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Sydney Airport warmly welcomes thousands of passengers every day through our domestic and international terminals. We are committed to providing an inclusive and accessible experience for all passengers and visitors.

The staff that work at Sydney Airport, including volunteer Airport Ambassadors are dynamic, caring, helpful, proactive and approachable and work as a team to ensure your experience is one of ease as your travel through Sydney Airport.

About SYD

Sydney Airport consists of three terminals:

  • T1 refers to the International Terminal where all international flights arrive and depart from
  • T2 refers to the Domestic Terminal where all Virgin, Jetstar, Rex, Fly Pelican and Fly Corporate flights arrive and depart from
  • T3 refers to the Domestic Terminal where all Qantas domestic flights arrive and depart from
Planning for travel
Booking your tickets

Airlines offer differing levels of service and ‘special assistance’ to passengers. Check with your airline before you book your flight, to check that their inclusion and accessibility policies, procedures and services meet your needs.

Travel agents can be very helpful with this process. Your chosen airline or travel agent can also give advice on:

  • Fitness for travel
  • Visa and passport requirements, for international travel
  • Correct check-in times, or if in transit, minimum connection time requirements
  • Travel Insurance
  • Accessible accommodation

You can also find more information about preparing for travel, passports and visas here.

Health and wellbeing

Being in good health helps you to be physically and emotionally prepared for travel. Being prepared in advance of your trip will make your journey more enjoyable and hassle-free. Consider the following 4 steps in your preparation:

  1. Visit your doctor 6-8 weeks prior to travelling and discuss your medical and health needs (physical, mental, emotional) relating to travel. Some airlines may require medical clearance in order for you to fly.

  2. Ask your doctor for supporting medical documentation and medication lists (including powdered supplements) - for example, a letter, prescription or medical card. Include details of artificial limbs, medical implants such as hip replacements or pacemakers and any medical devices or aids you may require during your flight, as these will support you going through security process.

  3. Explore ways you can care for your body when flying and travelling - hydration, wear comfortable clothing including something warm, moving/exercises to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), self-catering if you have special dietary requirements and breathing exercises to assist with any phobias or anxiety you may have about flying.

  4. Log your trip with SmartTraveller if travelling overseas, and make use of the resources provided by the Department of Home Affairs for travelling with specific needs.
Hidden disabilities

Wearing a sunflower lanyard at Sydney Airport enables staff to recognise that you have a hidden disability. If you would like to identify your hidden disability, you can pick up a hidden disabilities lanyard at one of the following locations:

  • The Airport Services Centre located on Level 3 (Administration) at T1 International terminal
  • The Ambassadors information desk on Arrivals level at T2 Domestic terminal
  • The oversized luggage counter on Departures level at T3 Domestic terminal

At security screening and passport control this lets staff know that you may need more time and support through processes. Where possible, staff will facilitate you through the special assistance lanes. Note this lanyard does not give you fast track access through security or passport control.

If you haven't done so already, be sure to contact your airline and make them aware of any special assistance requirements that you may have before you travel.

Sensory awareness

The way we process sensory input is a major factor in how we participate in our environment.

The airport environment can be intense and overwhelming due to the sensory demands (for example, things you see, hear, touch, smell and feel) and because of the processes, such as check-in and security, that we are required to participate in.

Sensory awareness

Sensory friendly travel tips

Some things that can support your participation at Sydney Airport are:

  • Clothing – sunglasses; cap/hat; multi layered clothing
  • Specific sensory items - noise cancelling headphones; fidget items; tablet apps; scented handkerchief
  • Body Care – finding opportunities to engage in active and supportive movement such as walking around the terminal or whilst sitting, lifting knees or weight bearing through your arms; choosing the most supportive and safe method of travel (lift vs. escalator or stairs); breathing and body awareness techniques
  • Sensory maps- review our map and choose the sensory friendly route

Before you arrive at the airport, it is important to confirm with your airline the number of bags and weight of each item you can take on your flight. This information should also be displayed on your ticket.

It is acceptable to pack a reasonable amount of essential items for your flight in your carry-on baggage, such as medicines and/or hypodermic needles. All other medicines and medical aids need to be packed in your checked baggage.

Medical aids such as oxygen tanks and wheelchairs can all be catered for. Please check with your airline.

Assistance animals

Assistance animals are welcome inside our terminal. Information regarding the eligibility and travel requirements is available on the Department of Agriculture website.

checkin dog

48 hours prior to travel

It’s almost time to take off!

