I've got a problem and would like to hear some experiences or tips, what i can do;

My flight goes from Christchurch to Sydney, arriving at 8:05 - i booked this flight with Jetstar, when i wanted to fly in to NZ.

I just wanted to change the plane in Sydney, to fly to Asia, but wasn't sure where to go jet.

Now i booked another flight over bali to ende from sydney with "Garuda Indonesia". It takes of at 10:25 - leaving 2:15 to change the plane - not a problem i thought, if you normally change the plane on a flight times like this are common.

...later i realized my stupidity: If you have a normal stop over, you don't have to care about your bag - but if you have 2 independently booked flights, i have to get my backpack, and check it in for the other flight! - and to get to my bag, i have to migrate to the country, right?

All in all: Looong waiting times. I've still got a working holiday visa for australia, so that's not a problem, but checkin normally get's closed one hour before takeoff, leaving me with one hour to run out of the plane, migrate to the country, get my bag, go through the food checks (in NZ i had to unpack my tent - maybe they want me to do the same in AU because of their strict policies) and find the checkin place - That's a keen plan!

SO: Do you think this is possible?

And better: Do you know if i could do anything to improve my situation? Can i maybe tell Jetstar to directly check in my bag for the other flight? (Yeah, i know, i can't expect any service from jetstar, though, i would pay for it). Or can i tell Garuda Indonesia to grab my bag for me?

Or do you think i could at least ask on checkin in christchurch that they should store my bag on top, so it's gone be one of the first at the baggage claim (imagine i have to wait there till my bag finally comes up...!)

Changing flight dates isn't possible - i would have to rebook the flight. And before i do that, I'll at least try it! "Mission impossible"! ^^

I'm happy about every tipp / past experience =)

  • 1
    Citizenship? Makes a difference for arrival procedures.
    – Mark Mayo
    Apr 15, 2015 at 13:53

1 Answer 1


It CAN be possible, but when it comes down to it, it's going to be up to you to decide whether or not to take the risk.

I've flown from Christchurch to Sydney twice in the past three weeks (wedding season). Both times I went from on the tarmac in the plane, to on the train going into the city in under 20 minutes (last time was closer to 10 minutes!). Now it helped that I only had carry-on, but there are things I do that do help speed up. You can do some of them, and you can also prepare for the departure.


  1. Have a look at the Sydney airport maps. Familiarise yourself with the airport terminal layout. Arrivals is on the floor under departures.

  2. On the plane, have a pen ready, and fill out the arrivals card. Have all your documents ready. When the plane opens, RUN. I'm not kidding. I don't run, but I do make the effort to pass almost all the other passengers, because the lines at immigration and customs can be LONG (not as bad as I've had in Melbourne, but pretty frustrating).

  3. If you can use the smart-gates, grab the first free terminal you see, process yourself, and head straight to the gates, and down to the baggage.

  4. Now you're in the time where you don't have control - the bags might get delayed. Position yourself next to where the bags come out. Grab yours and head to the closest and shortest customs queue.

  5. You'll have cleaned your tent and camping gear before the flight, right? DO SO. Also make sure not to have any of the other banned foods or plant material. Hopefully this will speed up your customs time.

  6. Right, now you're out of customs. Turn right, and right again and you'll see the escalator up to Departures. Up you run, and...


  1. you'll have checked in online if possible for your ticket, right?

  2. Ideally you'll also have looked at the website before your flight from Christchurch and worked out which counter to head to. Head there and drop off your bag, hopefully in time.

  3. Continue through the check-in area and you're max 3 minutes walk from customs. If you get through there, then you're probably home free and on your flight. Hooray, celebrate with a drink.


  1. Ring up the airline. Perhaps they can offer an alternative flight. Virgin Australia, for example, will sometimes let you go on an earlier flight if there are seats available, even if you're on a non-changeable ticket (speaking from experience).

  2. Failing that, you're going to have to decide on the risk of possibly having to buy another international ticket from Sydney, or buying a new one TO Sydney.

Good luck!

  • Thanks a lot for your tips! You are Australian Citizen, that should make immigration easier for you too. The thing i'm most worried about is the waiting time for the luggage claim - did you ever flew Christchurch to sydney with jetstar, or always with virgin? Or did you experienced longer waiting times with jetstar on other flights? ...really not quite sure what to do... i could change the flight for 180$ to an earlier date... or i just spend some days in sydney if i should miss it, and pay roughly dubble the price for a new flight out of Sydney (not taking into account that accomm
    – user28586
    Apr 16, 2015 at 12:50

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