Qantas, Virgin Recommend Arriving Up To 3 Hours Earlier For Flights, Thanks To New Security Measures

Qantas, Virgin Recommend Arriving Up To 3 Hours Earlier For Flights, Thanks To New Security Measures
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Arriving at the airport much earlier than your actual flight time is good advice in general, but thanks to recently introduced “security measures” from the government, the major airlines are now recommending international passengers arrive up to three hours before their scheduled departure times and two hours for domestic trips.

Both Qantas and Virgin have travel advisories, though apart from a couple of words and phrases, they’re basically identical.

Here’s Qantas’ message:

The Australian Government has introduced additional aviation security measures at international and domestic terminals at Australia’s major airports.

Customers can expect to experience an increased level of security scrutiny at the airport so it may take a little longer than usual to get through the process:

Passengers should arrive at the airport two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights to allow ample time for screening.
Limit the amount of carry-on and checked baggage they travel with as this will help to ensure security screening is efficient.
There are no changes to what can and cannot be carried on-board the aircraft.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Compared to current recommended times, which range from 45-120 minutes, you’re looking at an additional hour on average.

On the one hand, you might get lucky and breeze through security and customs with minimal fuss, but the odds of that happening are, well… let’s just say you should probably play it safe and rock up earlier.

Qantas and Virgin advisories [via Reddit]


  • So, 3 hours before the flight, *not* 3 hours earlier than you otherwise would have…

    • Poorly worded headline is poor.

      I just came back from the UK and it took AN HOUR just to get my laptop bag screened in Manchester. It seems like *they* just keep introducing arbitrary rules that are not communicated to travelers, then give you a hard time when you don’t follow them.

  • Hmmm, that’s all well and good, but are they going to open check-in earlier to allow for this? I regularly travel to Vanuatu on a Qantas code-share flight and he check-in only opens 90 minutes before take-off at best. Given all the security theatre is after check-in, check-in will have to open earlier. This will have a huge flow-on to logistics with all that additional baggage floating around waiting to be loaded on plane s that may not even have landed yet.

  • Knee jerk reaction to make it seem like they’re doing something. Typical government response. Make me sick.

    Really, if anyone wanted to cause harm, why would they target a very hardened bit of infrastructure like airports and aeroplanes? You want to do harm, put a bomb on a peak hour train. Hell, you don’t even need to put it on at peak hour, just place it early in the morning, and set it off a few hours later. Of course they’re not worried about this, because that’s too hard to fix. It’s much easier to put in knee jerk security measures at airports, because people are already far too accepting of it.

    I wish they spent this much time, effort and money on fixing problems that are actually harming Australia. Where’s the money for domestic violence support, or suicide prevention, how about gambling help, or maybe just general health care? Put money and effort into those areas, and you’ll actually save lives, not just inconvenience people.

    • Funny how this new airport security and terror raids just happened to coincide with that anti-terror conference in Indonesia. Never trust government.

  • More Australians die from alcohol abuse each year, than from terrorism, but dare to close pubs at 2 am, and there are riots in the street.

    Politicians can blatantly lie about terrorism, and add more worthless security theatre, and the reply is ‘meh’.

    Well done Australians on getting your priorities right.

  • If they recommend 3 hours beforehand, they better extend their early check in and lounge policies to accommodate for it – currently they have a sook if you try to check in more than 3 hours early

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