What did we do before the Airtrain? If you couldn’t convince someone to come and get you from Brisbane Airport at 2 in the morning (thanks, wonderful Emirates schedule), options were limited to taxis and the bus. One was expensive and the other took you all over the countryside (once straight past my home) before finally dropping you off forever after you landed.
These days, we have the Airtrain. Unlike Sydney, which uses a commuter train, and Melbourne, which has no airport train at all, Brisbane’s Airtrain is a dedicated line that runs express from the international and domestic terminals to the city. In my opinion there is no more civilised way to travel or from to the airport, even though the fare is clearly designed to only just compete with the outrageous fares levied by taxis.
A one-way fare between the city to either airport terminal (in either direction) is $16.00, though you can save a bit by booking your cityward fare online at www.airtrain.com.au. When travelling from the city to the airport, find a local travel agent and they will normally have slightly cheaper coupons available for sale, usually about the $14 mark. It’s not the cheapest train ride in the world, but when travelling on your own it’s hard to beat for simplicity, comfort and punctuality.
It’s worth noting that the Airtrain only runs till about 10PM, so it’s still pretty useless for that late Emirates arrival…