The standard timeframe needed for airlines and service providers such as travel agents to arrange specific assistance is 48 hours. This means it is now time to:

  • Reconfirm your flight and check-in time with your airline
  • Confirm assistance requirements with your airline
  • If travelling internationally, there is an option to access duty-free shopping online
  • Download and print our helpful Journey Planner
Getting to the airport
Transport options

There are many ground transport options available for all passengers for arriving at all of our terminals including: car, bus, train, shuttle, taxi, ride share operators such as Uber and UberAssist, rental cars, limousines, self drive and, bikes.


For more information on transport options, visit our Transport options page.

Accessible parking

Sydney Airport provides accessible parking for people with mobility parking permits within the Domestic and International car parks. There are a total of 60 disability accessible parking bays across the three on precinct Domestic car parks. At the International precinct, there are three separate designated parking areas, with a total of 56 disabled bays available. You will find these spaces clearly signed.

More information on accessible parking options can be found on our parking page.

Our maps showing parking and walking distances you need to travel, will help you navigate your way through this part of your journey.

Accessible drop-off at the airport

Kerbside accessibility trial at T1 Departures

To help improve your experience at Sydney Airport, we recently launched a kerbside accessibility trial at T1 Departures to support passengers requiring assistance into the terminal or check-in.

  • If you require assistance at the kerb, you can park in the designated blue accessibility parking zones (where you have an eligible disability sticker), or adjacent to a blue accessibility parking zone along Departures Roadway.
  • You can ask for assistance by notifying kerbside staff, who will call for a customer service team member.
  • Vehicles must not be left unattended at the kerb at any time. Either the driver or passenger(s) must remain with the vehicle until assistance has arrived.
  • A customer service team member will assist you inside the terminal and take you to your airline check-in desk, or a designated waiting area if check-in is not open.
  • Please note this service is for people needing wheelchair assistance only - staff cannot assist with baggage or personal items. Baggage trolleys are available at T1 Departures along the roadside.
  • During peak periods, wait times may be a little longer and we appreciate your patience during this time.

Please note this trial is a service from kerb to check-in only. Accessibility bookings must be made directly with your airline when booking your travel ticket. Check with your airline before you book your flight to understand if their inclusion and accessibility policies, procedures and services meet your needs.

If you have any questions or feedback about the trial, please contact

accessibledrop spot Above: Accessible drop off signage at T1 Departures

blue accessible drop Above: Blue accessibility parking zones

Taxi, rideshare, hire car and limousine drivers with accessible passengers

Taxi, rideshare, hire car and limousine drivers with unaccompanied passengers should stop in one of the accessible drop off zones at the kerbside outside the terminals.

Drivers can leave their vehicle to enter the terminal and alert a staff member from the relevant airline that there is a passenger in their vehicle requiring mobility assistance from the kerbside to the airport terminal, or alternatively notify a member of Sydney Airport’s kerbside management team who will alert a staff member from the relevant airline.

Passengers should remain in the vehicle during this time to ensure that vehicles in proximity to the terminal are not left unattended for security reasons.

Preparing for your departure
Check in

In general, each passenger is responsible for lifting their luggage onto the weigh belt at check-in. If travelling by yourself and you need assistance with your luggage, pre-arrange support by contacting your airline. Your travel agent can also assist you with this.

Check-in locations

Check-in counters are located on Level 2, Departures in all of our terminals.

Types of Check-In Available

Depending on your airline, there may be different options which may include mobile check-in, online check-in, check-in kiosks, auto check-in and airport check-in. Thinking ahead and planning the way you check-in for your flight, may also determine the assistance you can access.

Check-In Deadlines

Confirming deadline for check-in with your airline is important. Carriers are not able to delay flights and being late may result in the loss of your fare.


Be aware of the luggage size, weight and content requirements as each airline’s requirements will differ. In general, each passenger is responsible for lifting their luggage onto the weigh belt at check-in. If travelling by yourself and you need assistance with your luggage, pre-arrange support by contacting your airline. Your travel agent can also assist you with this.


Domestic: You will need to present your ticket, identification such as a drivers license or proof of age card, and boarding pass if you have already have one from a check-in kiosk.

International: You will need to present your passport and ticket.

Flight Information Displays (FIDS)

The terminals have many Flight Information Display Screens (FIDS) throughout the public areas to advise flight arrival and departure times, boarding calls, ‘flight landed’ information, gate numbers and baggage carousel details.

In keeping with Sydney Airport’s quiet terminal initiative, in T1, passenger and flight announcements will be contained to gate areas. Any essential announcements will be made across the terminal.

