'Smarter check-in services' to benefit business travellers

FEWER flight delays and faster check-ins have been promised to QantasLink passengers travelling between Coffs Harbour and Sydney's congested airport.

From this week, all Coffs travellers will arrive and depart from Sydney Airport's Terminal 3, which is occupied exclusively by Qantas.

The move means QantasLink services will no longer have to compete with other airlines for departure times and passengers switching to Qantas domestic and international flights won't have to transfer to other terminals.

When Qantas flagged plans to run all of its services out of the one terminal earlier this year, the Sydney Airport Corporation proposed to lift a freeze on charges for all regional airlines operating out of Terminals 2 and 3.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reviewed the proposal and announced on Thursday that it would not object to the charges (about $10 per passenger) being re-introduced from August 6.

QantasLink operates 35 return flights to Coffs Harbour every week.

Ticket prices are tipped to rise in the next year but the move to Terminal 3 will have its perks.

Qantas Domestic CEO Lyell Strambi said the terminals "faster, smarter check-in services" would reduce check-in times and be of huge benefit to the growing number of business travellers between Coffs and Sydney.

He said customers using the airline's premium lounges, like the Qantas Club, which was recently fitted out with 80 extra seats, would be able to wait "just moments" from their aircraft.

Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight said she was glad local travellers were being offered the same level of service as city customers and hoped the changes would encourage more visitors to the region.



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