American Express cardholders get fast track lane at Sydney Airport

American Express cardholders get fast track lane at Sydney Airport

Selected American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders can now cut the queues at outbound passport control and security screening when travelling internationally from Sydney Airport.

Simply flash your credit card and boarding pass at the dedicated Express Path entrance – located at row D in the check-in hall and opposite from the Qantas First Class desks – and you’ll be whisked through the airport ahead of the general queue.

It’s available to holders of the following American Express card types issued in Australia, along with up to four companions:

After clearing immigration and security, it’s straight to the American Express Sydney Airport lounge for a drop of bubbly, a nice meal before the flight or even a quick barista-made latte.

The new American Express lounge at Sydney Airport

Well-heeled travellers equipped with top-tier AMEX cards from other banks such as ANZ Rewards Black, CBA Diamond Awards and Westpac Altitude Black aren’t eligible for the Express Path, but can still visit the American Express lounge twice per year at no charge.

Despite the VIP treatment on your outbound journey, chances are your experience upon returning to Sydney will actually be much more chaotic as the dedicated Express Path exits have been removed in the arrivals hall in favour of generic ‘red’ and ‘green’ channels used by all travellers.

That means you’ll be forced to join the very back of the main queue – even with a shiny AMEX or an airline-issued Express Path card – which isn’t a great way to arrive home after a long international flight.

Read: Sydney Airport cuts Express Path for international passengers

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Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

23 comments

  • Alex

    tm_smile

    23 Jan, 2015 10:33 am

    I have to say, landing in Syd at 7am on Wednesday morning, the nothing to declare channel worked great. From getting off the plane to in a taxi in 20mins. Many more egate machines to insert your passport and the way the new lines are organised well. May have been a little different had we landed 10mins later after thr VA flight got their baggage, but overall I was impressed. 

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  • Moff

    Moff

    23 Jan, 2015 10:41 am

    I agree. Arriving a couple of weeks ago with a lot of baggage I was worried. However, everything did seem to go quite smoothly.

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  • rob01

    rob01

    23 Jan, 2015 10:51 am

    I was apprehensive when recently arriving back in Sydney after reading that the express lines were gone. But we managed to get through pretty quickly and it was fine. I have to say that my experience had often been that there were either no queues, in which case you don't need the express path, or if it was heaving staff would start directing people through all avialable paths, making the express card useless!

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    23 Jan, 2015 11:22 am

    Glad to hear that the new arrivals setup worked for the three of you – my last arrival into Sydney involved a half-hour wait just to get to the front of the green channel!

    Express lanes are of course redundant when there's no queue (or when the lines are short), but when you have a chaotic mix of A380s, 747s and 777s all landing at the same time, that's when you need the Express Path I daresay!

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  • rob01

    rob01

    23 Jan, 2015 12:26 pm

    Agree - although in my xperience that's when everyone just starts using the express queue becuase of the chaos!

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  • Alpha  Charlie

    AV

    23 Jan, 2015 11:50 am

    • I take it American Express Velocity Platinum Card can't use this?  What a shame!
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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    23 Jan, 2015 11:57 am

    Nope, only the cards mentioned above.

    However you can still use Express Path if your airline provides an invitation, and your AMEX Velocity Platinum card will get you into the American Express lounge twice each calendar year, so it's not all bad!

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  • henrus

    henrus

    23 Jan, 2015 12:41 pm

    Does anyone have a link to this?

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  • Fonga

    Fonga

    23 Jan, 2015 12:46 pm

    There is something inherently dodgy about an express pathway through immigration and security simply because someone holds a particular credit card. It is perhaps the one part of the whole air travel journey that everyone has to lump in together. Seems wrong that government should give privelege to some travellers over others for what I presume is a commercial arrangement. We should all be treated the same.

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  • henrus

    henrus

    23 Jan, 2015 12:52 pm

    I think the express lounge is run by the airport and not the government. I think this is a deal between Amex and SYD Airport due to their new lounge

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  • markpk

    markpk

    23 Jan, 2015 06:26 pm

    Inherently dodgy? No more so than premium flyers getting express path cards from airlines (who are mere tenants)

    Other than AQIS, AFP, and Customs, most other services at Sydney airport are run by or contracted by SAH - a public company that was given a license to rip us off find ways to innovate and extract money from the suckers travellers who "MUST" travel through the long term, contract protected monopoly airport that, coincidently is ideally placed, and incredibly convenient for all greater Sydney basin residents. 

    Like the airlines, American Express is merely a tenant and clearly they've negotiated some downstream customer benefits...

    Inherently dodgy? I think you're barking up the wrong tree!

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  • eminere

    eminere

    25 Jan, 2015 12:06 pm

    Express lanes should be reserved for frequent/premium cabin travellers only, not for those who happen to hold a particular credit card.

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  • henrus

    henrus

    23 Jan, 2015 12:51 pm

    What about

    • American Express Qantas Corporate Platinum Card
    • American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card
    I am supprised as they are both Amex Branded cards (ie not from other banks) and have access to their lounge
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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    23 Jan, 2015 01:02 pm

    Nope, as mentioned above the full list of AMEX cards that provide Express Path access can be found within the article.

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  • Rkwm

    Rkwm

    23 Jan, 2015 01:41 pm

    Absolutly shocked the Amex Platinum Debit card is not included in your list .I will take this up with Amex.

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  • dls1976

    dls1976

    23 Jan, 2015 01:49 pm

    My god, I just looked up the cost of the Amex Centurion card, $7500 initiation fee followed by an annual fee of $2500. Hope they get more perks than just an express trip through security.

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  • eminere

    eminere

    25 Jan, 2015 12:07 pm

    It comes bundled with a DYKWIA attitude for free.

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  • Serg

    Serg

    23 Jan, 2015 02:11 pm

    "Well-heeled travellers equipped with top-tier AMEX cards from other banks such as ANZ Rewards Black, CBA Diamond Awards and Westpac Altitude Black aren’t eligible for the Express Path, but can still visit the American Express lounge twice per year at no charge."

    Really strange indeed.

    No member give thanks

  • moa999

    moa999

    23 Jan, 2015 03:13 pm

    Not at all.

    The cards that get the Express Path are the same that get Unlimited visits to the Amex lounge.

    The cards that only get 2 annual visits, get no Express Path access.

    Amex clearly differentiating between its really good (and expensive) cards and the more basic ones

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  • ds7777

    ds7777

    23 Jan, 2015 09:56 pm

    any news on when an Amex lounge will open in Melbourne?

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  • zzap

    zzap

    12 Feb, 2015 04:47 pm

    What about non-Australian issued Amexes? e.g. the US Amex Platinum Charge Card.

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  • Merc25

    Merc25

    3 Apr, 2017 01:19 pm

    most centurion card holders like myself fly business or first class anyway, so we get express card benefits anyway ,anyone can get the same benefits by purchasing a business class ticket 
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  • Merc25

    Merc25

    3 Apr, 2017 01:21 pm

    i wish we had a amex lounge in Melbourne
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21 Jul, 2019 10:42 am

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