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Melbourne Airport departures!

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cambridge,New...
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Melbourne Airport departures!

The second time recently that I have departed Melbourne International Airport and it has to be one of the worst airports for processing through customs and passport control.It is no wonder that there seem to be so few duty free shoppers airside,the passengers are all stuck in disgracefully long queues at customs and passport control.No problem entering Melbourne if you are a Aus or NZ pasport holder with a chip in the passport-straight through Smart Gate,but Smartgate seems to be missing at departures-I'm sure that if Melboune airport has the technology for Smartgate arrivals,they must have it for Departures.I am surprised that the airside retailers have not taken up the issue with the airport- or perhaps they are not bothering to renew their leases,Sydney International airside shopping is huge in comparison to Melbourne.My advice to all international travellers departing Melbourne is to proceed through to the airside as soon as you have checked in because you are going to be in a queue for a very long time,and make a toilet stop before you go through.

South Pole
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1. Re: Melbourne Airport departures!

customs check departing?

Melbourne
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for Melbourne
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2. Re: Melbourne Airport departures!

At this stage Smartgate is only available in Australian airports on arrival and not departure. However, there is a Trans-Tasman trail, where eligible passengers can use Smartgate on departure from Gold Coast, Auckland and Christchurch airports.

www.customs.gov.au/smartgate/default.asp

Broadford, Australia
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3. Re: Melbourne Airport departures!

My only beef about departing Melbourne is the long queues for security. Mostly due to the number of pax who appear to be completely unable to follow instructions regarding fluids and prohibited items causing log jams at the scanners etc.

The outgoing passport/customs check is generally fairly quick in my experience. Most of the information they use is on the outgoing passenger card.

http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page4725.asp

Considering the prices in retailers airside, in most airports, the less time spent there the better.

:)

Melbourne, Australia
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for Melbourne, Victoria, Road Trips
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4. Re: Melbourne Airport departures!

I agree with Unclefey, the delays are at the security screening, not the passport control. I've had similar delays at other airports around the world, some actually have a sign showing how long you will have to wait. It also depends on how busy the airport is at the time you are going through. I allow extra time to go through security because I expect a queue.

Sydney/Melbourne
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5. Re: Melbourne Airport departures!

I travel out of Melbourne regularly and IME the time taken to get from door to duty free has varied from 5 minutes (with Express priority) to 15 minutes in the regular Immi and security lines. Usually it's less than 10 minutes. I wouldn't have thought that was too long?

When you say << passengers are all stuck in disgracefully long queues at customs and passport control>> how long did it actually take?

We also used Smartgate departing from Wellington a few weeks ago. Unfortunately it wasn't working properly and we ended up in the queue anyway ;-)

cambridge,New...
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6. Re: Melbourne Airport departures!

In October,we spent a total of 75 minutes exiting.Last Saturday it was 45 minutes.Melbourne is the only international airport that has taken me this long,

cambridge,New...
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7. Re: Melbourne Airport departures!

Doesn't alter the fact that IME Melbourne has the longest exit time I have encountered.Stnding at the end of very long queues does not help anyone's image of a country.I've been through Europe,and North Africa even parts of Asia and nowhere is there the length of queues,last October when I exited both the customs hall and the passport control lines ran to the entry doors from land side!

Broadford, Australia
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8. Re: Melbourne Airport departures!

There is only one Custom Hall in Tullamarine departures which is also where you go through passport control. The first gauntlet you have to run is security.

I have spent over an hour at Gatwick. Sometimes it's just the luck of the draw - how many flights are leaving, staff loads etc.

Anyway, Melbourne's airport is 40 years old and is due for major upgrading, including hopefully a rail link to the CBD (Politicians permitting). It has had a 5.1% increase in passenger numbers in the past 10 years. Hopefully service will improve.

Melbourne...
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9. Re: Melbourne Airport departures!

Ive been through Melbourne quite a few times. Flown to most parts of the world. Nth America, Asia,Africa and Melbourne is really no different than most airports. Im sure they all have their off days where delays happen for one reason or another. In the times in which we live, everyone needs to allow time for queues.

Perth, Australia
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10. Re: Melbourne Airport departures!

SueC, I thought you must be a Pom but your location is NZ... :-)

Have you been to the US? Then you would have something to comment upon...

My comments align with Uncle Fey's @ #3