a multiple entry student visa for my graduate course.
Jun 17, 10, 5:00 am
I did the TBus shuttle at BNE a couple of days ago and it was a far smoother option than the train. The actual bus journey (at maybe just 7-8 minutes) was impressionistically a few minutes longer than the actual train ride, and it seems the bus frequency is 20 mins compared to 15 for the train, but you pick up 5 minutes each end by avoiding the walk to/from the train station. Nothing worse after a long flight than seeing the previous train leave the platform just as you are walking across the overbridge to get to the station. For TBus, there is an information board at the busstop giving times that buses depart for the other terminal. Timetable is supposed to be at http://www.bne.com.au/files/pdf/A1_bustimetable_03.pdf but wouldn't download on my slow connection.
Jun 17, 10, 6:04 pm
The train was a regional train service and notorious for being late by up to an hour. Nothing worse than having no trains connecting airline terminals for an hour at a time! Thus the creation of the TBus, which is a dedicated inter-terminal bus (just like real airports have!). Those Queenslanders are sharp on the ball, they know how to run an airport.
Jun 17, 10, 6:26 pm
IME, the trains ran quite well to the time table. The biggest issue is having only a ½ hourly time frame along with limited operation (no service after ~8pm)
The availability of this NEW bus service is mainly due to the DFO "Outlet" stores at "Airport Village" being built on 'unused' airfield land an a desire to get those transit passengers into them.