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Can I leave the airport while in transit?

Auckland, New...
posts: 108
reviews: 16
Can I leave the airport while in transit?

I am flying from Los Angeles via Brisbane to Auckland with Virgin Australia.

I have an 11 hour transit in Brisbane and want to know can I leave the airport?

My flights are all on one ticket, all travel is with Virgin Australia, and they tell me my bags will be checked from Los Angeles to Auckland.

I am on a New Zealand passport and don't need a visa for Australia.

Will I be able to leave the airport?

thanks

26 replies to this topic
New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 7,722
reviews: 53
1. Re: Can I leave the airport while in transit?

Given the information you've provided what makes you think you can't leave the airport?

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,528
reviews: 17
2. Re: Can I leave the airport while in transit?

Usually someone can't leave the airport if they do NOT have a VISA or have only a transit VISA.

Sydney/Melbourne
posts: 10,468
reviews: 41
3. Re: Can I leave the airport while in transit?

Yes you can.

You can store your carry on luggage in one of the luggage lockers which are on the ground floor near the entrance to the car park.

Just leave yourself enough time when you return, because you will need to do the whole security/emigration thing again.

@rglady, Kiwis don't need visas to enter Australia.

Edited: 9:33 pm, June 19, 2013
New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 7,722
reviews: 53
4. Re: Can I leave the airport while in transit?

Usually someone can't leave the airport if they do NOT have a VISA or have only a transit VISA.

---------

But they said they don't need a visa.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 32,618
reviews: 76
5. Re: Can I leave the airport while in transit?

With an NZ passport, OP can definitely go through Australia immigration and head into Brisbane proper for a few hours.

Auckland, New...
posts: 108
reviews: 16
6. Re: Can I leave the airport while in transit?

Sorry all, I didn't make myself clear!

I don't want to have to collect my baggage in Brisbane. It will be checked thru Auckland, and my (not very knowledgeable) travel agent has said that if I leave the airport I need to take my bags with me and recheck them in. (something to do with security?)

Not very practical if I want to go shopping!

My thoughts are - the bags are checked thru to Auckland - if I go through immigration/customs with just my cabin bag, how will they know if I am in transit or not?

Don't want to break any laws, but wonder why I can't.

thanks for all your replys.

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin, Kakadu National Park
posts: 2,095
reviews: 156
7. Re: Can I leave the airport while in transit?

You may initially get more attention from Customs as you have been on a long trip but you only have hand luggage to show but as you will have your initial boarding pass that will show that you have checked luggage also. But don't have too big a shopping spree as it will still have to fit into your hand luggage and meet the airlines luggage rules. You will have to do an arrival card and a departure card before going through security for the next stage.

While Singapore is not Australia if you are in transit there for more than 5 ? hours you can do a free bus tour of Singapore but you cannot leave the bus at any time, but they have different visa rules from australia.

Sydney/Melbourne
posts: 10,468
reviews: 41
8. Re: Can I leave the airport while in transit?

You are right about your TA!

Since your flight into NZ is an international one, the only time you will take your chrcked bags though customs is when you arrive back in AKL.

You will need to take any carry on luggage through customs upon arrival in BNE. If you have the usual sized carry on bag, customs won't give you a second glance. Loads of people travel light with just carry on bags.

Good point about not doing too much shopping to stay within weight limits.

Madrid
posts: 2,627
reviews: 7
9. Re: Can I leave the airport while in transit?

@rglady, Kiwis don't need visas to enter Australia.

That is not entirely true.Kiwis without criminal records do not need visas to enter Australia.I presume as the OP is visiting the USA,the issue does not come into question,but I have seen Kiwis refused entry and returned.

Sydney/Melbourne
posts: 10,468
reviews: 41
10. Re: Can I leave the airport while in transit?

>>Kiwis without criminal records do not need visas to enter Australia.I <<

Also not true.

To be denied entry, the criminal record must have carried a jail term of more than 12 months.

Definitely would not have got into the US. :-))

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