You can also check the status of your flight through the Sydney Airport website, @flySYD Facebook and Twitter.



Security is a service and a government requirement that provides safe travel for all passengers and is an important part of your journey. Sometimes the security process may feel stressful. We encourage you become familiar with the following information and to take your time as you move through the security process.

Location of Security

Security is on the same level as Check-In. If it is not immediately visible to you, ask staff at the check-in counter or one of our volunteer Airport Ambassadors to direct you.

Clearing Security with ease

The key to clearing security with ease is to be prepared and remain calm. Remember security is a service that ensures your safety. You can help the flow of the security process by

  • Having your ticket and passport ready (if travelling from T1 International)
  • Providing all supporting medical documentation (i.e., letter from relevant qualified medical professional) and medicine lists (including powdered supplements) to security staff
  • You also have the choice to use Lane 3, which is a dedicated assistance aisle

Getting to know the security process

Always leave ample time to make your way through security, particularly if you have implants, pacemakers, walk aids and or other prosthesis.

During the security process, you will be asked to take part in a security screening (i.e., X-ray, Body Scanner and Metal Detector) or a physical search (or pat down) and/ an Explosive Trace Detection (ETD).


  • Your personal items will be placed on the conveyor belt for screening. If you use a walking aid or a wheelchair, it will be screened using an x-ray
  • There are chairs available for you to use during this process, if needed
  • If you need your walking aid, to move through the Body Scanner and Metal Detector, security staff will provide a walking stick to use as they scan your personal walking aid


Body Scanner and Metal Detectors

  • For passengers who use a wheelchair, you will be asked by security staff if you can walk through the Body Scanner or Metal Detector. If you can walk unaided you can proceed through the Body Scanner and Metal Detector
  • If you use a assistance animal, you will be asked to walk through the security metal detector with your assistance animal (harness attached)

Body scanner

Physical Search or pat down

  • If you are unable to walk through the Body Scanner or Metal Detector, you will be asked by security staff for your consent to participate in a physical or pat down search
  • Provide security staff with all relevant medical information
  • If you prefer, you can ask to have this search completed in a private room and/ with someone of the same gender as you

Physical search

Explosive Trace Detectors (ETD)

  • You may be selected for a random ETD test. This is completed just after the x-ray and Body Scanner and Metal Detector screening
  • Security staff will ask if you have completed an ETD previously, and if not, they will explain the process.


You will find more detailed information on security at Sydney Airport here.

Passport control

If you’re departing from T1 International terminal, you will be required to go through passport control either electronically via SmartGate or manually with an Australian Border Force (ABF) Officer.

Families travelling with young children, passengers who are unable to use Smartgate without assistance and those with non-scannable passports will be directed to an Australian Border Force Officer for manual processing.

How to use SmartGates

  • Place your passport into the passport reader
  • Collect your passport when the passport reader returns it
  • Select your flight if asked by SmartGate
  • Step into the departures SmartGate
  • Look at the camera while it takes your photograph
  • The gates will open. Exit with your bags

If using the departures SmartGates does not work for you, you will be checked by an Australian Border Force officer.

Making your way through the terminal

Once you have cleared security you may have time to enjoy the facilities at Sydney Airport. Using the lifts is advised if you have luggage with you. There are also escalators provided.

Throughout the airport, you will find many retail shops, including duty free shopping and varied food and beverage outlet. You will also find facilities such as accessible bathrooms, pharmacies, ATMS, drinking fountains, charging station, printers, public telephones and TTY phones. A full list of accessible services and facilities can be found here.

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout our terminals.

If you are walking to your gate, orientate yourself by looking out for signage. To assist with wayfinding through the terminal you can use:

  • In terminal wayfinding kiosks
  • Google Maps
  • Google Maps Indoor Live View
  • Apple Maps
  • Baidu
  • Skyteam App

You can view or download our terminal maps here.

Medical assistance

If you require immediate medical assistance, please present yourself to any airport employee or volunteer ambassador and request Sydney Airport First Aid.

At the gate

Accessing your plane

An aircraft is accessed usually via ramps and aerobridge. If you need wheelchair assistance, please pre-arrange with the airline 48 hours prior.

Boarding your plane

Boarding will be managed by your airline. General timings are listed as below.

TerminalArrive to gate
T1 International60 minutes prior
T2 Domestic30 minutes prior
T3 Domestic30 minutes prior


Visual impairment

If you are a blind or low visibility traveller, you can use a free service to help you navigate your way through Sydney Airport’s International and Domestic terminals. Please visit the Aira website to find out more.

