✅ Trip Verified
| I travelled for business reasons from the US to Tokyo, Sydney, Auckland, Sydney, and Tokyo, before finally returning to the US. Use of American airports is relatively pleasant as I have signed up for the Global Entry program, I used both Haneda and Narita International Airports and found the experience to be outstanding as usual, followed quite closely by Auckland International Airport. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Sydney International Airport. Because I was in business class, Qantas Airways kindly presented me with an Express Path pass which turned out to be completely useless. On my first arrival into Sydney from Tokyo, the international terminal was "jammed" as usual. I followed the Express Path signage, only to find it to be blocked off in the immediate immigration queuing area. When I inquired from airport personnel, she stated in a rude and abrupt manner that "it's closed", with no other explanation given. Consoled to using the extremely lengthy regular line for non citizens and residents, I asked another employee if there was any alternative for Express Path pass holders (thinking that it was just closed because it was outside of normal operating hours), showing her the pass with my US passport. Like with the previous airport agent, she just scowled and said "no". Now, it also has to be pointed out that overall signage in the international terminal is abysmal, particularly in the way of explanations. While waiting at the end of the long immigration line, I noticed some passport holders (without Australian passports) using kiosks off to the right side of the hall. I also saw that there was an electronic sign that indicated passengers from certain countries could use the kiosks. So rather than wait what seemed to be way more than an hour in line (far worse than anything I've seen at LAX) I tried the kiosk and was very relieved that it worked. I only then wondered why both airport personnel, after having seen my US passport, couldn't advise me to use the kiosks. As well I thought, why couldn't signage offer more explicit and detailed explanations for certain passport holders to use the kiosks. One last note - on my return to Sydney from Auckland, my seatmate was a New Zealander who lived and worked in Sydney for almost 40 years. She remarked how she disliked using Sydney International Airport because of the rudeness of airport personnel and the lack of adequate airport facilities, signage, etc. I couldn't hold back and quickly told her that I was in complete agreement. Moreover, in contrast Auckland was the opposite - though smaller, Auckland Airport personnel were immensely polite and pleasant. We both agreed that Sydney Airport personnel have very little pride or sincerity in the performance of their work, and set a poor tone for foreign visitors. Upon deplaning the Qantas flight from Auckland, we both smiled to each other, while shaking our heads as we approached the immigration lines. Only this time, I knew well enough to use the entry kiosks, thereby avoiding the "sourpuss" employees.