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Brisbane International Airport: Departures

February 11, 20187 minute read
Brisbane International Airport Departures

Brisbane Airport is the main gateway for travellers into South East Queensland through the State Capital, Brisbane. There are separate Domestic and International Terminals, both designated BNE. Arriving and Departing passengers in the International Terminal occupy separate spaces, so this guide focuses on Brisbane International Airport Departures.

The Gold Coast Airport (OOL), about an hour and a half south of Brisbane, caters largely to low-cost airlines, while Brisbane Airport’s traffic is mostly from full service airlines. Make sure you have the correct airport when  are arranging transport.

If you’re flying in to Brisbane International Airport, read our story here.

Brisbane International Airport Departures

The Departure Hall is on the top floor of the airport, Level 4.  Whether you arrive by bus, train or car, you’ll have to go to Level 4 – International Departures.

The airport has recently undergone extensive refurbishment, with upgraded services and improved check-in facilities.


There are a number of useful services available on the entrance side of the Departure Hall.

  • A Bag wrapping service is useful if your luggage needs to be secured in some way, e.g. if you have items in a cardboard box.
  • If you need to withdraw cash, a number of ATMs are available about half way along the Departure Hall,
  • Looking for a new power pack or you’ve left yours at home, don’t panic. There’s a vending machine selling power banks beside the ATMs.


Check-in counters are located across the length of the Departure Floor on Level 4. Find your counter on the large display boards as you enter the Hall.

  • A number of airlines have dedicated self-check-in kiosks, including Qantas, Air New Zealand, Emirates.
  • There are a number of common check-in kiosks available used by different airlines.
  • Some airlines, mostly smaller ones with fewer flights, have check-in counters.
  • You can also use them as bag drops if you’ve already checked in online.
Claiming your tax refund (Tax Refund Scheme)
  • If you have made accumulated purchases from a single vendor of AUD300 or more, you may claim the GST paid on these items.
  • This Claim does not cover items bought at Duty Free stores as duty has not been paid.
  • You can make make a claim on a large or bulky item which is packed in your check-in baggage.
  • These must be checked by a customs officer before you drop your bag. Ask the counter staff for directions to the counter.
  • Make sure you allow enough time for this check, as you will still have to submit the claim after you pass through Security Controls.
  • If you’re very early, or are waiting to wave to departing friends and family, you can overlook the Departure Lounge, with a cuppa.
  • From here, you’ll also get a good view of arriving and departing aircraft.
  • A souvenir shop at the top of the escalator is a handy place to pick up some last minutes gifts.
  • Toilets are beside the coffee counter, in the viewing gallery.

Allow yourself at least an hour to reach your gate, especially if you have a GST claim to make. Likewise, if you have Lounge access, say any goodbyes and head off downstairs to Level 3. There are escalators and a lift available.


After you go down the escalator or lift to the Departure area on Level 3, you’ll need to have your passport ready for immigration clearance. Allow extra time if there are a lot of departing flights as the queue may be long.

Immigration Controls

The other notable improvement is in the border control procedures, now in place at all Australian International Airports.

  • The green Australian Departure card is no longer required.
  • If you have a passport which incorporates the latest machine readable technology, you’ll move through quickly, as card reading machines are in place for you to use. There are people who can advise you and if you’re having difficulty, answer your questions.

Customs Clearance

The customs clearance follows the Immigration checkpoint. Again, allow sufficient time to clear this check, especially if you want to claim a GST refund or make Duty Free purchases.

  • You may be asked to remove your belt and shoes
  • Have your LAG bag ready in case you are asked to show it.
  • All items of Liquids (perfume etc) Aerosols (deodorant, hairspray etc) or Gels (toothpaste etc) must be 100ml or less.
  • LAGs above 100ml must be packed in your checked bag, or surrendered to the customs.
  • ** Vegemite is considered a Gel, so carry only a small tube in any hand-carry bag.
  • Remove any phones from pockets and laptops from bags.


  • The GST (TRS claims) counter is on your right through the door as you leave the Customs and Immigration area.
  • You must allow at least half an hour (once you reach the desk, not joining the queue) for officers to accept your claim.
  • You can save time by downloading the app and completing the details to receive a QR code.
  • Make sure you have the goods with you (other than those large items already checked).
  • If the counters are not manned, complete the forms available on the table (in duplicate)
    • Place them in an envelope with the original receipts (don’t seal it)
    • Make sure you have a copy of the receipts. (Scan them before you go to the airport)
    • Write your name and home address on the envelope as they will use this to update you on your submission
    • Put in the dropbox at the end of the table.
  • There is one Currency Exchange Counter beside the TRS Claims desk. You can find another one in the main area of the Departure Lounge.

Departure Lounge & Boarding Gates

There are no holding lounges at the boarding gates, so once you are in the Departure Lounge, you can relax until it’s time to line up for boarding.

  • Apart from the Duty Free shop on entry to this area, there are a number of shops if you want to buy anything.
  • The airline lounges are in this area, mostly on the L4 Mezzanine area. If you have access, get through the formalities early so you can relax in comfort.
  • There are water stations if you want to refill a bottle, near Gates 80 & 82 and the entrance to the Qantas Lounge
  • You can find  smoking area behind the newsagent near Gate 80.
  • Two Charging Stations are available (with big signs) near the tables in the open area.
  • Grab a bite to eat at the Food Court , or one of the Coffee places scattered in the open area.
  • If you have time for a shower, you’ll find them behind the Food Court near the lift close to Gate 82. There are also toilets and a baby changing room.
  • There’s another set of toilets/showers/nursing room through the corridor behind the Currency Exchange near the cafe tables.

Getting to Brisbane International Airport

A number of transport options are available for passengers to reach the airport.

  • Apart from private car, the airport is well serviced by car rental companies and public transport.
  • There are also cycle paths if you need one.
  • If you are returning a rental car, follow the directions into the Parking section assigned to Rental Cars.
  • Parking is on Level 1.

The Brisbane Airport website is very comprehensive and easy to navigate. It’s very helpful if you need more information about either the International Terminal or the Domestic (which is separate).

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Brisbane International Airport (BNE)

Brisbane Airport Expansion

images © LL

# Airport Guide, Brisbane Airport
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