Located less than 10 kilometres from the Sydney CBD, Kingsford-Smith Airport is one of the oldest continually operated airports in the world. A shorter third runway intersects the two main parallel runways witch are situated along the shores of Botany Bay. More than 40 airlines fly into Sydney with Virgin Australia and Qantas being the two largest carriers, each of whom provide extensive domestic and international flying from the airport. Regional Express (REX), Jetstar and TigerAir are the other main domestic operators at SYD.

Sydney Quick Facts

Distance from CBD:  8 kilometres
Number of airlines: Approximately 40 passenger airlines
Number of destinations served: 40 domestic and 40 international
Number of terminals: 2 domestic and 1 international
Number of runways: 3


Airport check-in facilities are located on the Departures Level. In order to locate a specific airline, signage is visible outside each terminal. For domestic departures, Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia utilise self-service kiosks for fast, efficient check-in and printing of boarding passes. When checking in for an international flight, passengers should refer to the flight check-in display which will advise of the ticketing desk number for each flight.

Airlines have strict guidelines regarding check-in times and passengers should arrive at the airport and be checked in before check-in closing time. This can be anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes for a domestic flight and 60 to 90 minutes for an international flight. Check with your Flight Centre consultant or your airline for specific check-in times and procedures.


For those travelling with oversized luggage such as sporting equipment, musical instruments or other large pieces, these items must be dropped off at the oversized baggage services desk. The desk is located between check-in counters A and K in the international terminal and near the Virgin Australia and Qantas check-in counters in the domestic terminals.

Passengers who need to ship unaccompanied luggage may do so at the Unaccompanied Luggage Services desk located in the International Terminal near check-in counter B.

There is also a baggage storage service called Smartecarte. In addition to storage, this service also provides bag wrapping and weighing, online visa applications as well as printing and faxing services. Smartecarte is located on the Arrivals level of the International Terminal and is open seven days a week, 5:30am to 9pm.

Money Exchange

Travelex is one of the world’s largest currency exchange service providers. In addition to its currency exchange services, Travelex also provides pre-paid travel cards, travellers cheques and phone cards. There are 33 multi-currency exchange ATMs located throughout the airport as well as retail locations in each terminal.

Internet Access / Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi is available in all Sydney Airport terminals. The internet service is available for up to 2 hours and may be accessed by logging into the “Free Internet by Sponsors Name & SYD” network. The Wi-Fi service is not encrypted and security measures should be taken by the user.

Business Services

In addition to the free Wi-Fi found throughout the airport, there are also internet kiosks available at each terminal. TTY phones are also available for use in the international terminal once past Customs.

For passengers who are entitled to access the Virgin Australia or Qantas lounges, there are a number of business related services offered in these locations. Features include desks and tables, internet access, phones and meeting rooms.


Both Qantas and Virgin Australia provide showers in their respective lounges. These lounges are open to First and Business Class passengers as well as elite frequent flyer members of each airlines’ program.

Sydney Airport provides public showers at the International Terminal, both before and after Customs, however towel vending services are not available.

Airline Lounges

There are nine airline lounges at Sydney Airport. These relaxing airport retreats provide a space for work or rest between flights and offer guests a range of services and features which include complimentary snacks and beverages, a bar service, reading materials and comfortable seating. The following airlines have a lounge at Sydney Airport.

Virgin Australia – located in Terminal 2, past security on the departures level. The lounge is open to those travelling in Business Class, Gold and Platinum Velocity members and their guest and elite frequent flyer members of partner airlines. 

Regional Express – The REX lounge can be found in Terminal 2 at Gate G2. The lounge is open to REX Lounge members and for those who purchase a casual lounge access pass.

Qantas – The Qantas Club domestic is located on the departures level of Terminal 3, just opposite gates 4 and 5. Qantas Club is open to First and Business passengers on a Qantas, Oneworld or other alliance partner flight, elite frequent flyers in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program and other alliance member programs such as Oneworld or Emirates.  Qantas also maintains separate First Class and Business Class lounges in the International Terminal.

Other airline lounges in the International Terminal include Etihad, Air New Zealand, Singapore and Emirates.  

