Brisbane airport is a large and modern airport serving the city of Brisbane and surrounds. It has direct international flights, together with being a domestic hub for much of Queensland and Northern NSW. It has a large (perhaps too large), single building Domestic Terminal with numerous aerobridge gates, a large shopping atrium, pubs and restaurants covered by free Wi-Fi It has a smaller and separate (almost intimate) International Terminal, with a smaller range of shopping and food, that can get quiet outside of peak times.
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There are interstate flights from all Australian capitals. Major domestic carriers include Virgin Australia, Jetstar, and Qantas. The airport is serviced by many regional airlines in Queensland and New South Wales. In particular Fly Corporate links the northern NSW towns of Armidale and Tamworth. Virgin and Qantas also operate to the NSW cities of Port Macquarie and Newcastle. There are also flights to Lord Howe Island with Qantaslink.
Domestic flights to Norfolk Island with Air New Zealand still leave from the International Terminal.
There are regional Queensland flights to make many cities and towns.
- Alliance Airlines, Fly Corporate, Jetstar, Skytrans Airlines, Qantas, QantasLink, Regional Express Airlines (REX), Virgin Australia
- Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Air Niugini, Air Vanuatu, Aircalin, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Emirates, Etihad, EVA Airways, Fiji Airways, Hainan Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Jetstar Airways, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Batik Air, Nauru Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Samoa Airways, Singapore Airlines, Solomon Airlines, Thai Airways, Virgin Australia
You can easily transfer from the airport to the city centre, or to the Gold Coast, or to the Sunshine Coast. Train, bus and transfer services make intermediate destinations accessible.
- Airtrain connects to the city from the airport every fifteen minutes during peak times and half hourly in non-peak times. Services stop all stations to Roma Street, including Fortitude Valley and Brisbane Central Stations. Most Airtrain services continue on to the Gold Coast. Travel time to the Brisbane CBD is around 30 minutes. Travel time to the Gold Coast is around 2 hours and bus and tram connections exist at major stations for connections to Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta and other Gold Coast destinations. Check the TransLink Journey Planner for connection details. Trains start running about 05:00. The last trains leave the city around 21:00 and the airport before 22:00. An adult fare to the city stations is $18.50 when purchased at a station or paid for with a Go Card smart card via the card readers at the station. Discounts are available when purchasing tickets online via the Airtrain website. Discounts apply for booking travel in advance, where 2 adults are travelling together, for groups and in some instances children under 14.
- Taxi A taxi from the airport to Brisbane Central (train) station costs a minimum of $35 in good traffic. A good option for getting into the city can therefore be for two or more travellers to share the cost of a taxi to Brisbane Central. All taxis are metered, and it is possible to share a cab (either officially, where each group pays 75% of the fare), or by informal agreement with the passengers before boarding (with multiple drop-off points, and a fare paid at the final destination). From Brisbane Central or Roma Street station a traveller can get to just about anywhere else in Brisbane.
- Uber The Domestic Terminal has a dedicated pick-up lane for pre-booked travel, including taxis and ride shares booked via a smartphone app. The pick-up lane is the second vehicle lane from the front of the terminal, and there are two zones, one for Qantas and one for Virgin/Tiger. From the International Terminal look for signs to the pre-booked pick up area at the side of the terminal. A $3.50 surcharge is added to your Uber fare.
- Con-X-Ion also provides transfers via shuttle bus to Brisbane City accommodation. Adult fare (one way) to Brisbane City is $20. Fares are cheaper if you buy a return ticket. You can end up waiting up to an hour if you try to book when you arrive at the airport, so pre-booking is a must and no refunds are allowed. Travel time varies depending on the number of passengers on the bus and traffic; it could be anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes.
- Public transportation via Airport Village Slowest and cheapest is using the T-bus and public transportation. You can get to town for around $4. From the airport, ride the free of charge T-bus to Skygate (Airport Village). The T-bus stops near the terminal building and not at the bus stop for other buses and vans (very easy to find though, or ask at the information counter), and only some of the T-buses go to the Airport Village (express buses only go between domestic and international whereas regular ones also go to Skygate every 20 minutes). From Skygate, wait at the place you got off the bus and take Translink bus 590 to Toombul Shopping Centre (only 2 stops). From there you can catch a train to the city. This costs under $4 with a go card, off peak. You can also buy single tickets, however that will be more expensive. You can purchase a go card at the Airtrain station for $30 ($10 deposit and $20 usable), but you cannot purchase the go card at the Airport Village or from a driver. Thus for the cheapest way of getting to town, first go to the Airtrain terminal to buy a go card but don't go through the turnstile and instead backtrack to the T-bus stop.
- By train. Surfside buses connect to the airtrain at Robina, covering the entire route down to Tweed Heads and all the way along the Gold Coast. You can buy a single ticket to cover the trip from the airport to your Gold Coast destination, costing around $30. Check the translink website for the best connection depending on where you are going on the Gold Coast.
- Con-X-ion offers a door-to-door transfer from $49 each way.
- Car hire. It is easy to drive from Brisbane airport to the Gold Coast. You can pick up hire cars from Brisbane Airport from all major providers. There are various routes, including the quickest is via the M1 and will take just over an hour (85 km).
The domestic terminal has separate ground floor check-in for the various operating airlines. Qantas to the left, Virgin to the right, and Jetstar in the centre. You then clear security, and take the escalators to the departures level above. Each airline has its own security processing next to the checkin. There is usually quick processing through security: the domestic terminal is all one building, and you can use any security for any airline section to get airside - and then go to your gate. If you've got your boarding pass, and you don't have luggage to check, you can just proceed through the closest security screening, and you don't need to follow the signs to any particular airline or gate.
