I’m sitting in Brisbane International airport with a 4 hour delay till the plane leaves for New Zealand, and. I was thinking about the changes happening at dear wee airport – POM.
Right now Port Moresby International Airport (Jackson’s) is going through a major refurbishment. But this means reduced services, no cafe’s, limited duty free, less seating, and NO AIR CON! I know…. Basically, they have a bunch of high wall aircon’s around the place trying to cool down a couple of hundred people. In outbound customs there is 1 AC… And lots of big fans that will chop off kids hands if they accidentally poke their fingers in there.
So, what are the benefits of all this change? Well, for one – outbound customs have a proper dedicated express lane (where you can use those express passes that you have collected). There will be new services and shops, and generally they will try and bring the airport up to modern standards.
No longer do you have to go through a scanning machine at the entry to the building (thankfully), and security after customs, although only one machine, is quite fast with guys that seem to know what they are doing…
We still have lots of confusion around though so here is my cheat sheet:
1. Grab lots of customs cards, fill them out at home before you go to the airport – there is no pens, no anywhere currently to fill this out.
2. Go early! Then, go have coffee at airways. Get an express pass so that you can clear customs quickly
3. Join a frequent flyer program! For the record Virgin Australia have cheaper flights, and better program for families. Both Jacinta and myself are Platinum or Gold with Virgin due to family pooling of status credits.
4. Your bag gets checked for liquids just before you board – be prepared!
5. When checking in, make sure they put your bag tag on the bag
6. Listen carefully, the screens are small and the boarding calls can be missed. 45 minutes from flight departure should have you listening to the calls – especially as sometimes there are 5 flights very close together
7. Did I mention getting an express pass? No one ever takes these off you, so try to beg borrow steal – or earn one, then use it just to get through outbound customs. The guy at premium checkin will give you one each 🙂 (that’s 5 for us)
8. Don’t wear jeans! It’s hot in there…
9. Flying at the pointy end is better than the back 😉
Domestic next time 🙂