Terminal 1 - International

Sydney’s international terminal comprises 25 aircraft gates over two concourses. The passenger areas consist of the Arrivals Level on the ground floor and the Departures Level on Floor 1. Having undergone a complete facelift and expansion in 2010, the terminal now features a wide selection of duty free stores, retail shops, restaurants and cafes. There are six airline lounges also located in the terminal.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 is divided into 2 separate concourses. Concourse A is home to Virgin Australia and its subsidiary TigerAir. This is also the location of Regional Express Airlines (REX). Since moving into the former Ansett Australia terminal in 2002, Virgin Australia has spent millions of dollars expanding and upgrading the concourse. The modern facility now handles Virgin’s widebody, narrow-body and regional fleet. Passenger amenities include a wide range of shops, restaurant outlets and specialty stores. Having gone through a major expansion and interior update, Virgin Australia’s new lounge features Premium check-in and entry and two levels of seating. REX also maintain lounge facilities in Terminal 2

Concourse B is made up mostly of Jetstar and Skytrans flights. To get to this concourse from check-in, passengers must proceed through security, descend the escalator and walk through the Terminal 2 food hall.

Terminal 3

Qantas and Qantas Link flights depart from Terminal 3. The terminal underwent expansion and renovations in the late 1990s and features a wide selection of shops and restaurants. Qantas also features a large Qantas Club lounge as well as a Chairman’s lounge.


The Fastest: Taxi or private car hire is the quickest way into the city and surrounding suburbs. While it may cost somewhat more that the train, car or taxi transport is conveniently located just outside the arrivals area. A $4 airport toll is assessed on all taxi and private car trips. Fares into the Sydney CBD range from $45 to $55 one way.

The Cheapest: The Airport Link Train provides easy access to the CBD from both the international and domestic terminals. Departing the airport, the route begins at the International Terminal before stopping at the Domestic Station located between terminals 1 and 2. Departures are approximately every 10 minutes and the ride into the CBD takes less than 15 minutes. A one way adult fare from the international terminal to the CBD and Circular Quay is $17.20 while the departure from Domestic is costs $16.40

Buses and Car Hire

Bus stops are located outside on the arrivals level of each terminal. Hotel shuttle services also depart from this area. Car hire desks are located near the baggage claim areas. Car hire companies include Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty and Redspot.


Short Stay parking

Domestic car parks 1 and 2 are located between Terminals 2 and 3 and provide convenient access for short airport visits during such times as dropping off or picking up of passengers. This car park can also be used for short trips away. Once parked, the terminals are less than a 5 minute walk away. There is a valet park option or a self-park option. For international flights, there is one multi-purpose car park located opposite the International terminal. This may be used for pick-up and drop-off of passengers or for short and long trips.

Long Stay parking

For longer term parking, Car Park 3 is available and is also located between Terminals 2 and 3. The distance between the domestic terminals and Car Park 3 is less than 500 metres. Parking can be pre-booked on the Sydney Airport website or paid at the time of exit.

An additional long term car park is located on Ross Smith Avenue. Named the Blu Emu Car Park, this budget option is just a short shuttle ride away to the domestic terminals. Drivers can choose between an open-air car park and a covered area.

The International Terminal utilizes a single multi-story car park which is used for both short term and long term parking and visitors may use the valet service or self-park options. The car park is opposite the terminal and is just a short walk from the departure and arrival levels.

Business and Valet parking

Both car parks at the domestic terminal as well as the car park at the international terminal offer a valet park service. The Pronto Valet service provides a drop-off point on the departure level of the car parks. Cars may be picked up outside arrivals on the ground level. Daily hours for the service, including public holidays are 5am to 11pm. 

Terminal Transfers

The Airport Link Train provides a transfer link between the international and domestic terminals. The service operates seven days a week between the hours of 5am and midnight. Travel time is just 2 or 3 minutes. The train stations can be accessed from the arrivals level. Overhead signs in the terminal are clearly marked showing how to access the station.

Both Qantas and Virgin Australia provide complimentary shuttle transfers between the domestic and international terminals. Ticketed passengers on these airlines may use the services of their respective airline when connecting on to another destination. The shuttle service also extends to each airlines’ code-share partner flights. For all other airlines, there is a T-Bus service which costs $5.50 one way.

Taxis can also be used to transfer between the international and domestic terminals. The cost is approximately $20 one way and can take up to 10 minutes depending on the traffic.

As an international travel hub for Australia, Sydney is serviced by a wide range of airlines. The following airlines reach Sydney Airport. Don't see the airline you are looking for? Talk to a consultant to book your Sydney flights with your preferred airline.

There are several hotels with convenient access to Sydney Airport. Most area hotels provide a complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport. These hotels also provide spaces for business meetings or other functions. For a complete list of Sydney area hotels, inquire with your Flight Centre consultant or search for the best deal in the search field below or view more accommodation options.

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