You can’t really join the “something to declare” line unless you have something to declare. I do, since the first item on the list of “are you carrying ...?” tick boxes is “medicines, steroids, pornography, or firearms”. I have asthma medicine containing steroids, hurrah! Once I’m directed down lane 1 the customs guy asks what I’m carrying, and I tell him. He asks me, with some suspicion, if that bags I have are all I’ve got with me, and also whether I’m here on business. At no point does he actually ask to see inside any of my bags or pockets, just letting me straight through.
Landside, I spot signs to “Qantas domestic transfer”. I know domestic flights leave from an entirely separate terminal, but didn’t know there was any kind of formal service for transfer, having expected to just jump on the train. But there is, so I’ll give it a go.
It’s a pretty long walk to the facility, and another long queue leads to the entrance which is marshalled by a woman directing people left if they already have a boarding pass, right if they don’t, or have missed their existing flight and need rebooking. I do have a boarding pass on my phone! Which, apparently, isn’t good enough - they insist on paper copies, so I have to join yet another long snaking queue. This is getting fucking tiresome now.
The queue moves slowly, because as mentioned above, several people are booked on flights which they have missed or are about to miss, and they need rebooking. Eventually I’m at the front, they take my suitcase and issue me with a paper boarding pass. I then join another long queue, for security, which is done here rather than at the other terminal.
There are two lanes, and on the one opposite mine the guy is shouting “laptops and aerosols only have to come out, just laptops and aerosols, iPads are OK”. I confirm this is the truth with the guy on my lane and he says yep, so I shove my pocket contents, bag, jacket, and belt in some trays and walk through the metal detector.
My bag is, of course, flagged for secondary security. They tell me I have to take out the iPad, and the keyboard, and the camera, in fact pretty much everything “because there’s too much stuff in there”. Well, punish me for making maximum use of the space in my bag why don’t you.
As I’m repacking everything, another security lady decides to come swab my arms and legs and shoes and stuff. Uh, OK.
Next up, another long snaking queue for the inter-terminal bus. These leave every 10 minutes, and the queue is long enough that I make it onto the third one. Bloody hell. By now I’m really quite pissed off, exhausted, thirsty and hungry. I’m familiar with the domestic terminal here and make a beeline for the Qantas business lounge. Thinking I deserve a beer, since it had taken almost THREE FUCKING HOURS from landing to reaching this terminal, I’m greeted by a sign on the bar saying “Bar opens at midday”. DAMN YOU QANTAS.
Travelators surrounded by a fuselage in the Qantas domestic terminal.
Fine. Breakfast is still out, so I load up on sugar - fruit, yoghurt, pastry, and Sprite. And then I can sit down at one of the “do your work here” desks, put my headphones on listening to a podcast, and finally write up my exploits in Copenhagen. OK. Done. Good.
Flight QF0864 SYD-OOL (Coolangatta, aka the Gold Coast) is leaving from gate 7 and 1115 or something, I don’t recall. Boarding was just before 1100, and I was down there in plenty of time, through the fast track queue and plonked into seat 6A. Qantas have, like, a zillion 737s plying their domestic routes and even on a flight that only takes 60-75 minutes there’s in-flight entertainment screens and free food and drink (though, again, no booze until later in the day).