Preparing for arrival

Most aircraft will usually disembark via an aerobridge, however some flights may require passengers to exit via stairs to the tarmac.

If you have advised your airline of your additional assistance requirements, assistance will be ready and available to you.

Passport control

If you are arriving on an international flight you will need to participate in passport control processes. Please make sure you have your passport, visa (if applicable) and completed incoming passenger card which you would have received on board the aircraft.

You will be required to go through passport control either electronically via SmartGate or manually with an Australian Border Force (ABF) Officer.

Families travelling with young children, passengers who are unable to use Smartgate without assistance and those with non-scannable passports will be directed to an Australian Border Force Officer for manual processing.

Quarantine and Biosecurity

To help protect Australia’s environment, Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and Australian Border Force Officers screen all incoming international passengers and their belongings.

It is mandatory to declare certain items on your Incoming Passenger Card. Your bags may be checked as part of this process.

If you have any specific enquiries regarding these procedures including additional information on assistance animals please contact the Department of Home Affairs or the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Baggage reclaim

You will now collect your luggage from the baggage reclaim area. If you require assistance removing your luggage from the carousel, please make direct contact with your airline.

baggage reclaim

Delayed baggage

If you’re unable to locate your bag on arrival from the baggage reclaim, you will need to approach airline staff at the airport to complete a report to describe your bag in detail, along with your contact information and delivery address. You can follow up with your airline’s ground handler here.

Transfer flights

Your airline will be able to advise if you need to collect your luggage, before transferring for your next flight.

If you are transferring from the International terminal to Domestic terminal, all passengers must collect their luggage and pass through passport control and Quarantine requirements before transferring to the Domestic Terminal.

Leaving the airport
Terminal transfers

The following options are available if you are transferring between T1 International and T2/T3 Domestic terminals. Should you require assistance, please contact your airline to see what assistance they are able to offer.

If you are transferring on a Qantas or Virgin Australia flight, you may be eligible to use an airline transfer service. For more information and to confirm your eligibility please click here.


  • Airport Link offers a $7.00 (one way, per person) single transfer ticket for passengers travelling between the T1 International and T2/T3 Domestic terminals via train. However, pricing does vary if the traveller is using an Opal Card.

  • The journey takes only two minutes and there are frequent services between 5am and midnight, seven days a week.



  • Kerbside staff can assist you with organising specific requirements you have for transport (i.e., wheelchair accessible taxis).

  • A taxi journey between T1 International and the T2/T3 Domestic terminals will take up to 10 minutes, depending on the time of day

  • The approximate cost for this journey is $18.00 - $23.00 (one way, per taxi)


Transport options from the airport

There are many ground transport options available for all passengers departing from all of our terminals including: car, bus, train, shuttle, taxi, ride share operators such as Uber and UberAssist, rental cars, limousines, self drive and, bikes.

More information can be found here.

Picking up at the airport

Two accessible pick up spaces are available on the Arrivals level of all terminals with wheelchair ramps. Drivers must remain with their vehicle at all times.


Pick up when no Mobility Parking Permit is displayed

If you are picking up a passenger with a disability, and as a driver you do not have a Mobility Parking Permit, the driver may utilise the disabled zones. However, the passenger with the disability must be waiting at the kerbside.

Useful resources
Accessible facilities

For a full list of accessible facilities throughout our terminals, visit our accessible facilities and services page.

Visual Social Stories

A visual social story is a picture based explanation of what to expect and what you’re expected to do when visiting the airport. It can help you to understand what is going to happen, and prepare for your journey.

T1 International - Departures

T1 International - Arrivals

Journey Planner

Download and print our helpful Journey Planner before you travel. Refer to the planner throughout your journey for tips, reminders and useful contact information.

Medical Travel Companions

If you require additional medical assistance* before, during or after your flight, Medical Travel Companions offer a comprehensive assistance service for passengers travelling through Sydney Airport.

Visit the Medical Travel Companions website for more information.

*Please note, airlines have complimentary support services as part of your airline ticket. We recommend confirming the level of service offered by your airline prior to booking.

Useful links

Here are some links to useful resources that will help towards a smooth journey. Don't forget to plan ahead.


We monitor the service delivery at all Sydney Airport services and facilities. We aim to address and resolve any issues that arise by:

  • Complying with Part 8 of the Airport Act of 1996 and Airport Regulations 1997
  • Participating in Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Service Quality (ASQ) surveys
  • Independently running customer satisfaction surveys
  • Providing a complaints monitoring and reporting system managed by Sydney Airport’s Customer Experience team
  • Implementing various communication strategies