Sydney AirportArrivals and Departures

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Sydney departures information

Sydney Airport has three terminals: one for international flights and two for domestic routes. Although they're numbered 1, 2 and 3, on public transport maps they're referred to simply as the international terminal and the domestic terminal.

Sydney is used as a hub by national carrier Qantas, as well as a secondary hub for Jetstar and Virgin Australia.

Checking in for international flights

All international passengers check in on the first floor of Terminal 1. The desks are split up by airlines, with banks of counters starting with an A on the far left up to K on the far right. Your airline may give you details of which check-in area they use on your booking confirmation, otherwise the details can be found on screens around the terminal.

The best selection of eating options is found in the food court before you go through security. The food court is to the right of the passport screening area (as you face it), behind check-in areas G and H.

Once you pass through security screening, you'll go through a large duty-free shop before going on to your gate. The majority of airport lounges are to the left and upstairs.

Checking in for domestic flights

There are two domestic terminals at Sydney Airport, although they're immediately beside each other and easy to walk between. Terminal 2 houses the majority of the airlines (including Jetstar, Rex and Virgin Australia) while Qantas and Qantaslink flights operate out of Terminal 3.

Check-in counters in Terminal 2 are divided by airline. Virgin Australia is to the far left, Jetstar to the far right and the rest sandwiched in the middle. There are few facilities in this terminal before the security screening, with shops, cafes and restaurants mostly being airside.

There are two banks of check-in desks in Terminal 3, with the security screening area found between these. Like Terminal 2, the majority of facilities are found beyond this area.

Sydney arrivals information

International passengers arrive on the ground floor of Sydney Kingsford Smith. Once you land, there's the chance to buy last-minute duty-free items before the usual queues for immigration control. To speed up this process, ePassport holders can use SmartGate machines to scan their own ID. After you've passed through this section, you'll come out into the baggage reclaim section, before making any customs declarations and going through to Australian soil.

Arrivals in Terminal 2 come through the ground level of the terminal, the same level as domestic departures. The exits and baggage carousels are all clearly marked.

Terminal 3's departures and arrivals use the same floor, using two entrances to the baggage reclaim area at either side of the terminal to speed up proceedings.

Pick up and drop off at Sydney Airport

International and domestic passengers can be dropped off at the terminal in specified dropping-off zones. No picking up of passengers is permitted in these areas. Vehicles are limited to two minutes in these zones and drivers cannot leave their vehicles. A five-minute restriction is in place at mobility spots by all terminals.

Drivers picking up passengers from international flights should make their way to the Express Pick-up Zone that's found in the international car park. Cars are allowed to stay for free for 15 minutes while they wait for passengers. Any drivers overstaying this limit will be charged the regular parking rate.

The domestic terminals also have a 15-minute free parking section, and a variety of other options. A Priority Pick-up Zone is available to all motorists at a charge of $4 for 15 minutes. Free parking is available for up to one hour in the Blu Emu park and ride area.

Where should I park at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport?

The international airport has two parking areas, P7 and P9, both opposite the terminal. From 15 minutes up to a full day, the charges for both areas are the same. The only difference is that P9 gives a free 15 minutes for drivers, while P7 costs $8 from the moment you enter.

Parking for domestic flights is split between three sections: short-term, long-term and park and ride.

Short-term parking is found in P1 and P2, which are a five-minute walk to the terminals. Charges start at $8 for up to half an hour and $17 for up to an hour. Three hours or more costs $59.50.

Long-term parking is found in lot P3, which is roughly a 10-minute walk to the terminals. Daily rates are $48.

The park and ride section – known as Blu Emu – has a daily rate of $31, which gets lower the longer you stay. Six days costs $121, with additional days being $16 extra. Once you get to 15 days, each extra day costs $10 more.

There are two complimentary shuttle services connecting Blu Emu to the domestic terminals. The standard option runs every 15 minutes between 3.30am and 11.30pm, and every half an hour outside that time frame. This shuttle picks up and drops off passengers at all 12 bus stops in the car park, as well as outside the domestic terminals.

An express service is available during peak flight hours, leaving the car park every 25 minutes. This goes only to stops A and B before heading to the airport.

How to get to and from Sydney Airport

Sydney by car

From the airport, the fastest route into Sydney is to drive east on Wentworth Avenue and then turn north onto the M1. Although quickest, this route requires toll payments.

For a route that avoids tolls, head north from the airport on Botany Road and join the M1 after the toll area by turning right on Epsom Road.

Sydney by train

Both the domestic and international terminals have train stations beneath them, connecting the airport to Central station. To use this service, you can get an Opal card (similar to an Oyster card) from a newsagent and put credit on. Remember to tap on and tap off to pay the cheapest fare.

Sydney by bus

A number of different bus routes operate from the airport, but none so quick as the train. One route to be aware of is the 400 bus, which goes from the airport to Bondi without the need to transfer.

Please note: all information is correct as of October, 2016.