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AIRPORT RIPOFF

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DISGUSTING GOUGING OF TRAVELLERS

There are many things to avoid in life and one of them is the systematic gouging and ripping off of airline passengers. So if you play it smart, you will be aware of these disgraceful scams - and as far as I am concerned, charging 3 to 5 times the normal price of a product, that is a scam. Most airports in the world rip off travellers, simply because airport operators know that they literally have a captive audience who have no alternative to purchase reasonably priced goods. The following example is for Sydney Airport, but most airports are the same.

ARRIVING AT SYDNEY AIRPORT

There are a number of choices for travellers going to Sydney Airport - Airport Link train, taxis, buses and private cars.

Airport Link Train

We all know about the infamous Great Train Robbery in Britain, but there is another type of Great Train Robbery happening in Sydney every day. This is the cost of using the Airport Link train from the Sydney CBD to Sydney Airport, a very short distance. The fares can only be described as a monumental ripoff and should be avoided at all times. Although the Airport Link train runs on the same rails as the rest of the CityRail trains and uses the same trains, the fares are ridiculously steep because the Airport Link is a private company. The former NSW Labor government was too inept to provide a train line to the most important facility in Sydney, so it farmed this project out to a private company that is now gouging travellers like a robber baron.

In 2014, if you bought a normal single adult fare to take a train that went four stations on the normal CityRail network, let's say from Artarmon to North Sydney, it would have cost $3.80. But if you took the Airport Link train from the city to Sydney Domestic Airport, the same number of stations, the adult single fare was a whopping $16.40 - nearly 4 times the price of a four-station journey on a regular CityRail train and this is subject to rise periodically.

Charging passengers double the normal CityRail fare for the distance might be somehow justified by a private company, but to charge nearly 4 times the CityRail fare to travel four stations from the Sydney CBD to the airport is a sick joke and a blatant ripoff. So if two people are going from the Sydney CBD to the Domestic Terminal at Sydney Airport, the one-way adult fares on the Airport Link train would cost $32.80.

As the airport domestic and international terminals are only a few kilometres from the Sydney CBD, the cab fare would be around $25 to $30 at the most. So what is a better proposition? Two people lugging bags on and off a train to get to the airport, or just catching a cab right to the terminal door for a cheaper and much more convenient experience? So next time you are thinking of going to Sydney airport, just boycott the Airport Link train completely, because it really is The Great Airport Train Robbery. Just park your car on a street near the airport, catch the bus or a cab to the terminal and never pay exorbitant parking fees or that ripoff Airport Link train fare.

The Airport Link is merely three and four stations away from Sydney CBD to the domestic and international airport terminals respectively and instead of costing the normal adult train fare of $3.38 in peak times to travel the same number of stations, the Airport Link charges $17.18 in peak times. That is more than FIVE times the price of the regular train fare.

The best way to avoid this disgusting ripoff is to avoid using the Airport Link train completely. If there are two people travelling from Sydney CBD or nearby suburbs, it is cheaper to use a taxi that will deliver them right to the terminal door. of course when three or four people are travelling to the airport from Sydney CBD or nearby, the taxi option is by far the most efficient and economical method. The Airport Link train should be boycotted because it is a disgraceful piece of daylight robbery.

Taxis

For two or more travellers without their own cars, using taxis is one of the good options. A taxi fare from Sydney CBD to Sydney Airport will cost between $30 and $35. This is already cheaper than the Airport Link train and if four people are travelling, then it will cost each of them around $8.

There is also the Uber option. Unfortunately Uber has reached an agreement with the operators of Sydney Airport to not pick up passengers, however Uber can drop people off at airport terminals. So this is an even cheaper option than using a taxi for most travellers going to the airport.

Buses

The number 400 bus runs from Bondi Junction and the number 420 bus runs from Burwood to Sydney Airport. If you live anywhere near those routes or are willing to drive to suburbs along those routes, you can park your car in a side street with no parking restrictions, catch the bus straight to the Domestic or International terminals for the cost of the return bus fare. For people over 60 years old, that will cost them $2.50, which beats the hell out of being gouged for the shockingly expensive car parking at the airport. I have done this a few times when flying interstate for a day or two and it's all too easy.

PICKING UP PASSENGERS

These days, it's all too easy to avoid being ripped off by expensive parking fees when picking up passengers and that is because just about everybody has a mobile phone. So the trick is to find a spot just outside the airport perimeter where you can park without getting booked. Arrange with your arriving friends to call you on the phone when they have disembarked and have collected their bags and are about to walk out of the terminal. Tell them to wait at the passenger pickup point outside the terminal and just drive into the airport precinct and pick them up and drive out again. That is how to avoid paying a single cent at the airport and it's so simple.

WHEN TRAPPED AT THE AIRPORT

Food and drink are always more expensive at the airport and stores there simply charge ridiculously high prices, especially in areas where passengers cannot leave, such as transit lounges. Sydney Airport is one of the worst offenders and has been so, ever it was privatised and the Macquarie Bank bought it. Here are some examples of the massive extent of the gouging that goes on at Sydney Airport that would make a bushranger green with envy.

For instance in 2019, a 560 gram jar of Vegemite costs about $8 in Woolworths. That exact jar of Vegemite is priced at a whopping $19 at a Sydney Airport shop. A bottle of water that normally sels for $2.15 at a superrmarket was on sale at Sydney Airport for $9.17. These airport stores are beyond belief with their outrageous gouging of travellers, so make a list of what you want to take on your travels and purchase those items before you get to the airport and you will save a lot of money and have the satisfaction of giving those airport shops the finger.

The fast food chain outlets at Sydney Airport still charge about the same as the ones in the suburbs, so if you can handle McDonalds and Subway, that's about the best food option. Other non-chain food outlets charge an arm and a leg for food and