Tag Archives: SYD

This week’s airport events: the review

Welcome to an entirely new section of LateDeparture! This little weekly review aims at giving you an overview of what happened in the world of airports over the past seven days; every week. Of course, in true LateDeparture fashion, I will specifically focus on airport developments and non-developments (read: delays). If, however, you’re after official on-time performance reports, you’re at the wrong spot. In that case you may want to try this site instead. Everyone else, please read on;-)

First of all, the harsh winter weather continued in many parts around the US and therefore added further delays across a number of US airports. Texas received a hit on Wednesday when more than 400 flights at Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport (IATA: DFW) were cancelled as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Continue reading This week’s airport events: the review

Up and close at Sydney’s Domestic Airport

Usually the inner sections of airports are closed to non-travellers. I often think that modern airports with their great offers miss out on opportunities when they restrict access to people with tickets on that day only. Imagine: you could go inside London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and dine a last meal at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant with your close friend who visited you from Far-Away-Land before their long flight back home. Or imagine the family from Singapore that could enjoy some last moments in the Butterfly garden of Changi Airport’s Terminal 3 with their son departing for an exchange year at a university in the United States.

Well, the good news is that there are airports that do allow non-travellers into their inner core – the post security zone; domestic airports that is. The slightly bad news is that they are often not the most aspiring of places. Nevertheless, they do allow you to drop off or pick up your loved ones directly at the gate.

One such airport is Sydney’s Domestic Airport (IATA: SYD) on the North-East corner of the runways. There, once through the security check, you come down a set of escalators and can then either turn left towards the Virgin Blue gates or right in direction of the Qantas and JetStar boarding gates. Turning right will first lead you to a food court with some usual suspects such as McDonalds, Krispykreme, a Middle-Eastern Outlet, Subway, Sumo Salad and the Australian institutions of Red Rooster and Boost Juice among others.

There are, however, a few more exciting things to do beyond stuffingfilling yourself up prior to your cheap flight where you don’t plan to spend any money on their dry sandwiches. Here are my favourites:

  • Check out some serious outback clothing from R.M. Williams at the “And Beyond” store
  • Buy your kiddo (or some random kid you happen to know…) one of those cool dinosaur eggs that you have to submerge in water for 10 days before a little, wait for it, yes, you guessed it, Dinosaur pops out. You can find them at the well stocked “Kaboom” kids store.
  • Stock up on your SPF 30+ sunscreen for your island trip to Vanuatu (oooops, okay, if you are in the domestic terminal heading for Vanuatu, then you’re seriously in trouble, as that flight most likely leaves from the International terminal, a $5.50 bus trip away). So let’s say your Magnetic Island trip then… You’ll find it in the Pharmacy next to the Kids store.
  • Browse through the ubiquitous Peter Lik Australian landscape photography books and postcards
  • Try on some new boardies in the “Beachculture” shop towards the 31-40 gates
  • The ladies among you might also want to pop into the Mimco store close-by (while we lads wait in the Pub & Winestore called “Taphouse” across from it)
  • Finally, browse through the rather good selection of iconic Australian films at the Virgin Media store

Airport Facts and Ratings

Airport Name Sydney, Domestic Terminal
Website http://www.sydneyairport.com.au
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Shopping LateDeparture.com Plane Award PointLateDeparture.com Plane Award PointLateDeparture.com Plane Award Point
Toilets LateDeparture.com Plane Award PointLateDeparture.com Plane Award PointLateDeparture.com Plane Award Point
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Chanel No 5 Eau de Parfum, 100ml at the Duty Free Shop n/a
Bottle of Veuve Cliquot at the Duty Free Shop n/a

[Picture from Flickr – all rights reserved]

Airport food: 3 continents, 3 airports, 3 great choices

You know the feeling, it’s evening, you rushed to the airport after a long day at work and haven’t had time to eat. You then find out your plane is delayed, so that you won’t get your free business economy class dinner anytime soon. What do you do? Well, there is always the crappy sandwich shop close to the gate, right? Wrong!

Luckily today many airports realised people actually value quality food and offer descent alternatives to the ubiquitous fast food chains. Following are three options from three different airports around the globe that cater for the foodie in you:

London Heathrow – Terminal 5: Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food

The unsurprising favourite is “Plane Food“, a fine dining outlet by London’s only 3-Star-Michelin chef, Gordon Ramsay. Lulu from Planet Eye recently wrote

…this is probably the only airport restaurant with which I’ve actually made a reservation. Once you tuck into the foie gras and chicken liver parfait, followed by the Casterbridge rib eye steak, it’s really hard to be satisfied by the chicken or the beef options offered by your flight attendant.

I’ve always been a fan of Gordon’s food and this has to be a must-go for when you have some time on your side (and made a reservation…). In addition Plane Food now also offers a few take-away picnics (£14.95 for the lunch box). Enjoy!

Sydney International Terminal: Wagamama

It has sadly been a while since I have personally been at Sydney airport but one of the safe and tasteful choices is Hong Kong born Alan Yau‘s Australian subsidiary of Wagamama in the international terminal. You will be sitting on shared tables and have the choice of a variety of tasty Asian inspired dishes. Having tasted the Australian, the Dutch and the English Wagamama I must say I found the Aussie version the best – definitely worth a taste when you are in this magnificent city.

Miami International: Chili’s

Well, I’m going to follow a bit of a stereotype here by mentioning a chain restaurant as my choice for the USA’s most Latin airport. Sometimes you just want that uncomplicated, yet tasteful American comfort food. Go to Chili’s which you find in the G area and taste one of their wonderful Baby Back Ribs. They really are delicious!


[Picture from Flickr]

The 10 most on-time airports worldwide

Airport statistics are a fine thing as they give you an indication of where potential problems lie. Especially if you have the choice of different routes, it makes sense to take the on-time statistics of a particular airport into account when planning your travels.

So, which airport is the worlds most efficient one? According to a Forbes Travlerer article, the winning airport is Haneda airport in Tokyo (HND) with 90% of its arrivals and departures on-time. Never heard of Haneda? Me neither, but according to the article, the airport is the fourth busiest airport in the world primarily handling domestic traffic. It’s bigger sister airport, the well known Narita International (NRT) makes it on to the 2nd place. Well done, Japan!

Interestingly, 6 out of the 10 most on-time airports are located in Asia, only two from the US (Orlando and Houston) and one from Europe (Munich) make it into this elite group – maybe some of these airport managers should have a summer exchange class organized in Asia…

  1. Haneda (HND), Tokyo, Japan – 90%
  2. Narita International (NRT), Tokyo, Japan – 84.2%
  3. Taiwan Taoyuan International, Taipei (TPE), Taiwan – 80.3%
  4. Kingsford Smith International (SYD), Sydney, Australia – 80.1%
  5. Hong Kong International (HKG), Hong Kong, Hong Kong – 79.7%
  6. Soekarno-Hatta International (CGK), Jakarta, Indonesia  – 79.3%
  7. Suvarnabhumi International (BKK), Bangkok, Thailand – 79.3%
  8. Orlando International (MCO), Orlando, USA – 79.8%
  9. Franz Josef Strauss Airport (MUC), Munich, Germany – 77.8%
  10. George Bush International (IAH), Houston, USA – 77%

Read the full Forbes Traveler article here.


(Picture by Flickr)