Domestic to International Transfer
Allow sufficient time for the transfer between the international and domestic terminals. The terminals are 3 km apart and it is not possible to walk between them; the main road that connects them has no pedestrian walkway and is very busy.
Transfers between the airport terminals can be made on the Airtrain service. It offers connections during the day with a train every 15-30 min. The train fare is $5, $4.50 if you book a ticket online beforehand, and the trip is 2 min long. The Airtrain fare is included by Virgin Australia and by Qantas when connecting between their flights; just present your boarding pass to the Airtrain station staff.
- Domestic to International Transfers operate M-F 05:40–21:59, Sa Su 06:00-21:59 (last service).
- International to Domestic Transfers operate M-F 05:30–20:56, Sa Su 05:30–20:57.
For domestic to international connections, if your checked baggage is tagged through to your final destination, it will automatically be transferred to the international terminal, and you do not need to pick your bags up. However, for international to domestic connections, you will need to pick up your checked baggage and go through customs. If you are connecting to a Qantas or Virgin Australia domestic flight and your baggage it tagged through to your final destination, there is a domestic transfer desk located within the international terminal for you to drop your bags off before you proceed to the international terminal.
Another option is the TBus service, which is free. Services operate every 20 minutes and bus stops are outside the Qantas and Virgin Australia arrivals hall at the Domestic Terminal, and outside the arrivals hall at the International Terminal. TBus also services Skygate (Airport Village), which is close to the Direct Factory Outlet (DFO) , a small shopping centre that specialises in clothing and homewares stores, but also contains a food court. It's expensive, but worth checking out if you've got more than a few hours between flights. Be careful though, as the last bus back to the airport terminals is at 18:20.
Outside of Airtrain hours or if you have a limited connection time, a taxi is your only option.
The Qantas Club is available in the domestic terminal in a familiar style for Qantas Club members, Qantas Gold status members or higher, or those with eligible airline partner programs travelling with the airline. The superior Qantas Business Lounge is also available for passengers travelling in business class, and for those with eligible Qantas Platinum or Platinum One status, and eligible partner airline status holders.
The Virgin Australia Lounge is also in the domestic terminal for those flying Virgin Australia flights in business class, Velocity Gold or Platinum status members, or those with respective airline partner memberships.
There are seven lounges within the Brisbane International Terminal. This includes five airline lounges, namely the Qantas Brisbane International Lounge, Air New Zealand Lounge, Emirates Lounge, and Singapore Airlines Lounge. There are also two pay-per-use lounges available, My Lounge[dead link] and the Plaza Premium Lounge[dead link], which any passenger flying out of the International Terminal can access for a nominal fee. Some airlines also use the pay-per use lounges for eligible passengers to use prior to their flight.
Eat and drink
Brisbane domestic has only has a couple of food choices landside. A coffee shop near arrivals and another on the concourse outside.
Airside, there are restaurants and bars corresponding to each set of airline gates, but you are free to walk the length of the terminal and eat and drink where you like.
If you're looking for a cheapest bar, you'll find it in the Jetstar area towards the centre of the terminal. The bars at the Qantas end and the Virgin end tend to be more upmarket. The cheapest food comes from the fast food chains, and there are couple in the food courts at each end of the terminal airside, for example Hungry Jacks and Subway at the Qantas end.
Brisbane international has a quite a small range of eating places airside in an aitrium area.
There is a shopping row airside between the gates. Souvenirs, health, reading material. There is a single electronics gadget store at the Virgin end.
- JR/Duty Free, International Terminal. Duty free shop of the airport, with locations before and after passport control for arriving and departing flights respectfully.
- Duty Free on Arrival, Level 2, before passport control, ☏ . Open for every arriving flight.
- Duty Free on Departure, Level 3, after security and passport control, ☏ . Open for every departing flight.
- Free Wi-Fi is available in the International Terminal and the central part of the Domestic Terminal. Connect to "BNE Free Wi-Fi". Qantas offer free Wi-Fi in their lounges. There is no Wi-Fi in the Virgin Australia boarding lounges.
- Prayer Room, International Terminal Level 4 before security (next to the Flight Centre shop).
- Showers, Four different showers, two in each terminal. (International Terminal on Level 2 in the arrivals hall, and Level 3 after security; and Domestic Terminal in the central Terminal area on Level 2, near Gate 36, and in the central Terminal satellite, near Gate 26.). Very basic (but free) showers. Bring your own towels and toiletries.
There are three hotels located within the Brisbane Airport precinct, all which are located landside:
- 1 Novotel Brisbane Airport, 6-8 The Circuit, Brisbane Airport, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. The Novotel Brisbane Airport is at the southern edge of the airport precinct, near to several shops and retail outlets.
- 2 Pullman Brisbane Airport Hotel, 2 Dryandra Road, Brisbane Airport, ☏ , email@example.com. A short walk away from the Domestic Terminal, and adjacent to the Ibis.
- 3 Ibis Brisbane Airport Hotel, 2 Dryandra Road, Brisbane Airport, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org.
The airport terminals are at the end of an airport express road, with very little available until you get out of the airport precinct. The Airport Village, with DFO (shopping) is an easy (free) bus trip from the airport. If you have 4 hours or more layover, you could consider the airtrain into the city, to spend some time at Southbank, etc.